Closest draws and India spinners drawing a blank
Stats highlights from one of the greatest draws, between South Africa and India at the Wanderers
- This was the third-closest draw in Tests in terms of runs remaining. There have been two instances of teams drawing a Test with just one run remaining, which are the closest of draws in Tests. England drew against Zimbabwe with one remaining in Bulawayo in 1996 and India against West Indies in Mumbai in 2011. India have been involved in four of the seven single-digit margin of draws in Test history. Click here for a list of the closest draws in Tests in terms of runs remaining.
- The 136 overs that South Africa played in their fourth innings was the seventh-highest ever played in the fourth innings of a Test in South Africa and the highest South Africa have played at home since the 144 overs against New Zealand in Port Elizabeth in 1962. This was also the fourth-highest number of overs South Africa have played in the fourth innings to draw a Test.
- The 205-run partnership beween AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis was the highest ever for the fifth-wicket and the only double-century stand for that wicket to come in the fourth innings of a Test, beating the 177-run partnership between New Zealand's Bev Congdon and Vic Pollard against England at Trent Bridge in 1973.
- This partnership was South Africa's highest partnership in the fourth innings of a Test, beating the 195 runs that Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith added for the second wicket against Australia in Cape Town in 2011. This was also the second-highest fourth-innings partnership and only the second double-century partnership in the fourth innings of a Test in South Africa. At the Wanderers, this partnership is now the highest, beating beating the 165 runs that Michael Hussey and Damien Martyn added in 2006. India have been on the receiving end on three of the seven fourth-innings century partnerships at the Wanderers.
- Du Plessis' and de Villiers' hundreds were the fourth and fifth at the Wanderers in the fourth innings of a Test. Of these five, two have come against the hosts and three against India. Daryll Cullinan made an unbeaten 122 against India in 1997 helping South Africa escape with a draw on that occasion. This was Du Plessis' third hundred in ten Tests and de Villiers' 18th from 88 Tests.
- The wicket of Jacques Kallis was Zaheer Khan's 300th in Tests. He's only the second India fast bowler after Kapil Dev to take 300 or more wickets. Only two other India bowlers, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, have taken 300-plus wickets in Tests. Among left-arm fast bowlers only Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas have reached this mark before Zaheer Khan in Tests. Zaheer Khan, contrary to the norm among Asian bowlers, has done better playing outside the subcontinent. In 35 matches outside the subcontinent, Zaheer has taken 136 wickets at 29.72, while his remaining 164 wickets have come playing in the subcontinent at 32.31.
- South Africa hit the second-highest fourth-innings total ever in this innings to draw a Test. Their total of 450 for 7 in this innings was the third-highest fourth-innings total in Tests. This was also the second-highest fourth-innings total in South Africa and the highest in over 70 years. England's 654 for 5 against the hosts in Durban in 1939 is the highest fourth-innings total in South Africa. England drew that Test, falling short of the target by 41 runs. This is also the highest fourth-innings score at the Wanderers, beating England's 351 for 5 against the hosts in 1995.
- India maintained their record of being the only visiting team to not lose a Test to the hosts at the Wanderers. In terms of wins though, Australia are the most successful team at this venue, having won six of the 11 Tests they have played against the hosts at this venue. The Wanderers is now one of the four overseas venues where India haven't lost a Test from four or more that they have played.
- Du Plessis and De Villiers' stand was the 15th fourth-innings double-century partnership in Tests. The last time a pair added 200 or more in the fourth innings of a Test was in 1999 when Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist made 238 for the sixth wicket against Pakistan in Hobart.
- Including this innings, there are only three instances of two South Africa batsmen hitting centuries in the fourth innings of a Test. The last such instance came against Australia in Cape Town when Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla hit centuries while chasing down a target of 236. South Africa had won in the previous two instances.
- R Ashwin bowled 42 overs in this Test without taking a wicket and Murali Vijay bowled an over of spin too. This is only the eighth instance of India spinners remaining wicketless in a Test. The previous such instance came against Australia in Sydney when Ashwin and Virender Sehwag bowled 67 overs of spin between them without taking a wicket. All these instances have come in away Tests.
Shiva Jayaraman is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo.com
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