The column where we answer your question September 26, 2005

Trescothick's record, and Crawley's near-thing

The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket

The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:



Trescothick romped to 5000 runs quicker than anyone but the Don © Getty Images

Marcus Trescothick reached 5000 Test runs at Old Trafford, just over five years after his debut. Has anyone done it quicker? asked Adam Pushkin from England

You're right, Marcus Trescothick reached 5000 runs during the second innings of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford on August 14. He made his Test debut on August 3, 2000, against West Indies, also at Old Trafford. In terms of time taken, Trescothick was more than a year quicker than the next-fastest man to 5000, Rahul Dravid of India, who did it in about six years two months, a month quicker than Mark Taylor of Australia. Trescothick reached 5000 runs in his 121st innings in his 64th Test - a long way away from the record which, almost inevitably, is held by Australia's Don Bradman. He reached 5000 in just 56 innings and 36 Tests.

As a rather stunned Nottinghamshire supporter trying to celebrate our Championship victory I've just sat at the Rose Bowl and watched Hampshire score 714 against us. Is it their highest total ever? asked Ray Johnson from Radcliffe-on-Trent

I'm afraid it is! Hampshire's previous-highest total came as long ago as 1899, when they made 672 for 7 declared against Somerset at Taunton. Their previous-best against Notts was much more recent, though - 641 for 4 declared at Trent Bridge in 2004 (maybe you had to sit through that one too!). John Crawley scored 301 not out in that game, and 311 not out this time. There have only been two other triple-centuries for Hampshire in first-class matches - Major Robert Poore's 304 not out in that Taunton match in 1899, and the county-record 316 by Dick Moore against Warwickshire at Bournemouth in 1937.

In last week's Test against Zimbabwe India dropped a hat-trick of catches off successive balls from Zaheer Khan. Has this happened before in a Test? asked Ghulam Mohammad from Indore

That happened in the 31st over of Zimbabwe's second innings at Harare last week, when Dhiraj Jadhav (a substitute), Virender Sehwag and Dinesh Karthik managed to grass chances off successive balls from Zaheer Khan to Andy Blignaut. This sort of thing isn't accurately recorded, especially for long-ago Tests, but something similar did happen in the first Test between England and Australia at Old Trafford in 1972, when the Aussie opener Keith Stackpole was dropped twice off successive balls from Geoff Arnold, by Tony Greig and John Snow in the slips. They pinched a single after the second drop, and the next ball was snicked by Bruce Francis to Snow, who dropped it again (some charitable observers thought it fell just short of him, but Wisden says he should have caught it). Tony Greig remembered that Ray Illingworth, England's captain, grumbled about the spilled catches almost all day, until he dropped one himself and started talking about what a terrible "seeing ground" Old Trafford was for the fieldsmen ...

Which Test cricketer was nicknamed "Kipper"? asked Brian Houghton from Carlisle

There may have been more than one, but the most famous "Kipper" was Colin Cowdrey, the former England captain who was the first man to appear in 100 Test matches. I'm not quite sure where the nickname came from, but it probably had something to do with an ability to drop off to sleep (for a quick "kip") in the dressing-room during matches.

Who is the most economical bowler in ODIs, over a substantial career? asked Dhani Singh from Trinidad

Given a qualification of 1000 balls bowled, the most economical bowler, by quite a margin, is the West Indian giant Joel Garner, who conceded only 3.09 runs per over in 98 matches, during which he took 146 wickets. Next is Australia's Max Walker (3.25 runs per over), just ahead of Mike Hendrick of England (3.27). Modern fielding restrictions and the new "powerplays" have handicapped present-day bowlers a little, and the leading current performer is Shaun Pollock (3.76 runs per over), just ahead of Muttiah Muralitharan (3.77). For a full list of the most miserly one-day bowlers, click here.

I recently saw on your list of unusual dismissals that Len Hutton was once dismissed "obstructing the field" in a Test. What actually happened? asked Tim Horpinitch from Australia

That was in the final Test between England and South Africa at The Oval in 1951. He top-edged a sweep at Athol Rowan, the South African offspinner, and the ball looped upwards. Worried that the ball would bounce onto his stumps, Hutton knocked it away, but in doing so prevented Russell Endean, the wicketkeeper, from making a catch, and was given out on appeal. In a weird coincidence Endean, who was making his Test debut at The Oval, was also involved in Test cricket's next peculiar dismissal: he was out "handled the ball" against England at Cape Town in 1956-57.

Steven Lynch is the deputy editor of The Wisden Group. 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

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