Collingwood's rare honour, and 551 and losing
The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:
I couldn't believe my ears when someone said Paul Collingwood was only the third Englishman to score a Test double-century in Australia. Is it right? asked Rahul Bhasin from Croydon
Rather surprisingly, it is true - the only previous Englishmen to score Test double-hundreds in Australia were RE "Tip" Foster, who made 287 (on his debut) at Sydney in 1903-04, and Wally Hammond, who actually managed three - 251 at Sydney in 1928-29, followed by 200 in the next match, at Melbourne, and 231 not out at Sydney in 1936-37. So Paul Collingwood's 206 at Adelaide was England's first double-century in Australia for 70 years.
Is England's 551 for 6 at Adelaide the highest score that any team has made in a Test and lost? asked almost everybody
England's total at Adelaide was actually the fourth-highest total made in a Test by a team which ended up losing. The highest is 586, by Australia at Sydney in 1894-95, when England became the first team to win a Test after following on. At Melbourne in 1972-73 Pakistan made 574 for 8 declared against Australia, and still lost, while only three years ago, also at Adelaide, Australia made 556 - but lost to India. Ricky Ponting made 242 in that match, the highest by anyone who finished on the losing side (Paul Collingwood is now seventh on that particular list). And that's quite enough about that Test at Adelaide, which has probably produced a record number of Ask Steven questions - but many of them (including this one!) were answered in this edition of The List on Cricinfo at the end of last week.
I remember a match between South Africa and West Indies in which Daryll Cullinan caught himself as the wicketkeeper was going to catch it - the umpire gave him out. Can you tell us exactly what happened? asked Ujan from Bangladesh
The match in question was the third one-day international at Durban in 1998-99. Contemporary reports say that Cullinan chopped a ball from Keith Arthurton hard into the ground, and caught the ball as it bounced up. The umpire, Dave Orchard, had little option but to give Cullinan out "handled the ball" after Brian Lara, the West Indian captain, appealed. It was (and still is) only the second handled-ball dismissal in ODIs (there have been seven in Tests) after Mohinder Amarnath's at Melbourne in 1985-86.
I am having an argument with an Aussie over Andrew Symonds - has he ever played for an England side at any level? asked Steve Evans
Andrew Symonds has turned out for three different English counties - Gloucestershire, Kent and Lancashire - but has never played for an English representative team, despite his Birmingham birthplace. The nearest he came was at the end of 1995, shortly after he won the Cricket Writers' Club's prestigious Young Cricketer of the Year award following a successful debut season with Gloucestershire. He was selected for the England A tour of Pakistan that winter, but pulled out in order to win a place in the Australian side (a decision that turned him into an overseas player for Championship purposes). Symonds's place on that England A tour, which was captained by Nasser Hussain, was Middlesex's Jason Pooley.
Recently Mohammad Yousuf broke the record for the most runs in a year in Tests. Who holds the record for the most in a year in ODIs? asked Lucy from the United Arab Emirates
The leader in one-day internationals is Sachin Tendulkar, who made 1894 runs in 1998. He's just ahead of his compatriots Sourav Ganguly (1767 in 1999) and Rahul Dravid (1761, also in 1999). This record doesn't seem to be in jeopardy this year - the leader in 2006 to date is Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, with 1208. For a full list of the leading ODI runscorers in a calendar year, click here.
Why does no-one in the current South African one-day team wear the number 5 on their shirt? In recent games I've seen Herschelle Gibbs wearing "05" and Ashwell Prince with "5+0". What's the reason for this? asked Vince from Sri Lanka
I thought this was something to do with Hansie Cronje, the disgraced former captain, who usually wore the number 5 on his shirt (in the 1999 World Cup in England, he was the only one of the 12 team captains who didn't wear No. 1). I checked with the South African broadcaster and journalist Neil Manthorp, and he confirms: "Quite right, Steven. Originally it was meant as a mark of respect from the many players who played alongside Cronje, although, ironically, there are now far more players who regard the number 5 as tainted or even cursed. I think it will be a good few years before we see another South African wearing number 5."
Steven Lynch is the deputy editor of The Wisden Group. For some of these answers he was helped by Travis Basevi, the man who built Stats Guru. If you want to Ask Steven a question, contact him through our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.