2015 Test Century Watch #20 – Younis Khan

Younus-Khan_1500837cYounis Khan – 148 v Bangladesh at Mirpur

Ah, the old warrior, fresh from missing out in the runfest at Khulna, has cashed in today with a 148 in the second test. This was his 29th test hundred, made in his 98th test match, and he continues an exemplary conversion rate which means when he reaches 50, he makes it to 100 every other time. This is his 12th highest test century, not even half way to his career best of 313 against Sri Lanka in 2009 in Karachi.

This is Younis’s third test ton against Bangladesh, with the other two both coming in Chittagong, where he made 200* in 2011, and 119 as long ago as 2002. His previous best at Mirpur was 49. This was the 18th test century made by Pakistan against Bangladesh (number 19 followed three overs later) and Younus joins Mohammad Hafeez as the only Pakistanis to make three test hundreds against them.

Let’s do 148, and ask the question. Have you ever seen a test 148, Dmitri? Ah, funny you should say that but…no. I thought that might have been the score of one of Ponting’s tons in Adelaide, but it isn’t. This was the 31st test 148, and some that my readers may remember include:

  • Rahul Dravid at Headingley in his 2002 “we don’t seem to be able to get this chap out” tour.
  • Alastair Cook’s 148 at Adelaide in his tour for the ages in 2010/11, where he followed up his 235* with this knock. Those were the days.
  • One for Arron, Robin Smith’s 148* at Lord’s in 1991 when he marshalled the tail superbly and made a magnificent hundred.
  • Tim Robinson’s 148 in 1985, allied with David Gower’s 215, was a joy to watch one glorious Saturday afternoon. Have that on video somewhere…

However, as I always try to do, I want to pick out the old or the obscure, and the first 148 was made back in 1884. It’s almost astonishing that another man was not dismissed on this score for 87 years after that (MAK Pataudi), but back in the day Allan Steel made 148 at Lord’s in 1884 to help England to an innings victory over the Australians. I liked this description of him from Cricinfo:

Though not a regular captain of county or country, he had an improbable run of success as skipper: Marlborough over Rugby, Cambridge over Oxford, Gentlemen over Players, Lancashire over Yorkshire and England over Australia.

Bet he’s on Metatone’s Mafia hitlist (well, he’d been dead over a century, so that’s probably pointless). Anyway, the almanack entry gives you the facts of the first test 148.

Les Ames made an unbeaten 148 against South Africa at The Oval in 1930, and Kenny Barrington an unbeaten 148 against the same opposition at Kingsmead, Durban in the period intervening Steel and Pataudi. Tony Greig made two scores of 148 in 13 months – once in India at the Brabourne, Mumbai, and once in Bridgetown. Greig and Dravid have been dismissed twice for 148, while Barrington and Tendulkar have a dismissal and a not out to their name of that score.

This is the second 148 of the year. The first being made by AB DeVilliers against the West Indies in Cape Town. That century watch can be found here

This was the 26th test hundred made at Mirpur. At time of writing, given Azhar Ali is not out overnight, Younis ranks in 6th place, has the highest score for Pakistan (beating Taufeeq Umar’s 130) and was the second Pakistani to make a hundred at this venue (again, obviously, Taufeeq being the first). The ground record is held by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mahela Jayawardena who both made unbeaten 203s.

Younis Khan’s century came up in 142 balls and contained 9 x 4 and a six.


2015 Test Century Watch #18 – Imrul Kayes

Imrul Kayes1

Imrul Kayes – 150 v Pakistan at Khulna

So while Tamim was setting the national record at one end, Imrul was making the seventh highest score by a Bangladesh player at the other end, setting record opening partnerships with him, and becoming fifth player to pass 150 in tests for Bangladesh. It was a carve up in Khulna.

So with all the ground records and national stuff out of the way in the Tamim piece below, what else do I have for Imrul’s knock in statistical terms? This was Imrul’s third test century and his first not at Chittagong. He has a decent conversion rate – 5 scores over 50, just two falling short once he passes 50 of the century mark (one being his first innings 51 – the other a 75 at Lord’s). That test average is still in the mid-20s, but don’t underestimate a knock like that in saving the game. He doesn’t stop at 100, with scores of 115 and 130, so while a DBTA of 31.67 isn’t top drawer, it isn’t nonsense either.

