Sunday, March 30, 2008

The largest winning margins in first-class cricket

I've done the bulk of the work in putting together a comprehensive first-class database, containing all matches up until the end of the 2007 season. (There are a few holes near the end; some of the 2007/8 seasons started before the 2007 season finished.)

I will no doubt soon go back to statistical analysis, but for the next few posts I'll probably do statistical lists. Usually I find these boring, but since I don't know of such first-class lists online, I thought that they'd be of interest. If they are already on the Internet somewhere and you know where they are, please let me know.

We'll start with the largest margins of victory, first of all by innings.

Railways v Dera Ismail Khan, 1964/5: Railways 6dec/910 def. Dera Ismail Khan 32 & 27 (f/o) by an innings and 851 runs.

I have no idea how Dera Ismail Khan came to be classified as a first-class team. They clearly weren't one. In the 1980's they had another string of losses by an innings before their best performance, a loss by only a handful of runs to Hazara.

Victoria v Tasmania, 1922/3
Tas 217 & 176 lost to Vic 1059 by an innings and 666 runs. This was the match when Bill Ponsford made his 429.

There are quite a few Australian matches from the timeless era in these lists.

Victora v New South Wales, 1926/7
NSW 221 & 230 lost to Vic 1107 by an innings and 656 runs. Victoria's innings remains the highest ever in first-class cricket. Ponsford made 352.

New South Wales v South Australia, 1900/1
SA 157 & 156 lost to NSW 918 by an innings and 605 runs. Remarkably enough, the highest score in NSW's 918 was Syd Gregory's 168.

England v Australia, 1938
Eng 7dec/903 def. Aus 201 & 123 (f/o) by an innings and 579 runs. Hutton 364.

And now the top five by runs.

New South Wales v Queensland, 1929/30.
NSW 235 & 8dec/761 def. Qld 227 & 84 by 685 runs. Bradman 452 not out.

Australia v England, 1928/9.
Eng 521 & 8dec/342 def. Aus 122 & 66 by 675 runs. Bradman's Test debut.

South Australia v New South Wales, 1920/1
NSW 304 & 770 def. SA 265 & 171 by 638 runs.

Muslim Commercial Bank v Water and Power Development Authority
MCBA 575 & 0dec/282 def. WPDA 98 & 150 by 609 runs.

Sargodha v Lahore Municipal Corporation
Sar 336 & 416 def. LMC 77 & 90 by 585 runs.

On an unrelated note, there are a few games from the early parts of the 19th century where either some players, whole teams, or even the team scores are unknown. Such gaps in the first-class record looked to have ended in 1829, but they made a re-appearance in Sri Lanka in the 1990's. 1, 2 (Colombo only had eight players!), 3, 4. That last match was in 1999.

I won't be counting any of these incomplete scorecards for my stats.

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