September 18, 2012

Amla's average, and World Twenty20 records

Also: lower-order T20 fifties, most ODI half-centuries without getting hundreds, and two tons on debut and two on farewell

Hashim Amla averages almost 60 in one-day internationals. Is this the highest of anyone? asked Martin Cross from England
Hashim Amla currently averages 59.55 in one-day internationals - not bad for someone who wasn't originally thought to be a one-day player! Of players who have scored over 1000 runs in ODIs, the only one with a higher average is Ryan ten Doeschate of Netherlands (1541 runs at 67.00), and the only others to average over 50 are Michael Bevan of Australia (53.58) and the current Indian pair of Virat Kohli (51.81) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (51.17). For the full list, click here. If you exclude matches against non-Test-playing nations, Amla's average rises to 60.00: the others above 50 are still Bevan (54.42), Kohli (62.60) and Dhoni (50.50), with AB de Villiers a near-miss at 49.92. Ten Doeschate dips to a still-respectable 42.57.

As the World Twenty20 gets under way, who has scored the most runs in the competition? asked Firoze Mehta from Delhi
The leading run scorer from the previous three editions of the World Twenty20 is Mahela Jayawardene, with 615. Kevin Pietersen (580) comes next, quite a long way in front of Tillakaratne Dilshan (453), Gautam Gambhir (444) and Chris Gayle (442). The record for a single tournament is Dilshan's 317 runs in England in 2009. The leading wicket-taker in World Twenty20 matches is Shahid Afridi, with 27, just ahead of his Pakistan team-mate Umar Gul, who has 26 (and Gul only played in the first two, missing the 2010 tournament through injury). Australia's Dirk Nannes holds the record for a single tournament, with 14 wickets in the West Indies in 2010.

What's the lowest position in the batting order from which someone has scored a fifty in a Twenty20 international? asked Jamie Clarke from Melbourne
There have been three half-centuries in T20 internationals from No. 7 in the batting order - and two of them were by the big New Zealander Jacob Oram. He made 66 not out against Australia in Perth in December 2007, and 61 against England in Auckland in February 2008. The other one was Michael Hussey's 60 not out - from only 24 balls - which turned the 2010 World Twenty20 semi-final Australia's way after Pakistan had looked certain winners in St Lucia. Six of the seven hundreds in T20 internationals to date have been scored by openers - the exception was Suresh Raina's 101, from No. 3, for India against South Africa, also in the World Twenty20 in St Lucia in 2010.

Misbah-ul-Haq has scored 20 half-centuries in ODIs without making a hundred. Has anyone made more than this without a century? asked Fayzal Ahmed from Karachi
There are two batsmen who finished their ODI careers with more half-centuries than Misbah-ul-Haq's 20, without ever reaching three figures. Graham Thorpe of England made 21 from 82 matches, with a highest score of 89, but the New Zealander Andrew Jones reached 50 on 25 occasions (from 87 matches) but never quite made it to 100 - his highest score was 93, against Bangladesh in Sharjah in April 1990. Of current players, Elton Chigumbura has 14 unconverted fifties, and his Zimbabwe team-mate Stuart Matsikenyeri 13.

I noticed that 19 of the players bowled in the drawn Test between West Indies and South Africa in Antigua in 2005. But what is the smallest number of bowlers in a completed Test match? asked Terence McCormack from London
The match you mention, in Antigua in 2005, is the most recent of four instances of 19 different players bowling in a Test, but there is actually one case of 20 players bowling - everyone except the two wicketkeepers had a trundle in the drawn Test between South Africa and England in Cape Town in January 1965. At the other end of the scale there were only six bowlers used in the third Ashes Test of 1888, at Old Trafford, which England won by an innings to secure a 2-1 series win. John Ferris, Charlie Turner and Sammy Woods bowled in England's innings of 172, then Bobby Peel, George Lohmann and Johnny Briggs combined to bowl Australia out for 81 and 70.

How many cricketers have scored a century in both innings on their Test debut, and how many did so in their final Test? asked Siddhartha from India
Two men have scored a century in each innings of their Test debut. The first was the stylish West Indian Lawrence Rowe, who hit 214 in the first innings of his maiden Test, against New Zealand in Kingston in his native Jamaica in 1971-72, and added 100 not out in the second innings. "His was a phenomenal performance," intoned Wisden, "and he did not appear to have any technical weaknesses." Rowe's feat was echoed in August 2003 by Yasir Hameed, who made 170 and 105 in Pakistan's seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in Karachi. The only player to score twin centuries in his final Test is Jack Russell (the Essex and England batsman, not the recent wicketkeeper), who made 140 and 111 against South Africa in Durban in 1922-23.

And there's an update to one of last week's questions, from Tushar Trivedi via Facebook
"Actually there has been one previous instance of two partnerships of 99 in the same Test before the recent one in Bangalore - at Cape Town in March 2002 Gary Kirsten and Graeme Smith put on 99 for South Africa, then Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting did the same for Australia. Both partnerships were for the second wicket."

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