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Storied West Indies hit 500-Test landmark

From early beginning to world domination to now, West Indies has produced some of the greatest players in the game

Storied West Indies hit 500-Test landmark - Cricket News
It has taken 86 years, but when the West Indies takes on Bangladesh in the second Test in St. Lucia on Saturday (September 13), it will bring up its 500th Test. Only England (952) and Australia (767) have previously crossed the 500-Test mark, and the occasion represents a chance for fans in the Caribbean to bask in some of its past glories.
 
West Indies, as is well documented, has had a long and rich cricket history. Introduced by British troops, cricket gained wide popularity in the West Indies, who in 1926, was elevated to Test status by the Imperial Cricket Conference. Since playing its first Test match in 1928, the West Indies has capped 299 players, some of whom have grown into the biggest legends to have graced the game.

 
In June 1928, the West Indies, led by Karl Nunes, began its Test journey against England. And while it lost the three-Test series 0-3, it managed to notch up its first win when England toured the West Indies in 1930, in a four Test series that was tied 1-1. Its first overseas victory came against Australia in 1930, when it beat the hosts by 30 runs in the fifth Test. However, Australia had won the first four Tests and hence won the series 4-1.

Journey to 500 Tests
 
  Duration Won Lost Drawn W/L ratio Bat avg Bowl avg 100s
First 100 Test

Jun 1928 - Mar 1965

35 33 31 1.06 33.17 31.31 108
101-200

Mar 1965 - Aug 1980

28 25 47 1.12 35.63 34.37 107
201-300

Nov 1980 - Dec 1993

53 13 34 4.07 33.98 26.01 86
301-400

Feb 1994 - Nov 2003

30 44 26 0.68 29.22 31.99 67
401-499 Nov 2003 onwards 16 53 30 0.3 30.87 39.28 94
Total   162 168 168 0.96 32.5 32.29 462

Though the West Indies rose to the pinnacle of world cricket in the 1970s and 1980s, its best period in Test cricket was between its 201st and 300th Tests. It coincided with the duration when West Indies didn’t lose a Test series. The backbone of West Indies’ success during those glorious years were the powerhouse openers, a strong middle-order and a formidable battery of fast bowlers.
 
Think back to the years of Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Clive Lloyd, Jeff Dujon, Richie Richardson, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh - names that inspire awe and admiration.
 
It is interesting to note that though the West Indies has played and won the maximum number of Tests against England; but it is against Bangladesh - having won seven of the 11 Tests – that its win-loss ratio is a healthy 3.5.
 
West Indies has enjoyed a lot of success at home. In the 227 Tests played at home, West Indies has won 82 and lost 45 and the win-loss ratio stands at 1.51. As shown in the table below, it has been a poor visitor, losing 112 of 270 matches. Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica has been its most successful Test venue at home, having won 23 of the 47 matches played at the venue. While the Headingley in Leeds (6 wins from 12 Tests) has been a happy hunting ground away from home.

Home and away record
 
  Period Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L Avg RPO Inns HS LS
Home 1930-2014 227 82 54 0 91 1.51 35.09 2.99 409 790 47
Away 1928-2013 270 80 112 1 77 0.71 30.58 3.01 489 692 53

Record against each opposition
 
Team Period Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L Avg Inns HS LS
Eng 1928-201 148 53 45 0 50 1.17 33.37 259 751 47
Aus 1930-2012 111 32 54 1 24 0.59 30.17 214 616 51
Ind 1948-2012 90 30 16 0 44 1.87 36.46 156 644 103
Pak 1958-2011 46 15 16 0 15 0.93 29.31 85 790 53
NZ 1952-2014 45 13 13 0 19 1.00 33.82 81 660 77
Ban 2002-2014 11 7 2 0 2 3.50 44.46 20 648 181
Zim 2000-2013 8 6 0 0 2 - 34.31 14 559 128
SA 1992-2010 35 3 16 0 6 0.18 28.37 47 747 102
SL 1993-2010 15 3 6 0 6 0.50 28.56 26 580 113

Lloyd has led West Indies in 74 Tests - only four players, Graeme Smith, Allan Border, Stephen Fleming and Ricky Ponting, have captained their respective sides in more Tests. With a 36-12 win-loss record, Lloyd is one of only four captains who have led in 50 or more Tests and achieved a win-loss ratio of 3.00 or more.  Richards, who has won 54 percent of Tests as shown in the table below, is the second; while Steve Waugh and Ponting are the others. Denesh Ramdin, the current captain, has led West Indies in just four matches and has a win-loss record of 2-2.

