June 20, 2017

Eliminating extras, and the funniest sledge

And which players have scored most runs and taken most wickets in the history of the Champions Trophy?

Frequently hostile, always legal: Michael Holding didn't waste time with wides and no-balls © Getty Images

I've heard Michael Holding say more than once that he never bowled a wide or a no-ball in a one-day international. Is that true, and does he hold the record if it is? asked Liam Clayton from Australia
Michael Holding sent down 5473 deliveries in one-day internationals, and he's right that none of them was a wide or a no-ball. His long-time team-mate Joel Garner bowled 5330 deliveries without a wide (or a no-ball), and Lance Cairns 4021. Without wishing to play down Holding's feat, we should probably recognise that the calling of wides has become much more rigorous over the years since his heyday. Mohammad Hafeez has so far sent down 7076 deliveries in ODIs without a no-ball (but 85 wides), while Ravi Shastri bowled 6613 without a no-ball (but one wide). In Tests, the West Indian offspinner Lance Gibbs bowled 27,115 balls in 79 matches, without a single wide or no-ball. Richard Hadlee sent down 21,918 deliveries without conceding a wide, but did have 22 no-balls, while Derek Underwood (21,862 balls in 86 Tests) and Garry Sobers (21,599 in 93) never bowled a wide or a no-ball. (It's just possible that some of these players delivered no-balls which were scored from, which would not have counted against them at the time so might have escaped notice; the practice of debiting no-balls and wides against the bowlers' analyses started in the early 1980s.)

Has Shikhar Dhawan now scored more runs in the Champions Trophy than anyone else? asked Ajmal Bharat from India
Shikhar Dhawan finished this year's tournament with 701 runs overall in the Champions Trophy (363 in 2013 and 338 in 2017; he was the leading scorer in the competition both times). That leaves him third on the overall list, behind Chris Gayle (791 Champions Trophy runs) and Mahela Jayawardene (742). He passed Kumar Sangakkara (683) during the final at The Oval. Those three all played more innings: Dhawan's average of 77.88 from ten matches is the best of anyone who scored more than 530 runs (Virat Kohli has 529 at 88.16). Lasith Malinga finished this tournament with 25 wickets overall in the Champions Trophy, leaving New Zealand's Kyle Mills as the overall leader with 28.

The Merv method: let the ball do the talking, then chip in with your mouth © Getty Images

Bangladesh did not concede an extra in India's innings of 265 in the Champions Trophy semi-final - was this a record? asked Shivam Ahuja and several others on Facebook
India's 265 for 1 in the Champions Trophy semi-final at Edgbaston was indeed the highest total in one-day internationals not to include a single extra. The previous-highest was Scotland's 229 for 3 against UAE in Edinburgh in August 2016, while South Africa's 178 for 5 against New Zealand in Faisalabad during the 1996 World Cup didn't include any extras either. The Test record is Pakistan's 328 against India in Lahore in 1954-55, while South Africa totalled 251 without any extras against England in Durban in 1930-31.

I seem to remember a bowler from Afghanistan doing well in county cricket in the 1990s, but I can't remember his name. Who was it? asked Robin Burton from England
I think the bowler you're referring to is the left-arm seamer Alamgir Sheriyar, who took more than 500 first-class wickets in a career that started and finished with Leicestershire, and also took in spells with Worcestershire and Kent. He had most success during his time at New Road: in 1999, he was the leading wicket-taker in the country with 92, when his career-best 7 for 130 for Worcestershire against Hampshire in Southampton comprised the first seven wickets to fall. The following winter - 1999-2000 - Sheriyar toured Bangladesh and New Zealand with England A (now the Lions). He was of Afghan descent, but was actually born in Birmingham.

What's the funniest sledge you've ever heard? asked Ken Harrison from England
That's a tough one - people have written whole books on this subject! The other problem is that rather a lot of them are unprintable. But I suppose one of my favourites involves, almost inevitably, that Australian arch-sledger Merv Hughes. The story goes that in 1989-90, Pakistan's Javed Miandad reacted to a bit of bluster from Merv by informing him he was too fat to play cricket and that he should be a bus conductor instead. Not long afterwards, Hughes had Javed caught in the gully off a rearing bouncer and, as he chugged through to celebrate, put out his hand towards Javed and chirped "Tickets please!"

