On August 30, 2019, when cricket fans were consumed with India taking on the West Indies in the Caribbean, some 10,000 km away cricket teams from Czech Republic and Turkey met for an international T20 in Ilfov County, Romania. The eve was the second day of Continental Cricket Cup being played between the hosts Romania, along with Austria, Czech Republic, Turkey and Luxembourg. Russia was also scheduled to be a part of this tournament but their team pulled out two days prior to the tournament.
Czech Republic won the toss and their captain, Edward Knowles, decided to bat first. His team had just made its international debut some hours ago, in the morning, against Austria. It was not the first time a team was playing two international matches on the same day – UAE and Papua New Guinea had done it in April 2017. Czech Republic went on to score 278/4 in their designated 20 overs owing to a century by Sudesh Wickramasekara and a half-century by Sumit Pokriyal.
Chasing 279, Turkey had a horrendous start losing their first seven wickets for just 5 runs. They were eventually bowled out for just 21 runs. Mehmat Sert was the only batsman to show some resistance but he couldn’t save his team from an ill-fated 257-run defeat. A number of records tumbled in that game but sadly, this was no breaking news for the world.
Here are some records from that day:
Highest Team Score – Czech Republic equaled the world record for the highest team score made in T20Is. Afghanistan had also made 278 for the loss of three wickets against Ireland earlier in the year.
Lowest Team Score – Turkey’s all-out score of 21 is the lowest by any team in T20Is. They surpassed their own unfortunate record of 28 all out made against Luxembourg a day before. Sadly, they were out for the third-lowest total in T20Is, 32 all out, a day later.
Highest Margin of Victory – Czech Republic’s 257-run win is the highest margin of victory (in terms of runs). They bettered the record of Romania’s 173-run victory over Turkey in the same tournament.
Shortest Completed Innings – Turkey’s innings lasted only 51 legal deliveries which is the shortest completed innings in all T20Is. A day later, they were bowled out for 53 balls against Austria.
Most Ducks in an innings – Eight of the 11 batsmen in the Turkish innings were bowled out for a duck making it the innings with most ducks in T20Is.
Most Extras in an innings – Turkish bowlers gave away 39 extras during the Czech innings including seven no-balls. These are most extras and the most no-balls ever bowled in a T20I inning.
Fastest T20I Century – Sudesh Wickramasekara completed his century in just 35 balls equaling the world record of the fastest century in T20Is with David Miller and Rohit Sharma.
Most Runs Conceded by a Bowler in an innings – Tunahan Turan conceded 70 runs off his four overs during the Turkish bowling innings. These are most runs ever conceded by a bowler in all T20Is.
An all-round effort – Sudesh Wickramasekara became only the second player in T20I history to score a century and take more than one wicket in the same T20I game. Until September 7, three players have achieved this feat including Glenn Maxwell for Australia and Bilal Zalmai for Austria.
It has been learnt that Turkey was without their regular players for the tournament due to issues with the visas. Salman Ali, international coordinator to Cricket Turkey and one of the few spectators present to watch this record-breaking game, was available to comment on the match, “Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the history that day. Seven of our regular players were not issued visas due to various issues and we had to field a make-shift team because we love our cricket. Some of our players were more than 55 years old. Osman Goker, aged 59 years 181days, became the oldest player ever to make his debut in international cricket during the tournament. We were the only team in the tournament that fielded all of its team from the pool of local talent. All of our players were from Turkish heritage.”
Salman was also vocal about the limited resources Turkish Cricket have had. “There is a lack of opportunities and facilities for our cricket. We currently have a female head coach who is doing her best to bring forth a pool of talented young players. We have the support of ICC and Peshawar Zalmi, a franchise from Pakistan Super League has also vowed to help us to be better at this game but apart from that, there’s nothing. We will be seeking out help from former cricketers in the future”, he added.
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