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Also: hitting the winning runs in your only Test, highest score when all 40 fell, West Indies' Lord's double-centurion, and centuries by new-ball bowlers
May 29, 2012
Stuart Broad took seven wickets in the first innings at Lord's, all of them caught by different fielders (including one by himself). How rare is this? asked Jacco Schalkwijk via Facebook
The answer is, it's unique: it's the first time in Test history that a seven-for has involved seven different catchers. When the Somerset slow left-armer Jack "Farmer" White took 8 for 126 against Australia in Adelaide in 1928-29, all eight victims were caught - by seven different fielders, with Maurice Tate hanging on to two. Three bowlers' seven-fors have all been made up of catches, with six different fieldsmen being involved: SF Barnes, for England v Australia in Melbourne in 1901-02, Shaun Pollock, for South Africa v Australia in Adelaide in 1997-98... and West Indies' current captain Darren Sammy, on his Test debut against England at Old Trafford in 2007.
Has anyone made the winning hit in his only Test match? asked Brad Mason from Brisbane
Only two people have had the bittersweet experience of hitting the winning runs on their Test debut, only to be dropped for ever afterwards. The first was Jeff Moss, a left-hand batsman tried out by Australia when many senior players were unavailable owing to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket: called up for the last Test of 1978-79 after a prolific home season, Moss made 22 and 38 not out (including the winning runs) in Perth, but the Packer players returned not long afterwards and he never got another chance, finishing with a Test average of 60.00. Then in December 2001, Iqbal Siddiqui, the Maharashtra fast bowler, made his Test debut against England in Mohali. He took only one wicket but, with India needing only five to win in their second innings, he was sent in to open - and hit a four and a single off the first two balls from Matthew Hoggard to seal a ten-wicket victory. But that was it: Siddiqui never won another cap.
What's the highest individual score in a Test in which all 40 wickets went down? asked Christian Ramirez via Facebook
This is rather a neat question, as none of Test cricket's triple-centuries have come in a match in which all the wickets fell. I was just starting to work out the answer when another ardent Facebooker, Aslam Siddiqui, did the sums for me, so, many thanks. The answer for a match in which both sides were bowled out twice is 266, by Bill Ponsford for Australia in the final Ashes Test at The Oval in 1934... but even then only 37 wickets actually went down, as Les Ames strained his back while batting - he retired hurt in the first innings and didn't appear in the second - while Bill Bowes was absent ill in the first innings. So to answer your question exactly, the highest individual score in a match in which 40 wickets fell is 253, by Sanath Jayasuriya for Sri Lanka v Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2004-05. When he had made only 9 in that innings, Jayasuriya was caught off Shoaib Akhtar, but it was a no-ball.
Who or what in Test cricket was "The Grizz"? asked Stuart Backhouse from England
This was the nickname of the former Australian wicketkeeper Wally Grout, given to him on account of his habit of "grizzling" (complaining, in a humorous way, I think!) about life in general. Queenslander Grout made his Test debut in South Africa in 1957-58, when he was already 30, and remained Australia's first-choice keeper for nine years. He retired after the 1965-66 Ashes series with 187 dismissals to his name in 51 Tests, but sadly died of a heart attack late in 1968, aged only 41.
Who is the only West Indian to score a Test double-century at Lord's? asked Leon Overdulve from South Africa
Shivnarine Chanderpaul narrowly missed out on scoring West Indies' 19th Test century at Lord's last week. Of those, only one has been a double: Gordon Greenidge's magnificent 214 not out as his side romped to victory by blitzing 344 for 1 on the last day in 1984. Greenidge, George Headley and Garry Sobers both scored two Test hundreds at Lord's: both of Headley's came in the same match, in 1939.
I noticed that in the fourth Test at Kingston in 1954-55, Australia's two centuries were scored by their opening bowlers. How often has this happened? asked Chirag from India
The centurions in that Test, which was played in Barbados, in 1954-55 were the legendary new-ball pairing of Keith Miller (who scored 137) and Ray Lindwall (118). Ron Archer, the first-change bowler, made 98! And it has never otherwise happened, before or since, that the opening bowlers have made their side's only centuries of the match. The only other known instance where the players who took the new ball made hundreds in the same match is rather a false one: in Faisalabad in 2005-06, four Pakistanis scored centuries against India and, with a draw certain, two of them - Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan - opened the bowling and delivered the eight overs possible in India's brief second innings. It's just possible there might be other instances like this - we don't always know the exact bowling order in the second innings.
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