Forty-eight years ago this week (March 24-29), Karachi hosted a Test that witnessed an unusual occurrence: three batsmen were dismissed for 99, the only such instance in Test history. That is the peg for the first article of our new series, Did You Know, where we present well-known and lesser-known facts around a theme. This week, we focus our attention on the number 99.
1902 - The first instance of a player scoring 99 in an international match. That honour belongs to Australia's Clem Hill, who was dismissed one short of his century against England at the MCG. Incidentally, in his next two Test innings, Hill scored 98 and 97.
151 - Ninety-nines made in all international cricket so far: 142 in men's cricket and nine in women's. Of these 151 instances, 23 were not-outs.
3 - The most times a player has scored 99 in international cricket. Four batsmen belong in this club, but only one of them, Sachin Tendulkar, has been dismissed in each of those innings. Tendulkar's international career spanned 24 years, but his three 99s all came in ODIs in the same year, 2007, in a period of less than five months. Geoffrey Boycott was the first to get out on 99 in both Tests and ODIs, while Misbah-ul-Haq is the only captain to score three 99s.
3 - Batsmen who were out for 99 in that Pakistan-England Test in Karachi in 1973: Majid Khan and Mushtaq Mohammad for Pakistan, and Dennis Amiss for England. It is the only international game with three such dismissals. There have been two Tests with two batsmen out for 99: New Zealand versus England in Christchurch in 1992 (Dipak Patel and John Wright), and England versus Australia at Lord's in 1993 (Mark Waugh and Michael Atherton).
5 - Players who have been dismissed for 99 on debut. The first player to meet this fate was Australia's Arthur Chipperfield, way back in 1934, while the latest was Jess Jonassen, the Australian women's player, in a Test against England in 2015. The list also includes England's current limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, though he made his ODI debut for Ireland. Apart from these five, there was another, Swapnil Patil of the UAE, who remained unbeaten on 99 on his ODI debut, against Scotland in 2014.
17 - Players whose highest score in all international matches is 99, whether dismissed or unbeaten. The list is made up of 14 men and three women. Among them are Shane Warne - whose Test aggregate of 3154 is the highest by a batsman who has never scored a hundred - Alex Tudor, Luke Wright and Martyn Moxon of England, Asim Kamal and Maqsood Ahmed of Pakistan, India's Rusi Surti, and Australia's Mitchell Starc. The three women in the list are Jonassen, Carol-Ann James of West Indies, and Pakistan's Bismah Maroof.
1 - Player whose career ended on 99 Test matches - Mohammad Azharuddin. Expanding this list to other formats, Shahid Afridi has played exactly 99 T20Is, and though he played his last one in May 2018, you can never rule out another one.
4 - Bowlers who retired with 99 wickets in a format. Three of them were in Tests - Arthur Mailey, Abdur Rehman and Ben Hilfenhaus - while Scott Styris retired with 99 wickets in ODIs.
Among current players, the South African women's T20I player, Shabnim Ismail, is currently on 99 T20I wickets.