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Watson's sixes, and Dilshan's disappointments

Most balls faced in an innings, players named after towns, 99 and measles, and Bradman's triples

Steven Lynch

March 6, 2012

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Bill Woodfull on his first tour of England, April 13, 1926
Bill Maldon Woodfull: named after the town he was born in © PA Photos
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Shane Watson hit 42 sixes in one-day internationals during 2011. Was that a record for a calendar year? asked Nair Ottappalam from India
Shane Watson's 42 sixes in one-day internationals during 2011 has only been exceeded once in any calendar year - and it's no great surprise that the man who did it was Shahid Afridi, the leading six-hitter in one-day internationals. Afridi slammed 48 sixes in ODIs in 2002 - he scored only 743 runs that year, so nearly 39% of his runs came in hits over the rope. Afridi also blasted 37 sixes in 2005, and now has 297 to his name. Sachin Tendulkar hit 40 in 1998, the year in which he scored a record 1894 runs in ODIs. Sourav Ganguly (in 2000) and Matthew Hayden (2007) both hit 35 sixes in a year, while Yuvraj Singh also smacked 33 in 2007.

Tillakaratne Dilshan scored 160 against India the other day - but lost the match, and didn't even win the Man-of-the-Match award. Has anyone made a higher score but not won it? asked Tim Pate from New Zealand
There have been only five higher scores in a losing cause in one-day internationals than Tillakaratne Dilshan's 160 not out in Hobart last month. The highest of all is Charles Coventry's undefeated 194 for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh in Bulawayo in August 2009; the others are 181 not out by Matthew Hayden (Australia v New Zealand in Hamilton, 2006-07), 175 by Sachin Tendulkar (India v Australia in Hyderabad, 2009-10), 167 not out by Robin Smith (England v Australia at Edgbaston, 1993), and 164 by Ricky Ponting (Australia v South Africa in Johannesburg, 2005-06). They all ended up winning (or at least sharing) the Man-of-the-Match gong, but there is one higher score in a winning cause that didn't lead to the match award: James Marshall made 161 for New Zealand against Ireland in Aberdeen in 2008, but lost out to his more flamboyant opening partner Brendon McCullum, who scored 166. Remarkably, though, the Hobart game was the second time Dilshan had scored 160 in a one-day international but ended up losing - he also did it against India in Rajkot in December 2009. And the match award that day went to Virender Sehwag, who scored 140 as India won by three runs.

In that match at Hobart, Tillakaratne Dilshan faced 165 balls during his innings. Is this a record for a 50-over international? asked Skanda Murthy from India
There have been 16 instances in one-day internationals of a batsman facing more deliveries than the 165 that Tillakaratne Dilshan faced in that match in Hobart. Top of the list is New Zealand's Glenn Turner, who faced 201 deliveries during his 171 not out against East Africa at Edgbaston during the first World Cup in 1975. Turner is also second on this list, with 177 balls against India at Old Trafford a week later. But those innings - and most of the ones above Dilshan on the list - came from innings limited to 60 or 55 overs, before the length was standardised to 50. The longest innings in a 50-overs ODI is Ashish Bagai's 137 not out in 172 balls for Canada against Scotland at the Ruaraka ground in Nairobi in January 2007. For the full list, click here.

Which Australian captain's middle name - and which one's first name - were the towns in which they were born? asked Mark White from Melbourne
The first one was Australia's captain during the 1932-33 Bodyline series, Bill Woodfull, whose middle name was Maldon - the name of the town in Victoria where he was born. Maldon lies about 85 miles north-west of Melbourne: the main recreation ground there has been known for some years as the Woodfull Oval. The man whose first name coincides with his birthplace was Warren Bardsley, who stood in as captain in two Tests in England in 1926 (in which Woodfull played). Bardsley was born near Warren, a New South Wales country town around 300 miles north-west of Sydney.

Who was once left stranded on 99 in a first-class match by the measles? asked Charles Oliver from Cirencester
The owner of this unfortunate footnote in history was Gerald Crutchley, an Old Harrovian who went on to play for Oxford University and Middlesex. In the 1912 Varsity Match against Cambridge at Lord's, Crutchley was undefeated at the end of Oxford's innings with 99 not out. He was then found to be suffering from measles and played no further part in the match. Wisden records that his temperature rose by two degrees during the course of his innings.

Is Don Bradman the only player to score six triple-centuries in first-class cricket? And does he also hold the record for the most double-hundreds? asked Gaurav Gupta from Pakistan
The short answer is yes, and yes: Don Bradman scored six triple-centuries in first-class cricket, two more than anyone else. His Australian team-mate Bill Ponsford and his English adversary Wally Hammond both made four. The Don does also lead the way in double-centuries, with 37 to Hammond's 36: they are a long way ahead of the next man, England's Patsy Hendren, with 22. In joint fourth place at the moment are Herbert Sutcliffe and Mark Ramprakash, with 17. CB Fry, Jack Hobbs and Graeme Hick all made 16.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2012. Ask Steven is now on Facebook

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Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.

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