Wicket with a wide, and Afghanistan's Test player
Mohammad Abbas took a wicket with his second ball in Tests the other day. Has anyone else done this for Pakistan? asked Rizwan Khalil from Pakistan
Mohammad Abbas dismissed West Indies' Kraigg Brathwaite with his second delivery in Tests, in Kingston at the weekend. Seamer Abbas earned his place in the side through weight of wickets: he has been the leading bowler in the last two domestic seasons, usually playing for Khan Research Laboratories. The only Pakistani to strike with his first ball in Test cricket remains Intikhab Alam, who bowled Colin McDonald of Australia with his opening delivery in Karachi in 1959-60. I don't think any other bowler has taken a wicket with his second ball for Pakistan: Shahid Nazir (1996-97) and Mohammad Sami (2000-01) both took a wicket with their fourth ball in Test cricket, and Fazl-e-Akbar (1997-98) with his sixth.
Whose first delivery in T20 internationals was a wide - but claimed a wicket? asked Matthew Bell from England
The man involved here is not a regular bowler - but he dismissed a very regular batsman. England were going well at Old Trafford in 2011 - they had motored to 60 for 2 in seven overs - when MS Dhoni tried a surprise package at the bowling crease, calling on the speculative medium pace of Virat Kohli, a brave move considering Kevin Pietersen had his eye in, with 33 from 23 balls. Kohli's first delivery was down the leg side and called a wide, but KP had skipped out of his crease, and missed it… and Dhoni completed the stumping. Kohli has managed only three more T20 wickets, to go with four in ODIs (and none in Tests - yet). For a full list of those to claim a wicket with their first ball in T20Is, click here.
I noticed that Thilan Samaraweera scored two ODI hundreds but no fifties. Has anyone scored more? And how about Tests? asked Ram Murali from the United States
No one has scored more one-day international centuries without registering another score of between 50 and 99 than Sri Lanka's Thilan Samaraweera - but there are two others who managed two (and no fifties): Ireland's Jeremy Bray, who made one of his in the 2007 World Cup, and the current Afghanistan batsman Karim Sadiq (who may yet remove himself from this list). The Test record is three centuries but no fifties, by England's Ravi Bopara. Five batsmen managed two: Allan Steel and Barry Knight of England, Australia's Harry Graham, Amal Silva of Sri Lanka and Pakistan's Wajahatullah Wasti.
It looks as if Afghanistan may soon be playing Test cricket. But apparently there is already a Test cricketer who was born there. Who is it? asked George Johnston from England
Afghanistan's only Test cricketer so far is Salim Durani, who was born in Kabul in 1934. Durani played 29 Tests for India from his debut on New Year's Day 1960 to 1972-73 - and admirers of this "unpredictable genius", as ESPNcricinfo's player page has it, are adamant he should have won many more caps. At his best, Durani was a superb attacking left-hand batsman - he hit 104 against West Indies in Port-of-Spain in 1961-62 - and a capable spinner too.
According to Indian journalist Gulu Ezekiel, "I read an interview not too many years ago when he explained his family were on a camel caravan from Kabul to Delhi when his mother gave birth to him in the middle of the desert. Some say it was in the Khyber Pass, and Durani has said it is wrong to list him as having been born in Kabul. After Partition, his father "Master" Aziz moved to Pakistan, where he became a famed coach, especially of the Mohammad brothers."
Shane Warne took 40 wickets in the 2005 Ashes series, but Australia lost. Was this a record in a losing series? asked Darrell McDonald from Australia
That performance by Shane Warne in the 2005 Ashes is the record for any five-match Test series, but there are two higher tallies in six-Test series. Both were also by Australians on the receiving end from England: Terry Alderman claimed 42 wickets in the 1981 Ashes, while Rodney Hogg took 41 at home in 1978-79. Next on the list come Dennis Lillee, with 39 in the same 1981 series as Alderman, and the first non-Aussie in Maurice Tate, with 38 for England in five Tests in Australia in 1924-25. Courtney Walsh took 34 wickets in a losing cause for West Indies in five Tests in England in 2000, equalling the mark set by George Giffen (for Australia against England in 1894-95) and matched by Fred Trueman (England v West Indies in 1963).
Which player scored his first and only hundred after playing in more than 100 Tests? asked Chris Bloore from New Zealand
The only man to wait more than a century of Tests before scoring his first hundred was India's Anil Kumble, whose sole three-figure score - an unbeaten 110 - came in the 118th of his 132 Tests, against England at The Oval in August 2007. There had been a near-miss just a few weeks earlier: Chaminda Vaas scored his only century for Sri Lanka in his 97th Test, against Bangladesh in Colombo at the end of June.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes