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Opening and closing with fivers, most first-class tons without one in Tests, a duck like the Don's, and more
October 18, 2011
I noticed that Clarrie Grimmett of Australia picked up five wickets in each innings in his debut match, and did the same in his farewell Test as well. Is he the only player to do this? asked Hari Narayanan from India
The Australian legspinner Clarrie Grimmett took 5 for 45 and 6 for 37 against England on his debut in 1924-25, and 7 for 100 and 6 for 33 against South Africa in his last Test, in Durban in 1935-36. Grimmett is the only man to have taken five-fors in both innings of his first and last Tests (excluding Charles "Father" Marriott, who took 5 for 37 and 6 for 59 in his only Test, for England v West Indies at The Oval in 1933). There are a few people with three out of four (five-fors in three of the four innings in their first and last Tests): Sydney Barnes and Tom Richardson of England, the Australian JJ Ferris, and an earlier Aussie legspinner: Herbert "Ranji" Hordern. Richardson took 5 for 49 and 5 for 107 on his debut, against Australia at Old Trafford in 1893, and 8 for 94 and 2 for 110 in his last Test, in Sydney in 1897-98: he is the only man, other than Grimmett, to have taken 10 or more wickets in his first and last Tests.
Alan Jones holds the record for scoring the most runs in first-class cricket without ever playing in a Test. But does he also hold the record for the most first-class hundreds without a Test hundred? asked Lorna from the United Kingdom
That's an interesting question. Alan Jones made 56 first-class hundreds, but several others who never played Test cricket - or won a few caps without making a century - have more than that. Michael Di Venuto, who played one-day internationals for Austalia but no Tests, currently has 57 centuries in first-class cricket; Arthur Fagg, who played five Tests for England without making a century, made 58 first-class ones; and Wayne Larkins and Matthew Maynard, who played a few Tests for England between them, both made 59 in first-class cricket. George Hirst, the Yorkshire allrounder, made 60 first-class hundreds but none in Tests; Kim Barnett, whose highest score in four Tests for England was 80, made 61 first-class tons, while Jimmy Cook, whose three Tests for South Africa came right at the end of his career, made 64 first-class hundreds but none in Tests. Percy Perrin made 66 first-class hundreds, all but one of them for Essex, and never did play for England; Yorkshire's Percy Holmes, who scored 67 hundreds, did play seven Tests, but his highest score was 88. Australia's Michael Bevan and Roy Marshall of West Indies both made 68 first-class hundreds, but none in their handful of Tests. Dennis Brookes of Northamptonshire made 71, and two other county stalwarts, Essex's Jack O'Connor and Warwickshire's Willie Quaife 72, but none in their handful of Test caps. Don Kenyon made 74, mostly for Worcestershire, but none in Tests, as did Ken McEwan, who was denied a shot at Test cricket as his native South Africa were outlawed throughout his career. Wally Hardinge made 75, but failed in his only Test, and then comes John Langridge, whose 76 first-class centuries - all for Sussex - is the record for anyone who never played in a Test match. But ahead of him in the answer to this particular question is Stuart Law, who made 79 first-class hundreds - but "only" 54 not out in his solitary Test innings.
Is it true that Andrew Flintoff was once dropped by his father during a Test match? asked Graham Banks from London
It is true - although Flintoff's father, Colin, was not on the field at the time. The incident came as Flintoff was hurtling towards his highest Test score, 167, against West Indies at Edgbaston in 2004, and he smashed a ball from fast bowler Jermaine Lawson into the upper tier of one of the stands. Wisden takes up the tale: "In one act of glorious bravado, he lofted Lawson high into the top tier of the Ryder Stand. A powerfully built middle-aged man stood up to take the catch. From a crowd of 20,000, Flintoff had somehow picked out his father, who muffed it: the only false move from a Flintoff in the entire Test." Watch it on Youtube.
Don Bradman famously finished his Test career with a duck. Has anyone who scored more Test runs than him also finished with a duck? asked Vivek via Facebook
The only man who made more Test runs than Don Bradman's 6996 but failed to score in his final innings is Sourav Ganguly, who made 7212 and ended with a second-innings duck against Australia in Nagpur in November 2008. Two famous West Indians, Brian Lara (who finished with 11,912 runs) and Garry Sobers (8032) both made ducks in the first innings of what turned out to be their final Tests, but both of them scored a few runs in the second innings. Chris Gayle, who has made 6373 runs in Tests, made a duck in the only innings of his last Test to date - indeed he was out to the first ball of the match - against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in December 2010. Mohammad Yousuf (7530 runs) made a duck in the first innings of his last Test to date (but 10 in the second), for Pakistan against England at Lord's in 2010.
David Warner hit back-to-back centuries in the Twenty20 Champions League. Has anyone achieved this before? asked Lee Mott from Sydney
David Warner followed his 135 not out from 69 balls for New South Wales Blues against Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League Twenty20 in Chennai earlier this month with 123 not out from 68 balls in NSW's next match, against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the semi-final three days later. No one else has ever managed successive centuries in Twenty20 cricket before. Warner is now one of five batsmen with three Twenty20 hundreds to his name, the others being Chris Gayle, Adam Gilchrist, Ian Harvey and Brendon McCullum (for a full list, click here).
Has anyone ever played a one-day international for England but not done anything? asked Antony Johnson from Scotland
No one has gone through their one and only one-day international for England without batting or bowling or taking a catch. However, two people have failed to score a run or take a wicket or a catch: Mike Watkinson did not bat, then bowled nine wicketless overs for 43, in what turned out to be his only ODI, against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1995-96; and Alex Loudon - now probably better known as the beau of Pippa Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's sister - was run out without facing a ball in his only ODI, against Sri Lanka in Chester-le-Street in 2006, then bowled six overs for 36 without taking a wicket. The shortest England ODI career belongs to the Leicestershire wicketkeeper Roger Tolchard, whose debut against Australia in Sydney in 1978-79 lasted only 7.2 overs before rain set in. He did manage to take a catch in that time, though. Actually the only player from anywhere who failed to bat or bowl or take a catch in his only ODI is Mark Bailey from New Zealand, who had a very quiet debut, against Zimbabwe in Dhaka in October 1998, and never played again. There are 33 other players (including Loudon, Tolchard and Watkinson) who did bat and/or bowl, but failed to score a run or take a wicket in their only ODI.
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