Saturday, December 15, 2012

99 flakes

Another morsel of cricket-related statistical trainspottery and trivia for you: when the Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni took a quick single to mid-off earlier today and got himself run out for 99, he became the 15th man in Test cricket history to perish in such a way. I know this because of the excellent Statsguru facility provided by Cricinfo, which permits all sorts of arcane queries to be answered. So if I want to know how many batsmen have been stumped for exactly 64 runs while batting at number 4, then I can easily ascertain that the answer is just one, our very own Kevin Pietersen.

Getting run out for 99 seems especially poignant, though - setting off for a run with the expectation of being able to raise your bat in acknowledgement of a century, only to watch in horror as the stumps are demolished with you either still floundering halfway down the pitch, or having to undergo (as Dhoni did) the drawn-out agony of a referral to the third umpire and a prolonged series of TV replays. Here are South Africa's Jacques Kallis and Neil McKenzie getting run out by the same fielder (Australia's Damien Martyn) within 3 months of each other in December 2001 and March 2002 respectively, and, most agonisingly of all, England's Mike Atherton falling over, getting up and then falling over again for what seems like hours before Ian Healy puts him out of his misery against Australia at Lord's in 1993. On the other hand, Atherton did make plenty of Test hundreds (sixteen in fact, although he never made one at Lord's) so perhaps the award should instead go to New Zealand's John Beck, who was run out for 99 against South Africa in 1954 and never made a Test hundred.

The run out for 199 club, by contrast, has only one member: Pakistan's Younis Khan.

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