September 9, 2008

Carrying the bat, and the 11-ball over

Marathon men, the most economical Twenty20 bowlers, and the Test cricketer from Portugal
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Thomas Odoyo: most economical among those who have bowled at least 20 overs in Twenty20 cricket © ICC
 

Chris Rogers carried his bat for 248 in Derbyshire's innings of 474 against Warwickshire recently. What's the highest total through which someone has carried his bat? asked Chris Self
Chris Rogers' achievement came in this match, at Edgbaston at the end of August. Remarkable as his achievement was, it was some way short of this particular record, which was set as long ago as 1899, when the Test opener Bobby Abel carried his bat through Surrey's innings of 811 against Somerset at The Oval, scoring 357 not out himself. The Test record is 428, by Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 1999-2000, when Marvan Atapattu carried his bat for 216 not out. The only higher score in a Test by someone carrying his bat was 223 not out (in a total of 386) by Glenn Turner for New Zealand against West Indies in Kingston in 1971-72.

My father told me about a Test in New Zealand in which there was a very long over because the umpire lost count. Is this true? asked Leonard Grahame from Auckland
Your father wasn't imagining it - the match was played in Auckland in 1962-63, between New Zealand and England. The story goes that umpire Dick Shortt lost count towards the end of the sixth over by the New Zealand offspinner John Sparling, so started again - in all, Sparling's over contained 11 deliveries, none of them no-balls or wides.

I saw that there was a total of 144 extras in the final Test between England and India in 2007. Is this a record? asked Joshil from India
You're right, there were indeed 144 extras in that match at The Oval last year. But that comes in only fifth on the overall list for Tests: the record is a whopping 173 extras, in the match between West Indies and Pakistan in Bridgetown in 1976-77. Of those, 103 were no-balls, another Test record. In second place is the match between India and Pakistan in Bangalore in 2007-08, which featured 168 extras, including 69 byes (a new Test record) and 70 leg-byes (equalling the old mark). For a full list, click here.

Who is the most economical bowler in Twenty20 internationals? asked James Butler from Birmingham
The answer to this depends on the qualification that you impose. On Cricinfo's records page for this, which you can find if you click here, the qualification for inclusion is just 30 balls bowled, and the man who comes out on top, conceding only 3.22 runs per over, is Ireland's Alex Cusack. But he's bowled only nine overs in all, which isn't a huge amount - if you narrow down the search to those who have bowled at least 20 overs, the leader is another player from an associate-member country, Kenya's Thomas Odoyo, with 4.88 runs per over from 25 overs bowled. The first bowler from a Test-playing nation, using that 20-over criterion, is Pakistan's Umar Gul (5.37 runs per over from 33.4 overs).

I know that Brian Lara holds the record for most Test runs in a losing cause, but who holds the record for most Test wickets in defeats? asked Clancy Moar from Australia
You're right, Brian Lara leads the way for the batsmen, having scored 5316 runs in Tests that his side ended up losing (he lost in 62 Tests for West Indies, and one for the World XI). Lara's long-time team-mate Shivnarine Chanderpaul is next, with 3850 in 56 Tests lost. But the leader among the bowlers is Muttiah Muralitharan, with 204 wickets taken in 40 Tests lost (39 for Sri Lanka, and that World XI game again). Next comes Courtney Walsh, with 186 wickets in 43 matches lost by West Indies, a long way ahead of India's Kapil Dev (132).

Has there ever been a Test cricketer born in Portugal? asked Colin Browne, who's just moved to... Portugal
There's only one: the South African batsman Dick Westcott, who played five Tests during the 1950s. Born in Lisbon in 1927, he made 62 on his Test debut, against New Zealand in Cape Town in 1953-54, but never passed 50 again. He made four centuries in first-class cricket - the highest was 140 for Western Province against Eastern Province at Port Elizabeth in 1957-58, a week before he made a duck against Australia in what turned out to be his final Test.

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