• Cricinfo XI

Me, myself and I

Steven Lynch
August 30, 2011

Bernard Tancred
Rahul Dravid's solo performance was only the seventh time in Test history that an opener who had just carried his bat was asked to go straight back out and begin the follow-on as well. The first was way back in March 1889, in what was only South Africa's second official Test. Tancred, a member of a prominent sporting family - two of his brothers and a cousin also played Tests - batted through South Africa's first innings in Cape Town. It didn't take too much out of him, though - the whole side was bundled out for 47 in 91 minutes: Tancred's share was 26 not out. England had made 292, so they asked South Africa to follow on. Tancred went straight back in but was soon out for 3, as his side did even worse - 43 all out this time. Johnny Briggs took 15 for 28 - 14 bowled and one lbw - as the wickets tumbled.

Billy Zulch
The second over-worked opener was also a South African: back in Cape Town in 1910-11, after England had piled up 417, Zulch batted through his side's innings of 103, making 43 not out, exhibiting what Wisden later agreed was "a strong defence". He went straight back in but was soon out. His consolation was that his side at least made enough to force England to bat again, even though they still won.

Len Hutton
One man stood on the burning deck as England subsided to heavy defeat - giving West Indies their first series victory in England - at The Oval in 1950. Hutton resisted for almost eight hours, carrying his bat for 202, but unfortunately for him the next-highest score was 44, and the total only 344. Since West Indies had earlier made 503, and the follow-on mark at the time was 150, England - and Hutton - had to go in again. He couldn't repeat his heroics, soon falling for 2. England folded after that for 103, with the spin twins Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine snaring the nine wickets to fall who weren't called Hutton.

Frank Worrell
Worrell, the elegant West Indian, scored 138 in the match above at The Oval, but seven years later at Trent Bridge the boot was on the other foot. After England amassed 619, Worrell - not a regular opener - resisted stoutly for 575 minutes, carrying his bat for 191 out of 372. He soon fell for 16 in the follow-on, but spirited resistance from Collie Smith, who made 168, ensured that England didn't quite have enough time to force a win. Of the seven occasions when an opener carrying his bat had to go straight back in, this is the only one that did not end in defeat for the hard-pressed batsman.

Sidath Wettimuny
Wettimuny is best remembered for his monumental 190 in Sri Lanka's first Test in England in 1984 - at 642 minutes, it remains the longest innings ever at Lord's - but 18 months before that he had survived for a more modest 210 minutes in carrying his bat for 63 through an innings of 144 in Christchurch. But New Zealand had earlier made 344: Wisden archly observed that "Wettimuny made little effort late in the innings to protect his less able partners and Sri Lanka failed by only one run to save the follow-on". Back in he went (with his brother, Mithra), but was soon out for 7, and Sri Lanka sank to an innings defeat.

Desmond Haynes
The great West Indian opener Haynes didn't always have to bat twice, as his side was so strong - but they were coming back to the pack by 1991, and in the final Test against England at The Oval he put up lone resistance as West Indies managed only 176 in reply to England's imposing 419. Viv Richards, in his final Test, was swept away as Phil Tufnell took 6 for 25. Haynes made 75 not out, and went straight back in: he managed 43 second time round - the highest score of the seven repeat openers - but although Richards did better (60) and Tuffers worse (1 for 150), England still had little difficulty in squaring the series.

Trevor Goddard
It was rather surprising to discover that only once has any opener carried his bat through a follow-on in a Test: the South African allrounder Goddard made 56 out of 99 as his team slipped to an innings defeat against Australia in Cape Town in 1957-58.

Charles Bannerman
While considering single-handed performances this is probably the place to remember Bannerman, who made 165 in the very first Test of all, in Melbourne in March 1877, before being forced to retire with a badly injured hand (the alternative was, I suppose, literally to bat single-handed). Australia made only 245, and Bannerman's feat in scoring 67.34% of the runs in a completed Test innings has never been bettered.

Glenn Turner
New Zealand's Turner would have been pretty pleased with his efforts in Worcestershire's County Championship match against Glamorgan in Swansea in 1977: he carried his bat for 141. His team-mates, though, had less cause for celebration: the next-best score was skipper Norman Gifford's 7, and the eventual total was only 169, giving Turner a record 83.43% of the innings score.

Clive Rice
Someone who came close to Turner's domination of the scorecard was the South African Clive Rice, who hit 105 not out (from No. 4) as Nottinghamshire were bowled out for 143 by Hampshire in their Championship match in Bournemouth in 1981. At least this time somebody else made it into double figures: Tim Robinson was out for 10.

Desmond Haynes (again)
Haynes carried his bat through a Test innings a record three times (including the instance mentioned above), but it might have been five - against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1979-80, Haynes was last out (for 55) in the first innings, and last out again (for 105) in the second - a feat believed to be unique in first-class cricket. It couldn't stop New Zealand sneaking a one-wicket victory, which was eventually enough to give them an ill-tempered series.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2011.

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