November 22, 2011

Nervous nineties, and family fifties

Also: total number of male internationals, Tests and T20s but no ODIs, and when all 11 had a bowl

How many times have both openers been dismissed in the nineties in the same Test innings? asked Rajat Bansal from India
This has happened four times in Test matches now. The first occasion was in India's second innings of the second Test against Pakistan in Lahore in 1978-79: Sunil Gavaskar was out for 97, while Chetan Chauhan fell for 93 (Chauhan never did make a Test century; Gavaskar managed 34). Against Australia in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1997-98, VVS Laxman made 95 and Navjot Singh Sidhu 97 as India laid the foundations for a total of 633 for 5 against Australia, then at The Oval in 2006, in the match ultimately won by England when Pakistan refused to play on after being accused of ball-tampering, Mohammad Hafeez made 95 and Imran Farhat 91 in Pakistan's total of 504. And finally, in Melbourne in 2009-10, Shane Watson scored 93 and Simon Katich 98 in Australia's first innings against Pakistan.

Malcolm Waller emulated his father Andrew by scoring a fifty on Test debut. Are they the first father-son combination to achieve this? asked Donny Ugboma from Cameroon
Malcolm Waller did indeed score 72 not out on his Test debut against New Zealand in Bulawayo earlier this month - he currently has a Test average of 101.00 - and his father Andy "Bundu" Waller made 50 in his first Test, also in Bulawayo, against England in 1996-97. But the Indian Amarnath family can go one better than this: Lala Amarnath scored 118 (India's first Test century) on his debut, against England in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1933-34, and his son Surinder made 124 in his first Test, against New Zealand in Auckland in 1975-76. And thanks for what I suspect is our first question from Cameroon!

Ross Taylor scored 76 in each innings against Zimbabwe recently. Has anyone had a better double than this in a Test? asked Frank Chappell from New Zealand
Ross Taylor's brace of 76s in the Test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo earlier this month comes in fourth on this particular list. Duleep Mendis hit 105 and 105 for Sri Lanka against India in Madras (now Chennai) in 1982-83, Alvin Kallicharran made twin 80s for West Indies against England at The Oval in 1973, and Majid Khan scored 79 in each innings for Pakistan against New Zealand in Wellington in 1972-73. And just to lay to rest a frequent Facebook question, that match in Bulawayo was the first time that both captains in a Test had the same last name (Taylor - Ross for New Zealand and Brendan for Zimbabwe). It has happened in a one-day international, though - in Sharjah in April 1995 Moin Khan captained Pakistan and Akram Khan skippered Bangladesh.

How many different men have played international cricket now? asked Adil Mukarram from Pakistan
When Kosala Kulasekara of Sri Lanka made his Test debut against Pakistan in Sharjah earlier this month, he became the 3511th man to appear in official international cricket. Of those, 2656 have appeared in Tests, 2005 in one-day internationals, and 582 in Twenty20 internationals (the numbers don't add up as, obviously, many players have played in more than one form of the game).

I noticed that Amjad Khan had played a Test and a Twenty20 international for England, but no 50-overs one-day internationals. Is he unique in this regard? asked Tom Elliott from Manchester
The only other Englishman to have this peculiar distinction is Chris Schofield, who played two Tests (against Zimbabwe in 2000) and, more recently, four Twenty20 internationals too. The Danish-born fast bowler Amjad Khan played one Test and one Twenty20 international, both in the West Indies early in 2009. From elsewhere, the only other players to have done this are Gayan Wijekoon of Sri Lanka (two Tests in 2005, three Twenty20 internationals in 2007) and, for the time being at least, New Zealand's Dean Brownlie, who made his Test debut against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo earlier this month, after playing two Twenty20 internationals last December. Brownlie, an allrounder who plays for Canterbury but was born in Western Australia, may well soon make his one-day international debut.

I recently spotted that Australia used 10 bowlers in Pakistan's second innings during a Test match in 1994-95. Is this a record? asked Ed Dixon from England
The match you're talking about was the second Test in Rawalpindi in 1994-95, when Australia used 10 bowlers (everyone except wicketkeeper Ian Healy) as the match fizzled out into a draw. That was one of 14 occasions when 10 bowlers were used in a Test innings. But there have been four instances of all 11 players having a bowl. The first occasion was at The Oval in 1884, when England tried all 11 players in an attempt to dislodge Australia, who were in the process of piling up 551. The most successful bowler was the wicketkeeper, Alfred Lyttelton, who took 4 for 19 with underarm lobs. It wasn't until 1979-80 that the second instance occurred, when Australia used all 11 bowlers (including 10 overs from keeper Rod Marsh) as their match against Pakistan in Faisalabad petered out into a draw. Since then it has happened twice on the batsman-friendly pitch at St John's in Antigua - in May 2002 India used 11 bowlers as West Indies reached 629, and three years later all 11 South Africans turned their arms over (keeper Mark Boucher took his only Test wicket, Dwayne Bravo) as West Indies amassed 747. For a full list, click here.

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