Test Records: Highest percentage of extras in an innings

Extras are the worst enemies of any bowler but if the extras are of high percentage then it means there weren’t many runs of the bat.

Extras are the worst enemies for any bowling side, but when talking about the highest percentage of extras in an innings, a bowling side would lick their lips nine out of ten times. In the below piece, we look at the highest percentage of extras in an innings.

Highest percentage of extras in an innings

Bowling Team Batting Team Extras Byes Leg-Byes Wides No-balls Total Score Extras Percentage (%) Match Date
England South Africa 11 1 7 0 3 30 36.6 14th June, 1924
England South Africa 17 12 3 0 2 58 29.3 10th June, 1912
West Indies England 19 8 0 0 11 71 26.7 8th July, 1976
West Indies England 43 10 10 2 21 170 25.2 11th April, 1986
South Africa  India 19 4 11 2 2 76 25 3rd April, 2008
India England 29 17 7 1 4 120 24.1 12th August, 2021
Pakistan New Zealand 19 6 10 0 3 79 24 27th March, 1965
Pakistan New Zealand 38 5 13 5 15 160 23.7 18th October, 1990
Australia Pakistan 14 8 2 0 4 59 23.7 11th October, 2002
New Zealand Zimbabwe 14 0 6 1 7 59 23.7 7th August, 2005

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England vs South Africa (36.6% extras)

The highest percentage of extras in an innings in test cricket came in 1924. South Africa had toured England in 1924 and the series opener at Birmingham saw the record being created. The visitors won the toss and decided to bowl first. All top-four English batters scored half-centuries along with Roy Kilner batting at number seven. The five fifty-plus scores helped the hosts to register a total of 438 runs.

It was in the second innings that the record was created. English fast bowlers, Arthur Gilligan and Maurice Tate had a field day in the second innings taking the 10 wickets. All South African batters were dismissed for single-digit scores while extras were in double digits. England gave away 11 runs as extras while the total score remained 30 runs. 

South Africa produced a much better performance in the third innings after being asked to follow on. Thanks to a century from Bob Catterall, South Africa scored 390 runs but still went on to lose the match by an innings and 18 runs.

England vs South Africa (29.3% extras)

Once again England was bowling and South Africa was on the receiving end of some hostile bowling which saw 29.3% of runs being scored as extras. In 1912, South Africa, England and Australia played a triangular tournament where at Lord’s, South Africa had a day to forget. South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first. The hosts bowled out the Proteas for just 58 runs with Frank Foster and Sid Barnes taking five wickets each. Only Dave Nourse from South Africa scoring 13 runs, managed to score in double-digits while the extras were 17 runs.

England scored 337 runs in the second innings thanks to centurion, Reggie Spooner. South Africa managed just 217 runs in the third innings and lost the match by an innings and 62 runs.

West Indies vs England (26.7% extras)

The West Indies in the late 20th century were a force to be reckoned with. England hosted the West Indies in 1976. In the third test at Manchester, the visitors won the toss and elected to bat first. Opener, Gordon Greenidge scored 134 runs in the first innings as the West Indies scored 211 runs. In the second innings, England was bowled out for 71 runs with Michael Holding picking a fifer. Of those 71 runs, 19 came as extras. 

Greenidge scored another century with Viv Richards also scoring a century in the third innings. England was bowled out for another low score in the fourth innings and lost the match by 425 runs.

West Indies vs England (25.2% extras)

10 years later in 1986, West Indies hosted England and in the 5th test at Antigua, the visitors won the toss and decided to bowl first. In 1976, it was Greenidge who scored the centuries this time around it was Desmond Haynes who scored the century in the first innings. West Indies scored 474 runs in the first innings. David Gower along with openers, Graham Gooch and Wilf Slack scored half-centuries in the second innings as England posted 310 runs on the board. In the second innings also, West Indies bowled without much discipline and gave away 51 extras. West Indies in the third innings scored 246 runs thanks to a century from skipper, Viv Richards.

It was in the fourth innings where West Indies gave away more than a quarter of runs as extras. Gooch scored yet another half-century and was the only English batter to score more than the amount of extras. England was bowled out for 170 runs out of which 43 came in the form of extras.

South Africa vs India (25% extras)

South Africa despite producing some of the great bowlers has been mostly on the receiving end of some hostile bowling for the most of this list. South Africa toured India and in the second test at Ahmedabad, the hosts won the toss and elected to bat first.

In the first innings, India was bowled out for just 76 runs of which 19 came as extras. Dale Steyn picked up a fifer while Makhaya Ntini picked up three wickets and Morne Morkel picked up two wickets. Irfan Pathan who remained unbeaten was the lone Indian batter to score more runs than the extras.

South Africa in reply, scored 494 runs with AB de Villiers scoring a double century and Jacques Kallis scoring a ton. India was bowled out for 328 runs in the third innings and lost the match by an innings and 90 runs.

India vs England (24.1% extras)

Test Records: Highest percentage of extras in an innings

The India vs England is the most recent match on this list. India toured England in 2021 and during the second test at Lord’s, the hosts won the toss and elected to field first. Rohit Sharma hit a half-century while his opening partner, KL Rahul hit a century that helped India post a total of 364 runs. In the second innings, English skipper, Joe Root remained unbeaten and scored 180 giving the hosts a slender lead of 27 runs. The third innings became known for the batting from Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah sharing an unbeaten 89-run stand for the ninth wicket.

In the fourth innings, India bowled out England for 120 runs in 51.5 overs on the final day. India gave away 29 extras (24.1% extras).

Pakistan vs New Zealand (24% extras)

New Zealand toured Pakistan in 1965 and in the first test at Rawalpindi where the hosts won the toss and elected to bowl first. New Zealand was bowled out for just 175 runs with Bruce Taylor being the lone half-centurion. Pakistan scored 318 runs taking a lead of 143 runs thanks to half-centuries from Mohammad Ilyas, Saeed Ahmed and Asif Iqbal. 

New Zealand in the third innings was again bowled out cheaply scoring just 79 runs out of which 19 came as extras.

Pakistan vs New Zealand (23.7% extras)

A repeat of the above fixture 25 years later in Lahore makes an entry to this list. New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. The Kiwis were bowled out for 160 runs out of which 38 came as extras thanks to an astonishing number of 15 no-balls.

Pakistan in reply declared at 373 runs for the loss of nine wickets thanks to a century from Shoaib Mohammad. New Zealand fared better in the third innings with skipper, Martin Crowe scoring an unbeaten century. The visitors scored 287 runs giving Pakistan a target of 75 runs which they chased with just one wicket down.

Australia vs Pakistan (23.7% extras)

Australia and Pakistan played a three-match test series in UAE. In the second test at Sharjah, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Australian bowlers, particularly Shane Warne wreaked havoc on Pakistan bowling them out for just 59 runs in the first innings. Of those 59 runs, 14 came as extras.

In reply, Australia scored a mammoth total of 310 runs in the second innings courtesy of a century from Matthew Hayden. Pakistan was again bowled out for a low score and managed only 53 runs in the third innings losing the match by an innings and 198 runs.

New Zealand vs Zimbabwe (23.7% extras)

New Zealand toured Zimbabwe in 2005. In the first test at Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to field first. Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori hit centuries as New Zealand scored 452 runs in the first innings. 

Zimbabwe in reply, were bowled out cheaply for just 59 runs in the second innings. 14 runs came as extras of those 59 runs. The hosts were asked to follow on and were bowled out for 99 runs in the third and final innings losing the match by an innings and 294 runs.