Carry the bat

In cricket, the term carry the bat (or carry one's bat) refers to an opening batsman who is not dismissed ("not out") when the team innings is closed.

The term is mainly used when the innings closes after all 10 wickets have fallen; that is, the other 10 players in the team have all been dismissed ("out"). It may also be used in situations where one or more of these players retire out or are unable to bat through injury or illness, and the remaining players are all dismissed normally. It is not used, however, in any other situation where the innings closes before all 10 wickets have fallen, such as when it is declared closed, or when the team successfully chases a set run target to win the match.

Origin of the phraseEdit

The term "carrying one's bat" dates back to the very early days of cricket.[1] Initially it referred to any not out batsman, but by the 20th century the term was used exclusively to refer to opening batsmen. The expression comes from a time when the team used to share bats so the outgoing batsman would leave the bat on the crease for the next batsman to use.[2] Therefore, if an opening batsman were to survive the entire innings, he would literally be "carrying the bat" back to the pavilion.

Occurrences in international cricketEdit

Carrying one's bat is a relatively rare occurrence in international cricket.

In more than 2,000 Test matches, a batsman has carried his bat only 56 times (by 48 batsmen). The first to do so was South African Bernard Tancred in March 1889, against England at Newlands in Cape Town, hitting 26 not out (off 91 balls) as his team were bowled out for 47 in their first innings.[3] The most recent player to achieve the feat is Tom Latham, who scored 264 not out against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve on 17 December 2018.[4] South Africa's Dean Elgar and the West Indies' Desmond Haynes are the only men to have carried their bat through three Test innings.[5]

In more than 4,000 One Day Internationals, the feat has been achieved only 12 times, all by different batsmen. Zimbabwean Grant Flower was the first, hitting 84 not out (off 143 balls) in his team's 205 against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 15 December 1994, while Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne is the most recent scoring 52 not out on June 1, 2019.[6]

In Twenty20 Internationals, West Indian Chris Gayle carried his bat during his team's defeat against Sri Lanka in the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final at The Oval on 19 June 2009, hitting 63 not out (off 50 balls) in an innings of 101.[7]

Occurrences in other first-class cricketEdit

In first-class cricket, the record for the highest total by an opener was set in 1899. International opener Bobby Abel carried his bat through Surrey's innings of 811 against Somerset at The Oval. His contribution alone was 357 not out.[8] This was not broken until Samit Gohel playing for Gujarat made 359 not out in the quarter-finals of the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy in December 2016.[9]

Batsmen have also carried their bats twice in the same match (i.e. through both of his team's innings) but this has only occurred on 6 occasions. A further 4 batsman have carried the bat in one innings and been last out in the other. None of these instances was in a Test match, but West Indian Desmond Haynes was last out in both innings in a Test, the only such instance in first-class cricket.[citation needed]

The only cricketer ever to bowl a hat-trick and carry his bat in the same match was the Australian Frank Tarrant, playing for Middlesex against Gloucestershire on 26 August 1909. Tarrant hit 55 not out in his team's first innings of 145 and then dismissed Jack Board, Wilfred Brownlee and Thomas Langdon in consecutive deliveries in Gloucestershire's second innings.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lynch, Steven (9 December 2008). "One-day ducks, and carrying the bat". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  2. ^ Rundell, Michael (2006). Wisden Dictionary of Cricket. A & C Black Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-7136-7915-8.
  3. ^ "Scorecard: South Africa vs England, 2nd Test, March 1889". CricketArchive. Archived from the original on 18 January 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  4. ^ "NZ 578/10 (157.3 ov, TWM Latham 264*, CBRLS Kumara 4/127) - Innings break | Match Report". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 17 December 2018. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Test match batting records: Carrying bat through a completed innings". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 19 February 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Records - One-Day Internationals - Batting records - Carrying bat through a completed innings". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Sri Lanka thrash Windies in semis". BBC Sport. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  8. ^ Lynch, Steven (9 September 2008). "Carrying the bat, and the 11-ball over". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  9. ^ "Samit Gohel's 359* shatters 117-year record". ESPN Cricinfo. 27 December 2016. Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Scorecard: Gloucestershire v Middlesex, 1909". CricketArchive. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.