Cricket is a game of numbers. Although most players deny that they play for records, there is definitely a certain amount of personal satisfaction in breaking cricket records or making new ones. After all, it helps to quantify the significance of the player’s achievements.
With so many statistics to show for, we generally tend to look at the usual cricket records like highest runs, highest wickets taken, most centuries and 5-wicket hauls etc. However, several other cricket records don’t see the light of the day but are equally insane and nearly unbeatable. Let’s take a look at 20 such records…
1. Longest Test Match
This is among the most insane cricket records you can come across. Impossible to be repeated in this age, this took place between South Africa and England in 1939 in Durban. Starting on 3rd March and going on till 14th March it is the longest played test match on record. On the last day, England had to score 41 runs to win but they would miss their boat if they did and the match was abandoned. This is the only game of its kind in the world and is also called the “Timeless Test”.
2. Most First-class centuries
This is one of the toughest cricket records to break or even reach close to at the moment. Sir Jack Hobbs holds the distinction of scoring 199 first-class centuries at an average of 50.70. That’s humongous, to say the least! One plays that many first class matches, let alone score those many centuries these days.
3. Most runs scored in a day of Test match
Well, it is impossible to not utter cricket records and Sir Donald Bradman in the same breath. The “DON” holds the distinction of scoring the most runs in a day, rather a century in each session of a day. He scored 309 runs on 11 July 1930 against England, bringing the world to a standstill.
4. Most run-outs
This is a record which very less would want to have alongside their name. Former Sri Lanka opener, Marvan Atapattu might be among the most prolific cricketers from the country. But he was involved in some terrible mix-ups through his career and ended being run out a staggering 41 times in ODIs. Talk about hard luck!
5. Shortest Test match in history (with a result!)
We did talk of the longest match, but what about the shortest one? It happened in 1932 and South Africa has the distinction of being involved in both, albeit in a losing cause in the latter.
Australia were the opponents here and scored 153 in 54.3 overs and South Africa were packed up in scores of 36 and 45 in 2 innings on either side of that. Australia took just 109.2 overs to win and clinched the series 5-0.
6. Most wickets in the first-class career
This is a really HUGE record, and no one has ever been close to its owner Wilfried Rhodes. He played 1000+ first-class matches and took 4,204 wickets along with scoring 39,969 runs over a career spanning 32 years. Big numbers, huh! In today’s date people hardly play 400 matches, leave alone the other factors.
7. Most deliveries in an over
Pakistan is a place of really weird cricket records. A no-ball or wide is an illegal delivery and an over is complete only when 6 legal ones are bowled.
Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Sami has the unwanted distinction bowling the longest over in record spanning 17 balls in an ODI against Bangladesh. He bowled seven wides and 4 no-balls and gave 22 runs in that.
8. Slowest Fifty in Test cricket
Test Cricket is one of the slower games in modern sports. Players take their time to assess the pitch, settle down and play their strokes and players like Virender Sehwag are a welcome addition. On the same lines meet Trevor Bailey, this England international scored the slowest half-century in 350 balls! He ended up scoring 68 in 427 balls.
9. Most dismissals in the “Nervous” 90s
The dubious record of facing the most dismissals in 1990 lies ironically with one of the most iconic cricketers the world has ever seen – Sachin Tendulkar. Yes, the God of Cricket got out 18 times in the nineties and was known to get tensed as he approached his 100.
10. Highest 4th Innings score
This again goes back to the Timeless Test in Durban in 1939. England were set a mammoth target of 696 by South Africa. However, the Three Lions scored 654-5 in the 4th innings, the highest ever till date, only for the match to be abandoned. This is among the most untouched cricket records to date.
11. Fastest Test Century
Test matches have traditionally been slow affairs with batsmen taking their own sweet time. But aggressive batsmen like Virender Sehwag and Brendon McCullum simply didn’t take the orthodox route. For them, every ball was precisely an opportunity to hit boundaries.
It is thus unsurprising that McCullum hit the record for the fastest Test century in just 54 balls. The knock was made more special because of that the fact that it had come in his last game against fierce rivals Australia in Christchurch in 2016. He eclipsed Misbah-Ul-Haq and Viv Richards’ record of achieving the feat in 56 balls.
