Australia’s win over England in the Boxing Day Test, the third leg of the current Ashes series, has provided a bounty of statistical oddities and records.
While England’s woes are easy to highlight, the discrepancy between captain Joe Root and other batsmen in his team is quite remarkable.
Tuesday at the MCG, however, was all about debutant Scott Boland, a Victorian who can forever boast about figures of 6-7 from just four overs. Boland was a key reason why England were dismissed for just 68 in their second dig.
It was the eighth lowest total in Ashes Tests and the lowest since the English were bowled out for 67 at Leeds in the 2019 Ashes. That comes courtesy of statistician Ric Finlay, of Tastats.
The second innings total was also England’s lowest total at the MCG in 111 years with the four lower scores all coming between 1887-1904.
The total run aggregate between the two sides of 520 runs is also a new record low for MCG Tests between the two nations, breaking the 118-year-old record of 542 from 1903-1904.
Australia’s total of 267 was the third-lowest needed for an innings win behind South Africa’s 153 in 1931-1932 and New Zealand’s 199 in 1946-1947.
Australia’s lead of 82 runs is the third-lowest lead in an innings win after 46 by India vo New Zealand in 1955 and 74 by the West Indies over England in 2009.
Boland’s second innings return, combined with his wicket in the first innings, also created plenty of records.
According to CricInfo, Boland’s strike rate in the second innings of 4.0 is the second-best of all-time behind fellow Australian Ernie Toshack who had a strike rate of 3.8 after taking 5-2 in 2.3 eight-ball overs against India in Brisbane in 1947.
The next best Australian strike rates were from Richie Benaud – who took 4-15 in 3.5 overs against West Indies in Georgetown in 1955 – and, in modern cricket, Shane Watson who claimed 5-17 in five overs against South Africa in Capetown in 2011.
Boland’s haul was the second-most economical six-wicket return in Test history behind Jermaine Lawson’s 6-2 against Bangladesh in 2002 and ties Arthur Gilligan who took 6-7 for England against South Africa in 1924.
Boland also conceded the lowest number of runs anyone who has taken six wickets in a Test innings according to statistician Swamp, who said that seven runs beat out Australia’s Charlie Turner who took 6-15 in 1887 and South Africa’s Kyle Abbott who took 7-29 in 2013.
Boland’s 7-55 is the most wickets on debut since Jason Kreja’s 12-358 in Nagpur in 2008 while the best MCG debut remains Tim Wall 8-189 against England in 1929.
Among the eye-catching entries from Sir Swampthing, arguably the most telling stat was England’s batting in the 2021 calendar year headed by Root (1708 runs) and Rory Burns (530 runs) followed by extras (412 runs). That’s an interesting top three.
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