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Jack Leach compared to other England nightwatchmen

Jack Leach compared to other England nightwatchmen
© Reuters
The Somerset spinner joined other England nightwatchmen to fall just short of a Test hundred.

Jack Leach fell just short of becoming the first England nightwatchman to score a Test century on Thursday.

Leach made 92 in England's second innings against Ireland at Lord's before being pouched at second slip.

Here, PA looks at the stats surrounding other nightwatchmen in comparison.

Jack the lad

England v Ireland – Specsavers Test Series – Day Two – Lord's
Jack Leach celebrates after reaching his half-century against Ireland at Lord's (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Left-arm Spinner Leach was sent in as nightwatchman at the end of the first day as England – 122 behind on first innings – had to face a single over. Little was expected of Leach, as he had managed only 55 runs in his previous seven Test innings with an average of 9.16. His previous highest score was 66 for Somerset against Lancashire in May 2018, yet he struck 16 boundaries in an extraordinary 162-ball stay.

Nervous nineties

Alex Tudor – Surrey
Alex Tudor holds the record score by an England nightwatchman – 99 not out against New Zealand (Tom Hevezi/PA)

England nightwatchmen appear to be cursed in the 'nervous nineties'. Jack Russell (94), Eddie Hemmings (95) and Harold Larwood (98) were all out within touching distance of three figures, while Alex Tudor was left stranded one short. Surrey paceman Tudor made an unbeaten 99 against New Zealand at Edgbaston in 1999.

Dizzy heights

CRICKET Yorkshire
Jason Gillespie's unbeaten 201 for Australia is the record score by a nightwatchman in Test cricket (Alistair Wilson/PA)

The Test record score by a nightwatchman is held by Jason 'Dizzy' Gillespie. The Australia fast bowler scored an unbeaten 201 against Bangladesh at Chittagong in April 2006. Gillespie took the record from South Africa wicket-keeper Mark Boucher, the only man to score two Test hundreds as a nightwatchman.

Beating the best

Cricket – npower Fourth Test – Day Two – England v India – The Kia Oval
Sachin Tendulkar is among the cricket greats to never score a Test hundred at Lord's (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Leach might have fallen just short of a hundred and a place on the Lord's Honours Boards. But at least he beat five of the best at the 'Home of Cricket'. Leach's effort was better than Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar all managed at Lord's during their illustrious Test careers.

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Ireland's Tim Murtagh celebrates on July 24, 2019
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