To celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, Steve Pittard picks the weirdest 111s
When West Indies faced Kenya in the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy, Brian Lara behaved very oddly at the crease; he took to crouching with his hands on his knees and in breaks lying on his back. After offering three chances, he was finally put out of his misery when he took a wild heave on 111. Returning to the pavilion de-hydrated, and with yellowy-orange eyes, he was promptly packed off to hospital before he could even collect his man-of-the-match award. Lara wasn't best pleased with West Indies' team manager, Ricky Skerritt, who announced that hepatitis was the most likely cause.
2 Merv Dillon
Under a clear Jamaican sky in 2003, Trinidad & Tobago had reached 111 for 7 against Windward Islands when batsman Merv Dillon, sporting a gold medallion, was poleaxed by a lightning bolt which came, literally, from the blue. After the rest of the players were told to take off their jewellery, bowler Fernix Thomas was also struck and, after running round in circles, he fled to the pavilion. But bad lightning didn't stop play for very long, and Thomas returned, gamely bowling two overs before complaining of a headache and a burning pain in his neck. He joined Dillon in an ambulance.
3 Idrees Beg
On the 1955-56 tour to the subcontinent, the MCC A team received some dreadful lbw decisions from umpire Idrees Beg in a match against Pakistan at Peshawar. They were all out for 111. To gain revenge, some of the victims donned masks and kidnapped Beg from his hotel. Then Brian Close and Roy Swetman soaked him with two large buckets of water. Beg took it well until Pakistan players saw him later, drenched, and started laughing. The England players insisted it was just horse-play but the team was nearly sent home and questions were asked in both parliaments.
4 John Davison
John Davison, a South Australian spinner with a first-class batting average of 10.85, nearly caused an upset for his native Canada against West Indies in the World Cup in 2003. Canada scored 149 for 1 off 20 overs, with Davison blasting the fastest-ever World Cup hundred off 67 balls. He was caught on the boundary for 111 - attempting his seventh six - Canada subsided to 202 all out and were easily beaten.
5 Jack Russell
England travelled to Durban for the fifth and deciding Test of their 1922-23 tour of South Africa. Their opener Jack Russell hit 140 out of England's total of 281, despite suffering from malaria. In the second innings, Russell came to the crease at 26 for 4 and boosted the final tally to 241, last man out for 111. He took to his bed as South Africa capitulated but despite his heroics England discarded him - the only batsman to finish his Test career on Nelson.
6 Jeff Thomson
At Adelaide in the 1974-75 Ashes Test against England, Australia were 111 for 2 at stumps, with Jeff Thomson poised to break Arthur Mailey's record of 36 wickets in a series, the most by an Australian. Thommo was three behind, with another innings and then a further Test to play. On the rest day of the game, after enjoying the hospitality at a vineyard, he decided to play tennis. One tremendous serve beat Doug Walters for pace but unfortunately left Thomson with an injured shoulder. Unable to lift even a tea cup the next morning, he took no further part in the series.
At 46, Jack Hobbs became the oldest man to score a Test century during the 1928-29 Ashes tour. The following summer, playing for Surrey, he was bowled for 111 by the Middlesex bowler Jack Durston. Durston got him again for 111 in the same fixture three years later at Lord's, when Hobbs became the oldest County Championship centurion. To rub it in, the fielder who caught him was a Robert Nelson. Percy Fender entered into the spirit and declared with a lead of 444.
8 Australia 1954-55
Australia 111 all out has happened six times (famously at Headingley in 1981), but Nelson also struck in successive Tests during the 1954-55 Ashes series. Needing 240 to win in the third Test, they reached 75 for 2 overnight but Frank Tyson pictured polished them off before lunch, taking 7 for 27. Earlier, cracks in the pitch had mysteriously disappeared overnight. "Who watered the wicket in Melbourne?" became a popular question and even cropped up in a Harold Pinter play The Birthday Party. A further Nelson at Adelaide in the next game left England needing fewer than a hundred runs to retain the Ashes. Their victorious captain Len Hutton had only one career Nelson memorably announced by the BBC: "Yorkshire 232 all out. Len Hutton ill ... No. I'm sorry, Len Hutton 111."
9 Warwickshire 1982
Wisden called it a "most remarkable match". At Southport, in 1982, Warwickshire declared at 523 for 4 after Alvin Kallicharran pictured (230*) and Geoff Humpage (254) recorded the highest English fourth-wicket partnership, 470. Lancashire then declared 109 behind. A sea mist at the Trafalgar Road ground rolled in, Les McFarlane took 6 for 59 bowling Warwickshire out for 111. Then the sun came out and Lancashire won by 10 wickets. Graeme Fowler, their unbeaten opener, had a runner throughout thanks to a pulled hamstring. When he made his second century of the match, his exhausted runner, Ian Folley, raised his own bat and a fielder shook his hand.
10 Kevin Pietersen
"Kevin Pietersen today made cricket history by hitting a cricket ball 111 metres across London's River Thames," announced the ECB in June. It was his attempt to surpass Albert Trott's 1899 feat of clearing the Lord's pavilion (124 metres). The far river bank was actually 140 metres away, so despite being fed full tosses from a bowling machine, all of Pietersen's best shots landed in the water. Taking strike barefoot and in jeans at 6am, he may have struggled against the white ball in the early-morning conditions.
11 David Shepherd
Umpire David Shepherd was hopping mad in a Test at Chennai in 2004-05 when Australia took lunch on 111 for 0 after Matthew Hayden played out a maiden. Australia collapsed to 235 all out and Shepherd seemed out of sorts, turning down a catch so obvious that Michael Kasprowicz headed for the pavilion. Shepherd retired in 2005, the 200th anniversary of Nelson's famous battle but may have been twitchy when England chose to celebrate their Ashes win in Trafalgar Square.