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Also: Clarke's records, feasting on hundreds while Tendulkar starves, five-fors to begin with
January 10, 2012
Has anyone else ever followed a pair in a Test with a double-century, as Jacques Kallis did last week? asked James Robinson from London
Jacques Kallis followed his first Test pair, against Sri Lanka in Durban, with 224 - his highest Test score - in Cape Town last week. The only other man to achieve this up-and-down feat is Clifford Roach, the Trinidadian, who followed up a pair for West Indies against England in Port-of-Spain in 1929-30 with 209 in the next match, in Georgetown. And, to answer another question about Kallis' innings, the only other player to score a century in his 150th Test match (bear in mind that only six men have played that many) is Allan Border, with 105 against New Zealand in Brisbane in 1993-94.
Which bowler has dismissed the most batsmen in Tests for 99? asked Alex Mason from Birmingham
Only three bowlers have inflicted two 99s on batsmen in Tests. The first was England's Phil Tufnell, who had John Wright of New Zealand stumped for 99 in Christchurch in 1991-92, and bowled Australia's Mark Waugh at Lord's in 1993. The South African fast bowler Allan Donald denied Saleem Malik of Pakistan in Johannesburg in 1994-95, and New Zealand's Stephen Fleming in Bloemfontein in 2000-01. The third name on this list is perhaps a bit of a surprise: Ravindra Pushpakumara of Sri Lanka only took 58 Test wickets, but two of them were batsmen on 99 - Alistair Campbell of Zimbabwe in Harare in 1994-95, and India's Sourav Ganguly in Nagpur in 1997-98. Anil Kumble is the most successful bowler against batsmen in the nineties - he dismissed ten of them in Tests, one more than Kapil Dev. Kumble also got five batsmen out for 49.
Michael Clarke outscored India's entire first innings at Sydney off his own bat by 138 runs. What's the record here? asked Stefan Kristofski from Parramatta, Sydney
The biggest margin by which one man has outscored the entire opposition's first innings in a Test match is 256, by Inzamam-ul-Haq - in Lahore in May 2002 he piled up 329 (coincidentally the same amount as Michael Clarke at the SCG last week), then looked on approvingly as New Zealand were skittled for 73.
Was Michael Clarke's score the highest by a captain in a Test match? asked Hemant Kher from the United States
Michael Clarke's 329 not out against India ain Sydney last week was the 25th triple-century in Test history, but only the seventh by a captain. Four of those innings, though, were higher than Clarke's: top of all the lists remains Brian Lara's 400 not out for West Indies against England in St John's in 2003-04. Next for the captains come Mahela Jayawardene's 374 for Sri Lanka v South Africa in Colombo in 2006, Mark Taylor's unbeaten 334 (still the Australian record) against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1994-95, and Graham Gooch's 333 for England v India at Lord's in 1990. The other two captains to make triple-centuries are Younis Khan (313 for Pakistan v Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2008-09) and Bob Simpson (311 for Australia v England at Old Trafford in 1964).
How many international hundreds have been scored all told between Sachin Tendulkar's 99th hundred and his elusive 100th? asked Azweer from India
By the end of the two Tests that began on January 3, 2012, there had been 110 individual centuries in international cricket (72 in Tests, 37 in ODIs and one in Twenty20 internationals) since Sachin Tendulkar's 99th hundred, which came on March 12, 2011, against South Africa in Nagpur during the World Cup. Michael Clarke, Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sangakkara and Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor have so far scored five international centuries - and Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, Mike Hussey and Mohammad Hafeez four - while Tendulkar has been searching for his 100th one.
Vernon Philander took four five-wicket hauls in his first three Tests. On TV it was said to be the third time this had happened - who else did it? asked Jimmy Doherty from Johannesburg
The other two bowlers apart from Vernon Philander to claim four five-fors in their first three Tests were from a long time ago - Charles "Terror" Turner did it for Australia in 1887-88, and England's Tom Richardson followed suit in the 1890s. But there is someone who trumps all three of them: Rodney Hogg started his Test career in sensational style for Australia against England in 1978-79, taking 6 for 74 (and 1 for 35) on debut in Brisbane, 5 for 65 and 5 for 57 in Perth, and 5 for 30 and 5 for 36 in Melbourne. Turner uniquely (so far!) took at least one five-for in each of his first six Tests.
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