Today: part eight, the final part, of the 199 Club. Eight different posts on the eight different times a batter has gotten out one run shy of a double century.
Part seven is here.
The 199s have happened in just about every corner of the cricket playing world: Pakistan (twice), India, England (twice), Sri Lanka, the West Indies, and Zimbabwe…
Two of the batsman were from Pakistan, two from Australia, and one each were from India, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and England.
Members were run out, LBWed, bowled, and caught.
And today we meet the club’s last member: Ian Bell.
Bell, of course, is everything that is wrong with English cricket right now. And I mean that with a heaping helping of sarcasm. Yes, he has looked absolutely clueless at the crease in the UAE versus Pakistan, but the cricket media has been, in my opinion, overly hard on him.
The whole of England has been rubbish in this series against Pakistan.
Calling for Bell to be dropped is silly – if he should be dropped, then so should Pietersen, Cook, Trott…etc.
Shoot, Andrew Strauss has been awful for like two years, yet no one is calling for his head like they are calling for Bell’s.
Maybe it’s because he is Irish?
He has played in 71 tests for his country, scoring over 5,000 runs, and he is only 29 years old.
Calling for his head is treason.
But, we are not here to talk casual racism or Bell’s troubles in the desert, we are here to talk about Bell’s score of 199 in the first innings against South Africa at Lord’s on July the 11th, 2008.
When he was out via a catch on 199, it was as close as he had ever gotten to a double century in his four years in England’s test squad – so thank goodness he got that 235 against India at the Oval last summer.
Bell’s 199 happened on day two of the test, a day interrupted several times due to rain (of course), so you have to assume that he would have gotten to 200 if not for all of the starting and stopping.
England had put up a huge score in their innings, thanks to Bell and Pietersen (152) – plus Broad scored a respectable 72.
South Africa in their innings were all out for 247 despite a century from Ashwell Prince (that’s a cool name) – Monty Panesar was 4-74 to lead England’s attack.
The visitor’s were forced to follow on, getting to 393 before time ran out on day five and the match ended in a draw.
In South Africa’s second innings, Graeme Smith batted for 340 minutes, scoring 107 runs; Neil McKenzie batted for 553 minutes scoring 138 runs; and Hashim Amla batted for 345 minutes and scored 104*.
That’s how you go about earning a draw in Test cricket. The batsmen knew their attack was toothless, so they batted on and on and on.
South Africa went on to win at Leeds by 10 wickets and at Birmingham by five to win the series 2-1 (England won the dead rubber at the Oval by six wickets.)
Of historical note: on July the 7th, 2008: the price of oil hit an all time record: $147 a barrel.
So, really, when you think about it, it all feels a little gross that a bunch of South African cricketers plus all their press and all their staff and all their trainers got onto a gas guzzling jumbo jet and flew 10,000 miles to England to play a silly game involving a bat and a little red ball.
So, let’s not think about it.
But, first, your geography lesson:
And that, folks, is the 199 Club. Thanks for reading.
On the pitch:
Hey, look at that, India won a game!!
Yep, you heard right, India beat Australia last night in the 2nd T20 of the tour. Congrats, India!
Also, New Zealand demolished hapless Zimbabwe at Dunedin, and England scuttled Pakistan all out for 99 – only to lose six of their wickets before reaching the same score.
16 wickets fell in one day’s play. I should have stayed up for that.
Maybe this weekend.
Until next time.