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South Africa vs Zimbabwe 2014: Dane Piedt becomes 19th player to take wicket on maiden ball

Dane Piedt in action against Zimbabwe on Saturday © Getty Images
Dane Piedt in action against Zimbabwe on Saturday © Getty Images

Dane Piedt of South Africa who made his Test debut against Zimbabwe in the ongoing Test took with the first ball he delivered. He became only the second South African and 19th player overall to achieve this feat in Test Cricket. Bharath Seervi lists the players who achieved this in the past and also shows the career statistics of those players.

On the first day of the Test match between South Africa and Zimbabwe, debutant Dane Piedt achieved a remarkable feat by getting a wicket off the first ball of his international Test career. When he was asked to bowl by his Hashim Amla, it was 16th over of the match. The batsman against him was Mark Vermuelen.  He trapped the batsman in front of the wickets and umpire’s finger confirmed the celebrations for the debutant.

Dane Piedt is only the second South African after Bert Vogler to achieve the distinction of grabbing a wicket of the first ball of Test career. Bert Vogler did it more than a hundred years ago, in January 1906. Overall, before Piedt 18 players got to this feat. The last player before Dane Piedt to do this was Shaminda Eranga of Sri Lanka vs Australia in 2011. The table below provides complete details about the players taking wicket of their first ball of Test career.

Players taking a wicket of the first ball in Test career

Bowler For Against Batsman Figures Venue Date
TP Horan Australia England WW Read 3/22 Sydney January 29, 1883
A Coningham Australia England AC MacLaren 2/17 Melbourne December 29, 1894
WM Bradley England Australia F Laver 5/67 Manchester July 18, 1899
EG Arnold England Australia VT Trumper 4/76 Sydney December 11, 1903
AEE Vogler South Africa England EG Hayes 1/10 Johannesburg January 2, 1906
JN Crawford England South Africa AEE Vogler 2/17 Johannesburg January 3, 1906
GG Macaulay England South Africa GAL Hearne 2/19 Cape Town January 1, 1923
MW Tate England South Africa MJ Susskind 4/12 Birmingham June 16, 1924
M Henderson New Zealand England EW Dawson 2/38 Christchurch January 10, 1930
HD Smith New Zealand England E Paynter 1/113 Christchurch March 24, 19 33
TF Johnson West Indies England WW Keeton 2/53 The Oval August 19, 1939
R Howorth England South Africa DV Dyer 3/64 The Oval August 18, 1947
IntikhabAlam Pakistan Australia CC McDonald 2/49 Karachi December 5, 1959
RK Illingworth England West Indies PV Simmons 3/110 Nottingham July 5, 1991
NM Kulkarni India Sri Lanka MS Atapattu 1/195 Colombo August 3, 1997
MKGCP Lakshitha Sri Lanka Bangladesh Mohammad Ashraful 2/33 Colombo July 31, 2002
NM Lyon Australia Sri Lanka KC Sangakkara 5/34 Galle September 11, 2011
RMS Eranga Sri Lanka Australia SR Watson 4/65 Colombo (SSC) September 16, 2011
DL Piedt South Africa Zimbabwe MA Vermeulen  - Harare August 19, 2014

The figures column denotes the bowling figures by the particular bowler in the inning.

First player to do so was Tom Horan of Australia against England at Sydney in 1882/83. In the Test match between England and South Africa in Johannesburg in 1905/06, the same feat was achieved by two players.  In the first inning, Bert Vogler making his debut dismissed another debutant from opposition Ernier Haynes. And in the second inning the debutant from England Jack Crawford dismissed Bert Vogler. Nilesh Kulkarni of India took wicket of the first ball of the Test career and then he finished the inning with figures of 1/195 in the match.

What is in taking wicket on career’s first ball?

A player’s performance cannot be judged by single delivery or single match. Similarly, a player taking a wicket on career’s first ball doesn’t conclude of any greatness. Hence, let us see how those players fared in their Test careers.

Career Statistics of players taking a wicket on Test career’s first ball

Player Matches Wickets Avg Eco S/R 5 WI 10 WM BBI BBM
TP Horan (Aus) 15 11 13.00 2.30 33.9 1 0 6/40 6/63
A Conningham (Aus) 1 2 38.00 2.45 93.0 0 0 2/17 2/76
WM Bardley (Eng) 2 6 38.83 2.23 104.1 1 0 5/67 6/149
EG Arnold (Eng) 10 31 25.41 2.81 54.0 1 0 5/37 6/70
AEE Volger (SA) 15 64 22.73 3.15 43.1 5 1 7/94 12/181
JN Crawford (Eng) 12 39 29.48 3.13 56.4 3 0 5.48 8/120
GG Macaulay (Eng) 8 24 27.58 2.33 70.8 1 0 5/64 7/83
MW Tate (Eng) 39 155 26.16 1.94 80.7 7 1 6/42 11/228
H Henderson (NZ) 1 2 32.00 4.26 45.0 0 0 2/38 2/64
HD Smith (NZ) 1 1 113.00 5.65 120.0 0 0 1/112 1/113
TF Johnson (WI) 1 1 43.00 3.22 80.0 0 0 2/53 3/129
R Howorth (Eng) 5 19 33.42 2.48 80.8 1 0 6/124 7/192
Intikhab Alam (Pak) 47 125 35.95 2.57 83.7 5 2 7/52 11/130
RK Illingworth (Eng) 9 19 32.36 2.48 78.1 0 0 4/96 6/150
HM Kulkarni (Ind) 3 2 166.00 2.69 369.0 0 0 1/70 1/137
MKGCP Lakshitha (SL) 2 5 31.60 3.29 57.6 0 0 2/33 3/81
NM Lyon (Aus)* 33 112 32.99 3.01 65.6 5 0 7/94 9/165
RMS Eranga (SL)* 14 49 32.44 3.23 60.2 0 0 4/49 6/226
DL Peidt (SA) - - - - - - - - -

 

Among the 18 previous players only three players could play more than 20 Test matches. 10 players did not even play more than 10 Test matches. Among all the above players, Maurice Tate is easily the best of them. Only two others took 100+ wickets, they are Intikhab Alam and Nathan Lyon.

Having said, most of the players who took wicket of their first ball in Test career did not have the greatest of Test careers. Let us hope a better career for Dane Piedt ahead.

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