Stats: Milestone day for Sangakkara


Kumar Sangakkara came up with a superb knock in the second Test against Bangladesh to power Sri Lanka to a mammoth total and in the process, he registered several records. The left-hander hit a classy 319 to become the third Sri Lankan cricketer and the 23rd in the world to score a triple hundred.

Sangakkara, who helped Sri Lanka to a total of 587, brought up his triple hundred with a big six of Shakib Al Hasan, and in doing so, he became only the second cricketer after Virender Sehwag to get to 300 with a maximum. 

Sri Lankan batsmen with 300+ scores:

NameScore4s6sSRInningsAgainstVenueMatch Date
Mahela Jayawardene37443165.382South AfricaColombo (SSC)27 Jul 2006
Sanath Jayasuriya34036258.822IndiaColombo (RPS)2 Aug 1997
Kumar Sangakkara31932866.181BangladeshChittagong4 Feb 2014

Sangakkara's 319 is the sixth highest individual score by an Asian batsman in Test cricket while it is the eight instance of an Asian cricketer crossing the 300-mark.

Asian batsmen with 300+ scores:

NameScore4s6sSRInningsAgainstVenueMatch Date
Mahela Jayawardene37443165.382South AfricaColombo (SSC)27 Jul 2006
Sanath Jayasuriya34036258.822IndiaColombo (RPS)2 Aug 1997
Hanif Mohammad337240-3West IndiesBridgetown17 Jan 1958
Inzamam-ul-Haq32938975.451New ZealandLahore1 May 2002
Virender Sehwag319425104.932South AfricaChennai26 Mar 2008
Kumar Sangakkara31932866.181BangladeshChittagong4 Feb 2014
Younis Khan31327455.102Sri LankaKarachi21 Feb 2009
Virender Sehwag30939682.401PakistanMultan28 Mar 2004

Sangakkara, who became the first player to score a 300 against Bangladesh, has the best average for currently active batsmen while he has the fourth best batting average overall. (Qual: Min 5000 runs)

Best averages for currently active batsmen:

Kumar Sangakkara122208171104631957.833445
Jacques Kallis166280401328922455.374558
Shivnarine Chanderpaul1532614511219203*51.932962
AB de Villiers89148166827278*51.711834
Michael Clarke102174188019329*51.402627

Best averages for batsmen overall:

Donald Bradman528010699633499.942913
Ken Barrington8213115680625658.672035
Wally Hammond85140167249336*58.452224
Kumar Sangakkara122208171104631957.833445
Garry Sobers93160218032365*57.782630

Kumar Sangakkara, during the course of this knock, also crossed the 11,000 mark in Test cricket and became the fastest to do so. He reached the 11,000 mark in just his 207th innings, surpassing Brian Lara's record of 213 innings.

Fastest to 11,000 in Test cricket:

PlayerOppositionVenueMatch DateDebutMatchesInnings
Kumar SangakkaraBangladeshChittagong4 Feb 201420 Jul 2000121207
Brian LaraAustraliaAdelaide25 Nov 20056 Dec 1990121213
Ricky PontingEnglandCardiff8 Jul 20098 Dec 1995132222
Sachin TendulkarEnglandNottingham27 Jul 200715 Nov 1989139223
Rahul DravidSri LankaAhmedabad16 Nov 200920 Jun 1996135234
Jacques KallisWest IndiesBasseterre18 Jun 201014 Dec 1995139234
Mahela JayawardenePakistanSharjah16 Jan 20142 Aug 1997141237
Shivnarine ChanderpaulNew ZealandDunedin3 Dec 201317 Mar 1994151256
Allan BorderSouth AfricaAdelaide28 Jan 199429 Dec 1978153259

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'Rebuilding' ECB end Pietersen's England career


Kevin Pietersen's controversial England career came to a dramatic end after officials announced Tuesday they "unanimously" wanted to rebuild the side without him following their Ashes thrashing in Australia.

In a joint statement with the 33-year-old former England captain, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced they'd left the gifted batsman out of their squads for both the upcoming one-day tour of the West Indies and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, signalling the end of his international career.

'A great deal still to give'

"Playing cricket for my country has been an honour," said Pietersen. "Although I am obviously very sad the incredible journey has come to an end, I'm also hugely proud of what we, as a team, have achieved over the past nine years." 

"I feel extremely fortunate to have played at a time of great success for England cricket alongside some of the best cricketers the country has ever produced. I want to thank everyone for their fantastic support and I wish the team the very best of success going forward."

He added: "I believe I have a great deal still to give as a cricketer. I will continue to play but deeply regret that it won't be for England."

Newly-appointed ECB managing director Paul Downton, who only recently oversaw the departure of England coach Andy Flower following the Ashes thrashing, hinted the need to restore team harmony, rather than playing ability, had been the key reason behind the "tough decision" to axe Pietersen -- England's leading run-scorer across all formats.

Debt of gratitude

"Everyone was aware that there was a need to begin the long-term planning after the Australia tour," said Downton. "Therefore we have decided the time is right to look to the future and start to rebuild not only the team but also team ethic and philosophy.

"England cricket owes a debt of gratitude to Kevin who has proved to be one of the most talented and exciting players to ever represent the country and his 13,797 runs are a testimony to his immense skill," the former England wicket-keeper added.

Pietersen's nine-year international career saw him become one of the world's leading batsmen, his 23 Test hundreds, just two short of the England record held by current England captain Alastair Cook, coming amidst a Test tally of 8,181 runs in 104 matches at an impressive average of 47.28.

During the Ashes debacle, Pietersen was still England's top scorer in the series despite managing just 294 runs at a rate of 29.40.

