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The Lahore run-fest, and a flurry of sixes

Did the run-filled Lahore Test have the highest average for each wicket of any match?

Steven Lynch

January 23, 2006

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



Virender Sehwag contributed his bit to the run-glut at Lahore with a spanking 254 © AFP
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Did the run-filled Lahore Test have the highest average for each wicket of any match? asked Arif Ahmed from Karachi

The run-fest at Lahore in the first Test between Pakistan and India did indeed have the highest runs-per-wicket average of any Test match. In all, there were 1089 runs scored, and only eight wickets fell - that's an average of 136.12 runs per wicket. The previous record was 109.30, in the match between India and New Zealand at Delhi in 1955-56. That was the third Test of a high-scoring series: it was in the fifth match, at Madras, that the Indian openers Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy shared a stand of 413, a first-wicket record for all Tests that still stands, despite the efforts of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid, who put on 410 at Lahore. The only other Test where each wicket cost more than 100 runs was the match in Colombo in 1997-98, when Sri Lanka made the Test-record total of 952 for 6 against India, who had earlier made 537 for 8 in a match where the average for each wicket was 106.36.

Shahid Afridi smashed seven sixes in his century at Lahore. Has anyone hit more in a Test innings? asked Shahzad Ahmed from Dubai

Shahid Afridi's onslaught in the first Test against India at Lahore put him high on the list, but not quite top. He was the seventh player to hit seven sixes in a Test innings: the sixth was Kevin Pietersen in his Ashes-clinching 158 at The Oval in September 2005. But eight people have managed more than seven, and Wasim Akram leads the way with 12, during his explosive unbeaten 257 for Pakistan against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura in 1996-97. For a full list, click here.

Who hit the first six in Test history? asked Erik Verhagen from Holland
Prior to 1910 the ball had to be hit out of the ground for six runs to be awarded, otherwise it was a four (although for a while the custom in Australia had been to award five runs for a hit over the ropes, with the batsman losing the strike). The first to collect a six by hitting the ball out of the ground in a Test was the Australian Joe Darling, during his 178 against England at Adelaide in 1897-98. The South Australian Register reported that Darling moved from 98 to 104 with "a hit to square leg which sent the ball sailing out of the Oval" off the slow left-armer Johnny Briggs. He also hit Briggs twice over the rope for fives. In 1902 Darling, by then Australia's captain, was also the first to hit an out-of-the-ground six in a Test in England: he hit two during his 51 at Old Trafford.

I just watched Phil Jaques make 94 on his one-day debut. Is that a record? asked David Brettell from Belgrave, Melbourne

Jaques's 94 against South Africa at Melbourne's Telstra Dome last week was a record score by anyone in their first ODI for Australia, beating Kepler Wessels's 79 against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1982-83. Jaques's score is also the nearest anyone has got to a century on one-day debut without actually reaching three figures. But four players from other countries have scored a hundred on ODI debut: Desmond Haynes (148 for West Indies v Australia at St John's in 1977-78), Andy Flower (115 not out for Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka at New Plymouth in the 1991-92 World Cup), Dennis Amiss (103 for England v Australia at Old Trafford in 1972) and Salim Elahi (102 not out for Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Gujranwala in 1995-96. For a full list, click here.

What was the number that Dean Jones wore on the back of his shirt when he last played for Australia A? asked Peter Turner from New Zealand

According to our list of shirt numbers, Dean Jones wore No. 24 when he made his last appearance for Australia A, against West Indies at Sydney in 1995-96. He chose that number because he was born on March 24.

What is the highest number of extras in a Test innings? asked Philip McCumber from Hull

The highest number of extras in a Test innings is 71, conceded by West Indies against Pakistan at Georgetown in 1987-88. That was made up of 21 byes, eight leg-byes, four wides ... and 38 no-balls. The previous record of 68 also came in a West Indies-Pakistan Test, at Bridgetown in 1976-77. For a full list of Test innings containing 50 or more extras, click here.

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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Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.

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