Dismissing Opposing Opening Bats

Earlier this year Jimmy Anderson dismissed Kragg Brathwaite to pass Glenn McGrath as the bowler to have removed the most opening batsmen in the history of Test Match cricket; the 156th time he has removed an opener for those who like to know numbers.

This got our stats guys interested and we took a look at all the opening bats dismissed by Stoke bowlers in League cricket, (including Trust League and Women & Girls cricket), back to 1972 when we joined the South West London League. Since then we have also played in the Wey Valley League, the Fuller’s Brewery Surrey County League and, since 2009, the Surrey Championship.

The person with the most number of opening bat dismissals is still adding to his count. Adrian Mills reached 151 during the 2019 season; Mike Cooper, Ralph Coleman and Gary Harkett also have more than a century of opening batsmen in their pocket; the next highest is RUN OUTS with 94.

Run Outs leads the way in women & girls’ cricket, (22 occasions), so when looking at bowlers Nat Sciver leads the way with 18 closely followed by Rosie McEwing, (16), Charlotte Elworthy, (11), and Millie Frost…Millie’s brother Will features quite high in the overall club list having passed the half-century mark recently – not bad for a spinner.

He of pony tail also leads the way when looking at the number of times a player has dismissed both openers in the same league game, (25), although Toby Tarrant is steadily making his way up that list so it will be interesting to see if he can catch him up over time, and if so how quickly.

To the end of the 2019 season 244 different bowlers have dismissed an opening bat in league cricket, (add in run outs and another unique dismissal – see below), and we have quite an extensive list. 86 different bowlers have dismissed both openers in the same league game.

Are you on the list?

A breakdown per bowler/per competition is here – Opening Batsman Dismissed– so you can see if you have dismissed an opening bat, and how many times. There are four tabs:

* Number of openers dismissed (A-Z by bowler)
* Number of times a bowler has dismissed both openers in the same league game (A-Z by bowler)
* Most number of openers dismissed
* Most number times a bowler has dismissed both openers in the same league game

There has only been one instance of both openers being run out. This happened on the 9th August 2009 when Elizabeth Donkin and Suzie Wood effected the run outs of both Horsham’s openers. Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/1195764

One other notable addition to the analysis occurred on the 20th July 1996 in a 2nd XI fixture where Old Guildfordians’ opening batsman was dismissed ‘Handled the Ball.’ This is the only recorded instance of a dismissal this way by a Stoke team, and will be a record that will stand for ever as ‘Handled the Ball’ will no longer go into a scorebook, for those who haven’t studied recent changes to the laws, handling the ball is now classed as one of the ways to be dismissed ‘Obstructing the Field.’ The scorecard for the game is here : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/2314207

We contacted a couple of our greatest servants to the Club who were on the field that day; coincidentally both have their umpiring badges so we can take what they say as gospel.

Mike Baker : “…this was actually straightforward, though I recall it took some effort to convince their player umpire to give it. The batsman decided to leave the ball and realising that he had made a mistake and it was going to hit he patted it away with his hand. Obviously not a quick delivery, Gary, (Harkett), bowling up the hill if I remember correctly. Keith, (Watson), was keeping and obviously appealed. I had a good view from my usual gully position. I think the uniqueness of the dismissal made it stick in the memory.”

Rick Mustill : “I have memory of someone stopping the ball rolling back on to their stumps – a bit Goochie like…but I’ll go with Mr.Baker and his concise explanation!”

Here is a link to said Graham Gooch dismissal : http://youtu.be/Ph126DUK0r8

As always, we welcome any feedback or stories from this analysis.

E-mail stokecc@hotmail.com or contact us via the @StokeDabernonCC Twitter page.