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Cape Town Cricket History: Records and Collapses
- Updated: January 9, 2024
The recent Test between South Africa and India in Cape Town, which lasted only 642 legal balls, raised questions about whether it was the shortest Test match of all time. The match saw South Africa being dismissed for 36 and 45, with Australia’s Bert Ironmonger being the main destroyer on a rain-affected pitch in 1931-32. However, the Cape Town Test surpassed this record, becoming the shortest on record for Tests with a positive result.
India’s collapse in the second innings, going from 153 for 4 to 153 all out, prompted inquiries about the worst collapses in Test history. The short answer is that India’s slide at Newlands was the first instance of a team losing six wickets for no runs in a Test. While there were collapses of five wickets for no runs, India’s performance was unprecedented.
Aiden Markram’s century in the Cape Town Test raised questions about the percentage of runs made in a completed Test innings. When he was out for 106, Markram had contributed to 65.43% of South Africa’s runs, making it one of the highest percentages. However, the final percentage reduced to 60.22% after additional runs were scored after his dismissal.
Additionally, Markram’s innings represented 45.88% of South Africa’s overall runs in the match, placing him behind Charles Bannerman, who made 47.27% of Australia’s runs in the first Test in 1876-77. Although Markram’s performance was remarkable, South African Jimmy Sinclair still holds the record for making 50% of his team’s runs in a match in 1898-99.
The article also addressed teams being bowled out before lunch on the first day of a Test, highlighting South Africa’s eighth occurrence in the Cape Town Test. Notably, South Africa’s decline to 55 all out was the sixth such instance since 2007-08, with instances like New Zealand, Australia, England, and Bangladesh experiencing early collapses.
The final part of the article delved into the Cape Town Test’s unique record of the next-highest score after Markram’s century being just 12, achieved by his opening partner Dean Elgar. This marked a record, surpassing the previous second-highest score of 13. Additionally, Markram became the third player to score a century in a losing cause in a match where no one else managed a fifty, joining the ranks of John Reid and Andy Flower.
In conclusion, the Cape Town Test stirred discussions about its brevity, historic collapses, remarkable individual performances, and unique statistical records, making it a memorable fixture in Test cricket history.
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By- Sahiba Suri