October 1, 2007

Jayasuriya's treble, and a canine mystery

Little Dog and Big Dog, brothers playing in the same Twenty20 game, grounds that have staged just one Test and more

The regular column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket. Do note that from next week Ask Steven moves to Tuesdays.

Thrice as nice: Jayasuriya has top scored in each of the world record team scores in cricket's three international formats © Getty Images
Sri Lanka current have the highest innings totals in Tests, ODIs, and Twenty20 internationals - and Sanath Jayasuriya top-scored in each of them. Is this unique? And did anyone else play in all three matches? asked Suresh de Silva from Colombo

You're right, Sanath Jayasuriya did top-score in the highest Test total (340 out of 952 for 6 dec against India at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in 1997-98), the highest in ODIs (157 out of 443 for 9 against Netherlands at Amstelveen in 2006) and Twenty20 internationals (88 out of 260 for 6 against Kenya at Johannesburg in 2007-08). The only other player to play in all three of those games was Mahela Jayawardene (the first one was his Test debut). Of others who might have played in all three, Chaminda Vaas did not play in the ODI record, and Muttiah Muralitharan missed both the ODI and Twenty20 games. And yes, it's obviously unique - Sri Lanka have held the Test record all the time Twenty20 internationals have been played, so no one else has had a chance for a look-in!

Who, in cricket terms, were Little Dog and Big Dog? asked David Kuhlan from Leicester

These were the nicknames given to South Africa's Pollock brothers - 1960s fast bowler Peter (the father of Shaun) was "Big Dog", and his younger brother Graeme, the great left-hand batsman, was "Little Dog". I can't explain why - perhaps one of our South African readers can enlighten us!

Yusuf Pathan played alongside Irfan Pathan in the recent World Twenty20 final. Are they the first brothers to play together in Twenty20 games? asked Rakesh Hussain from Delhi

Rather surprisingly, given the short history of Twenty20 internationals, there have already been six sets of brothers who have appeared in the same game - and five of them were on show at the recent World Twenty20 championships. Apart from the Pathans of India, there was Brendon and Nathan McCullum of New Zealand, Albie and Morne Morkel of South Africa, and two pairs from Kenya: Collins and David Obuya, and - a difficult one to spot from the scorecard - Nehemiah Odhiambo and Lameck Onyango. The other pair to play were the identical twins Hamish and James Marshall of New Zealand.

Now that the first major international Twenty20 tournament is over, who is the top scorer in Twenty20 internationals? And its top wicket-taker? Who has the highest batting average and the lowest bowling average? asked Gerald Clark

I think that's four different questions (a new record!), but never mind. As I write, the leading run-scorer in Twenty20 internationals is Graeme Smith of South Africa, with 353. Matthew Hayden of Australia comes next with 291. The leading wicket-taker is Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, with 14, one ahead of three bowlers (Abdur Razzak of Bangladesh, Australia's Stuart Clark, and Umar Gul of Pakistan). It's a bit early for averages, really, but the highest one for batsmen with more than two completed innings is Hayden's 58.20: top of the bowlers, given a minimum of 30 balls bowled, is Charl Langeveldt of South Africa, with 8.50 (four wickets for 34). For Cricinfo's Twenty20 international records section, click here.

How many grounds have staged just one Test match? asked Andrew North from Peterborough

One and done: Bramall Lane hosted the third Test of the 1902 Ashes, and none since © The Cricketer

At the moment there are 22 grounds which have staged just one Test, 12 of them in India or Pakistan. The only one in England is Bramall Lane, in Sheffield, which staged an Ashes Test in 1902. Three of the grounds are new ones in Bangladesh which staged their first Test in the last year or so, and will soon be staging more.

I was playing a club game recently and got my familiar duck, but the funny part about this one was I got run out without facing a ball (a diamond duck?). I was wondering if any Test cricketers have managed this? asked Nihit Rawal from Australia

You'll be pleased to know that you're not unique: it happened in a game I played in this year (not to me, but to one of our more gifted batsmen), and it's funny how everybody finds it highly amusing, except the poor victim himself. We haven't got full records for some of the earliest Tests, but there have been at least 21 instances of a batsman being run out without facing in Test cricket, the most recent one being Mohammad Asif of Pakistan against Sri Lanka at Kandy in April 2006. Two people have suffered this misfortune on their Test debut: New Zealand's Ken Rutherford, against West Indies at Port-of-Spain in 1984-85, and Umar Gul of Pakistan, against Bangladesh at Karachi in 2003-04.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket. If you want to ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here each week. Please note: Ask Steven will move to Tuesdays starting next week