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Q: Most balls in an over ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Most balls in an over
Category: Sports and Recreation > Team Sports
Asked by: henrikthepolarbear-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 02 Aug 2006 02:59 PDT
Expires: 01 Sep 2006 02:59 PDT
Question ID: 751803

We are seeking information as to the longest over (by balls bowled) in
a full international Test match, since the 8 balls per over rule was

For example, Mohammed Sami bowled 17 balls in a match in 2004,
however, this was a one-day international and therefore not a full

Many thanks,

Subject: Re: Most balls in an over
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 02 Aug 2006 03:40 PDT
Dear henrikthepolarbear-ga,

It appears that it was by Curtly Ambrose in the final test between
Australia and West Indies in Perth in the 1996-97 series - a 15 ball
over. However, do note the comment below that not all match reports
will contain that type of information.

This is an answer to a similar question posed to BBC?s cricket scoring
expert, Bill Frindall.

?Ambrose played in three Perth Tests and I eventually tracked down the
over you witnessed. According to the excellent Allan's Australian
Cricket Annual it was a 15-ball over (not 18) containing 9 no-balls
and it took 12 minutes to bowl. Allan Miller describes it as 'perhaps
the longest over in Test cricket'.

In terms of balls bowled I have no record of a longer one but such
things have not always been noted in match reports and only a detailed
examination of the score sheets of all Test innings would produce a
definitive table. The closest I have on record is the 13-ball over (3
wides, 4 no-balls) delivered by GOB 'Gubby' Allen v Australia at Old
Trafford in 1934.?

Corroborated by the ICC web site in Google cache only.
?Curtly Ambrose: The Long Goodbye - Curtly's last Test match
appearance on Australian soil, the Fifth Test at the WACA on February
3. So long, that he overstepped the mark to be no-balled nine times in
his final over - his fifteen-ball over believed to be the longest over
in Test cricket in modern times. Earlier, his final innings of the
series ended in a run out when he got his bat stuck in a crack in the
pitch trying to ground it behind the return crease.?

The West Australian newspaper (headline only, the full article can be
purchased for $2.95)
?Ambrose Bowls On ... And On
The West Australian, 4 February 1997, 262 words, 
FEARSOME fast bowler Curtly Ambrose added another record to his
impressive list of achievements yesterday when he sent down what
surely must be the longest over in Test cricket.?

I have found no further references to a new record since Frindall?s answer in 2001.

This other comment may be of interest.

?For the record, the longest over I have noted is an 18-ball over by
GC Small for Warwickshire v Middlesex at Edgbaston in 1982 which
included 11 no-balls and 1 wide. The longest over I have noted for
limited overs cricket is a 14 ball over by GD McKenzie for
Leicestershire v Kent in 1971, but the 8 extra balls were all

I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Thank you

Search strategy
longest.over test.match
Subject: Re: Most balls in an over
From: zey-ga on 30 Nov 2006 00:13 PST
For one-day matches:

"Friday, July 30, 2004: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Sami earned the
dubious distinction of bowling the longest over in one-day cricket
internationals during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh here

The 23-year-old sent down seven wides and four no balls taking 17
deliveries to complete his second over against Bangladesh."

Not a test match, but, nonetheless funny:

"[...] incident in a Shell Trophy match in 1990, when Canterebury took
on Wellington. The latter side wanted to keep Canterbury interested in
going for a definite result by providing some easy runs, so along came
Robert Vance to the bowling crease.

17 no balls figured in perhaps the longest over first class cricket
has ever seen. The delighted recepient of Vance's munificience was a
certain Lee Germon, briefly captain of the New Zealand side, who
clouted 69 runs, including 8 sixes, off the stream of lollipops that
came his way.

Altogether, 77 runs were scored in that one Vance over.

The story has a rather odd sequel: Canterbury were left with one run
to score off the last ball of the match, to force a win. The batsman
played a defensive shot, and the match was drawn.

The funniest part of the whole thing was that Vance only bowled 5
legitimate deliveries in that over -- the umpire (and who can blame
him) lost count amidst that welter of no balls, and ended the over
before a sixth legitimate ball was bowled."

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