There have been several occasions in first-class cricket when teams have had identical totals in both their first and second innings. But during the two games last summer between Warwickshire and Essex in the LV=County Championship, the West Midlands side posted the same first and second innings totals in both matches.. and all while they won each contest by seven wickets.
This remarkable coincidence began at Garon Park, Southend, on August 4 when Essex, batting first, made 150 with Rikki Clarke taking 4 for 27. Warwickshire then replied with 155 to gain a slender lead with Australian leg-spinner Bryce McGain claiming 4 for 33. The home side then made 159 in their second innings with Imran Tahir, another leggie, taking 4 for 20, before Warwickshire made 155 for 3 to win the contest, thanks to their captain Ian Westwood’s 61.
The two sides then met up again at Edgbaston, starting on August 25, with Essex once again batting first and being dismissed for 114 with Boyd Rankin taking 5 for14. Then – as at Southend – Warwickshire were bowled out for 155. Batting for a second time, Essex made 193 with Chris Woakes and Rikki Clarke each taking three wickets. Remarkably, Warwickshire then repeated their feat at Southend, once again, by making 155 for 3, with Darren Maddy making an unbeaten fifty to see Warwickshire home.
This intriguing coincidence has subsequently attracted the interest of cricket statisticians and mathematicians alike, with the former trying to find similar instances while the latter have been calculating the probability of such an occurrence happening, estimated by some at billions to one.
To see the scorecards from these two remarkable games, please visit http://stats.thecricketer.com/Scorecards/262/262940.html and