Most matches as captain
 
Player Mat Won Lost Tied Drawn W/L %W %L
Clive Lloyd 74 36 12 0 26 3 48.64 16.21
Viv Richards 50 27 8 0 15 3.37 54 16
Brian Lara 47 10 26 0 11 0.38 21.27 55.31
Garry Sobers 39 9 10 0 20 0.9 23.07 25.64
Darren Sammy 30 8 12 0 10 0.66 26.66 40
Richie Richardson 24 11 6 0 7 1.83 45.83 25
John Goddard 22 8 7 0 7 1.14 36.36 31.81
Carl Hooper 22 8 7 0 7 0.36 18.18 50
Courtney Walsh 22 6 7 0 9 0.85 27.27 31.81
Chris Gayle 20 3 9 0 8 0.33 15 45

There are batsmen and there are unsung batsmen. Ever since he made his international debut Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been more associated with the latter lot. One of the most decorated modern Test cricketers, Chanderpaul made his debut for the West Indies when he was just 19. Almost twenty one years later, he still plays Tests for his country and is the team’s most reliable batsman apart from being the oldest active Test cricketer in the world.
 
Chanderpaul, now 40, is the West Indies’ most capped player and will be making his 158th Test appearance, against Bangladesh in St Lucia.  "Five hundred Tests is a lot of Test cricket and you can tell from the history, and all the greats that have played for us in the past, that it means a lot to me to be playing in this team right now," said Chanderpaul ahead of the Test. "It's a milestone in this team's lifetime that we have are achieving and hopefully we go on from strength to strength."

Most capped West Indies player
 
Player Mat Runs HS Bat avg 100 Wkts Bowl Avg
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 157 11499 203* 52.26 29 9 98.11
Courtney Walsh 132 936 30* 7.54 0 519 24.44
Brian Lara 130 11912 400* 53.17 34 - -
Viv Richards 121 8580 291 50.23 24 32 61.37
Desmond Haynes 116 7487 184 42.29 18 1 8
Clive Lloyd 110 7515 242* 46.67 19 10 62.2
Gordon Greenidge 108 7558 226 44.72 19 0 -
Chris Gayle 103 7214 333 42.18 15 73 43.73
Carl Hooper 102 5762 233 36.46 12 114 49.42
Curtly Ambrose 98 1439 53 12.4 0 405 20.99

Sobers’ unbeaten 365 at the age of 21, Lara’s 400 and Richards’ 56-ball hundred against England are all parts of cricket folklore. Lara, with 11912 runs over a period of 16 years, has been the leading run-scorer for West Indies. In his 93 Tests, Sobers, with batting average of 57.78, stands out from the rest. Among those with at least 8000 Test runs, only Kumar Sangakkara (58.76) has a better average. Chanderpaul has scored 11,499 runs at an average of over 52 runs per innings, including 29 centuries and 64 half-centuries. Chris Gayle, with two Test triple centuries to his name, is only the fourth batsman to achieve the feat after Don Bradman, Virender Sehwag and Lara.

Batsman with most runs
 
Batsman Mat Inns NO Runs HS Avg 100 50 0
Brian Lara 130 230 6 11912 400* 53.17 34 48 17
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 157 267 47 11499 203* 52.26 29 64 14
Viv Richards  121 182 12 8540 291 50.23 24 45 10
Garry Sobers 93 160 21 8032 365* 57.78 26 30 12
Gordon Greenidge 108 185 16 7558 226 44.72 19 34 11
Clive Lloyd 110 175 14 7515 242* 46.67 19 39 4
Desmond Haynes 116 202 25 7487 184 42.29 18 39 10
Chris Gayle 103 182 11 7214 333 42.18 15 37 15
Rohan Kanhai 79 137 6 6227 256 47.53 15 28 7
Richie Richarson 86 146 12 5949 194 44.39 16 27 8

With the famed pace quartet of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Collin Croft, West Indies was unmatched as a bowling side. And with 373 wicket at average of 20.94, Marshall was the biggest force to reckon with. Though Walsh (519) and Ambrose (405) lead the wicket-takers table for the West Indies, they never duplicated the level of intimidation of the famous pace quartet.
 
Leading wicket-takers
 
Bowler Mat Wkts BBI BBM Avg 5 wkts 10 wkst
Courtney Walsh 132 519 7-37 13-55 24.44 22 3
Curtly Ambrose  98 405 8-45 11-84 20.99 22 3
Malcolm Marshall 81 376 7-22 11-89 20.94 22 4
Lance Gibbs 79 309 8-38 11-157 29.09 18 2
Joel Garner 58 259 6-56 9-108 20.97 7 0
Michael Holding 60 249 8-92 14-149 23.68 13 2
Garry Sobers 93 235 6-73 8-80 34.03 6 0
Andy Roberts 47 202 7-54 12-121 25.61 11 2
Wes Hall 48 192 7-69 11-126 26.38 9 1
Fidel Edwards 55 165 7-87 8-132 37.87 12 0

Most dismissal by wicket-keepers
 
Player Mat Dis Ct St Dis/Inn
Jeff Dujon 81 270 265 5 1.800
Ridley Jacobs 65 219 207 12 1.795
Deryck Murray 62 189 181 8 1.588
Denesh Ramdin 60 178 172 6 1.648
Junior Murray 33 101 98 3 1.771
Gary Alexander 25 90 85 5 1.914


West Indies defeated Bangladesh by ten wickets in the first Test at Arnos Vale earlier this week and with the added motivation of the historical landmark, it will fancy its chances of repeating the feat.
 

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