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Statistical view of all the dreaded Nelsons in international cricket

27 Aug 1998:  Umpire David Shepherd performs his superstitious jig when the score was on a Nelson (111, 222, 333, and so on) during the England v Sri Lanka Test match at the Oval in London.  Mandatory Credit: Laurence Griffiths /Allsport

Umpire David Shepherd performs his superstitious jig when the score was on a Nelson (111, 222, 333, and so on) during the England v Sri Lanka Test match at the Oval in London. (Getty Images)

Nelson has always been a superstitious concept in cricket. But according to the statistics, the most number of wickets fall on zero and not 111 or multiples thereof.

Let us have a look at some of the vital statistics associated with nelson across three formats.


Test format:

Overall there have been 50 scores of 111 in Test cricket. Rahul Dravid (India), Arthur Morris (Australia), Taufeeq Umar (Pakistan), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Mark Waugh (Australia) and Graeme Wood (Australia) have two scores of 111 in Tests.

Rahul Dravid, Nathan Astle (New Zealand), Jacques Rudolf (South Africa), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) and Gundappa Vishwanath have all scored 222 in an innings in Test cricket.

Graham Gooch of England and Chris Gayle of West Indies are the only two batsmen to score 333 in a Test innings.

ODI format:

There have been 38 instances of 111 runs being scored in ODI format. Brian Lara (West Indies) has three scores of 111, Ricky Ponting (Australia), Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa), Sourav Ganguly (India) and Kevin Pietersen (England) have two scores of 111 each.


Test format:

In an innings:

There have been 86 occasions when the bowlers have conceded 111 runs in a Test innings. Jack Gregory’s five wicket haul at Sydney in 1924 is the best bowling figures for a bowler who has conceded those many runs. At Adelaide, in 1925 Gregory again conceded 111 runs but picked up only three wickets in the process.

Apart from Gregory, Wasim Akram (Pakistan), Andrew Caddick (England), Ramakant Desai (India), M Dillon (West Indies), Subhash Gupte (India), M Ntini (South Africa), Brett Lee(Australia), J Lawson (West Indies), Shaun Pollock (South Africa), Peter Siddle (Australia), GR Dilley (England) and Daniel Vettori (New Zealand) have conceded 111 runs on more than two occasions in one innings of a Test match.

Suraj Randiv of Sri Lanka is the only bowler to concede 222 runs in a Test innings on his debut against India at SSC Ground, Colombo in 2010.


There are 100 instances where a bowler has conceded 111 runs in a match. Joey Palmer of Australia picked up six wickets against England at Lord’s in 1884 and Chris Lewis emulated the same feat 107 years later at Birmingham against West Indies.


There have been 101 111-run partnerships: 57 in Test matches, 42 in ODIs and three in T20s.

There have been 10 222-run partnerships: nine in Test matches and one in ODIs.

So overall the occurrence of Nelson scores in all the three formats in the form of partnerships is 111 (a coincidence).

*Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten have two 111-run opening partnerships in ODI cricket one against England at The Oval in 1999 and the other versus Pakistan at Paarl in 2002.

Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene have two 111-run partnerships too, one in a Test match against England at Galle in 2001 (4th wicket partnership) and one in ODI cricket against Pakistan at Sharjah in 2001 (3rd wicket partnership).

** Michael Bevan and Steve Waugh added 222 for the fourth wicket against South Africa at Melbourne (Docklands) in 2000.




Stephan Fleming of New Zealand and Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka have played 111 Test matches each.

England’s Alfred Shaw has 111 career runs while Phil Sharpe’s highest Test score is 111.

South African David Nourse and Shaun Pollock have highest scores of 111. Anton Murray of South Africa has bowled 111 maiden overs.

West Indian Robin Bynoe and Floyd Reifer has total of 111 runs in four Test matches. Basil Williams of West Indies has a highest score of 111.

Sri Lankan Amal Silva’s highest Test score is 111.

Bangladesh’s Mohammad Rafique’s highest score is 111 against West Indies.

New Zealand’s Noel McGregor has highest score of 111. Bruce Taylor has 111 Test wickets.

India’s Hemant Kanitkar has 111 career runs in two Test matches.


Arhur Mailey of Australia has 222 career runs.

Kenneth Benjamin of West Indies has 222 Test runs.

Number of wickets taken by Steve Harmison bowling for England. Harmison has picked up four wickets bowling for ICC World XI so his total tally of wickets is in fact 226.


Mark Dekker of Zimbabwe has 333 career runs.


Career runs of Sri Lanka’s Pramodaya Wickramasinghe.


Number of maidens bowled by James Anderson.



Habibul Bashar of Bangladesh and Stuart Carlisle of Zimbabwe have played 111 ODIs.

Mudassar Nazar of Pakistan has 111 ODI wickets while his compatriot Hasan Jamil has a total of 111 runs in six ODIs.

Mohammad Kaif of India has highest score of 111*.

Mark Greatbatch of New Zealand has highest score of 111.

Steve Waugh has taken 111 catches in ODIs. David Hussey and Tim Paine’s highest score is 111.

Matthew Hayden was Australia’s 111th capped player. Incidentally his first ODI hundred was 111 versus India at Vishakhapatnam in 2001.


Neil Broom of New Zealand has those many runs in 22 innings.


South African Umpire Brian Jerling has adjudicated 111 games (combining Tests, ODIs and T20 international games).


Mark Boucher has 999 dismissals in all the formats of the game: 952 catches as a ‘keeper, 46 stumpings and one catch as a fielder. That one catch as a fielder was his 400th ODI catch to dismiss Darren Bravo at extra-cover.

On 11th November, 2011 at 11:11 South Africa needed 111 runs to win against Australia. Umpire Ian Gould pulled off David Shephard’s leg raise Nelson for a minute. The scoreboard read 11:11 11/11/11.

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