Imrul’s century was the 11th made at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, and he nestles into 5th = with Shiv Chanderpaul (who made a not out 150) for the stadium honours board list. Five hundreds have been made by home players – Tamim has two, Shakib al Hasan one and Abul Hasan one. Three hundreds were made in one test by West Indies players in 2011.

On to 150. Have you ever seen a 150 Dmitri? The answer is no. There have been 30 scores of 150 in tests, and if I had to associate the number with one innings I recall, it is Mike Gatting’s at The Oval to take us to a series losing draw v Pakistan in 1987, when the visitors had racked up 700 on us. The first 150 was made in 1911, and by one of the few test players with a surname beginning with the letter Z outside the subcontinent. Billy Zulch, at the SCG, while following on against the hosts, made 150 for South Africa in a losing cause.

“When South Africa followed-on, Zulch made a great effort. He batted extremely well in the latter half of his innings, but he might have been out three times before he had scored seventy.”

A “Cook-esque” ton then 🙂

The previous 150 made in tests was Shiv Chanderpaul’s effort at Khulna three years ago. Sydney and Georgetown have had three scores of 150 apiece, so Khulna, in its limited life as a test venue is punching above its statistical weight. The last Englishman to make 150 exactly was Gatting, with just two others making that score – Len Hutton and Derek Randall. The last one in England was by Ricky Ponting at Cardiff to kick off the 2009 Ashes. Ricky Ponting, along with Gary Kirsten, are the only two players to make 150 twice in tests.

Imrul Kayes 100 came up in 150 balls and contained 11 x 4 and 3 x 6.

2015 Test Century Watch #17 – Tamim Iqbal


Tamim Iqbal – 206 v Pakistan at Khulna

Tamim Iqbal, once, as I always like to remind him, compared to Virender Sehwag by Jonathan Agnew, is really hitting form. Today he reached the pinnacle of Bangladesh test batting by setting its record score. His 206 broke the record set by Mushfiqur Rahman (200) two years ago in Galle against Sri Lanka. It took his test batting average over 40. It was his seventh test hundred, he’s a good over or two’s thrashing from 3000 test runs, and he’s just 26. It’s a bit of a transformation for him, and Bangladeshi test cricket. On the batting front there are green shoots of recovery.

This was the 16th double hundred made in tests in Bangladesh (we set out the country record and ground record holders in the Mohammad Hafeez piece). 206 places Tamim in 9th place in the list. When he reached 182 he passed Monimul Haque for the highest score by a Bangladesh test batsman in their host country. This was the 14th double ton in Bangladesh involving the host nation – two Pakistanis made their doubles against Sri Lanka in the Asian Test Championship. This was Tamim’s second ton at Khulna, his fourth in Bangladesh (he has two in England) and only the third of his centuries to pass 110.

206 has been made 14 times in test cricket? Have you seen one Dmitri? Well funny you should mention that but I have. It was in Adelaide, funnily enough, and it was Paul Collingwood who made it. I wonder how that test panned out?

The first 206 was made in 1938 by Bill Brown, who carried his bat for that score at Lord’s in 1938 after Walter Hammond had made a big double for England in the first innings. Lord’s saw the second 206, when Martin Donnelly of New Zealand made that score in 1949. Lord’s shares the distinction of having two scores of 206 with the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, where both Everton Weekes and Ricky Ponting have made that score. Also, Adelaide has two – Collingwood and Arthur Morris. The last 206 was Chetshwar Pujara’s unbeaten innings against England in Ahmedabad. You know, the game Arron refers to a lot when it came to our selection of bowlers (and rightly so). Another notable 206 innings came from Ravi Shastri in Sydney (Shane Warne’s debut).

Tamim Iqbal’s 100 came up in 124 balls and included 11 x 4 and 3 x 6. His 200 came off 264 balls, with 17 x 4 and 7 x 6, with the final tally for his innings being 278 balls. A National Record to be proud of Tamim. Bangladesh may well be on the rise.