12. Most 5-wicket hauls
A highly regarded record and pretty easy to guess, this belongs to Sri Lankan ace, the master of Doosra, Muthiah Muralitharan. With 77 in all formats, 67 in Test cricket and 10 in ODIs he truly owns this.
More noteworthy, is how distant it is from the second-placed Richard Hadlee with 41. The only bowler who seems to be claiming 5 wicket hauls at that rate is Ravichandran Ashwin, but even he does not have age on his side and India has the privilege to leave him out of the team when touring.
13. Highest Score in an innings of Test match by team
This was one humongous record and was made by Srilanka against India in the R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo in 1997. India batted first and scored 537/8 declared, the virtue of hundreds from Tendulkar, Mohammed Azharuddin and NS Sidhu.
Sri Lankan batsmen, Sanath Jayasurya and Roshan Mahanama, scored 340 and 225 and helped their team to a record 952-6 and the match ended there.
14. Most Test matches played
Not many teams play a lot of Tests nowadays, especially with the advent of T20 cricket. And that is the only reason that this record will remain intact, at least in the near future despite the increased levels of fitness of athletes today.
Again, it is the legendary Sachin Tendulkar with the record to his name with 200 Tests, the next best in the list Ricky Ponting with 168 matches to his name. The player with the most tests still active is Stuart Broad with 133 tests to his name.
(No, Virat Kohli you might break a few more cricket records, but not this one.)
15. Most catches in Test matches
The slip cordon is the most important as well as tricky fielding position along with Point and region around the batsman, as it needs very sharp reactions and safe hands. Naturally, expecting an Indian name is understandably surprising as Indians were not particularly great fielders.
However, Indian batting icon Rahul Dravid has 210 catches from 164 matches to his name, the most by any player in international cricket. More interestingly, this record is bound to stay a few more years since there are no active players in the top 5.
16. Highest batting average
Every recordbook or listicle is incomplete without this. This is easily the record of all records! No one has come or will come remotely close to achieve this. The standalone achiever of such a record is none else than Sir Donald Bradman, again. His staggering number of 99.94 is higher than anyone by miles.
Only, if he had not scored a duck in his last match he would have averaged over a hundred. This feat of him led to the creation of the word ‘Bradmanesque’ which is attached to any batting figure with such staggering numbers.
17. Consecutive Home series wins
This is relatively new among major cricket records and if you follow cricket you will know who owns it. Yes, it is the Indian Cricket team. The current squad of players eclipsed Australia’s dream team of the late 90s and early 2000s to win 11 consecutive series at home.
From 2012-13 Australia series, India has been on a roll. South Africa were the latest entrant in the list of teams beaten. Surely, no team has been tougher to beat.
18. Most consecutive test series defeats
Every coin has 2 sides and there is a dark side of everything. If India has gone to win consecutive 11 home series, then their neighbours hold the undesired record of 21 consecutive series defeats in test series. Although Bangladesh have improved a lot and have some really good talent, they leave a lot to be desired against the bigger teams.
19. Most ducks in international cricket
An achievement not even the worst of batsmen would like besides their name. Ducks are an embarrassment in cricket, and really no one wants it. Many batsmen have a high number of ducks, including prolific ones like Mahela Jayawardene(47) and Sanath Jayasurya (53) featuring in the top 5. But the winner of this unfortunate title goes to highest wicket taker of all time, Muttiah Muralitharan with 59 ducks in international cricket.
Noteworthily, the top 5 also features Courtney Walsh and Glenn Mcgrath who are the highest wicket-taking fast bowlers for their respective nations. They clearly gave attention to their bowling!
20. 760 to chase and team ends up at……..0!
This has to go down as one of the weirdest records ever. So weird that we had to mention it alongside the list of international and List A records.
This happened in Harris Shield, the U-16 school level tournament of Mumbai. Swami Vivekanand International School, Borivali amassed 761/4 led by Meet Mayekar’s 338. In return, Andheri’s Children’s Academy got all out for just 7 runs. The most staggering thing was that none of the players could open their accounts and all the seven runs came from extras. A weird disaster indeed!