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Another record for Amla, and 99 stands

Also: three stumpings in an ODI, winning by an innings after scoring 153, and more

Steven Lynch

September 11, 2012

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Hashim Amla drives during his match-winning innings, England v South Africa, 5th NatWest ODI, Trent Bridge, September, 5, 2012
Amla: six top scores in a row © PA Photos
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Hashim Amla has top-scored for South Africa in his last six one-day internationals. Is this a record? asked Ahmed Kharva from South Africa
I was wondering how to find the answer to this interesting query (Statsguru isn't very good at consecutives), when Aslam Siddiqui, a frequent contributor to my Facebook page, came up with the answer. And it turns out that Hashim Amla's feat of top-scoring in six successive ODIs - the last two in New Zealand earlier this year, then all four against England - is indeed a record. The previous best was five, first achieved by Zaheer Abbas for Pakistan in the 1981-82 Australian tri-series, and matched since by Martin Crowe (1990-91), Brian Lara (1993-94), Mark Waugh (1998-99), Salman Butt (in 2008, all against Bangladesh), and Scotland's Fraser Watts (2010).

Both sides had a partnership of 99 in the second Test between India and New Zealand. How rare is this? asked Sivasakthivel from India
That's a good spot, because it turns out that none of the previous 2054 Test matches contained two partnerships of 99, as last week's one in Bangalore did (by Doug Bracewell and Kruger van Wyk in New Zealand's first innings, and Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina in India's second). In all, there have now been 96 stands of exactly 99 in Tests, four of them unbroken. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Stephen Fleming, Graeme Smith and Gundappa Viswanath appear to be the only men to feature in three apiece.

I noticed that all 11 West Indian batsmen reached double figures against Australia earlier this year, yet the total was 449. Is this the lowest in which everyone reached 10? asked Manesh Pandya from Hyderabad
All 11 West Indian batsmen reached double figures against Australia in Bridgetown earlier this year, and that was the 12th time in Test history that this has happened. Rather surprisingly perhaps, there are four lower totals than West Indies' 449 for 9 declared in the list, the lowest of all being South Africa's 358 against Australia in Melbourne in 1932, when one player made 10 not out and two managed 11. That just edges out India's 359 against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1967-68. The highest total in which everyone reached double figures is India's 664 against England at The Oval in 2007. For the full list, click here.

Has anyone ever scored a triple-century in the second innings of a Test match? asked Jeremy James from Scotland
There have now been 26 triple-centuries in Test cricket - and only one of them has come in the second innings of a match. That was Hanif Mohammad's 337 - it lasted 970 minutes, the longest individual innings in Test history - in Bridgetown in 1957-58. Hanif's epic rearguard enabled his side to escape with a draw after West Indies had taken a first-innings lead of 473; Pakistan made 657 for 8 (in 319 overs) in the follow-on. There was an agonising near-miss in New Zealand's second innings against Sri Lanka in Wellington in 1990-91, when Martin Crowe was caught behind for 299. There have been 27 further double-centuries in the second innings of Tests, only five of them in the fourth innings of the match.

What is the lowest score for a team that resulted in an innings win for them? asked Sidharth Jain from India
The lowest Test total that proved enough for an innings victory is 153, by Australia in Melbourne in 1931-32, when they bowled South Africa out on a rain-affected pitch for 36 and 45 to win by an innings and 72 runs. The left-arm spinner Bert "Dainty" Ironmonger, who was nearly 50 at the time, finished with the remarkable bowling figures of 5 for 6 and 6 for 18. The Wisden report says of the second innings: "The wicket was very difficult and Ironmonger once more proved practically unplayable... The third wicket fell at 25 and then, with the sun coming out, the wicket became terribly treacherous, the last seven batsmen being dismissed for another 20 runs." The lowest total by any side which ended up winning the Test is 45, by England against Australia in Sydney in January 1887 - they made 184 in their second innings, and bowled Australia out for 119 and 97.

The commentary said that Craig Kieswetter's three stumpings in the ODI against South Africa was a record - is this for England or overall? asked Hemant Kher from the United States
Craig Kieswetter's three stumpings in last week's one-day international at Lord's was the 14th instance of a wicketkeeper making three stumpings in the same ODI, but the first for England. Ian Healy, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Moin Khan and Kumar Sangakkara have all done it twice. Kieswetter's all came from the bowling of James Tredwell, the sixth instance of all three stumpings being off the same bowler, following Saleem Yousuf off Saleem Malik (1990-91), Healy off Shane Warne (1994-95), Kaluwitharana off Sanath Jayasuriya (1999-2000), Sangakkara off Muttiah Muralitharan (2000), and Dhoni off Piyush Chawla (2008). For the full list, click here.

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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