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International matches on 11/12/13 and other such dates

It was the first instance that all three formats of the game were being played on such a date © Getty Images
On 11/12/13, while West Indies and New Zealand were playing a Test, India and South Africa played an ODI and Pakistan and Sri Lanka played their first T20 match of the series. It was the first instance that all three formats of the game were being played on such a special date © Getty Images

 

On Wednesday, as the date read 11/12/13, there was one Test match, one One-Day International (ODI) and one Twenty20 International played around the world. Arunabha Sengupta takes a look at the earlier international matches played on a date of this pattern.

 

Wednesday was odd.

 

The corner of every scoreboard informed us that it was 11/12/13.

 

On a date that is unique enough to send numerophiles salivating, we saw New Zealand playing West Indies in a Test match at Wellington, India taking on South Africa in a One-Day International (ODI) at Centurion and Pakistan and Sri Lanka locking horns in a Twenty20 International at Dubai.

 

Three consecutive numbers appearing in the date written in the British style can occur in 11 different ways in each century during a span of 10 years 10 months and 10 days. This has now happened for the last time this century — starting with February 1, 2003 (01/02/03), March 2, 2004 (02/03/04) and so on till December 11, 2013 (11/12/13). If we take the 20th century in consideration, the date has occurred 11 more times since the beginning of international cricket.

 

If we look through the 22 such days occurring in the period between February 1, 1903 and December 11, 2013, we find some interesting facts.

 

This was the first time that all three formats of the game were on display on such a day.

 

Of course, T20I is a very recent development, and in the early years of the last century there was no ODI either. Wednesday, in fact, saw a T20I being played on such a date for the first time.

 

Before Wednesday, only three days of Test cricket were witnessed on such dates. ODIs have been played five times, on four different dates.

 

Strangely, all the International matches on such dates have taken place in this century.

 

The closest the 20th century came to seeing action on such a day was when England and Australia played at The Oval on August 9, 1909. If the match had started two days earlier, it could have made it into this sparsely populated list of matches. The Test ended in a draw with Warren Bardsley scoring hundreds in each innings.

 

The first time an international match was actually played on such a date was in Napier on March 2, 2004 (02/03/04) when New Zealand played South Africa in the final ODI of a bilateral series. The hosts rode the tailor-made conditions for swing bowling through Jacob Oram and Daryl Tuffy, and were later powered by a fine 92 by Michael Papps to win by six wickets and clinch the series 5-1. South Africa reached a total of 186 mainly due to an incredible 67-run last wicket partnership between Albie Morkel and Makhaya Ntini.

 

A year, a month and a day later, South Africa were struggling again — this time in a Test match at Georgetown against West Indies. Double hundreds by Wavell Hinds and Shivnarine Chanderpaul had propelled West Indies to 543 for five. South Africa began 03/04/05 at 130 for six and soon followed on after being all out for 188. In the second innings, they were 85 for two at the end of the special date. On the final day, however, Jacques Kallis scored 109 not out by virtue of a seven hour vigil at the wicket and the match ended in a draw.

 

Three years — and obviously three months and three days — later, this family of dates witnessed international cricket once again. This time there were two ODIs played out in distant parts of the world. On July 6, 2008 (06/07/08), Sri Lanka trounced India in the Asia Cup final at Karachi. Sanath Jayasuriya scored a scorching 125 and six Indian batsmen were all at sea as they lost their wickets to the mystery spin and carom balls of Ajantha Mendis.

 

On the same day, at St Kitts, Mitchell Johnson took five for 29 to limit West Indies to 172 after a hurricane innings by Luke Ronchi (64 from 28 balls) and David Hussey (52 from 21) had powered Australia to 341.

 

The following year, August 7, 2009 (07/08/09), saw the start of the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley. Down 0-1 in the series, the Australians struck back with a vengeance with Peter Siddle dismissing five English batsmen for 21. England fell for 102 in only 33.2 overs. By the end of the day, Australia had overcome a stuttering start to reach 196 for four. After that, a 152-run stand between Michael Clarke and Marcus North set up an Australian total of 445. It was only through half centuries by Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann that England managed to do somewhat better in their second essay. Australia won by an innings.

 

On the same day that saw the Leeds Test begin, Pakistan met Sri Lanka at Colombo. Umar Akmal hit a blistering 72-ball 102 and Iftikhar Anjum captured five wickets as the hosts were overcome by 146 runs.

 

Three years later, on November 10, 2012 (10/11/12), Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis duly completed their centuries at Brisbane as South Africa took their score from 255 for two to 450. In response, Australia lost three quick wickets, including Ricky Ponting for a duck, before they recovered somewhat by the end of the second day.  After that, however, Michael Clarke piled up 259 and Mike Hussey hit exactly 100 as the match ended in a draw.

 

On 10/11/2012, another match (ODI) was played at Hambantota, Sri Lanka. New Zealand found all sorts of ways to get out, especially to spin, Mendis being the wrecker-in-chief once again. The hosts got to the 131-run target with plenty to spare.

 

Matches on the special dates

 

Date

Match

Opponents

Venue

Result

02/03/04

ODI

NZ v SA

Napier

NZ won by 6 wkts

03/04/05

Test

WI v SA

Georgetown

Draw

06/07/08

ODI

SL v Ind

Karachi

SL won by

06/07/08

ODI

WI v Aus

St Kitts

Aus won by 169 runs

07/08/09

Test

Eng v Aus

Leeds

Aus won by an innings and 80 runs

07/08/09

ODI

SL v Pak

Colombo

Pak won by 146 runs

10/11/12

Test

Aus v SA

Brisbane

Draw

10/11/12

ODI

SL v NZ

Colombo

SL won on D/L method

11/12/13

Test

NZ v WI

Wellington

Ongoing

11/12/13

ODI

SA v Ind

Centurion

No result

11/12/13

T20I

Pak v SL

Dubai

Pak won by 3 wkts

 

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

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