March 7, 2017

Nerveless nineties and century-free grounds

Also: who is the fastest Englishman to 100 ODI wickets, and was Nathan Lyon's 8 for 50 in Bengaluru a record?

Doing it all on your own? Glenn Turner knew the feeling © PA Photos

Craig Williams recently scored an unbeaten 32 in a Namibia total of 44 - that's almost 73% of the runs. Was this a first-class record? asked Savo Ceprnich from South Africa
That remarkable performance by Craig Williams came during Namibia's recent match against South Western Districts in Oudtshoorn in the Sunfoil Cup, the second-tier South African competition which retains first-class status. (Note that, despite being bowled out for 44, Namibia went on to win!) Rather surprisingly perhaps, this percentage puts Williams only 24th on the overall list for a completed first-class innings, a table headed by the New Zealander Glenn Turner, with 141 out of 169 - 83.43% - for Worcestershire against Glamorgan in Swansea in 1977. There's another Namibian in second place: Gerrie Snyman smashed 230 in their total of 282 (81.56%) against Kenya in Sharjah in 2007-08.

Is it correct that Nathan Lyon recorded the best bowling figures by any visiting bowler in India? asked Mark Chisholm from Australia
Nathan Lyon's 8 for 50 in the first innings in Bengaluru were indeed the best bowling figures by a visiting bowler in a Test in India, shading the debut performance of South Africa's Lance Klusener, who claimed 8 for 64 in Kolkata in 1996-97. The only other visitors to take an eight-for in a Test in India are the Pakistan seamer Sikander Bakht, with 8 for 69 in Delhi in 1979-80, and another Australian offspinner, Jason Krejza, with 8 for 215 in Nagpur in 2008-09. That was Krejza's Test debut - and remarkably he played only one further match. Indian bowlers have taken eight or more wickets in a Test innings at home on 12 occasions, the overall list being headed by Anil Kumble's 10 for 74 against Pakistan in Delhi in 1998-99.

The Don: not one for nervous nineties © Getty Images

Sir Donald Bradman holds the record for the most Test hundreds without ever being dismissed in the nineties. Who holds the corresponding record in one-day internationals? asked Ian Hugo from Nigeria
Don Bradman reached 90 on 29 occasions in Tests - and made it to three figures all 29 times: the closest he came to a hundred without getting there was when Alec Bedser dismissed him for 89 at Lord's in 1948. The one-day international record is currently held by Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga, who has reached 90 on 14 occasions to date, and made it to 100 each time (he has been out for 92 in a Test, though). Behind him is Quinton de Kock of South Africa who has so far made 12 ODI centuries without being out in the nineties, followed by Ireland's William Porterfield and Pakistan's Salman Butt, who have each done it eight times.

I thought I heard on the commentary from Antigua that Steven Finn was the fastest Englishman to 100 ODI wickets. Is that right? And where does he stand overall? asked Colin Fields from England
Steven Finn took his 100th wicket in one-day internationals when he caught and bowled Kieran Powell of West Indies in North Sound last weekend. It was Finn's 67th ODI, which actually makes him the third-fastest for England after Stuart Broad and Darren Gough, who each needed only 62 matches. James Anderson got to the mark in 70 matches. Overall, Finn lies joint-25th on the list, level with Ajit Agarkar, Joel Garner and Umar Gul. The record changed hands last year: in August 2016, Mitchell Starc took his 100th wicket in his 52nd ODI, breaking Saqlain Mushtaq's previous mark by one match. Shane Bond got there in 54 matches, Brett Lee in 55, and Imran Tahir in 58.

Tom de Grooth has come closest to breaking the 100 barrier at Hazelaarweg © Getty Images

Which ground has staged the most Tests, and which the most ODIs without anyone ever scoring a hundred there? asked Mike Grant from Barbados
Of the 112 grounds that have staged a Test, only four (three of them in Pakistan) have failed to produce a century - and each of them staged only one match: the Pindi Club in Rawalpindi (1964-65), the Sector 16 Stadium in Chandigarh (1990-91), the Jinnah Stadium in Gujranwala (1990-91), and the Defence Stadium in Karachi (1993-94). Meanwhile, there are 38 grounds which have staged official one-day internationals without having yet seen a hundred: leading the way is Hazelaarweg, at Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It has staged ten ODIs so far, but the highest individual score remains Tom de Grooth's 97 against Bermuda in 2008. There have been eight century-less ODIs at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium, five at the Tyronne Fernando Stadium in Moratuwa, and five at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra, in Bangladesh.

What is the smallest number of wickets to fall in a Test match that yielded a result? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
The lowest number of wickets in a Test that ended in a positive result was 16, in the infamous match at Centurion in 1999-2000. South Africa scored 248 for 8 declared. Then, after a double forfeiture of innings in a rain-affected game, England made 251 for 8 to win. Ignoring that match, which was tainted by the later admission of South Africa's captain, Hansie Cronje, that he had accepted a gift from a grateful bookmaker after ensuring there would be a result, the record is 21, which has happened three times: in the Tests between India and New Zealand in Madras (now Chennai) in 1955-56, between West Indies and Pakistan in Kingston in 1957-58, and between West Indies and India in Kingston in 1975-76.

Post your questions in the comments below

Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MonkeyFace on March 14, 2017, 23:43 GMT

    Which fast bowler has bowled the quickest delivery ever recorded in a test match? Is it Shoiab Akhtar?

  • MartinBriggs on March 13, 2017, 23:39 GMT

    @Cricfan8085355316 - Yes, it is a record by Kusal Mendis as far as anyone is aware.

  • MartinBriggs on March 13, 2017, 23:21 GMT

    @ Paulcric22 - No, for one, Misbah ul Haq is older than Shivnarine Chanderpaul...

  • MartinBriggs on March 13, 2017, 23:09 GMT

    @AVIJIT_M - Last Test with a reserve day was Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Mirpur 26-31 December 2008. The rest day on the 29th was due to national elections. The last ODI in white kits with a red ball was India v Zimbabwe at Rajkot, 14 December 2000.

  • liz1558 on March 13, 2017, 19:09 GMT

    Is it right that Curtly Ambrose only went for over 100 in an innings once, and this was in his first Test? This seems pretty extraordinary for a fast bowler with over 100 Tests. Has anyone else achieved anything like this level of miserliness?

  • avijit_m on March 13, 2017, 6:18 GMT

    last time test with a reserve day and last time odi in white dress

  • Paulcric22 on March 13, 2017, 4:04 GMT

    Is Shiv Chanderpaul at the age of 42, the oldest player currently playing First Class Cricket (in this case Guyana with his son). He is also close to 26,000 First Class Runs. Will he be the oldest to that feat

  • cricfan8085355316 on March 12, 2017, 11:33 GMT

    Kusal Mendis scored 194 in the recent test against Bangaladesh after he was out first ball , off a no ball. is this a record?

  • MartinBriggs on March 11, 2017, 21:43 GMT

    @Nickexplore - In a Test innings in a losing cause, highest Test innings is 595-8 decl by Bangladesh v New Zealand in January. In a Test as a whole, 861 (496 & 365-8 dec) by England v Australia at Headingley, Leeds in 1948.

  • MartinBriggs on March 11, 2017, 21:30 GMT

    @Fieryferg - Clarrie Grimmett 1424 wickets never played county cricket, nor Bhagwat Chandrasekhar at 1063.

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