Ask Steven April 16, 2007

Twin hundreds on debut, and the youngest West Indians

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:

Arthur Morris was the first player to score twin centuries on first-class debut © The Cricketer International

I read somewhere that three batsmen had scored centuries in both innings of their first-class debut. Who are they? asked Suyog from India

The three members of this very exclusive club are Arthur Morris, the former Australian opener, who made 148 and 111 for New South Wales against Queensland at Sydney in 1940-41 (his first century came on Boxing Day); the former Indian captain Nari Contractor, with 152 and 102 not out for Gujarat against Baroda at Baroda in 1952-53; and Aamer Malik, who played 14 Tests for Pakistan after scoring 132 not out and 110 on debut for Lahore A against Railways at Lahore in 1979-80.

Which batsmen scored hundreds in each innings of their Test debut? asked Salman Ali from China

This follows neatly on from the last question, and this time there are only two batsmen who have achieved the feat. The first was Lawrence Rowe, who made 214 and 100 not out for West Indies against New Zealand in front of his home crowd at Kingston in 1971-72. No-one else managed it until 2003, when Yasir Hameed made 170 and 105 for Pakistan against Bangladesh at Karachi. For a full list of batsmen who scored a century on Test debut, click here.

Who was the youngest West Indies Test debutant? asked Leon Bunting from Trinidad

Two players have represented West Indies before their 18th birthdays. Garry Sobers was 17 years and 245 days old when he made his debut against England at Kingston in 1953-54. But another Barbadian was even younger: Derek Sealy was only 17 years and 122 days old when he played against England at Bridgetown in 1929-30. For a full list of the youngest Test players from all countries, click here.

In the first match of the 1987 World Cup, Australia's score of 268 was increased to 270 during lunch. In reply, India managed 269, so lost the match by one run. What was the reason for the increase in Australia's score? asked Ujjwal Pandey from Australia

Australia's total in that match at Madras in 1987-88 was increased by two runs between innings after Kapil Dev, India's captain, agreed with the umpires that a shot from Australia's Dean Jones, which had originally been signalled as a four, actually crossed the boundary on the full and was a six. Wisden reported that "Kapil Dev's sportsmanship proved the deciding factor in a close-run match". Oddly, in the next World Cup in 1991-92, Australia again beat India by just one run, this time at Brisbane in a game where the target was reduced slightly after a brief rain delay.

Wilfred Rhodes achieved almost everything as a bowler, but did he ever take a first-class hat-trick? asked Derek Banes

The Yorkshire and England slow left-armer Wilfred Rhodes leads the way in first-class history with more then 4,000 wickets, a record that is unlikely ever to be seriously challenged. That included two hat-tricks, both of them for Yorkshire: against Kent at Canterbury in 1901, and another one in 1920, against Derbyshire at Derby.

Further to last week's question about the most Man of the Match awards in Tests, who's won the most in ODIs? asked Shuvra Gupta from the United States

I suppose I should have thought of this one last week! Leading the way in one-day internationals is Sachin Tendulkar, with 53 Man of the Match awards, nine more than Sanath Jayasuriya currently has. These two are a long way clear of Viv Richards and Aravinda de Silva, who won 31. Richards only played 187 ODIs, so won the award on average once every six matches, a batter ratio than anyone else who played a significant amount (next is Gordon Greenidge, with 20 awards from 128 games). For a full list, click here.

Steven Lynch is the deputy editor of The Wisden Group. If you want to Ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here each week. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.