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)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3: Faiz Fazal dismissed by Vinay Kumar on 72

Pakistan vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 2

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 138/1 at Tea; Faiz Fazal unbeaten on 60

Pakistan 405/3 against Australia at lunch on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Faiz Fazal brings up fifty; Central Zone 128/0 after 37 overs

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Michael Clarke unhappy over Steve Smith’s friendly chat with Azhar Ali

Australia vs South Africa 2014: South Africa move in with hope of victory against Australia in T20I

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

बिहार के औरंगाबाद जिले में जहरीला शराब पीने से 3 लोगों की मौत

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Faiz Fazal brings up fifty; Central Zone 128/0 after 37 overs

Google Glass gets banned by MPAA and National Association of Theatre owners

Is Ronit Roy going the Ram Kapoor way?

Samsung Galaxy A5 vs Moto G (2014): Specifications compared

Indira Gandhi’s 29th Death Anniversary: Remembering top 5 quotes of the first female Prime Minister of India

AAP demands SIT to probe 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases

दिल्ली पुरुष अधिकार संगठन : वैश्विक लैंगिक अंतर रिपोर्ट पर नाराजगी जताया

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Pakistan 405 for three at Lunch, Day 2 of 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here