March 13, 2012

Warner's hundreds, and the Italian job

Also: the Gabba's top scorers, the Don v the rest, longest wait for an ODI hundred, and single-game venues

David Warner scored hundreds in successive innings in the CB Series finals. Has anyone ever scored three one-day hundreds in a row? asked Jamie Hart from Melbourne
There have been four instances of a batsman scoring three hundreds in successive one-day internationals. The first to enjoy such a purple patch was Zaheer Abbas, for Pakistan against India in 1982-83; another Pakistani, Saeed Anwar, did it against Sri Lanka and West Indies in Sharjah in 1993-94; Herschelle Gibbs achieved it in 2002-03; and AB de Villiers followed suit early in 2010, with two against India and one against West Indies. Gibbs came closest to making it four in four: after making 116 against Kenya and 116 not out v India in Colombo in September 2002, he made 153 against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom a week later, and had reached 96 in the next match, in Benoni, before - needing a boundary for his hundred - he hit the single that completed a ten-wicket victory. Earlier in that over, with Gibbs facing, Bangladesh's Alok Kapali delivered a leg-side wide that sped to the boundary, costing five runs.

Was David Warner's 163 the highest score in a one-day international at Brisbane? asked Anurag Sachdeva from the United Arab Emirates
David Warner's 163 against Sri Lanka in the first CB Series final was indeed the highest individual score at the Gabba: it surpassed the 158 of another left-handed David - Gower of England - against New Zealand back in 1982-83. The highest score against Australia in Brisbane remains Bill Athey's 111 on England's next tour, in 1986-87.

By how much did Don Bradman outperform everyone else during his career? I mean, who scored most runs while Bradman was a Test player? asked Mitchell Cusack from Sydney
Don Bradman famously scored 6996 runs in his Test career, which stretched from November 1928 to August 1948. In that period England's Walter Hammond scored 6817 runs - but he played 77 Tests in that time to the Don's 52. After that there's a huge drop, to Bruce Mitchell of South Africa, with 2996 runs. The next Australian during Bradman's span was Stan McCabe, who made 2748 Test runs. In all Bradman scored 24.28% of all Australia's Test runs during his career, the highest by anyone who played 20 or more Tests - George Headley (West Indies) is next with 21.38%.

Who had the most innings before scoring his first one-day international hundred? asked Carl Moore via Facebook
The man who had the longest wait for an ODI hundred was Shaun Pollock, who finally reached three figures in his 190th innings, in his 285th one-day international match. Oddly, he didn't score it for South Africa: Pollock's only ODI hundred was 130 for the African XI against the Asian Cricket Council XI in the short-lived Afro-Asia Cup, in Bangalore in June 2007. Pollock's highest score in 294 ODIs for South Africa was 90, against Pakistan in Multan a few months later in October 2007. The rather surprising name in second place on this list is Steve Waugh, who didn't score his first one-day hundred until his 167th innings, in his 187th match. Mark Boucher (160), Arjuna Ranatunga (145), Brendon McCullum (110), John Wright (104) and Sunil Gavaskar (101) all took more than 100 innings to register their first ODI centuries.

I noticed that Michael Di Venuto (Durham) and Gareth Berg (Middlesex) are about to play for Italy. I get the connection with Di Venuto, but how does "Ice" Berg qualify? asked Gerry Stannard from Finchley
Both Berg and Di Venuto have been named in Italy's squad for the upcoming World Twenty20 Qualifier, which starts in the UAE next week. Di Venuto, who played nine one-day internationals for Australia back in 1997, has an older brother (Peter) who has also played for Italy. The eligibility of the Middlesex allrounder Berg, who was born in South Africa, comes through his mother's side of the family - he plays in England on an Italian passport.

The Sydney Olympic Stadium has now staged a Twenty20 international. Are there any other grounds in Australia which have just one match to their name? asked Martin Baldwin from Melbourne
Stadium Australia in Sydney has joined seven other grounds Down Under which have staged just one international match - four of them one-off matches during the 1991-92 World Cup. That accounts for the matches in Albury, Ballarat, Berri and Mackay (a game which lasted only two balls because of rain). The other three are all in Tasmania: the Devonport Oval, the NTCA Ground at Launceston, and the old TCA Ground in Hobart. Three venues in Australia have staged just two Tests - the Exhibition Ground in Brisbane, Cazaly's Oval in Cairns and the Marrara Oval in Darwin (Cairns and Darwin have also staged some ODIs). Worldwide there have now been 27 grounds (some of which no longer exist) which have staged just one men's international match of one kind or another (Test, ODI or Twenty20 international).

And there's an update to last week's question about the highest score in a one-day international without winning the match award, from Robin Cooke
"While it's true that James Marshall didn't win the match award for his 161 for New Zealand v Ireland at Aberdeen in July 2008, Brendon McCullum didn't either, as there wasn't one! I believe the Scottish organisers hadn't found the sponsorship for Man of the Match awards in that series. So Tillakaratne Dilshan does hold the record for the highest score in a match where there actually was an award, and it went to someone else ..."

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