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Centuries on Debut / Time Taken to Make First Hundred

Ben Foakes made a century in his first Test innings last week, and this fitted in nicely with some other analysis we were doing after CricInfo were asked to look at one or two things by their followers.

Four Stokers have made a century on their debut, (in Claire Trafford’s case she arrived on the scene with a score of 213 not out!), and many others have got to three figures in pretty quick time.

We were curious as the following question and answer was put to Steven Lynch at CricInfo:

Who took the longest, in terms of matches, to score a century in one-day internationals?
Two South Africans lead the way here: Shaun Pollock finally scored a century in his 285th one-day international, (190th innings), while Mark Boucher got one in his 220th match, (160th innings.)

Next is a rather surprising name: Steve Waugh didn’t make an ODI century until his 187th match, (167th innings.)

Six other players had at least 100 innings before scoring a century: Elton Chigumbura, (159), Arjuna Ranatunga, (144), Angelo Mathews, (115), Brendon McCullum, (109), John Wright, (103), and Sunil Gavaskar (100.)

86 players have made a century at least once for Stoke; only four, (and like Steve Waugh they are surprising names given the number of runs they have scored for the Club), have needed more matches to make a century for Stoke than Pollock did to ton up in an ODI for South Africa : Mike Cooper, Malcolm Dickson, Paul Worsfold and Nigel Edwards.

Eighteen players have needed more than 100 innings to score a century. Alistair McMillan did ‘a Gavaskar’ and scored his first hundred in his 100th innings…or rather Gavaskar did ‘an Ali Mac’ – Gavaskar’s only ODI century was made on 31st October 1987, Ali’s first Stoke ton came against Chessington on the 25th May 1986.

Full details are in the left hand column in this sheet : First Century

In terms of the number of innings; the middle column looks at this and in addition to the four Stokers named above, (less Paul Worsfold who scored his first hundred in his 189th innings), David Willis, Gordon Meredith and Tom Frost complete an illustrious sextet who needed more innings to score a maiden hundred for Stoke than Pollock did for South Africa.

We’ve also re-run the list to show the time taken from date of debut to date of first hundred. This is the third section of data in the sheet. Predictably a few of the same names mentioned above are there again, but there are some distortions with breaks from playing or making a debut at a very young age in senior cricket as a colt. David Willis ‘tops’ the time list having taken 24 years and 293 days to get on to the 100s board…although he started young and did have periods away from the Club. Keep believing if you haven’t made a century for Stoke yet!

So if you’re not on our hundreds board yet, (http://www.stokecc.co.uk/centuries/), keep trying!

At the other end of the scale, many have notched a century quite quickly in their careers. In addition to the four debut centurions, another five players have made a century in their first month with the Club, over a quarter of all centurions have ticked off a century inside ten innings, and nearly a third scored their first century within a year of making their debut.

As always, if you have any stories from any of these games we’d like to hear from you. E-mail stokecc@hotmail.com