Dismissing all 11 batsmen, and a pair for Wagga Wagga
The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:
Has any bowler taken the wickets of all 11 players in a match, spread across both innings, apart from Anil Kumble and Jim Laker? asked Balajee Nagarajan from India
First of all, rather surprisingly Anil Kumble didn't do this. In the match at Delhi in 1998-99 when he took all ten wickets in the second innings, Waqar Younis escaped his clutches - and he was not out in the first innings too. Jim Laker did do it though, at Old Trafford in 1956 - Australia's captain Ian Johnson remained not out when Laker took all ten, but had fallen to him in the first innings. Five other people have achieved this feat: the next one after Laker was another offspinner, India's Srinivas Venkataraghavan, against New Zealand at Delhi in 1964-65. He dismissed all 11 batsmen but only claimed 12 wickets in the match - Terry Jarvis was the only man he nabbed twice. And Venkat was on the receiving end the next time it happened, by Australia's Geoff Dymock at Kanpur in 1979-80 - his 12 wickets included Shivlal Yadav twice (but Venkat and the others only once). Abdul Qadir did it for Pakistan against England at Lahore in 1987-88: he took nine wickets in the first innings, and four in the second, including David Capel and Bruce French, who had eluded him first time round. Next was Waqar Younis - the man who denied Kumble - for Pakistan against New Zealand at Faisalabad in 1990-91. Again he "only" took 12 wickets, with Willie Watson the double victim. The most recent occurrence came at Galle in July 2000, when Muttiah Muralitharan's 13 wickets included all 11 South Africans.
My class teacher says there was a time when both Australia's openers were from Wagga Wagga - when was this? asked Carey Edis, 11, from ... Wagga Wagga
The two batsmen were Mark Taylor, who went on to captain Australia, and Michael Slater. They opened together in 44 Test matches, starting with a partnership of 128 on Slater's debut against England at Old Trafford in 1993, and continuing until Taylor's retirement after the 1998-99 Ashes series. Actually Taylor was born in Leeton, which is about 65 miles (100km) away, but his family moved to Wagga in 1971, when he was about six. Other Test players who were born in Wagga Wagga are the 1980s fast bowler Geoff Lawson, and Brian Taber, who kept wicket in 16 Tests in the late `60s.
I have been away travelling and I think I missed a women's World Cup. Who won it?! asked Rebekah Farrant from Cambridge
The women's World Cup was played in South Africa earlier this year, and the winners - for the fifth time - were Australia. They beat India, who had reached the final for the first time, by 98 runs at Centurion Park. Karen Rolton, the Australian opener, scored 107 not out, and won the Player of the Match award: she was also the Player of the Tournament. England and the defending champions New Zealand went out in the semi-finals. For more information about the 2005 competition, click here.
I know that Steve Waugh has the most Test 90s to his name, but who has the most 70s and 80s? (I'm guessing Allan Border, or maybe someone with a lot of runs and a lower average like Alec Stewart or Mike Atherton) asked Matthew Griffiths
Well, those were pretty fine guesses! Allan Border and Mike Atherton lead the way in the 80s, with 11 apiece, comfortably clear of a group of players with nine - Ken Barrington, Colin Cowdrey, Graham Gooch and Kim Hughes, and two current players who might add to their tallies in Sanath Jayasuriya and Brian Lara. In the 70s Alec Stewart (15) has a clear lead over Border (13), with Geoff Boycott, David Gower and Viv Richards on 12. Of current players, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has 11.
India made 407 in both innings against Pakistan recently. Is that a common occurrence? asked Puneet Aggarwal
India did indeed make the same score in both innings of that match against Pakistan at Kolkata in March. It turns out that it was the 10th time that this had happened, but India's 407 was, by some way, the highest duplicated score. Next comes Sri Lanka's 306 in both innings against South Africa at Cape Town in 1997-98. The first time it happened was at Wellington in 1952-53, when New Zealand could only manage twin scores of 172 in response to South Africa's 524.
Apart from Greg Chappell are there any other players who have scored
hundreds in their first and last Tests? Also have any bowlers taken a five-for in their first and last Tests? asked Chris Ogge from Australia
Excluding current players - and the two men (Andy Ganteaume and Rodney Redmond) who scored a century in their only match - four batsmen have scored hundreds in their first and last Tests: Greg Chappell and two other Australians, Reggie Duff and Bill Ponsford, and the former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin. There are a few more bowlers who started and finished in style with a five-wicket haul: again excluding current players (Fidel Edwards is the only one of those as I write) and one-Test wonders, this was achieved by Bobby Peel, Bill Lockwood, Tom Richardson, Sydney Barnes, Reg Perks and David Larter of England, Jack Saunders, Herbert "Ranji" Hordern and Clarrie Grimmett of Australia, South Africa's George Bissett and Mohammad Nissar of India. JJ Ferris did it too, but in an unusual way: 5 for 76 in his first Test, which was for Australia, and 6 for 54 and 7 for 37 in his last one - which was for England.
Steven Lynch is the editor of 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, contact him through our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries