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Top 10: Most Maiden Overs by a Bowler in a Test Innings

Test cricket, as the name suggests, is the most challenging format of them all. The reason is it drains out almost everyone involved in the match, and one has to maintain the same intensity for 5 long days.

While the batters need to show a lot of determination and grit to battle out against the best of opponents, the bowlers need to maintain consistency with their lines and lengths throughout the Test.

Their patience and accuracy help them pile up maidens in their spells, which in turn builds pressure on the batters. This not only reduces the run flow but also creates wicket-taking opportunities. At the same time, there are instances where nothing happens in a game and you, as a bowler, have to keep on bowling.

Let us look at the bowlers who have bowled the most maiden overs in an innings of a Test match.

Most Maiden Overs in a Test Innings

PlayerMaidens BowledOvers Bowled (Balls Per Over)AgainstVenueYear
Booby Peel (ENG)56102.1 (4)AustraliaMelbourne1885
Tom Garrett (AUS)5599.0 (4)EnglandThe Oval1886
Alf Valentine (WI)4992.0 (6)EnglandNottingham1950
William Attewell (ENG)4771.0 (4)AustraliaSydney1885
Alf Valentine (WI)4771.0 (6)EnglandLord’s1950
Vinoo Mankad (IND)4776.0 (6)EnglandDelhi1951
Edwin Evans (AUS)4573.0 (4)EnglandMelbourne1881
Willie Bates (ENG)4372.0 (4)AustraliaSydney1882
Sonny Ramadhin (WI)4372.0 (6)EnglandLord’s1950
Tom Garrett (AUS)4072.0 (4)EnglandLord’s1886

Key Insights

There have been 67 instances of a bowler bowling 30 or more maidens in a single Test innings.

Sonny Ramadhin of the West Indies and William Attewell of England were the causes of 4 of those instances. While Ramadhin’s teammate Alf Valentine accounted for 3 of those times, the same as India’s Bapu Nadkarni, Vinoo Mankad, and Australia’s Edwin Evans.

Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine bowled 90 maidens between them in a Test against England at Lord’s in 1950. The pair also bowled 55 maiden overs in the host’s first innings of the Test match.

Ramadhin also holds the record for bowling the most number of balls in a Test innings (588), which amounts to 98 overs. 35 of them were maidens in a match that took place at Birmingham against England in 1957.

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Booby Peel of England holds the record for bowling the most maidens in a single Test innings. He sent down 102 four-ball overs in the 1885 Test against Australia at MCG, and he didn’t give a single run in 56 of those. He bowled 20 or more maiden overs in an innings 4 more times.

The most recent time a bowler bowled 30 or more maidens was in a Test match in Delhi in 2015, where India’s Ravindra Jadeja sent out 33 maidens against South Africa.

Another left-arm spinner, Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka, bowled 30 maidens in 2014 against the same opponents in Colombo. Nathan Lyon of Australia bowled 31 maidens in 2012 at Adelaide against South Africa.

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