Suffering bowlers, and batsmen winning by an innings
The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:
I noticed that six bowlers conceded more than 100 runs in Sri Lanka's recent massive innings against Zimbabwe - is this a record? asked Chris Truman
Six bowlers conceding 100 or more runs is indeed a record for Test cricket, although there are those who might argue that that recent match at Bulawayo shouldn't really be called a Test. The same thing very nearly happened at Kingston in 1954-55, when Australia made 758 for 8 dec against West Indies. Five players scored centuries in that innings - a record - and five bowlers conceded hundreds too: Tom Dewdney, Frank King, Denis Atkinson, Collie Smith and Frank Worrell ... and Garry Sobers just missed out, with 1 for 99. There have been three other instances of five bowlers conceding more than 100 in the same innings - at Lord's in 1973, when West Indies made 652 for 8 dec, with Sobers making 150 not out, and all five England bowlers (Geoff Arnold, Bob Willis, Tony Greig, Derek Underwood and Ray Illingworth) went for more than 100. It also happened at Brisbane in 1993-94, when Australia scored 607 for 6 dec against New Zealand, for whom Danny Morrison, Chris Cairns, Simon Doull, Richard de Groen and Dipak Patel all leaked tons. The most-recent instance was at Perth last October, when Zimbabwe were on the receiving end of Matthew Hayden's then-record innings of 380.
After your answer about bowlers who have inflicted a lot of ducks, I was wondering who has inflicted the most 99s in Tests - I think Ravindra Pushpakumara of Sri Lanka has two to his name, has anyone got more? asked Deshal de Mel from Sri Lanka
That's an interesting question, and it turns out that Ravindra Pushpakumara (who dismissed Alistair Campbell of Zimbabwe and India's Sourav Ganguly for 99) is one of only three bowlers to have inflicted two Test 99s. The other two are Phil Tufnell of England (John Wright of New Zealand and Australia's Mark Waugh) and Allan Donald (Salim Malik of Pakistan and NZ's Stephen Fleming). Broadening the question a little, Kapil Dev dismissed nine men in the nervous nineties in Tests, well clear of Malcolm Marshall, who's next with six.
Alec Stewart scored Test centuries from five different positions in the batting order - has anyone else done this? asked Mike Lister from Warwickshire
Stewart made centuries as an opener, and also from Numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the order - he's one of 11 players who have done this (the only current one is Shivnarine Chanderpaul of West Indies). But two people made centuries from six different positions: Garry Sobers, opening and every position from 3-7, and Colin Cowdrey, who emulated Stewart but also made one hundred from No. 8 in the order - 128 not out against New Zealand at Wellington in 1962-63.
A recent All Today's Yesterdays referred to a county match in which KS Duleepsinhji made more in one innings than the opposition managed in both theirs. Has this ever happened in a Test? asked Sanjeev Naik
It's actually happened five times, with two of those coming during 2002. The little Surrey opener Bobby Abel was the first to do it: for England at Cape Town in 1888-89, Abel's 120 was more than South Africa (47 and 43) managed all told. Len Hutton repeated the dose nearly 50 years later. At The Oval in 1938, Hutton scored 364, and Australia made only 201 and 123. Don Bradman, who was injured in that 1938 match and couldn't bat, did it at Brisbane in 1947-48, scoring 185 to India's 58 and 98 in their first Test against Australia. Inzamam-ul-Haq (329) beat New Zealand (73 and 246) off his own bat at Lahore in 2001-02, and Matthew Hayden (119) did likewise to Pakistan (59 and 53) at Sharjah in 2002-03.
With Geraint Jones having been born in Papua New Guinea, I was wondering if any Test cricketers were born in Malaysia? asked Andrew McDonald from Kuala Lumpur
As far as I can see there has only been one - Lall Singh, of India, who was born near Kuala Lumpur in 1909. He played just the one Test for India - their first, against England at Lord's in 1932. Considering India were bowled out for 189 and 187, he did quite well, scoring 15 and 29. He didn't bowl, but did run out Frank Woolley. Lall Singh worked for many years at the Royal Selangor Cricket Club, the premier cricket club in Malaysia, and died in Kuala Lumpur in 1985.
I see that in the 1884-85 Ashes series, the entire Australian team was changed for the second Test - why was this? asked Rajeev Mark Singh from Lucknow, India
That's quite a topical question, given the current dispute with the players in Zimbabwe. The reason was another argument between the players and the authorities, this time over money. In the first Test of that series, at Adelaide, Australia were represented by a team chosen from the side that had toured England in 1884. But for the second Test, at Melbourne, those players demanded a 50% cut of the gate-money. The Melbourne authorities refused, the players pulled out, and an entirely new team was selected. It included nine players making their Test debuts - and five of those never played again. Not surprisingly, England won by ten wickets. Most of the pay rebels returned for the third Test, at Sydney, which Australia won by six runs.
Steven Lynch is editor of Wisden Cricinfo. For some of these answers he was helped by Travis Basevi, the man who built Stats Guru and the Wisden Wizard. If you want to Ask Steven a question, e-mail him at email@example.com. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.