January 3, 2012

A big aggregate, and a good start

Also: half-centuries galore, a century of stumpings, Shakib's record, and most pairs in Tests

At the start of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne, the combined aggregate of all 22 players totalled more than 80,000 runs. Is this a Test record? asked Prakash Kumar from Thailand
It's actually some way off the record - don't forget that the current Australian side is relatively inexperienced in Test terms. The biggest run-aggregate for a pair of teams in a Test is 128,941, by Australia (51,748) and the World XI (a record 77,193) in Sydney in 2005-06. If you ignore that one, which is obviously rather artificial, the highest is 116,175 by India (51,902) and Australia (64,273) in Kolkata in 2000-01. The record for one side in any Test is an aggregate of 65,380 runs by India against Sri Lanka in Chennai in 2005-06.

Dinesh Chandimal scored two half-centuries on his Test debut last week. How often has this happened? asked Ajith de Kretser from Colombo
Dinesh Chandimal's feat - he scored 58 and 54 against South Africa in Durban last week - was the 21st time that a batsman had reached 50 twice in his first Test without going on to at least one hundred. The last man to do it was Tamim Iqbal, for Bangladesh against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2007-08, and the one before that was Kevin Pietersen, in the 2005 Ashes Test at Lord's. The only other wicketkeeper to do it before Chandimal was India's Dilawar Hussain, who made 59 and 57 against England in Calcutta in 1933-34. For the full list, click here.

There were 13 scores of 50 or more in the recent Test between India and West Indies in Mumbai. Is this a record? asked Harry Maitland from England
That match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai last November provided only the seventh instance of 13 or more scores of 50-plus in the same Test. There have been two cases of 14 - the Ashes Tests at Headingley in 1948 and Brisbane in 1962-63 - while the famous Timeless Test in Durban in 1938-39 had 16 individual contributions of 50 or more (and the record match aggregate of 1981 runs all told). But the leader on this particular list, with 17 scores of 50 or more, was the 1968-69 clash between Australia and West Indies in Adelaide. The aggregate of 1764 runs in that match remains the record for a time-limited (five-day) Test.

Is Kumar Sangakkara the only wicketkeeper to effect more than 100 stumpings in international cricket? asked James Laird from New Zealand
Kumar Sangakkara reached a century of stumpings in international cricket when he despatched Jimmy Hansra of Canada during the 2011 World Cup match in Hambantota. Sangakkara currently has 109 stumpings in all formats - a record 78 in one-day internationals, 20 in Tests (where he no longer keeps) and 11 in Twenty20 internationals. The only other wicketkeeper to reach three figures is another Sri Lankan, Romesh Kaluwitharana, who made 26 stumpings in Tests and 75 in one-day internationals.

Is Shakib Al Hasan the first Bangladesh player to score a hundred and take a five-for in the same Test? asked Peter Typl from Hungary
The short answer is yes: Shakib Al Hasan followed his 144 against Pakistan in Mirpur last month by taking 6 for 82, and no other Bangladeshi has previously achieved this particular double in a Test. The only man to do it against Bangladesh to date is Jacques Kallis, with 139 not out and 5 for 21 in Potchefstroom in 2002-03. Kallis is one of only four men who have done this double more than once, the others being Mushtaq Mohammad and Garry Sobers, who both did it twice, and Ian Botham, who managed it on no fewer than five occasions. For the full list, click here.

I heard that Chris Martin has the most pairs in Test history. Is this true? And who is highest on this list among recognised batsmen? asked John Allen from New Zealand
New Zealand's Chris Martin is indeed the runaway leader on this list - he has collected six pairs of ducks so far in Tests. No one else has more than four, a fate suffered by the West Indians Merv Dillon and Courtney Walsh, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar of India... and the Sri Lankan opener Marvan Atapattu, who is thus the leading recognised batsman on the list. Two of Atapattu's pairs came in his first three Tests, during which he famously amassed just one run - 0 and 0, 0 and 1, and 0 and 0 - and even that one, apparently, should actually have been signalled as a leg-bye! For the full list, click here.

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