The highest score to lose, and the Test player from St Kitts
What is the highest score by an individual in a Test that his team ended up losing? I remember Ricky Ponting making 242 but losing against India in 2003-04? asked Ashish from India
Well, you're right, Ricky Ponting's 242 against India in that match in Adelaide is the highest score by anyone whose side ended up losing the Test. Next comes Brian Lara, who made 226 in a losing cause, also in Adelaide, in 2005-06. Lara also made two other double-centuries in matches West Indies lost: 221 against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2001-02, and 202 against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2003-04. In all, there have been 15 double-centuries made in Tests for teams who ended up losing the match. The first two instances came in successive matches in 1910-11: Aubrey Faulkner scored 204 for South Africa in Melbourne, but Australia went on to win by 89 runs: in the next match, again in Adelaide, South Africa won by 38 runs despite Victor Trumper's 214 not out for Australia.
I know that Devon Smith comes from Grenada - how many other Test cricketers has our island produced? And how many have come from St Kitts, where my wife hails from? asked Milton James from Grenada
Devon Smith, who has so far won 24 caps for West Indies, was the third Test cricketer to emerge from Grenada. The first was the wicketkeeper Junior Murray, who played 33 Tests and 55 ODIs between 1992-93 and 2001-02. He was followed by the legspinner Rawl Lewis, who made the first of his five Test appearances so far in 1997-98. As far as St Kitts is concerned, although five West Indian Test cricketers have so far emerged from its twin island of Nevis, the only Test cricketer who was born on St Kitts actually played for England - the Surrey fast bowler Joey Benjamin, who won his only Test cap against South Africa at The Oval in 1994.
Who has scored the most runs, and the most centuries, against India in Tests and one-day internationals? asked Varun Sharma from Hyderabad
The man with the most runs against India in Tests is the West Indian Clive Lloyd, who made 2344 runs in 28 Tests against them. The only other man with more than 2000 is Pakistan's Javed Miandad, with 2228. Lloyd made seven centuries against India - but two other West Indians made eight each: Garry Sobers, in only 18 matches, and Viv Richards, in 28. In ODIs the leading run-scorer against India is Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya, with 2526, while the Pakistan pair of Inzamam-ul-Haq (2403) and Saeed Anwar (2002) both made more than 2000 runs. Jayasuriya leads the way with six ODI hundreds against India: Nathan Astle of New Zealand, Australia's Ricky Ponting and Salman Butt of Pakistan have five each. You can do this sort of query using Cricinfo's indefatigable database Statsguru - that's how I found out the answers, anyway!
Has there ever been a hat-trick in first-class cricket that featured the same batsman twice? asked David Riches from Aberystwyth
I believe that this has only ever happened once in first-class cricket - and a long time ago at that. In the match between Kent and England in Canterbury back in 1844, the underarm bowler William Clarke ended Kent's first innings with the wicket of John Fagge, then started the second with the wickets of EG "Ned" Wenman and Fagge, this time batting at No. 3 instead of No. 11.
Was Garry Sobers the youngest man ever to play for the West Indies? asked Farrell Browne from Barbados
The great Garry Sobers was only 17 years and 245 days old when he made his Test debut for West Indies, against England in Kingston in 1953-54 (he was really selected as a left-arm spinner, doing well with four wickets in the first innings, and batted at No. 9). The only younger man to play in a Test for West Indies was another Barbadian, Derek Sealy, who was only 17 years and 122 days old when he made his debut, against England in Bridgetown in 1929-30. Sealy was a student at Combermere School at the time and later taught there himself. He remains the youngest Test cricketer from outside the Indian subcontinent: for a full list click here.
I was surprised to discover that Hong Kong have played official one-day internationals. Have they won any? asked Davey Mason from Devon
Hong Kong have only played four official one-day internationals, and have lost all four by large margins (over 100 runs each time). The matches came in the Asia Cup of 2004, when they lost to Bangladesh and to Pakistan in Colombo, and then in the 2008 Asia Cup, when they lost to Pakistan again and also to India, in Karachi. Three men - Afzaal Haider, Najeeb Amar and Tabarak Dar - played in all four matches. Dar is Hong Kong's leading ODI run-scorer with 101, while Haider is one of three bowlers to have four wickets for them (the others are Ilyas Gull and Nadeem Ahmed).