March 15, 2011

Associate hundreds, and Tahir's average

Six-fors at No. 6, careers without sixes, longest innings at Lord's, and more

How many times have batsmen from an Associate country scored a hundred against a Test-playing one in the World Cup, as Ryan ten Doeschate did against England early in this tournament? asked David Gunner
Ryan ten Doeschate's hundred for Netherlands against England last month was actually the fifth time someone from an Associate-member nation had reached three figures against a Test-playing country in the World Cup. The first two were both for Zimbabwe, who did not play their first Test match until late in 1992: Dave Houghton made 142 against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1987, and Andy Flower hit 115 not out against Sri Lanka in New Plymouth in February 1992. John Davison hit 111 for Canada against West Indies in Centurion in 2003, and Jeremy Bray made 115 not out for Ireland against Zimbabwe in Kingston in 2007. Shortly after ten Doeschate's 119 in Nagpur, Ireland's Kevin O'Brien joined this select list - also against England, this time in Bangalore.

As I write, Imran Tahir has a one-day international bowling average of 8.90, which I'm guessing is the best in the World Cup for anyone with more than 10 wickets. But who has the best average in all ODIs? asked Ahmed Hassan from Delhi
As of today Imran Tahir has a bowling average of 8.90 - 11 wickets for 98 - in one-day internationals, all of which have been in this World Cup. Actually his World Cup average has been bettered: Gary Gilmour's two matches (both in 1975) brought him 11 wickets for 62, at an average of 5.63. Taking all one-day internationals into account, at the moment Tahir's average of 8.90 does top the list for those taking more than 10 wickets. A more realistic qualification might be 25 wickets in ODIs, which leaves Australia's Ryan Harris on top (41 wickets at 16.12), ahead of Ottis Gibson (34 at 18.26) and Joel Garner (146 at 18.84).

When Paul Collingwood took 6 for 31 in an ODI against Bangladesh, he was the sixth bowler tried. Are these the best figures by the fourth-change bowler? asked Richard Manning from York
Rather surprisingly perhaps, there have been three statistically better performances by the fourth-change bowler in one-day internationals than Paul Collingwood's. In the Hero Cup final in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1993-94 Anil Kumble took 6 for 12 after being the sixth bowler tried. Another Indian spinner, Murali Kartik, took 6 for 27 against Australia in Mumbai in 2007-08. And Sanath Jayasuriya took 6 for 29 for Sri Lanka against England in Moratuwa in 1992-93. Collingwood also scored a century (112 not out) in that match against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge in 2005, a unique double in ODIs.

Has there been a Test match which ended in a draw as the last batsman in the fourth innings was out on the levelled score? asked Ashish Jajodia from India
What you're describing is actually called a tie, and there have been two of those in Test history. The first one was the first Test of the memorable 1960-61 series between Australia and West Indies in Brisbane, when Ian Meckiff was run out in the last possible over of the match with the scores level. The second tied Test came in Chennai in 1986-87, when the Australian offspinner Greg Matthews trapped India's last man Maninder Singh leg-before when the scores were level. Australia's coach that day was Bob Simpson, who had played in the first tied Test 26 years previously.

I was recently looking at Michael Atherton's profile, and noticed that he hit only four sixes in making 7728 Test runs. Who has the most runs without any sixes at all? asked Sreenath Janakiraman from the United States
The most runs in Tests without ever hitting a six is 3208, by the Indian Vijay Manjrekar, who played 55 Tests between 1951-52 and 1964-65. Second, with 2991 runs without ever clearing the ropes, is Glenn Turner of New Zealand - quite a surprise really, as he was not averse to six-hitting in one-day cricket. Sadiq Mohammad (2579), Bill Woodfull (2300), Syd Gregory (2282), Dave Nourse (2234), Bill Ponsford (2122), and Bob Cowper and Peter Richardson (both 2061) all made more than 2000 runs in Tests without hitting a six: Tom Hayward, the old Surrey and England opener, made 1999. The record in one-day internationals is 1858 runs without ever clearing the ropes, by another Indian player in Manoj Prabhakar. The Zimbabwean Dion Ebrahim (1443) and the England pair of Jonathan Trott (1147 as I write) and Geoff Boycott (1082) are the only others to score more than 1000 runs in ODIs without ever managing a six.

Sidath Wettimuny's 190 for Sri Lanka in 1984 was described at the time as the longest innings ever played at Lord's. Is that still the case or has there been a longer one since, such as Graham Gooch's 333 in 1990? asked Neville Jayasinghe via Facebook
Sidath Wettimuny's epic 190 in that 1984 Test against England at Lord's lasted 642 minutes, and was indeed the longest innings ever played at Lord's at the time, whether in Test or first-class cricket. It has been beaten since, although not by Graham Gooch, whose 333 against India in 1990 fell just short at 628 minutes. But in 2004 the England opener Nick Knight, playing for Warwickshire against Middlesex at Lord's, made 303 not out in 644 minutes, outlasting the previous record by two minutes (although Wettimuny still holds the Test record there).

And there's an update to two of the questions from last week:
On the day last week's column was published, New Zealand's Ross Taylor joined the ranks of those who had scored a one-day international century on their birthday, with his power-packed 131 not out against Pakistan in Pallekele. And Waqar Younis took 15 wickets in three successive one-day internationals on three occasions, not two: he also did it in June 2001, with 2 for 20 and 7 for 36 against England at Lord's and Headingley, then 6 for 59 against Australia at Trent Bridge.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden 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. Ask Steven is also now on Facebook