Symmetrical stats

Cricket's statistics aren't all 99.94s. Sometimes the numbers are satisfyingly round

Steven Lynch

September 3, 2012

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Mark Boucher dives to collect one down the leg side, South Africa v India, 1st Test, Centurion, 4th day, December 19, 2010
Mark Boucher: 999 international dismissals and one Test wicket © Gallo Images

100 - and 50
Andrew Strauss inspired this list by announcing his retirement immediately after his 100th Test match - which was also his 50th as captain. Only Mike Atherton (54 Tests) and Michael Vaughan (51) have captained England more often. Viv Richards and Mark Taylor also skippered in exactly 50 Tests.

100 - and 200
The only other man to win exactly 100 Test caps was the Surrey and England left-hander Graham Thorpe, between 1993 and 2005. And his highest score was 200 not out, against New Zealand in Christchurch in 2001-02.

Muttiah Muralitharan's quest for 800 Test wickets was one of the statistical highlights of 2010. He went into what he announced beforehand would be his final Test - against India in Galle - needing eight to make it, and with the last pair in he was stuck on 799... twice Murali narrowly missed chances to run the last man out (not deliberately!) before finally Pragyan Ojha became victim No. 800. All Sri Lanka breathed a sigh of relief, and we'll never know whether he would have been tempted out of retirement for one more match if he'd been marooned one short!

When Mark Boucher was forced to announce his retirement after an untimely eye injury earlier this year, several people (me included) pointed out that he was stuck on 999 international dismissals - 555 in Tests and 444 in limited-overs matches (including one catch in the field). But ... Boucher also took a Test wicket (Dwayne Bravo in Antigua in 2005, which reduced West Indies to the depths of 747 all out), so he could be said to have finished on a round thousand.

2000 in 2000
Pakistan's silky middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf celebrated the new millennium by scoring 1161 runs in one-day internationals and 839 in Tests - that's exactly 2000 international runs in the year 2000.

20 and 20 in Twenty20
The Zimbabwean batsman Hamilton Masakadza's stats in the shortest form of the game are pleasing to the eye. He's currently had 20 innings in 20 Twenty20 internationals... and hit 20 sixes too. And overall, as I write, he's scored exactly 2000 runs in all Twenty20 games.

200 - and 100
Tearaway fast bowler Jeff Thomson finished up with 200 Test wickets for Australia - and exactly 100 of them came against England. It's a fair bet that Thommo - who summed up his approach to pace bowling as "I'd just lope in and go whang" - wasn't too bothered about this statistical neatness.

Jeff Thomson ready to unleash a thunderbolt, Middlesex v Australians, Lord's, July 1985
Jeff Thomson: 100 Test wickets against England and 200 in total Paul McGregor / © Martin Williamson

10 for 10
The best bowling figures in first-class history came during a County Championship match at Headingley in 1932. The Yorkshire and England left-arm spinner Hedley Verity demolished Nottinghamshire for 67, and finished with the stunning analysis of 10 for 10. Notts had been 38 without loss before Verity got to work: Wisden reports that he "not only performed the hat-trick in sending back Walker, Harris and Gunn, but got rid of Arthur Staples and Larwood with the last two balls of his next over and then, disposing of Voce and Sam Staples with the third and fourth balls of his following over, brought the innings to a close".

100 and 100
Playing for Pakistan International Airlines against Railways in Lahore in 1980-81, Zaheer Abbas scored 100 not out in the first innings - and 100 not out in the second. It was one of a record eight occasions that the elegant Zaheer scored a century in each innings of a first-class match.

The reliable Northamptonshire batsman Dennis Brookes, who won one England cap, scored exactly 2000 runs in the 1950 English county season. Chris Smith of Hampshire and England followed suit in 1985.

2000 (and 1)
Dilip Sardesai retired thinking he had scored exactly 2000 Test runs, the highlight a superb 212 which helped India draw the first Test in the West Indies in 1970-71, a series they eventually won. But somewhere along the line there was an adjustment after examination of old scorebooks, and Sardesai finished up with 2001.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2012.

