Pakistan played their 100th Test Match only 26 years 145 days after having appeared in their first. Other teams reached this landmark in the time spans as mentioned here: England 32 years 108 days, India 35 years 18 days, Australia 35 years 73 days, West Indies 36 years 253 days and New Zealand 42 years 73 days.
Arjuna Ranatunga has 88% share in SL Tests Ranatunga has missed only 12 of Sri Lanka’s 100 Test matches, which makes him the biggest ‘share-holder’ in any country’s first century of matches at this level. Before him, India’s all-rounder Polly Umrigar with 59 Tests out of his team’s first 100 had held the record. However, Umrigar had retired five years before India reached their centenary Test match.
New Zealand’s John Reid, their captain in 34 Tests, had appeared in 58 consecutive Tests from 1949 to 1965 before the Kiwis played in their 100th match. Reid is, of course, now better known as a match referee and was, in fact, serving as one in Sri Lanka’s 100th Test last month. Tom Hayward, one of England’s most prolific right-handed batsmen, had the major share among individuals in his team’s first 100 Tests.
Less than a month earlier in 1909, he had played the last of his 35 matches as England reached their century milestone. When West Indies got to their 100th Test, one of their greatest players Sir Frank Worrell had played in 51 but he had retired two years ago.
Almost twenty-five years before his team played their 100th Test, the ‘Grand Old Man’ of South Africa, Dave Nourse, had appeared in the last of his 45 Tests. He had played all these in succession and the figure of 45 was more than any other of his countrymen had managed.
However, Dave’s son Dudley Nourse had the distinction of being South Africa’s captain in his country’s 100th Test. Dave had died a year earlier, in 1948. Apart from Ranatunga, only two other players mentioned in the accompanying table actually appeared in their teams’ respective 100th Test matches.
Syd Gregory was playing in his 53rd Test, at Manchester against South Africa in 1912, and he was Australia’s captain too. Three months later, during the same triangular Test series, he played his 58th and final Test. Syd’s father Ned Gregory had appeared in Australia’s inaugural Test match at Melbourne in 1877, a game in which Ned’s younger brother Dave Gregory was the captain.
Pakistan’s Mushtaq Mohammad played for and captained his team in his country’s 100th Test, at Melbourne in 1978-79, which was highlighted by a magnificent Pakistan win brought about by a haul of 9-86 by pace bowler Sarfraz Nawaz. Mushtaq played only a further Test in his career, his 57th, at Perth against Australia in the same series. His elder brother Hanif Mohammad had appeared in Pakistan’s first Test, at Delhi in 1952-53, and at Melbourne, Mushtaq had actually crossed Hanif Muhammad Pakistan record of 55 Test caps as an individual.
Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga made history as the only person to appear in his country’s inaugural as well as the 100th Test match. He appeared against Pakistan in the first Test of a fresh three-match rubber at Colombo’s Singhalese Sports Club Ground on June 14. Sri Lanka has reached their century of Test matches quicker than all other teams, taking just 18 years 117 days to arrive at the landmark.
Arjuna Ranatunga was an 18-year-old schoolboy when Sri Lanka played their first Test match, at Colombo’s P Saravanamuttu Stadium against England on February 17, 1982. Against Pakistan he was 36 years 196 days old, appearing in his 88th Test, which is more than any other Sri Lankan has managed.
Arjuna Ranatunga, who bats left-handed and used to bowl his right-arm slow-medium quite frequently, missed only four of his country’s first 65 Tests and went on to become its most successful captain too. He led Sri Lanka from 1989 (briefly relinquishing the post and becoming involved in a row with officials about the alleged unfitness of his players) until early 1999, helping them achieve 12 of their total 18 wins in Test cricket.
Arjuna Ranatunga was his team’s skipper in 56 Tests, of which 19 ended in defeat. South Africa reached 100 in nearly 60 years, South Africa, the third team to enter the Test cricket scene after the pioneer’s Eng- land, and Australia, took the longest to get to their 100th Test match. This milestone came in March 1949, in a period just a week less than 60 years since they played their first match against England in the 1888-89 series in South Africa.
Incidentally, their inaugural and 100th Tests were played at Port Elizabeth, both were against England and South Africa lost either game. Other teams to be defeated in their first, as well as 100th Tests, are England, India and now Sri Lanka. Australia won both these landmark Tests, West Indies and Pakistan lost their maiden Tests but won their 100th while New Zealand, after having started their career with a loss, managed to earn a draw in their centenary Test match.
In March 2017 Bangladesh overshadowed the blissful occasion that was to be the country’s 100th Test match. They were sitting ducks because the Test match would be played at a venue where they recorded their lowest Test score of 62 all out in 2007. They had only recognized innings defeats in the three matches that they played here prior to this. Sri Lanka was playing against BD had an unbeaten record against them, and won 15 of 17 previous matches.
Mushfiqur Rahim was joyous Bangladesh’s 9th Test win to the fans who faithfully cheer them through thick and thin. Bangladesh brilliant performance their 100th Test with a magnificent four-wicket win against Sri Lanka in Colombo. That was the home side termed the loss, their first against Bangladesh, as the biggest embarrassment in their history of Test cricket.
Zimbabwe’s Test cricket so far consists of only 110 matches; they have been active as a Test-match nation for less than eight years. Their inaugural encounter had ended as a draw. Zimbabwe took its first steps in Test cricket in 1992. Those steps were not quite so tentative however as it started with a century partnership for its first wicket on the way to posting a total of 456 against India at Harare.
Off Spinner John Traicos had already represented South Africa back in 1970 – took five Indian wickets and the Test ended drawn. This result was leaving Zimbabwe just the second team not to lose its first Test – after Australia in the very first Test match of all. However, on 14th July 2017, Zimbabwe played their 100 Test match against Sri Lanka at Colombo, which Sri Lanka won by wickets. CR Ervine scored brilliant 160 in that match. So far, Zimbabwe has won only 12 wins in Test Matches.