July 5, 2011

Two Twenty20 tons, and wickets with catches

Also: centuries by the tail, South Asian averages in England, most runs by captains in a series, and a Tendulkar dismissal

I just watched two Gloucestershire batsmen score centuries at Uxbridge. Is this a first for a Twenty20 innings? asked Sandy Whitlock from Sussex
That match in Uxbridge last week - when Kevin O'Brien (119) and Hamish Marshall (102) shared a record opening stand of 192 in 15.3 overs for Gloucestershire against Middlesex - was indeed the first occasion that there had been two centuries in the same innings in a senior Twenty20 game. In fact it was only the second time there had been two centuries in the same Twenty20 match: in Kidderminster in 2007 Graeme Hick hit 110 for Worcestershire and Lance Klusener replied with 111 not out for Northamptonshire (but Worcester still won).

Devendra Bishoo took three wickets and three catches in an innings for West Indies against India last week. How rare is this? asked Amar from India
Devendra Bishoo's performance in the first Test against India in Kingston last week was actually the 58th occasion that someone had taken three or more wickets and three or more catches in the same Test innings (this includes caught-and-bowleds). Two people have claimed eight wickets in an innings and taken three catches as well: Albert Trott, with 8 for 43 for Australia v England in Adelaide in 1894-95 (this was his debut, too), and Len Braund, with 8 for 81 for England against Australia in Melbourne in 1903-04 (both Trott and Braund's three catches included two c&bs). The only man to take four wickets and four catches in the same Test innings is Phil Edmonds, for England against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1977-78 - his haul included only one caught and bowled.

Last week you mentioned Graham Gooch's 456 runs in the 1990 Lord's Test against India. He made 752 runs in all in that series - is that a record for a three-Test series, and for any series by a captain? asked Jack Clarke from Ireland
Graham Gooch's 752 runs in those three matches against India in 1990 - his scores were 333 and 123, 116 and 7, and 85 and 88 - is indeed a record by any batsman in a three-Test series. Next comes Brian Lara's 688 runs for West Indies in Sri Lanka in 2001-02 (despite Lara's efforts, Sri Lanka won all three Tests by wide margins). Gooch lies in second place for runs in a series by a captain: ahead of him lies the inevitable figure of Don Bradman, who made 810 runs in the five matches of the 1936-37 Ashes series, his first as Australia's captain.

How many people have made centuries from No. 9, 10 or 11 in Tests or one-day internationals? asked Aditya Agarwal from India
There have so far been 18 centuries in Tests scored by the batsmen who came in at No. 9 and 10 (none from No. 11 yet, where the highest score is Zaheer Khan's 75 for India against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2004-05). Fifteen of those were scored from No. 9 - the first 160 by Clem Hill (batting lower than usual because of illness) for Australia against England in Adelaide in 1907-08, and the most recent Stuart Broad's 169 for England against Pakistan at Lord's in 2010. There have been three centuries from No. 10: 117 by Walter Read for England v Australia at The Oval in 1884, 104 by Reggie Duff (usually an opener) for Australia against England in Melbourne in 1901-02, and 108 by Pat Symcox for South Africa against Pakistan in Johannesburg in 1997-98. It's a much quicker answer for ODIs - there have been no centuries at all from the last three positions in the batting order. The highest score is Andre Russell's 92 not out from No. 9 for West Indies against India in Antigua last month.

Which player from the subcontinent has the best Test average in England? asked Imran from the UK
There are 14 batsmen from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (none yet from Bangladesh) who have a batting average of more than 50 in Tests in England (given a minimum of three Tests played). Leading the way is Saleem Malik, who made 931 runs in 13 Tests in England at an average of 66.50. Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly both have 915 runs at 65.35, then comes Saleem Yousuf with 187 at 62.33, just ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, who so far has 1302 runs from 13 matches at 62.00. The others are Zaheer Abbas (56.06), Ijaz Ahmed (54.88), Mohammad Yousuf (54.33), Prasanna Jayawardene (54.00), the Pakistan bowler Antao D'Souza (53.00 - he had six innings, five of them not-out, in 1962), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (52.25 in three Tests so far), Younis Khan (52.22), Marvan Atapattu (50.16) and Mohsin Khan (50.10).

Who bowled two balls at Sachin Tendulkar in Tests, and got him out with one of them? asked Nigel Broady via Facebook
The man with an unprecedented success rate against Sachin Tendulkar is the Australian legspinner Peter McIntyre, who played against him just once - in a one-off Test in Delhi in October 1996 (Shane Warne was missing after finger surgery). It was Tendulkar's first match as captain - he started with a victory, despite a modest match personally with the bat - and McIntyre had him caught for 10 by Mark Waugh with the second ball he bowled to him. McIntyre went on to take 3 for 103 but, according to Wisden, "bowled steadily but without variation or much imagination". This was his second Test - and he didn't play another one, once Warne returned.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2011. Ask Steven is now on Facebook