At his best, he dominated all-time great bowling in a way given to few batsmen as he proved in a maiden Test hundred when he thrillingly attacked Australian legends Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne to rescue a draw that saw England regain the Ashes at The Oval in 2005.

'You have to manage mavericks'

But the South Africa-born shotmaker's time in the England camp was also beset by off-field problems that saw him fall out with two national team coaches in Peter Moores and Flower, who stepped down on Friday.

Significantly, Pietersen was briefly dropped from the England team in 2012 after sending text messages alleged to be critical of then England captain Andrew Strauss to South African players.

However, he was soon "reintegrated" into the team under new skipper Cook.

Former England captains Michael Vaughan said England were potentially damaging their prospects of future wins by getting rid of Pietersen now.

"You have to be able to manage mavericks. You can't have clones around," Vaughan, England's 2005 Ashes-winning captain told BBC Radio Five.

Vaughan said Tuesday's announcement made no sense as Pietersen would likely have retired from international duty in just over a year's time in any case.

"Pietersen will be gone at the end of 2015 -- he'd have walked away after two World Cups and the Ashes.

"It was about managing him for another year-and-a-half to try and get England winning games -- manage that maverick," Vaughan added.

The ECB's decision, which they said was the "unanimous" view of the England management, including the selectors, appears to leave Pietersen free to spend more time playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League, often a source of friction between him and the ECB hierarchy.

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Tendulkar conferred with Bharat Ratna


Sachin Tendulkar was on Tuesday conferred with the Bharat Ratna by President Pranab Mukherjee in a glittering ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Tuesday. Eminent scientist Professor CNR Rao was the other recipient of the award in a function, which was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior politicians.

Anjali Tendulkar and Sara Tendulkar were also in attendance. Tendulkar, who retired at the end of the Test series against the West Indies in November last year, played 200 Tests and scored 100 international centuries in a career spanning 24 years.

Tendulkar's farewell Test matches at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, saw record crowds turn up to cheer for the Little Master as he bowed out of a game he has helped shape in India for the last quarter of a century. 

The announcement to confer Tendulkar with the highest civilian award in the country was made moments after he had signed off with an emotional speech and among applause from his die-hard fans, many questioned the timing of the award and wondered why hockey legend Dhyanchand did not receive it first.

Dhyanchand's name was recommended by the Sports Ministry in 2012 but he is still no where close to being awarded the Bharat Ratna (posthumously) while a recent Right to Information (RTI) revelation showed that Tendulkar's name was finalised within 24 hours.

In retirement, Tendulkar has begun promoting social causes such as sanitation and has been named a member of the upper house of the Indian Parliament, leading to speculation he might one day enter active politics. In 2008, he received the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award. 

At the ceremony Tuesday, he walked up to the dais with folded hands, greeted the president and accepted the award amid a din of camera flash-lights and applause from the audience, which included his family. C.N.R. Rao, 79, who heads the prime minister's scientific advisory council, was the other civilian who received the Bharat Ratna this year for his contribution in the field of science.

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Tied ODIs - A look at the numbers


Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin came up with superb knocks and were supported well by MS Dhoni as India managed to tie the 3rd ODI against New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland. Jadeja scored an unbeaten 66 while Ashwin (65) and Dhoni (50) came up with crucial contributions to ensure that India did not lose their No. 1 ranking for the time being while leaving the visitors with the possibility of squaring the series.

This was India's first ever tied game against New Zealand while it was their seventh overall in ODI cricket. This was the fourth time since 2011 that a game involving India ended in a tie. The third ODI in Auckland was India's second highest tied match, and also the second time when a total in excess of 300 was scored.

Tied games involving India:

OppositionTotalWicketsTossBattingVenueMatch Date
England33810won1stBangalore27 Feb 2011
New Zealand3149won2ndAuckland25 Jan 2014
England2805lost1stLord's11 Sep 2011
Zimbabwe2485lost1stIndore18 Nov 1993
Zimbabwe23610lost2ndPaarl27 Jan 1997
Sri Lanka2369lost2ndAdelaide14 Feb 2012
West Indies12610lost1stPerth6 Dec 1991

For New Zealand, this was their sixth tied game overall while it was their fourth at home. This was also New Zealand's second tied match in Auckland and their second while scoring in excess of 300.

Tied games involving New Zealand:

OppositionTotalWicketsTossBattingVenueMatch Date
England3407won2ndNapier20 Feb 2008
India31410lost1stAuckland25 Jan 2014
England23710won1stNapier26 Feb 1997
Zimbabwe2339lost2ndBulawayo1 Oct 1997
Sri Lanka1698won1stSharjah11 Nov 1996
Pakistan16110lost2ndAuckland13 Mar 1994

This was the third time overall that an ODI ended in a tie with the total in excess of 300. India, New Zealand and England have been involved in two such ties apiece.

Tied games with total in excess of 300:

MatchTotalTossBattingVenueMatch Date
New Zealand v England340New Zealand2ndNapier20 Feb 2008
India v England338India1stBangalore27 Feb 2011
New Zealand v India314India2ndAuckland25 Jan 2014

This was the fourth tied game for India under Dhoni's captaincy. Dhoni now holds the record for a captain to be involved in most number of ties.

Captains with most number of ties:

NameTeamNumber of Ties
Mahendra Singh DhoniIndia4
Richie RichardsonWest Indies3
Shaun PollockSouth Africa3
Steve WaughAustralia3

Australia top the list for the team with most number of ties while Pakistan and West Indies are jointly second. England and India are jointly in the fourth position. New Zealand and West Indies have the most number of ties at home while Pakistan have the most number of ties away. India and Sri Lanka have the most number of ties at neutral venues.

Teams with most number of ties:

TeamNumber of Tied MatchesHomeAwayNeutral
West Indies8422
New Zealand6411
South Africa6312
Sri Lanka4013

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