In a country that dwells on chaos and confusion in many aspects, Sri Lanka’s beleaguered cricket selectors have finally put together a squad for the World Cup.
Cricket South Africa’s Under-19s week in Pretoria saw a remarkable match being played out this week.
Shania-Lee Swart opened the batting, and with 18 fours and 12 sixes, scored 160 runs out of her team Mpumalanga’s total of 169 for 8. What made it remarkable was that none of her eight fellow batters could get any runs on the board – the nine other runs went on the scoreboard under “Extras”.
But that wasn’t the end of the story.
When their opponents, the Easterns, batted, Swart took 2 for 21, to help restrict them to 127 for 6.
So not only did eight batters score ducks, but their team won the match. Incredible!
I decided to go back a bit in history to check what the closest parallels are in international cricket.
There are five instances in One Day Cricket when six batsmen have got ducks in an innings.
There are seventeen instances when five batsmen have got ducks in an innings.
So who were the 22 ODI teams who had those glorious ducks?
There isn’t one clear culprit here with Pakistan achieving this landmark three times, and most other teams managing it at least twice each.
Remarkably, India and Australia are the only two teams who have never suffered the ignominy of half the side getting out for ducks.
There are four instances in Test Cricket when six batsmen have got ducks in an innings.
There are thirty-four instances when five batsmen have got ducks in an innings.
In this case, leading the pack, surprisingly are the West Indies with eight instances, followed by New Zealand with six, Australia with five and India and South Africa with four instances each.
In none of those 60 instances (Tests and ODI), however, did the team getting the ducks win the match.
Swart and her team Mpumalanga clearly stand alone at the top of the pile in this regard!
An interesting aside for Roarers to think about though –
Guess which is the most recent instance of a Test team getting six ducks?
MS Dhoni’s India at Old Trafford in 2014.
That is a slap on the face that has undoubtedly spurred on the development of the batsman Virat Kohli is today. It’s a memory he wants to erase.
And it is that which has prompted him to announce yesterday his intent to play county cricket before the 2018 series, in order to prepare himself for the Tests in England.
He is showing a maturity and a deep commitment to Test cricket that many of his peers would do to emulate.
In the English Summer of 2018, Cook’s England, or Root’s England (as the case may be then) should be prepared for the ‘Revenge of the Ducked’.