Leave your questions in the comments below

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

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  • Reezilcricket on June 22, 2017, 13:22 GMT

    Hi, I have noticed that none of the members of West Indian world cup squad in 1987 did not include a left-hand batsman or left-hand bowler. Did it ever happen in the world cup history?

  • dickiebrewsters on June 22, 2017, 9:36 GMT

    The 1st T20 ENG v SA had the lowest number of wickets ever, but what is the most deliveries between wickets in a T20 ?

  • Cricinfouser on June 22, 2017, 9:00 GMT

    Hi Stephen, Can u answer this ?, some matches have declaration bowling,eg Vance ,NZ ,comes to mind. Who has bowled as a declaration bowler that surprised everyone,never given a bowl,took most wickets,everyone thought can't bowl.

    Vance might be worst,stand corrected but who has the best figures, declaration bowler first class cricket ?

  • cricfan46430691 on June 22, 2017, 8:47 GMT

    The best player need not captain the side good ex was Ritchie Benaud who was struggling to get into the side but became a great captain Botham and Sachin were not doing well as captains.

  • unbiased_referee on June 22, 2017, 8:00 GMT

    @SOUTHERNEVAN23 on June 22, 2017, 2:13 GMT:

    Martin Guptill, Ronchi's own NZ team--mate, has played 100+ matches in both ODIs and FC--and has a higher ODI score[237*] than highest FC score[227]. Faf du Plessis has also played 100+ matches in both formats, and has higher ODI HS[185] than FC[175].

  •   SouthernEvan23 on June 22, 2017, 2:13 GMT

    Hi, Inotice that Luke Ronchi, who retired from international cricket today, has a higher top-score in ODI's than in first-class games (after more than 75 of each). Is this unique?

  • unbiased_referee on June 21, 2017, 17:31 GMT

    @JACKRUP123 ON JUNE 21, 2017, 13:19 GMT:

    In test matches, opening batsmen [#1/#2] have been dismissed on 99 on 27 occasions, but none of the occasions involved two opening batsmen across innings or across opposing sides. Same holds true for ODIs on 21 occasions--in fact no ODI has had two batsmen dismissed for 99 so far.

    Two test matches have seen two batsmen dismissed for 99--across separate teams/inns.

    Only one test match has had 3 dismissals on 99--nos #3 and #4 in the first innings, followed by an opener [#2] in the opposition first innings. Here's URL for the scorecard:


    In T20Is, Alex Hales is the only opener to be dismissed for 99; and Luke Wright the only one to get stranded at 99!

  • ScoobyRaj on June 21, 2017, 15:51 GMT

    1. What is the most deliveries faced by a batsman between 4s in Tests, ODIs & T20s in a match and career

    2. What is the most deliveries faced by a batsman between 6s in Tests, ODIs & T20s in a match and career

    3. 1 match wonders to have won man of the match awards

    4. What is the most deliveries bowled by bowler between a wicket in Tests, ODIs & T20s in a match and career

    5. Matches in which teams won by penalty runs conceded by opposition

    6. Cricket careers which ended due to tragic reasons

    7. Worst Man of the match performances and awarded to wrong player

    8. Man of the match awarded due to unusual reasons

    9. Best performances which didnt result in man of the match award for the player

    10. List of players who scored 1000 FC Runs at average 85+

    11. Matches which saw most types of dismissals in Cricket

    12. Matches which saw most number of unusual dismissals in Cricket

    13. Most Selfish performances by players in a Cricket match

  •   Cricinfouser on June 21, 2017, 13:41 GMT

    Tom cullen currently has 4 catches in his first county cricket match for glamorgan. what is the most dismissals by a keeper on county cricket debut? and what is the most by a keeper on first class cricket debut?

  • Jackrup123 on June 21, 2017, 13:19 GMT

    Question - Has there ever been an occasion in Test Match Cricket or ODIs where both openers have been dismissed for 99? Has this ever happened to 2 batsmen in the same innings?

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