December 6, 2011

Mumbai masala

Level scores, six half-centuries, a hundred with a five-for, and another Tendulkar record - it all happened at the Wankhede

The Mumbai Test was drawn with the scores level. Has this ever happened before? asked Dennis Morgan from Australia
The exciting third Test between India and West Indies in Mumbai was actually the fifth instance of a Test match ending with both sides having scored the same number of runs. The two most famous instances are the two tied Tests - Australia v West Indies in Brisbane in 1960-61, and India v Australia in Madras (now Chennai) in 1986-87 - when the last wicket went down with the batting side one short of victory. In Bulawayo in 1996-97 England finished one short of victory against Zimbabwe, but that wasn't a tie as England had not lost all their wickets in the second innings. And at Old Trafford in 1998 England's two totals of 183 and 369 for 9 added up exactly to what South Africa scored in just one innings - 552 for 5. That looks one-sided, and it was - but there was an exciting end to the match as England inched closer to avoiding the innings defeat, which they did with a few minutes left, ensuring there would not be time for South Africa to bat again.

The first six West Indies batsmen all scored over 60 in the first innings at Mumbai - is that a first? asked Alastair from Australia
West Indies' first innings in Mumbai was the seventh in all Tests to contain six scores of 60-plus - but only the second time the top six had all managed it. At Kolkata in 1997-98, VVS Laxman made 95, Navjot Sidhu 97, Rahul Dravid 86, Sachin Tendulkar 79, Mohammad Azharuddin 163 and Sourav Ganguly 65, against Australia (the only other batsman used in India's total of 633 for 5 declared was Nayan Mongia, who finished with 30 not out). The first instance of six sixties in an innings was at Old Trafford in 1934, when six England players - including Gubby Allen at No. 9 and Hedley Verity at 10 - managed it. The most recent case before Mumbai was in Bridgetown in 2003, when six of Australia's top seven passed 60 - but opener Matthew Hayden missed out with 27.

Ravichandran Ashwin apparently became only the third Indian player to score a hundred and take a five-for in the same Test at Mumbai - who are the others? And who is the only player to score a double-century and take a five-for in the same Test? asked Richard Webb from England
The other Indian players to echo Ashwin's feat in Mumbai were Vinoo Mankad and Polly Umrigar. Mankad had an astonishing match against England at Lord's in 1952: in between innings of 72 and 184 he bowled 73 overs and took 5 for 196. In England's second innings he bowled 24 more overs, finishing with 0 for 35. Umrigar achieved a similar tour de force against West Indies in Port-of-Spain in 1961-62, in a match India ended up losing: after taking 5 for 107 in West Indies' first innings of 444 he top-scored with 56 then, in the follow-on, made 172 not out. Finally Umrigar bowled 16 overs for 17 runs as West Indies made heavy weather of chasing down the 176 they needed for victory (it took them 101 overs). For the full list of people who have done this, click here. Two men (not one) have managed a double-century and a five-for in the same Test: Denis Atkinson, for West Indies against Australia in Bridgetown in 1955, and Mushtaq Mohammad, for Pakistan against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1972-73.

Ashwin acheived the double of a hundred and a five-wicket haul in his third Test match. Has anyone done this in their first Test? asked Aby Siby Kalappurayil from India
The only man to have achieved this double on Test debut was Bruce Taylor, for New Zealand v India in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1964-65. Taylor came in at No. 8 and hit 105 - his maiden century in first-class cricket - and later took 5 for 86. Jack Gregory, the Australian allrounder, achieved the feat in his second Test, against England in Melbourne in 1920-21.

Ashwin conceded 150 runs and scored a century at Mumbai. How often has this happened in Tests? asked Nandan Lokare from India
Ashwin (5 for 156 and 103) was the fifth player to achieve this particular all-round double in a Test. Another Indian, Vinoo Mankad, did it in the match at Lord's in 1952 referred to above. The first to do it was the tireless Australian, George Giffen, who scored 161 and later took 4 for 164 against England in Sydney in 1894-95 (three years previously Giffen had scored 271 and took 16 wickets for South Australia against Victoria in Adelaide, so this might have felt like a light workout!). Tony Greig followed an innings of 148 with 6 for 164 for England against West Indies in Bridgetown in 1973-74, while in Sheikhupura in 1996-97 (in the match in which Wasim Akram clouted 257 not out from No. 8 for Pakistan) Zimbabwe's Paul Strang followed 106 not out with 5 for 212 from 69 overs.

Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed in the nineties for the tenth time in a Test at Mumbai. Is that a record? asked Mauro Freitas from the United Arab Emirates
Yes, Sachin Tendulkar is indeed the first batsman to be dismissed 10 times in the nineties in Tests, to go with 17 dismissals in the nineties in one-day internationals. Rahul Dravid and Steve Waugh have also made 10 scores in the nineties, but one of Dravid's and two of Waugh's were not out. Michael Slater of Australia was also out nine times in the nineties in only 74 Tests, less than half the matches played by the other three.

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