February 17, 2009

Impressive debuts, and scoring 343 and losing

Openers managing identical scores, most international wickets, and Tadpole


Ravindra Jadeja became the 12th man to score an unbeaten half-century on ODI debut © AFP
 

How many players have scored unbeaten half-centuries on their ODI debuts, as Ravindra Jadeja did last week? asked Sanjay Gaulechha from India

Ravindra Jadeja, who made 60 not out against Sri Lanka in Colombo last week, was the 12th batsman to make an undefeated score of 50 or more on his ODI debut. Three of them went on to three figures: Martin Guptill, with 122* for New Zealand against West Indies in Auckland earlier this year, Andy Flower (115* for Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka in New Plymouth in the 1991-92 World Cup), and Saleem Elahi (102* for Pakistan v Sri Lanka in Gujranwala in 1995-96. The eight players who have passed 50 but not reached 100 include three Englishmen, in Chris Tavaré (82* against West Indies at Headingley in 1980), Graham Barlow (80* against West Indies in Scarborough in 1976), and John Morris (63* against New Zealand in Adelaide in 1990-91). The others are Duncan Fletcher (69* for Zimbabwe v Australia at Trent Bridge in the 1983 World Cup), Arvind Kandappah (69* for Canada v Kenya in Nairobi in 2007-08; he has played only two ODIs and has a batting average of 97.00), Shaun Pollock (66* for South Africa v England in Cape Town in 1995-96), Mohammad Yousuf (then known as Yousuf Youhana; 59* for Pakistan v Zimbabwe in Harare in 1997-98), and Sunil Wettimuny (53* for Sri Lanka v Australia at The Oval in the 1975 World Cup).

Has anyone ever scored a triple-century in a Test his side ended up losing? asked David Fredericks from Essex

The highest score by anyone whose side ended up losing a Test is 242, by Ricky Ponting, for Australia against India in Adelaide in 2003-04. Overall there have been 15 double-centuries (but no triples) for the losing side in Tests, three of them by Brian Lara. In county cricket Essex's Percy Perrin, who later became a Test selector although he never actually played for England, scored 343 not out against Derbyshire at Chesterfield in 1904 ... but ended up losing.

I know that Murali has more than 1000 wickets in all internationals, but who is next among current players? asked Devang Dasgupta from Trivandrum

Muttiah Muralitharan currently has 1276 wickets in international cricket - 769 in Tests and 505 in ODIs (both records), and two in Twenty20 internationals. The only man in four figures is Shane Warne, with 1001. Of current players, Murali's team-mate Chaminda Vaas is next with 760, while Makhaya Ntini has 649. For a full list of the leading wicket-takers in all forms of international cricket, click here.

Which Test cricketer was known as "Tadpole"? asked Matt Hayes from Birmingham

The only one I know of is the Trinidadian left-arm chinaman bowler Dave Mohammed, who has played five Tests and seven ODIs for West Indies. I'm not quite sure where the nickname came from, but it might have come about because he is the youngest of 10 children. He was featured in this Cricinfo article a couple of years ago.

I was looking at the scores from the 1982-83 Ashes series, and noticed that in the third Test in Adelaide both openers (Kepler Wessels and John Dyson) scored 44. Is this the highest identical score made by a pair of Test openers? asked Brian Terson from Liverpool

Rather surprisingly, perhaps, there have been five occasions in which a pair of Test openers have made a higher identical score than that. Leading the way are those prolific West Indian batsmen Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes: in the second innings against England at The Oval in 1988, Greenidge made 77 and Haynes 77 not out as West Indies made light work of overhauling a target of 225. The highest score for which both openers have been dismissed is 62, by a different pair of Australians, Bill Lawry and Keith Stackpole in the first innings against West Indies in Adelaide in 1968-69. Those who remember their contrasting methods will not be entirely surprised to discover that the score was only 89 when Stackpole was the first one out.

Has anyone hit 1000 fours in Test cricket? asked Cameron Wild from Bendigo

There are now 11 players who have hit more than 1000 fours in Test cricket. Perhaps not surprisingly, the top run-scorer leads the way: Sachin Tendulkar's 12,429 runs include 1623 fours (not to mention 48 sixes). Brian Lara, the man Tendulkar overtook as Test cricket's leading scorer, is next with 1559 fours. For a complete list, click here. The plus sign in the final column for some players indicates that we do not have complete details of all their innings, so they may have hit a few more fours than the number shown. In Tendulkar's case we are missing just one match - the Test against Sri Lanka in Chandigarh in 1990-91.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket (reviewed here). If you want to ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here each week

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