2015 Test Century Watch #12 – Jason Holder

Jason Holder

Jason Holder – 103 not out v England at North Sound, Antigua

A lot of man-love going on for Jason Holder who made his first first-class hundred in saving a test match for his team against England. His 103 not out was impressive, composed and just class in all he did. I’m a fan.

103 isn’t a great statistical number. This is the 120th score of 103 in tests, making it one of the most common numbers over the century mark (which is obvious given it would probably trigger declarations etc.). It was the 37th not out 103 in test matches. The last man dismissed for 103 was Faf du Plessis in a test match against the Windies at Port Elizabeth in the last knockings of 2014. Shiv Chanderpaul’s was the last 103 for the Windies at Bridgetown against Australia in 2012. AB DeVilliers and Rahul Dravid have three scores of 103. Michael Vaughan has been dismissed twice on that score.

This was the 78th test ton made from the number 8 position in the batting order. JP Duminy was the last to do it, against Sri Lanka, in July last year, but to be absolutely fair, he’s a recognised batsman. The last West Indian to do it was Darren Sammy against England at Nottingham, while the last to do it at home was Clive Lloyd (another you ask what he was doing down there) against India in 1983. Holder is the third player to make a ton from number 8 in the West Indies (Clairmonte Depeiza being the other) and the 7th at any ground (Gerry Alexander, Bernard Julien and Jerome Taylor being the others). The last Englishman to make a ton from number 8? Matt Prior’s match-saving knock in Auckland (we sent in a nightwatchman on the 4th evening). Last genuine number 8 (Matt Prior has another, v Australia in Sydney) for England was probably Ray Illingworth in June 1969.

Of those 78 test tons from number 8, 38 have been since 1 January 2000. Dan Vettori has the most, with four, while Kamran Akmal has three. The highest score made from the number 8 slot in the batting line-up is Wasim Akram’s 257 not out at Sheikhapura, while Pakistanis fill out the top three (Imtiaz Ahmed (209) and Kamran Akmal (154 v England) both at Lahore.

Jason Holder’s century came up off 146 balls and contained 15×4.

2015 Test Century Watch #11 – Gary Ballance


Gary Ballance – 122 v West Indies at North Sound, Antigua

Gary Ballance completed his fourth test century as he worked his way through a sticky start to flourish later on. 122 is his second highest score in tests, trailing his 156 at the Ageas Bowl in the 95 Test.

This was the 46th century made from the number 3 position since 1 January 1990 for England (without using Statsguru, try to guess the four different players to have made 200s from the number 3 slot for England). Three more will take him level with Trott who has made the most from that position. Michael Vaughan, Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain have six each in that time.

This was the 14th score of 122 made by an England player. Three scores of 122 were since 2000, all by openers – Trescothick in Galle, Strauss in Nottingham (v West Indies) and Alastair Cook’s largely overlooked innings in Mumbai in 2012. The first 122 for England was made by Tom Hayward (who finished his test career with 1999 runs – probably in a good space) in Johannesburg back in 1896. Four of all of our 122s were made at Lord’s, and three made in Johannesburg. This was the first in the West Indies. Ernest Tyldesley scored two 122s, and, suitably enough, one was at Lord’s and one was at Jo’burg. These were made in the 1920s.

This is the 61st time 122 has been made in tests. The last was in 2013 when Shiv Chanderpaul made the score against New Zealand in Hamilton. The last one in the West Indies was by Shahid Afridi in Bridgetown in May 2005. Sachin Tendulkar has made 122 on three occasions, one not out, while Hansie Cronje and Brian Lara have two apiece.

This was the 66th score of 100 made in tests in Antigua, and the 5th highest made at North Sound. Of course, after Ian Bell, he’s the second Englishman to make a ton at North Sound, and after Boycott, Willey, Atherton, Smith, Flintoff, Vaughan, Strauss and Bell, the ninth to make a ton for England on the island of 365 beaches.

Gary Ballance brought up his century in 233 balls with 11 x 4 and a six. He hit one more six in his final score.