June 9, 2009

The 3000th Test century, and the longest Twenty20 innings

The most balls faced by a batsman in a Twenty20 international, all four innings in one day, and most wickets away from home

You recently answered a question about the 1000th century in one-day internationals, which hasn't actually happened yet. I wondered whether there have yet been 1000 double-centuries in Tests, and if so, who scored the 1000th? asked Danyal Rasool from Pakistan
We are a long way short of the 1000th Test double-century - at the moment there have been 288, the first one being scored by Australia's Billy Murdoch, who made 211 against England at The Oval in 1884. There have so far been 3284 centuries in Test cricket: the 1000th was scored by Ian Chappell for Australia against West Indies in Melbourne in 1968-69, the 2000th by Sri Lanka's Roshan Mahanama against India in Colombo in 1993, and the 3000th was Alastair Cook's 103 on debut for England against India in Nagpur in 2005-06.

What is the most balls faced by a single batsman in a Twenty20 international? My guess is about 75. And how about in a one-day international? asked Josh Schonafinger from Australia
Rather surprisingly, since there are 120 balls in your average Twenty20 international innings, as I write (before the World Twenty20 in England has got under way) only one batsman has faced more than half the available deliveries - Scotland's Ryan Watson, whose 54 occupied 61 balls against Kenya in the World Twenty20 qualifier in Belfast last August. Graeme Smith and Marcus Trescothick come next, with 58-ball innings. For a full list, click here. In one-day internationals the most balls faced by one batsman in an innings is 201, by New Zealand's Glenn Turner, during his 171 not out against East Africa at Edgbaston on the first day of the first World Cup in 1975. Those were 60-over matches: Ashish Bagai has batted the longest in a 50-over ODI, facing 172 balls for his 137 not out against Scotland in Nairobi in 2006-07. For the full list of the longest ODI innings, click here.

I know that Kapil Dev used to be the youngest bowler to reach 100 Test wickets. Is he still the record-holder? asked Ahmed Shehzada from Delhi
He is: Kapil Dev took his 100th Test wicket for India against Pakistan in Calcutta in 1979-80. It was his 25th Test, and he was just 21 years 25 days old. His record came under threat from New Zealand's Daniel Vettori, who was just 21 days older when he took his 100th Test wicket in March 2000. Harbhajan Singh was also 21 (and 319 days) when he took his 100th Test wicket for India in May 2002.

I recall that during the England-West Indies Test at Lord's in 2000, a part of all four innings was played on the second day. Was that a unique occurrence? asked Ankur Yadav from the United States
That match at Lord's in 2000 was the first instance of any day containing part of all four innings in a Test match. The last wicket of the West Indian first innings fell to the first ball of the day, England were all out for 134 and West Indies for 54, and England faced seven balls in their second innings. There has been one similar occurrence since: on the third day in Hamilton in 2001-02 India took their first innings from 92 for 8 to 99, New Zealand made 94 and India 154, and New Zealand reached 24 without loss in their second innings, on the way to winning by four wickets.

I was watching an interview with Eoin Morgan during his first match for England after also playing for Ireland. It was mentioned that he was the fifth man to play one-day internationals for two different countries - who are the other four? asked Paul Bridges-Black from Australia
Eoin Morgan, who played 23 ODIs for Ireland before making his England debut in Bristol recently, is indeed the fifth man to represent two different countries in official one-day internationals (ignoring composite teams like the African and Asian XIs). The others are Dougie Brown, who played nine matches for England then 16 for Scotland, Anderson Cummins (63 matches for West Indies, then 16 for Canada, all in 2007 when he was 40), Clayton Lambert (11 for West Indies, and one for the United States of America in the 2004 Champions Trophy in England when he was 42), and Kepler Wessels, who scored 1740 runs in 54 matches for Australia, and 1627 in 55 for South Africa.

Muttiah Muralitharan is the leading wicket-taker in Tests and one-day internationals, but does he also lead the way in Tests and ODIs away from home? asked Keith D'Souza from Nigeria
Muttiah Muralitharan has taken 472 of his 770 Test wickets to date at home in Sri Lanka, meaning that 298 have come in away Tests. Only one bowler has taken more wickets in Tests outside his own country: Shane Warne collected 389 in 76 Tests outside Australia, and 319 in 69 home games. In one-day internationals, Wasim Akram took 430 of his 502 wickets outside Pakistan (he took 122 in Sharjah, and 87 in Australia). Murali is second on this list too: to date 373 of his 505 one-day wickets have come away from Sri Lanka.

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