Most runs in a day, and the mystery man on the honours board
What is the greatest number of runs scored by an individual team in a single day in a Test? Was it the first day of the Headingley Test of 1930 when Don Bradman hit 309 by himself? asked Greg Lee from Australia
Australia scored 458 on the first day of that match at Headingley in 1930, and Don Bradman's 309 runs that day are a record by one batsman in a Test. But two countries have scored more than 500 in a single day's play. On the second day against South Africa at Lord's in 1924, England moved from 28 for 0 to 531 for 2 declared: that record stood for more than 78 years, until Sri Lanka smashed 509 on the second day against Bangladesh in Colombo in 2002, going from 32 for 0 to 541 for 9. The overall record for runs in a day's play in a Test is 588, by England (398) and India (190) on the second day at Old Trafford in 1936. For a full list, click here (note that this table includes the runs scored by both sides, not just one).
I read that Andrew Flintoff was the sixth person to get on to the honours boards at Lord's for both batting and bowling - who are the others? asked Bharat Jagannathan from the United States
Well, Andrew Flintoff was indeed the sixth person to take five wickets in an innings and score a century in Lord's Tests, following three other Englishmen in Gubby Allen, Ian Botham and Ray Illingworth, and visiting players in Vinoo Mankad of India and Australia's Keith Miller. But there are actually seven names which appear on both the batting and bowling honours boards at Lord's, which commemorate hundreds and five-fors there. The mystery extra man is the great West Indian Garry Sobers, who makes it onto the bowling board because he took 6 for 21 for the Rest of the World against England at Lord's in 1970, a match which was marketed as a Test match at the time (the records even appeared in Wisden for a few years) but is now regarded as unofficial. Sobers also made 183 in that match (as you might have guessed, his World XI won) to go with official Test centuries at Lord's in 1966 and in 1973.
What are the best bowling figures in an Ashes Test match? asked Ali Wazir from the Netherlands
The man in first and second place on this list is the England offspinner Jim Laker, who followed his first-innings 9 for 37 with 10 for 53 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956. His match figures of 19 for 90 are also the best for any Test, Ashes or otherwise (indeed they are the best for any first-class match). The only other man to take nine wickets in an innings in an Ashes Test is the Australian legspinner Arthur Mailey, with 9 for 121 in Melbourne in 1920-21. The best match figures in Ashes Tests besides Laker's are Bob Massie's 16 for 137 on his Test debut at Lord's in 1972. For a full list of the best bowling figures in an innings in an Ashes Test, click here.
I noticed that Shane Warne scored his maiden first-class century in his 238th match. Has anyone done better (or worse) than this? asked John Clarke from London
Shane Warne actually lies 20th on this particular list, although the players above him are all English, so he did take longer than any other overseas player to score his first hundred in first-class cricket: it came for Hampshire against Kent in Canterbury in May 2005. Three legendary names of English cricket lie on top of this list. Fred Trueman played 418 matches before finally reaching three figures in 1963. He held the record until 1981, when Bob Taylor made his maiden hundred in his 539th first-class game. And three years later Taylor was toppled when Derek Underwood, in his 22nd season with Kent, made 111 against Sussex in Hastings in his 591st first-class match.
In Australia's second innings at Lord's six of their batsmen were out bowled. Is this a record for a Test innings? asked Jamie Platts
Rather surprisingly perhaps, it's nowhere near a record: there have been 33 instances of seven batsmen being bowled in the same Test innings, the most recent by England against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in 1999-00; eight men have been bowled on six occasions, most recently by England against New Zealand in Wellington in 1950-51; and there have even been two instances of nine men bowled in an innings, back in the days when, it's safe to assume, defensive techniques weren't quite what they are today - for South Africa against England in Cape Town in 1888-89, and for Australia against England at The Oval in 1890. For a full list, click here.
Was Fawad Alam's 168 in the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka the highest in Tests by a debutant? asked Aarslan Sorathia from Pakistan
There have been seven higher scores on Test debut than Fawad Alam's superb 168 in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo earlier this month. Five of those were double-centuries, the highest being Reginald "Tip" Foster's 287 for England against Australia in Sydney in 1903-04. Fawad's 168 isn't even quite the highest score for Pakistan on debut: Yasir Hameed made 170 (and 105 in the second innings) against Bangladesh in Karachi in August 2003. Fawad was the 10th Pakistani to score a century on Test debut, but the first to do it away from home. For a full list of batsmen who have scored a century on Test debut, click here.
And there's an update on last week's question about the batsman who scored three centuries in four days, from Bharat in India:
"The Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar scored three one-day international centuries in four days in 1993-94 during the Pepsi Champions Trophy in Sharjah - he made 107 against Sri Lanka on October 30, 131 against West Indies on November 1, and 111 against Sri Lanka on November 2."