Ask Steven September 3, 2007

The youngest one-day player, and the most defeats

Lara the loser, and the lowest scores never made

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

Hasan Raza has managed just 16 games since becoming the youngest ODI debutant in 1996-97 © Cricinfo Ltd.

I wondered who was the youngest man to make his debut in an ODI? And who is the youngest century-maker? asked Usama Muhammad from Pakistan

The youngest man (or should that be boy?) to play in a one-day international was Pakistan's Hasan Raza, who was reputedly only 14 years and 233 days old (there is some debate about his correct birthdate) when he scored 11 against Zimbabwe at Quetta in 1996-97. Next comes Bangladesh's Mohammad Sharif, who was 116 days past his 15th birthday when he played against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2000-01. For a full list of the youngest ODI players, click here. Fourth on that list is the youngest man to score a century in an ODI, Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, who was 16 years and 217 days old when he hammered a hundred in only 37 balls - still the ODI record - against Sri Lanka in Nairobi in 1996-97. Click here for a list of the youngest ODI century-makers.

I notice that Brian Lara holds the record for the player who has experienced the most Test defeats. Who holds the record for the most defeats in ODIs? asked Clevvy Cumberbatch from the West Indies

In Tests Brian Lara does lead the way, if that's the right word, with 63 defeats during his career, one of them for the World XI against Australia at Sydney in October 2005. The man who has tasted defeat most often in ODIs is Sachin Tendulkar - at the end of Thursday's one-dayer at Old Trafford he had been on the losing side 176 times. Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya is next with 168 defeats, then comes his compatriot Aravinda de Silva with 163.

I read somewhere that New Zealand's Ian Redpath scored a century on his debut but never played Test cricket again. Why not? asked Rizwan-ul-Haq from Pakistan

The unfortunate player in question was actually Rodney Redmond, an attacking left-hand opener who scored 107 and 56 in his first Test, for New Zealand against Pakistan at Auckland in 1972-73 (Ian Redpath was an Australian batsman at around the same time who ended up playing 66 Tests). Redmond's stunning debut came in the final Test of that series, and although he toured England the following summer he had trouble adjusting to his new contact lenses, didn't score many runs, and could not break into the Test side. He missed the following home season, and was never in serious contention for a place again after that. His son Aaron Redmond now plays for Otago. The only other player to score a century in his only Test was the Trinidadian Andy Ganteaume, for West Indies against England at Port-of-Spain in 1947-48.

I had a quiz question asking which city has got six grounds that have staged one-day internationals. I thought it must be Colombo, but apparently it isn't. What's the answer? asked Milind Arvind from Mumbai

Colombo has three grounds which have staged official ODIs (the Sinhalese Sports Club, and the Saravanamuttu and Premadasa Stadiums), while the Colombo Cricket Club has also hosted Test cricket. Some people might also include the ground at Moratuwa, which is about 11 miles from Colombo. But that still isn't six: and the rather surprising place which has got half-a-dozen grounds that have hosted official ODIs is Nairobi, in Kenya - the Nairobi Gymkhana ground (which has staged 46 ODIs), the Jaffery Sports Club (5), the Ruaraka Sports Club (5), the Aga Khan Sports Club (4), the Nairobi Club (1) and the Simba Union ground (1).

What are the highest individual scores in the fourth innings of a Test match? asked Kevin Geller from Sri Lanka

There have been only five double-centuries scored in the fourth innings of any Test match. The highest of them is 223, by George Headley for West Indies against England in a drawn "timeless" Test at Kingston in 1929-30. Next comes Nathan Astle's valiant 222 for New Zealand v England at Christchurch in 2001-02. Sunil Gavaskar made 221 for India v England at The Oval in 1979, and Bill Edrich hit 219 in another timeless Test, for England v South Africa at Durban in 1938-39. The fifth instance is the highest fourth-innings score that brought victory: Gordon Greenidge's unbeaten 214 for West Indies v England at Lord's in 1984.

What is the lowest individual score that no batsman has ever scored in a Test? I see a lot of 114s and 126s and 174s in scorecards, but is there a 159 or something like that which no batsman has ever reached? asked Raj Dutta from Hong Kong

The first time I was asked this question a few years ago the answer was 228, but then Herschelle Gibbs made that score for South Africa against Pakistan at Cape Town in 2002-03. Which means, rather neatly, that the lowest score not yet made by a batsman in a Test is 229, followed by 238, 245, 252 and 263. The lowest score that has not yet been made by a batsman in an ODI is 155.

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.