Sydney Thunder and Cricket's Worst Losing Streaks

By (Featured Columnist) on January 17, 2014

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The law of averages said that it had to happen eventually. After 19 consecutive Big Bash losses and a 753-day wait, the Sydney Thunder have finally won a cricket match.

To put that streak into context, consider that the last time the Thunder won a game Andrew Strauss was in possession of the Ashes and Mitchell Johnson was matching his unflattering description in the Barmy Army song. How times have changed.

The Thunder aren't the first team to endure a horrific slump in form, of course. Here are some of the best, or should that be worst, losing streaks in cricket history.

1. Bangladesh's 21 Consecutive Test Losses

CHRIS BRANDIS/Associated Press

Bangladesh are the poster boys when it comes to losing streaks in Test cricket. Between November 2001 and February 2004 the hapless Bengalis managed to lose 21 consecutive matches.

They did come close to a victory once during that torrid run but an inspired fourth innings century from Inzamam-ul-Haq helped steer Pakistan to a face-saving one-wicket win in Multan in 2003.

The rest of the contests were what could be generously described as one-sided. A harsher judge would call them right hammerings. Twelve of the defeats were by an innings, five were by seven wickets or more with the other three thrashings coming by a margin of at least 183 runs.

The streak eventually came to an end courtesy of a weather-affected draw against fellow minnows Zimbabwe.


2. India's 13 Home ODIs Without a Win

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This one is a bit of a head scratcher. You'd think that winning the World Cup earlier in the year and having home advantage would have been a recipe for Indian one day success.

How then to explain India going winless in home ODIs from October 1983 through to January 1985?

Granted, five of the 13 matches were against a great West Indian side seeking revenge for their World Cup humiliation at Lord's and another two games succumbed to rain but to not win in well over a year?

India's dry spell in ODIs was matched by a similar barren run in the Test arena which saw them go 31 home and away matches without a win between December 1981 and October 1984.

3. Pune Warriors Lose Nine in a Row not Once but Twice

Not even Yuvraj could prevent Pune's putrid run.
Not even Yuvraj could prevent Pune's putrid run.
Uncredited/Associated Press

To lose nine matches in a row could be considered the height of bad luck. To do exactly the same in the following season is more than a little careless.

Despite fielding a line-up that included the likes of Michael Clarke, Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh, the Indian Premier League's Pune Warriors managed to lose nine on the bounce in both 2012 and 2013.

There's no chance of a horrible hat-trick though. The BCCI terminated the franchise following a dispute over fees.

4. Northamptonshire Go 99 County Championship Matches Without a Win

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Could a side go 100 County Championship matches without a win?

Northamptonshire came tantalisingly close to that unwanted landmark during a terrible spell in the 1930s.

The Midland county didn't win a single game in England's domestic competition between 14 May 1935 and 29 May 1939.

After 99 winless matches, the Wantage Road men ended the streak in style, beating Leicestershire by an innings and 198 runs.

5. Zimbabwe's World Cup Woes

Adrian Murrell/Getty Images

After Duncan Fletcher's all-round excellence helped shock Australia in 1983, Zimbabwe had to wait the best part of nine years for their next World Cup triumph.

Following 18 losses on the trot, Zimbabwe's next win was just as memorable as their previous one.

Needing only 135 to win, eventual tournament runners-up England were skittled for just 125 thanks to an inspired performance from chicken-farmer turned paceman Eddo Brandes.

6. Quetta Bears: The Worst T20 Team in the World

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Sydney Thunder's 19-game losing streak makes them look like amateurs compared to the true artists of the T20 loss. Take a bow Pakistan's Quetta Bears.

Between April 2005 and December 2012 the Bears played 27 games against 12 different opponents and somehow conspired to lose the lot.

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