ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Record last-wicket stands, and teenage sensations

Also: highest scores by No. 11s, youngest bowlers to strike in Ashes series, and Ashton Agar's many records

Steven Lynch

July 16, 2013

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Ashton Agar celebrates his first wicket in Test cricket, England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 3rd day, July 12, 2013
Ashton Agar: one of nine teenagers to have got wickets in Ashes Tests © Getty Images

Australia's last wicket more than doubled their score at Trent Bridge. How often has this happened? asked Peter Manning
The performance of Phillip Hughes and Ashton Agar in taking Australia's total from 117 for 9 to 280 all out - with a new Test-record tenth-wicket partnership - was only the third time in Test history that the last pair had doubled the score. The first instance was at The Oval in 1980, when Peter Willey and Bob Willis came together with England 90 for 9 against West Indies, and but took the total to 209 for 9. It happened again in Cape Town in November 2011, after South Africa reduced Australia to 21 for 9, in danger of breaking the record for the lowest Test total of all (26). But Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon put on 26, taking them to a slightly less embarrassing all-out total of 47.

Ashton Agar top-scored from No. 11 at Trent Bridge - how often has this happened in Tests? asked Mike Bromage
That was only the ninth time in Test history that the No. 11 had top-scored in a completed innings: the eighth instance was by Nathan Lyon - the man Agar replaced in the Test team - in the match mentioned above, in Cape Town in 2011-12. The previous-highest score involved was 62 not out, by South Africa's Bert Vogler against England in Cape Town in 1905-06. The only previous No. 11 to top-score on debut was another slow left-armer, Jayantha Amerasinghe of Sri Lanka, who made 34 against New Zealand in Kandy in 1983-84. For the full list, click here.

Ashton Agar just missed a Test century as a teenager. How many people have actually achieved this? asked Brijesh Desai
In all, there have been 29 centuries scored in Tests by teenagers: Sachin Tendulkar leads the way with five before he turned 20. Neil Harvey, Javed Miandad, Mushtaq Mohammad, Graeme Pollock and Saleem Malik all made two. The only Australians on the list are Harvey, Archie Jackson (1928-29) and Doug Walters (1965-66); no English teenager has ever done it. Miandad's second one was an innings of 206 against New Zealand in Karachi in 1976-77: he remains the only teenager to score a Test double-century.

Which No. 11 had the highest score on debut before Ashton Agar smashed the record? asked Colin Morrison
Ashton Agar more than doubled the record for the highest score on debut by a No. 11, which was previously Warwick Armstrong's 45 not out for Australia against England in Melbourne in 1901-02. Armstrong was batting lower than usual in that innings for tactical reasons: the highest by a more genuine No. 11 was Chamila Gamage Lakshitha's 40 for Sri Lanka against Bangladesh in Colombo in 2002. Agar's 98 was, of course, the highest by any No. 11 in a Test, beating the record of 95 established only last year by Tino Best for West Indies against England at Edgbaston. There have been 12 other half-centuries by No. 11s in all Tests: the first of them - and the only other one in an Ashes Test - was Fred Spofforth's 50 not out for Australia in Melbourne in 1884-85, which was also the first instance of the last man top-scoring. Glenn McGrath and Rodney Hogg also scored fifties for Australia from No. 11: John Snow (v West Indies at The Oval in 1966) is the only one to do it for England.

How often have the last pair put on 100 or more in a Test? asked Richard McKerras
Australia's last-ditch stand of 163 at Trent Bridge was the 23rd occasion in all Tests that the tenth-wicket pair had shared a hundred partnership. It was also the highest, pleasing neat-minded statisticians by relegating two instances of 151, by Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge for New Zealand v Pakistan in Auckland in 1972-73, and by Azhar Mahmood and Mushtaq Ahmed for Pakistan v South Africa in Rawalpindi in 1997-98. The alliance between Hughes and Agar was only the fifth for the last wicket in Ashes Tests, and broke a record that had stood for almost 110 years: in 1903-04 Reginald "Tip" Foster (287) and Wilfred Rhodes (40*) put on 130 for England's tenth wicket in Sydney.

Was Ashton Agar the youngest man to take a wicket in an Ashes Test? asked Phil Bradshaw
Agar wasn't quite the youngest, although he is quite high on the list: in the very first Test of all, in Melbourne in 1876-77, Australia's Tom Garrett took two wickets - and he was four months short of his 19th birthday at the time. Excluding Agar and Garrett, only seven other teenage bowlers, five of them Australians, have struck in Ashes Tests: John Ferris leads the way with 18 wickets. The only Englishmen on the list are Brian Close (one wicket in 1950-51) and Ben Hollioake (two in 1997).

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook

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Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.

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