Wicket-keeper with double-century and 9 catches in one match!

There has been only one occasion in the history of cricket – first-class and internationals included – that a wicket-keeper has scored 200 or more runs and affected nine dismissals in the same match.

The honour is held by New Zealand wicket-keeper Dan Cleaver who achieved this double while playing for Central Districts against Northern Districts in Napier in February 2020.

In a first-class match in 2020, Northern districts batted first and scored 271 courtesy of a lower order contribution from medium pacer Scott Kuggeleijn. Central districts responded well after losing opener George Worker off the very second ball of the match. Captain Greg Hay and Will Young scored 60s.

The real turning point of the match came when wicket-keeper Dan Cleaver pitched his tent at the crease and batted at a quick clip. He struck 18 fours and 8 sixes in his knock of 201 off 223 deliveries, spending 345 minutes at the crease, during which the batter had a strike rate of over 90.

Coming on the back of 5 catches in the first innings – interestingly all the first three wickets that fell in the match had caught Dan Cleaver bowled Blair Tickner written against them – the wicket-keeper picked up 4 catches and affected one stumping in the second innings to register the feat as Central districts went on to win by 8 wickets.

The 28-year-old wicket-keeper is yet to make his international debut but has good numbers in first-class cricket. Apart from being a safe bet behind the wickets, he averages in excess of 40 with the bat with 3287 runs from 55 matches, including 6 hundreds and 21 fifties.

No wicket-keeper in the history of first-class cricket has ever scored more than 200 runs in the match even if we include both innings and affected 10 dismissals. Interestingly, a non-wicket-keeper has managed the feat.

It was Wally Hammond who scored 139 and 143 in the two innings against Surrey, batting for Gloucestershire. The knocks came at Cheltenham in 1928. He also grabbed 10 catches to go along with his 282 runs in the match. Eight of the 10 catches came off the bowling of slow left armer Charlie Parker.

Hammond was a brilliant batsman for England and went on to score 7249 runs from 85 test matches at an average of 58.45.

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