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Posted by crktcrzy on (September 4, 2012, 21:52 GMT)

Pakistan was dismissed for 100 & 300 against SL in the first test of the recent series- I don't think there has been any other such instance.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

True warrior indeed, Mark VERNON Boucher for South Africa

Posted by Gopalakrishna on (September 4, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

There are 99 occasions of a captain openers dismissed for a duck in test innings. AJ Strauss's duck against South Afirca at The Oval in July 2012 provided the 99th occasions. One more such instance will provide the 100th occasion of a captain opener scoring a duck in a test innings HR Gopala Krishna - Cricket Statistician - Bangalore

Posted by Gopalakrishna on (September 4, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

Add this one - very interesting indeed - PP Ojha shared the new ball by bowling the first over of a test against New Zealand at Bangalore to provide the 500th occasion of a spin bowler sharing the new ball in a test match - HR Gopala Krishna - Cricket Statistian - Bangalore

Posted by   on (September 4, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

@ Rainmaster and Gocha Palaniappan thanx allot for correction...

Posted by Headbandenator on (September 4, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

Eventually common sense will prevail and Murali will be credited with (only) 795 test wickets. Don't care what anyone says, there is no way the World XI vs Australia nonsense should be considered a test match.

Posted by Gerrystackle on (September 4, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

I could be wrong with this but I blieve that Dan Vettori maybe NZ 200th Test player and 100th ODI Player (or the otherway around maybe). happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Posted by Wan2Cricket on (September 4, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

Lara 400*...and Kevin Pietersen has three scores of 158 in test cricket...his career now seems to have stopped on 15/8...

Posted by Baddabing on (September 4, 2012, 2:46 GMT)

Well not exactly a round figure...but Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh started their careers in the same series and retired on the same day and both finished with exactly the same 355 dismissals

Posted by cric_fan_ on (September 3, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

The first double hundred and highest not out score in ODI's is 200* by sachin tendulkar

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 17:41 GMT)

Adam Gilchrist hit 100 sixes.

Posted by Engle on (September 3, 2012, 15:45 GMT)

Asif Iqbal played 10 ODI matches, scored 330 runs with an average of 55.00 which included 5 50's

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

@ abid - its 119 , 219 & 319 respectively ...:)

Posted by Rainmaster on (September 3, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

Abid, slight correction. Viru's highest scores: 119, 219, 319!

Posted by vaidyar on (September 3, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

And there was Azhar..who almost made it to the list - 199 highest score and finishing at 99 tests.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

I wonder if there will be any mathematically perfect cricketing records achieved on December 20th 2012, at twelve minutes past eight (GMT). 20.12 20/12/2012. India will be playing England at Pune.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

i knew before posting my previous comment that it ll be published...

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

viru high scores of 109(t20),209(odi) and 309 in tests....

Posted by Romanticstud on (September 3, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

the 100th score of exactly 100 in tests was Mark Waugh vs Pakistan 5 November 1999 in Brisbane ... Another Australian Justin Langer scored the 99th score of 99 in all international cricket 25 November 2005 vs West Indies at Adelaide ... the 100th score of 100 in all international cricket was Hansie Cronje vs Australia in Peshewar in an ODI on 24 October 1994 ...

Posted by farazzubair on (September 3, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Thanks for the highly informative article. It surely would have required a lot of effort out of you and has to be appreciated.

Posted by kamran.afzal on (September 3, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Delightful read, Steven :) ... You're an almanac of cricket all by yourself...

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

I wonder whether Dougie Bracewell will be more accurate with his career totals than his uncle John, who finished his test career with 102 wickets and 1001 runs...

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 6:50 GMT)

I think you could've mentioned Sourav Ganguly's 113 Tests and 311 ODIs.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

Though this cannot be called a round figure exactly like the figures mentioned, Viv Richards has the average of exact 47 in ODI. Generally averages will mostly be in decimals. But for Sir Viv, it was a whole number. So his average is a very special number and relatively be called round number.

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (September 3, 2012, 4:36 GMT)

Top work Mr Lynch. I really enjoyed and surprised to see such stats. Cricket indeed is a wonderful game.Thanks for that and well done

Posted by vk6848 on (September 3, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

Stats are always fascinating for us cricket buffs, Thanks; and it appears that all 11 South Africans bowled in that 4th test 2005 vs WI. Was that a record? Does Boucher have the best bowling average in tests (qualification 1 wicket)?! An unrelated question- which bowler has the best figures for a test hat-trick, in the form of aggregated batsman standings?

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Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.

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