Ask Steven September 25, 2006

Boucher's blast, and Archie's 111-year-old record

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:

It rained sixes from Mark Boucher's bat at Potchefstroom © Getty Images

That great knock by Mark Boucher has certainly sent some shivers up bowlers' spines. Ten sixes ... I remember a knock by Jayasuriya and one by Afridi, where the ball was flying like NASA's new invention, but what's the record - who has hit the most sixes in an ODI? asked Amitabh Kumar from Germany

You've actually mentioned the two record-holders: both Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi hit 11 sixes in an ODI innings, beating Mark Boucher's amazing effort at Potchefstroom last week by one. Jayasuriya's 11 sixes came for Sri Lanka against Pakistan at the Padang ground in Singapore in April 1996. He finished with 134 off 65 balls, reaching his century in 48, which was a record for about six months, until Shahid Afridi blazed to 100 in 37 balls in his first ODI innings (it was his second match, but he hadn't batted in the first one) for Pakistan against Sri Lanka at the Nairobi Gymkhana. One of the bowlers who suffered during Afridi's onslaught was Jayasuriya, whose 10 overs cost 94 runs. Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India also hit 10 sixes during his 183 not out for India against Sri Lanka at Jaipur in 2005-06. For a full list of the most sixes hit in an ODI innings, click here.

Was Boucher's score the highest in an ODI by a wicketkeeper? asked Johan Visser from Cape Town

Rather surprisingly, Mark Boucher's undefeated 147 at Potchefstroom last week is only fifth on that particular list. Leading the way is the innings of 183 not out mentioned above by Mahendra Singh Dhoni for India against Sri Lanka at Jaipur in 2005-06. Then come a couple of Adam Gilchrist specials - 172 for Australia against Zimbabwe at Hobart in 2003-04, and 154 against Sri Lanka at Melbourne in 1998-99. And just ahead of Boucher is Dhoni again, with 148 against Pakistan at Visakhapatnam in 2004-05. Rahul Dravid made 153 for India against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1999-2000, but he didn't keep wicket in that game. For a full list of the highest individual scores in ODIs, click here.

What is the highest score ever made by an Englishman? asked Omkar Naik from India

The highest score made by an Englishman in first-class cricket is 424, by Archie MacLaren for Lancashire against Somerset at Taunton in 1895. That was the first quadruple-century in all first-class cricket - there have been nine more since (including Brian Lara's 501 not out in 1994), only one of them by an England Test player, Graeme Hick's 405 not out for Worcestershire against Somerset, also at Taunton, in 1988. The England Test record is Len Hutton's 364 against Australia at The Oval in 1938, while the England one-day international record is 167 not out, by Robin Smith against Australia at Edgbaston in 1993 - in a match England still managed to lose.

Who played the most one-day internationals without appearing in a single Test match? asked Ganesh Abhyankar from India

The current record for a Test-playing country is 73 one-day appearances without playing in a Test, by Australia's Ian Harvey. India's Dinesh Mongia has now played 52 ODIs without winning a Test cap, while Vikram Solanki of England has played 51. These records exclude Kenyan players, who have not yet had a chance to play Test cricket: Steve Tikolo has played 77 ODIs, Tom Odoyo and Kennedy Otieno 76, Martin Suji 64, Hitesh Modi 63, Maurice Odumbe 61 and Tony Suji 51. Andrew Symonds played a record 94 ODIs before he finally won a Test cap for Australia. This territory was covered in a recent edition of Cricinfo's The List column.

Which cricketer was known as the "Big Ship"? asked Andy Moorhouse from Doncaster

This was Warwick Armstrong, the allrounder who captained a very strong Australian team to a 5-0 victory over England at home in 1920-21, then rounded off his career by winning 3-0 in England in 1921. Armstrong owed his nickname to his size - by the end of his career he was over 20 stone in weight, but was still nimble enough to score three centuries in the first four Tests of that 1920-21 series. In all he played 50 Tests, scoring 2863 runs and taking 87 wickets, while in first-class cricket he averaged nearly 47 with the bat and less than 20 with the ball. Gideon Haigh wrote an acclaimed biography of Armstrong - called, naturally, The Big Ship - in 2001.

Something I have never understood is the bonus-point system in ODIs. Can you explain it for me? asked Raj Kishore Nayak from India

The bonus-point system is used in one-day tournaments involving three or more countries, and is designed to reward sides that win easily. The bonus point is awarded to a side which achieves a run rate 1.25 times that of the opposition. It means it's quite simple to work out how the team batting second gets a bonus point - in an uninterrupted 50-over match they just need to reach their target before the end of the 40th over. It's more complicated to work out whether the team batting second has avoided conceding a batting point - they need to finish with 80% of the first team's score to do that. I hope that explains it - but if not, you can find the full regulations on the ICC's official website at

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. 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.