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Five instances when a player opened the innings and batted at No.11 in the same Test match

Jack Leach achieved the feat recently against Ireland.
Jack Leach achieved the feat recently against Ireland.
Aryan Surana
ANALYST
Modified 30 Aug 2019, 16:51 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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In cricketing terminology, a night watchman is someone who is not a conventional batsman who has been sent in to bat ahead of an earmarked top-order batsman when a wicket tumbles just before the end of a day's play, to protect the latter's wicket adverse conditions.

But, in the rich history of the game, there have been some intriguing instances when an outright tailender has been promoted straight up the order to face the new ball against unrelenting quicks in the longest version of the game.

However, in most scenarios, tailenders have been asked to open the innings to fill in for an injured regular opener, while, in a few cases, they have also been upgraded to chase down modest targets.

From batsman suffering painful injuries to nightwatchmen opening the innings, we take a look at five players who have opened the innings and batted at No.11 in the same Test match.


Jack Leach

Jack Leach plays one to the on-side.
Jack Leach plays one to the on-side.

England's latest Test recruit Jack Leach remained unbeaten at one in his first innings in the solitary Lord's Test match against Ireland as the hosts were shockingly bundled out for a meager 85.

Ireland churned out a spirited batting performance, gaining a massive lead of 122 runs. Consequently, there was just enough time left in the day to squeeze out a lone over.

In order to shield primary opener Jason Roy, the talented left-arm spinner was sent in as a nightwatchman alongside Rory burns to play out the six deliveries.

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Thereby, Jack Leach entered the unique pool of cricketers to have opened the innings as well as batted at No.11 in the same match.

Interestingly, not only did the tweaker managed to valiantly negotiate the remaining balls on the initial day but also bailed out the hosts from choppy waters, notching up a magnificent 92-run knock.


Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith was one of the most valiant cricketers of his generation.
Graeme Smith was one of the most valiant cricketers of his generation.

Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith copped a nasty blow on his hand and ended up breaking it off a nasty Mitchell Johnson delivery while opening the innings in the first essay of a Test match against a formidable Australian side.

Following several inspections and multiple treatments, the stalwart courageously walked out to bat amidst excruciating pain in the final innings to try and ensure a draw.

Though the southpaw couldn't take his team to safety with a fractured hand, he entered the unique group of cricketers to have opened the innings as well as batted at the eventual position of the batting order in the same match and was universally praised for his bravery.


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Harry Butt

Harry Butt was a proficient wicket-keeper batsman.
Harry Butt was a proficient wicket-keeper batsman.

Former England gloveman Harry Ridgen Butt was the first player in cricketing history to have opened the innings and batted at No.11 in the same Test match. Coming in to bat at number 11 in the first innings of his debut match against South Africa at Port Elizabeth, Butt perished cheaply to left-arm seamer Middleton.

As the day's play approached stumps, England were required to come out to bat for two overs in the second innings. Harry Butt partnered CW Wright to the crease to become the first player to bat at either end of the order.

However, the elevation didn't pay fruitful dividends as the wicket-keeper batsman was sent packing for nought.


Azeem Hafeez

Azeem Hafeez.
Azeem Hafeez.

Pakistan's gangly left-arm speedster Azeem Hafeez made his international debut against India at Bengaluru. In the first innings of his third test at Nagpur, Hafeez was dismissed early for 4 in the first innings by Ravi Shastri.

The dynamic bowler was sent in as a night-watchman in the second innings to nullify the menacing threat of the swinging red cherry. Hafeez exhibited commendable perseverance to dig in for a resilient 18 against a quality bowling unit. Hafeez entered the record books for batting at No.11 and opening in the same match.


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Danny Morrison

Kiwi legend Danny Morrison.
Kiwi legend Danny Morrison.

Renowned amongst the cricketing fraternity for his effervescent character and jovial spirit, former Black Caps' medium-pacer Danny Morrison also finds himself in the eminent club of gentlemen who have batted at either end of the line-up.

During India's tour of New Zealand in 1990, the hosts were up against a deficient target of 2 runs in the final innings for an illustrious triumph. Morrison, who remained 3 not-out in the first essay, opened in the second innings to clinch an emphatic victory.

Also see – Dream 11 predictions

Published 28 Aug 2019, 18:00 IST
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