Home > Features > Moments in history >

The day 12th man, Kevin Innes scored a hundred

Kevin Innes © Getty Images
Kevin Innes © Getty Images

May 21, 2003. The start of the county match between Sussex and Nottinghamshire that saw a 12th man score a century for the first time. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the day which saw Kevin Innes take advantage of a curious new ECB regulation, notch up a hundred and put his feet up.

A twelfth man’s job is largely unenviable. He is the bloke who is in charge of the menial chores — carrying the drinks, bats and helmets, while performing occasional fielding duties as the privileged eleven are entrusted with the coveted roles of batting and bowling.

However, on one summer day of 2003 at Hosham, tables were turned and 12th man Kevin Innes enjoyed something even the amateurs had dreamed of during the early days of cricket — batting with gay abandon and then not requiring to field.

The quirky rule

It was a season which saw Sussex discover new, seldom used clauses in the rule-book and implement them with a flair alien to the world governed by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

A week earlier, at Hove, they had switched on the floodlights to play on in cloudy gloom during their First-Class fixture against the visiting Zimbabweans.

And now, they latched on to the new England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regulation. It allowed players released from England duty on the eve of Test matches to replace nominated substitutes. So, even as James Kirtley made his way over from Lord’s, Innes entered the fray and started stroking the ball with glee.

On the morning of May 22, the Sussex fast-medium bowler Kirtley was informed that he would not be making his Test debut at Lord’s that morning. With James Anderson, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison already in the side for the match against Zimbabwe, the selectors opted for Yorkshire’s Andrew McGrath — a decent batter with the ability to bowl a few overs as the fourth seamer. It later turned out to be an inspired choice — McGrath batted just under two and a half hours to score 69 and captured three second innings wickets.

To return to our side of the story, on May 22, Kirtley left Lord’s a little after 11:15 to start on his journey to Horsham. By the time he reached, his substitute Innes was already at the wicket against Nottinghamshire — and having the time of his life.

Overnight 330 for five, Sussex lost wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose at 378. Matt Prior, playing as a specialist batsman, was joined at the wicket by Innes the locum. A medium pacer not really known for his batting skills, Innes had nevertheless cracked two half centuries the previous season. Now, with this unexpected opportunity to bat in a match that he was not officially playing, he started to cart the bowling about with not a care in the world.

As Kevin Pietersen and Bilal Shafayat sent down innocuous overs, Prior blazed away, scoring 35 off the last 11 balls before lunch, going into the break at 133 not out with 15 fours and six sixes. Innes and he had added 157 off 27 overs in the morning.

Prior was caught at the fence immediately after resumption, but Innes continued on his merry way. Dropped on 45, he pulled with aplomb as the Notts bowlers showed a penchant for banging them in short. Alongside, he played Stuart MacGill will considerable ease and irreverence — in the end the leggie’s 50 overs produced three for 172.

When Innes swung Pietersen to the boundary to complete his maiden century he could hardly stop himself from grinning widely. Skipper Chris Adams declared as soon as this curious feat was achieved and Innes walked back unbeaten on 103. At 3:25, four hours after leaving Lord’s, Kirtley opened the bowling and the centurion watched from the comfort of the dressing room.

Later Innes said, “A few of the lads had told me yesterday that I could get a century and then put my feet up. I’d been thinking of playing golf, but it’s nice to go out to bat and then not have to field.”

The situation was incredible to say the least. The ECB computers did not have the option of considering more than 11 players in a side and credited the runs to Kirtley. At least one local paper did so as well. There was some hasty manual tinkering to the database tables.

What followed

In response to the mammoth 619 posted by Sussex, Nottinghamshire rode an explosive 166 by Pietersen to reach 421. But, it was not enough to save the follow on. Mushtaq Ahmed proved far more effective than MacGill, picking up 12 wickets in the match. The second Notts innings was much shorter.

Sussex knocked off the few runs to win without losing a wicket.

Brief Scores:

Sussex 619 for 7 dec (Richard Montgomerie 105, Tony Cottey 58, Tim Ambrose 55, Robin Martin-Jenkins 49, Matt Prior 133, Kevin Innes 103*) and 52 for no loss beat Nottinghamshire 421 (Guy Welton 50, Kevin Pietersen 166, Bilal Shafayat 71; Mushtaq Ahmed 6 for 163) and 247 (Darren Bicknell 61, Jason Gillian 44, Chris Read 42, Steve Elworthy 45; Mushtaq Ahmed 6 for 81) by 10 wickets

(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)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Saeed Ajmal’s action to be assessed after two more weeks of remedial work under Saqlain Mushtaq

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Aravinda de Silva’s house burgled; cash worth over Rs 5 million stolen

Jesse Ryder smashes 57 ball 136 for Otago against Ireland XI

Ottis Gibson: I was fired by West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here