Alviro Petersen played 36 Tests and 21 ODIs for South Africa between 2006 and 2014 © Getty Images
Alviro Petersen played 36 Tests and 21 ODIs for South Africa between 2006 and 2014 © Getty Images

South African opener, Alviro Petersen, quit his international cricket career with a duck in his last Test innings having scored a century in his debut Test innings. Bharath Seervi looks on such players who had a similar start and end to their Test careers.

 

Alviro Petersen scored 42 and 0 in the Test match against West Indies at Cape Town. This turned out to be his last Test and international match as he announced retirement after the end of the Test. When he made his debut for South Africa in Tests, he scored a century. He scored 100 runs in his debut innings against India at Kolkata in February 2010. He thus began his Test career with a century and ended it with a duck.

 

The 34-years old Petersen is only the fifth player in the history of Test cricket to score a century in the debut Test innings and a duck in the final Test innings. Before him, Thilan Samaraweera achieved this by scoring a duck in his final Test innings against Australia at Sydney in January 2013 after having scored an unbeaten 103 against India at Colombo (SSC) in August 2001. The table below contains the list of others having this feat.

 

Century in career’s maiden innings and duck in the last innings in Tests

 

Batsman Team First Test Last Test Career Span
Billy Griffith England 104& 4 5 &0 1948-1949
John Hampshire England 107& 5 14 &0 1969-1975
SouravGanguly India 131 85 &0 1996-2008
ThilanSamaraweera Sri Lanka 103* 12 &0 2001-2013
Alviro Petersen South Africa 100& 21 42 &0 2010-2015

There are few more players who have the distinction of scoring a century in their debut Test and a duck in their last time but not in the first and last innings respectively.

Century in career’s first Test and duck in the last Test

Batsman Team First Test Last Test Career Span
Harry Graham Australia 107 0& 10 1893-1896
Jackie Mills New Zealand 117& 7 0 & 11* 1930-1933
Billy Griffith England 104& 4 5 &0 1948-1949
AG Kripal Singh India 100* 0& 1 1955-1964
John Hampshire England 107& 5 14 &0 1969-1975
Frank Hayes England 16 &106* 7 &0 1973-1976
Greg Blewett Australia 102*& 12 0& 25 1995-2000
SouravGanguly India 131 85 &0 1996-2008
ThilanSamaraweera Sri Lanka 103* 12 &0 2001-2013
Alviro Petersen South Africa 100& 21 42 &0 2010-2015

–    The last three have been the ones with century in the debut innings and duck in the final inningss.

 

–    Among the 10 players in the above list, five of them didn’t even play double-digit number of Tests. Harry Graham (6), Jackie Mills (7), Billy Griffith (3), John Hampshire (8) and Frank Haynes (9) are those five players. The others – AG Kripal Singh (14), Greg Blewett (46), Thilan Samaraweera (81), Sourav Ganguly (113) and Alviro Petersen (36).

 

–    Sourav Ganguly is the only batsman to score a century in career’s first Test innings and get out on the first ball of the final Test inningss.

 

–    The centuries on Test debut by Harry Graham and Bill Griffith were also their maiden first class centuries.

 

Let us see the reverse case – a duck in the first Test and a century in the last Test.

 

Only two players have that feat.

 

A duck in the career’s first Test and a century in the last Test

 

Batsman Team First Test Last Test Career Span
Jack Russell England 0& 5 140 & 111 1920-1923
Geoffrey Legge England 0 196& 0 1927-1930
Maurice Leyland England 0 187 1928-1938
Colin Milburn England 0& 94 139 1966-1969
Saeed Anwar Pakistan 0&0 101 1990-2001

The last player to have such a career was Saeed Anwar from 1990 to 2001. The previous four occasions were all by Englishmen, three of those before the World War II.

 

–    Jack Russell scored a duck in his debut Test innings but scored twin hundreds in his last Test in 1923. He is the only batsman to score two centuries in career’s final Test.

 

–    Geoffrey Legge scored a duck in his first Test innings and a century and a duck in his final Test match.

 

–    All the four Englishmen above got their career’s highest score in their final Test only.

 

–    Geoffrey Legge’s 196 remained his highest first-class score.

 

–    Geoffrey Legge is the only batsman to score in 190s in career’s first Test or in the last Test.

 

A century in career’s first Test as well as in the final Test

 

Batsman

Team

First Test

Last Test

Career Span

Bill Ponsford

Australia

110& 27

266& 22

1924-1934

Greg Chappell

Australia

108

182

1970-1984

Reggie Duff

Australia

32 &104

146

1902-1905

Mohammad Azharuddin

India

110

9 &102

1984-2000

Andy Ganteaume (112) and Rodney Redmond (107 & 56) scored a century in their only Test match Test played which is both first Test and the last Test.

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SeerviBharath and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SeerviCricket)