Ask Steven June 11, 2007

Most extras, most runs, and a tormented genius

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:

David Foot's book on cricket's 'tormented genius' © Cricinfo Ltd

There have been an awful lot of extras in the current Test against West Indies at Old Trafford. What's the record for one Test innings? asked Gerry Bowden from Bristol

The record for a single Test innings is 71, conceded by West Indies against Pakistan at Georgetown in 1987-88. Second on that list is 68, again conceded by West Indies against Pakistan, this time at Bridgetown in 1976-77, in a match which produced the record number of extras in total in a Test - 173 (the Old Trafford narrowly failed to beat this, with 167). For the full list of all the instances of 50 or more extras in a Test innings, click here.

Who has scored the most runs in Tests between India and Pakistan? asked Amitabh Bhatt from Hyderabad

Leading the way here is Javed Miandad, with 2228 runs in 28 Tests against India, at an average of 67.52. In second place, and the only other over 2000, is Sunil Gavaskar, with 2089 at 56.46 in 24 matches. Third is Zaheer Abbas, who made 1740 runs against India in only 19 Tests, at the lofty average of 87.00.

Daniel Vettori took his 200th ODI wicket during the World Cup. Who was the first person to reach that landmark, and who was the first New Zealander? asked Perry Anderson from Christchurch

The first man to do this in one-day internationals was India's Kapil Dev, who reached 200 wickets when he dismissed Winston Benjamin of West Indies at Sharjah in October 1991. Since then 27 other bowlers have reached 200, as this list shows. Vettori is the third New Zealander to reach the landmark, following Chris Harris, who took 203, and Chris Cairns (201). One of Cairns's wickets, and eight of Vettori's, came for teams other than New Zealand in official ODIs.

Who was the "tormented genius of cricket"? asked Alistair Russell from Southampton

I suppose there might be quite a few candidates ... but the most likely answer is Harold Gimblett, the Somerset and England batsman who thumped a rapid century on his first-class debut against Essex at Frome in 1935. The subtitle of David Foot's moving biography of Gimblett, who committed suicide in 1978, is "The Tormented Genius of Cricket".

Why did Pakistan follow on at Lord's in 2001, when they were only 188 behind? Was there a special rule in force for that series? asked Waqas Ahmed from Lahore

What happened in that Test at Lord's in 2001 was that the first day had been washed out, which reduced it to a four-day match. The Laws of Cricket state that the follow-on can be enforced in a four-day game if the second side trails by more than 150, rather than 200 in a "normal" five-day Test. So England were able to enforce the follow-on despite, as you say, leading by only 188. England won late on the fourth day (the third day of actual play).

Who is the oldest man to score a century in a Test match? asked Godfrey Ralli from Hampshire

The oldest person to score a Test century was the great Surrey batsman Jack Hobbs, who was 82 days past his 46th birthday when he made 142 for England against Australia at Melbourne in 1928-29. For a full list of the oldest century-makers, click here. The man in fourth place, South Africa's "Dave" Nourse, was the oldest man to make his maiden Test century - he was 42 when he made 111 against Australia at Johannesburg in 1921-22.

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.