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)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Mumbai Indians won by 9 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 72 runs

Photos

West Indies vs Bangladesh, 2nd Test at Gros Islet

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Kevin O’Brien: Ireland will look to adjust to conditions in Australia-New Zealand ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1 — Key battles

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Kolkata Knight Riders’ likely XI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Chennai Super Kings’ likely XI

CLT20 2014: Why Mumbai Indians failed to recreate the magic

Bangladesh Bangladesh vs West Indies Bangladesh vs West Indies 2014 Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Kolkata Knight Riders Lahore Lions Mumbai Indians Northern Knights Southern Express West Indies West Indies vs Bangladesh

Durham seamer Chris Rushworth bags 15 wickets against Northamptonshire

Mumbai Indians’ poor show in CLT20 2014 will make them stronger: Pragyan Ojha

HPCA accuses Himachal minister for having double standards

Darren Bravo fined for breaching ICC Code of Conduct

Shahid Afridi lauds PCB decision to appoint him long term Twenty20 skipper

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Highlights

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Key highlights, lessons from qualifiers

Four interesting statistics about Ravichandran Ashwin

West Indies raise hopes ahead of India tour with dominant show against Bangladesh

Leave it to Smiths — an all-Smith XI

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

635 Posts | 7 Fans

Yuvraj Singh in Anupam Kher show

iOS 8 requires over 5GB of free space to install, here’s what iPhone 5C 8GB users should do

Why some people are naturally inclined to music

HPCA accuses Himachal minister for having double standards

Gautam Rode bids the cast and crew of Saraswatichandra goodbye – View pics!

Consuming high-fat dairy products reduces diabetes risk

Next-generation Apple iPads and OS X Yosemite to launch on October 21: Report

Mumbai Indians’ poor show in CLT20 2014 will make them stronger: Pragyan Ojha

Candidate Mahoney Promises To Hold Down Property Tax Increases

Surinder Deol’s Book on Ghalib released at Kavi Sammelan in Washington DC

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here