March 22, 2001

Bowling Milestones: Briggs to Walsh - A journey through the generations

The West Indian champion fast bowler CA Walsh, became Test Cricket's first bowler to claim 500 wickets during his remarkable bowling spell (6/61), in the 2nd innings in the recent Test match at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Tuesday, 20th March 2001. Courtney Walsh was playing the 129th Test Match of his career. Incidentally Walsh's wicket taking frequency in the last 27 Test Matches has significantly geared up, claiming 129 victims, more than any time in his 17 year long illustrious career.

The elite club of 400 plus claimants:
In the 124 years history of Test Cricket only five bowlers, CA Walsh (504), Kapil Dev (434), Sir RJ Hadlee (431), Wasim Akram (409) and CEL Ambrose (405) have claimed 400 or more wickets. Twelve other bowlers however, have also achieved the distinction of having claimed more than 300 but less than 400 wickets.

The interesting journey through the generations, from the first bowler, Johnny Briggs to claim his 100th Test Wicket in 1895 to CA Walsh's 500th Wickets is presented below.

The 100 wickets milestone-1895
On the first day of the fourth test against Australia on 1st February 1895, the Lancashire and England left arm slow bowler Johnny Briggs achieved the unique landmark of claiming 100 wickets for the first time in Test Cricket. Briggs was playing in his 25th Test match.

The 200 wickets milestone-1936
Clarence Victor Grimmett, Australia's finest leg break bowler between the two wars, was the first bowler to claim 200 wickets in Test Cricket. He achieved the landmark on 17 February 1936 at Old Wanderers, Johannesburg, against South Africa, in the penultimate (36th) Test of his career

The 300 wickets milestone- 1964
Yorkshire and England fast bowler, Fred Trueman was the first bowler to achieve the 300 wickets landmark in Test Cricket. He claimed his 300th wicket, in his 65th Test Match, on 15 August 1964, when he had late Neil Hawke of Australia caught at slip by late Sir Colin Cowdrey, at the Oval.

The 400 wickets milestone-1990
Sir Richard Hadlee of New Zealand on 4th February 1990 achieved the unique distinction of becoming the first bowler in Test Cricket to claim 400 wickets during the Test Match against India, at Lancaster Park, Christchurch, in his 80th Test match.

Milestones for Pakistan

First to claim 100 wickets Fazal Mahmood (22 Tests)
at Karachi v West Indies - 1958-59
First to claim 200 wickets Imran Khan (45 Tests)
at Karachi v India - 1982-83
First to claim 300 wickets Imran Khan (68 Tests)
at Karachi v England - 1987
First to claim 400 Wickets Wasim Akram (96 Tests)
at Colombo v Sri Lanka - 1999-2000