Thursday, February 04, 2021

cricizen kane

I was prompted by the recent resumption of near-normal Test cricket in New Zealand, and in particular by the record-breaking feats of Kane Williamson, to revisit a couple of previous posts featuring deep cricket stat-nerdery and do my best to out-nerd them in some way.

Williamson's innings of 238 against Pakistan in Christchurch was of particular interest to me as it was the first innings of 238 in the 145-year history of Test cricket. You may recall my post from a few years back (January 2013 to be precise) about the esoteric study of yet-to-be-made individual innings scores in Test cricket, and the subsequent flurry of pant-moistening excitement in late 2015 when several entries on that list were knocked off in quick succession. 

Since the compilation of my original list by painstaking manual methods in 2013 I have developed some fiendishly clever automated methods for extracting statistics related to this subject, and I am both proud and, yes, all right, slightly aroused to present some of the results here.

The first thing to say is that there was an error in my original list: the inclusion of 114 as a score which was once the lowest un-made score in a Test match was an error, and the first occurrence of that score was not by Herbert Sutcliffe in 1929 but by Jack Hearne in 1912 (Sutcliffe's innings was actually the fourth 114 in Test history). So the revised progression looks like this:

ScorePlayerDateMatchSpan (time)Span (Tests)
100JT Tyldesley3rd July 1905ENG v AUS28y 110d84
110WH Ponsford19th December 1924AUS v ENG19y 169d73
125PGV van der Bijl3rd March 1939RSA v ENG9y 261d90
139ED Weekes11th April 1955WI v AUS16y 39d133
171IR Redpath11th December 1970AUS v ENG15y 244d271
186Zaheer Abbas23rd December 1982PAK v IND12y 12d267
199Mudassar Nazar24th October 1984PAK v IND1y 306d54
218SV Manjrekar1st December 1989IND v PAK5y 38d134
224VG Kambli19th February 1993IND v ENG2y 80d84
228HH Gibbs2nd January 2003RSA v PAK9y 318d423

The five lowest "missing" scores in Tests are now 229, 252, 265, 272 and 273. The last ten innings which plugged a gap on the list were as follows:

238KS WilliamsonNew ZealandPakistan03/01/2021Christchurch
335*DA WarnerAustraliaPakistan29/11/2019Adelaide
264*TWM LathamNew ZealandSri Lanka15/12/2018Wellington
303*KK NairIndiaEngland16/12/2016Chennai
269*AC VogesAustraliaWest Indies10/12/2015Hobart
290LRPL TaylorNew ZealandAustralia13/11/2015Perth
245Shoaib MalikPakistanEngland13/10/2015Abu Dhabi
263AN CookEnglandPakistan13/10/2015Abu Dhabi
294AN CookEnglandIndia10/08/2011Birmingham
293V SehwagIndiaSri Lanka02/12/2009Mumbai (BS)

At the other end of the scale, multiple occurrences of the same score for the same batsman: the highest individual score to be made more than once by the same batsman is 203, by Shoaib Mohammad and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (twice each), the highest individual score to be made three times by the same player is 158 by Kevin Pietersen, the highest individual score to be made four times by the same player is 105 by Alastair Cook and the only batsman to make the same individual score on five separate occasions is Virat Kohli with 103.

The only two instances in Test history of a batsman making two identical scores in excess of 100 in the same Test match were a pair of 105s by Sri Lanka's Duleep Mendis in 1982 and a pair of 101s by Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq in 2014, the second of those 101s being at the time the joint-fastest century in Test history in just 56 balls (New Zealand's Brendon McCullum has since taken sole possession of the record).

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