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Ajinkya Rahane first to take 8 catches in a Test match

A statistical article comparing the most number of catches in an innings and a Test match in the backdrop of Rahane's world record of eight catches in the ongoing SL vs IND first Test at Galle in Sri Lanka.

Rahane diving to take a catch 

The first Test at Galle has been a remarkable one for India in all three forms of the game. On the first day, Ravichandran Ashwin took a six-for to dismiss the hosts for 183. On the second day, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli scored centuries and shared a big partnership for the third wicket.

Ajinkya Rahane, on the third day, took five catches to help the bowlers get out Sri Lank367. On the fourth day if Indian batsmen chase down 176, it would be a perfect all-around victory for the team and if they don’t then all these achievements would be meaningless. Anyways, let’s see the achievement of Ajinkya Rahane – not as a batsman but as a fielder.

Rahane took three catches in the first innings on the first day and took five catches in the second innings on the third day of the Test. Thus, eight catches by a fielder and not a wicket-keeper.

Both are records – eight catches in a Test match and five catches in a Test innings by a fielder. The former is a great achievement as no one has done it in the history of 138 years of Test cricket history while the latter is a joint record shared by eight other players.

Five others have taken seven catches in a Test match in the past including an Indian. The table below lists the details.

Most catches in a Test match by a fielder

Catches

Fielder

1st inn

2nd inn

For

Against

Venue

Date

Result

8

Ajinkya Rahane

3

5

India

Sri Lanka

Galle

12-Aug-15

-




7

Greg Chappell

2

4

Australia

England

Perth

13-Dec-74

Won

Yajurvindra Singh

5

2

India

England

Bangalore

28-Jan-77

Won

Hashan Tillakaratne

3

4

Sri Lanka

New Zealand

Colombo (SSC)

06-Dec-92

Won

Stephen Fleming

5

2

New Zealand

Zimbabwe

Harare

18-Sep-97

Drawn

Matthew Hayden

3

4

Australia

Sri Lanka

Galle

08-Mar-04

Wo

Yajurvindra Singh was making his Test debut. He played only three more matches in his career taking four more catches.

Hashan Tillakaratne was awarded Man of the Match as he scored 93 in one of the innings.

Stephen Fleming was the skipper of his side.

Matthew Hayden was awarded Man of the Match as he scored 130 in one of the innings.

None of the previous instances of seven catches in the match by a fielder ended in his team losing the Test. Five catches by Rahane in an innings is the joint record in Test matches shared by eight other players.

The first to do this was Vic Richardson (the grandfather of Waugh brothers) in 1936 against South Africa at Durban in 1936 and it is not been surpassed yet. Anyways, eight other did this including Rahane. Two of those apart from Rahane are listed in the first table as they took two catches in the other innings to end up with seven catches in the match.

Most catches in a Test innings by a fielder

Catches

Fielder

Inning

For

Against

Venue

Date

Result





5

Vic Richardson

3

Australia

South Africa

Durban

28-Feb-36

Won

Yajurvindra Singh

2

India

England

Bangalore

28-Jan-77

Won

Mohammad Azharuddin

1

India

Pakistan

Karachi

15-Nov-89

Drawn

Kris Srikkanth

1

India

Australia

Perth

01-Feb-92

Lost

Stephen Fleming

1

New Zealand

Zimbabwe

Harare

18-Sep-97

Drawn

Graeme Smith

4

South Africa

Australia

Perth

30-Nov-12

Won

Darren Sammy

2

West Indies

India

Mumbai WS

14-Nov-13

Lost

Darren Bravo

2

West Indies

Bangladesh

Kingstown

05-Sep-14

Won

Ajinkya Rahane

3

India

Sri Lanka

Galle

12-Aug-15

-

No one could emulate Vic Richardson for 40 years before Yajurvindra Singh did it on his debut. Interestingly, the next two instances were also by the Indian fielders.

Graeme Smith is the only one to take five catches in the fourth innings of a Test match.

Kris Srikkanth’s and Darren Sammy’s instances were the only two which resulted in a loss for their team.

In Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar’s final Test match, the opposition captains took five wickets in an innings (Graeme Smith and Darren Sammy).

There was a fielder who had taken five wickets in an innings in Sachin Tendulkar’s debut Test as well (Mohammad Azharuddin). No player is repeated in the above tables. Let’s see which fielder has taken five or more catches in a test match the most number of times.

Five or more catches in a Test match taken most number of times by a fielder

Fielder

Number of times

Matches

Mahela Jayawardene

5

149

Stephen Fleming

4

111

Brian Lara

4

131

Garry Sobers

4

93

Carl Hooper

3

102

Eknath Solkar

3

27

Hashan Tillakaratne

3

83

Most catches in a first-class cricket match and an innings by a fielder

The record in first-class cricket is held by Wally Hammond who took 10 catches playing for Gloucestershire against Surrey at Cheltenham in 1928 season. In 2011, Rikki Clarke took nine catches in the county match for Warwickshire against Lancashire at Liverpool.

These are the only two instances or nine or more catches in a First-Class cricket match. There are 14 others who took eight catches in first-class cricket apart from Ajinkya Rahane who joins them as the 15th.

The record for more catches by a fielder in a first-class cricket inning is seven by three players – Micky Stewart for Surrey against Northamptonshire at Northampton in 1957, Tony Brown for Gloucestershire against Nottinghamshire at Nottingham in 1966, and Rikki Clarke in the match mentioned above in which he took nine catches. 

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