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Also: most Test wickets at a foreign ground, title followed by relegation, huge margins of victory, and big World Cup chases
September 25, 2012
How many people have scored hundreds in their 100th one-day international? asked Carl Meredith from Wales
Seven men have marked the occasion of their 100th one-day international by scoring a century, arguably the most surprising name among them being Chris Cairns, who hit 115 for New Zealand against India in Christchurch in his 100th match, in January 1999. Pride of place, though, should probably go to the great West Indian opener Gordon Greenidge. He was not only the first man to do it - with 102 not out against Pakistan in Sharjah in October 1988 - but that set up a notable double: two years later he added a century in his 100th Test match too (he is also one of seven players to do that). The others to score a hundred in their 100th ODI are Mohammad Yousuf (2001-02), Kumar Sangakkara (2003-04), Chris Gayle (2004), Marcus Trescothick (2005) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (2005-06). For the full list, click here.
I just noticed that Shaun Pollock scored a half-century and took four wickets in his first one-day international. Has anyone else done this double? asked Jaspreet Singh from the United States
Two people managed this particular debut double before Shaun Pollock did it in January 1996, with 66 not out and 4 for 34 against England in Cape Town... but no one else has done it since. Unusually, Pollock's predecessors were both from Zimbabwe. Duncan Fletcher - now India's coach - scored 69 not out, then took 4 for 42 in a shock victory over Australia at Trent Bridge in the 1983 World Cup: this was not just Fletcher's debut but Zimbabwe's very first official one-day international. And in October 1992, a week after Zimbabwe's inaugural Test match, Gary Crocker took 4 for 26 then scored 50 on his ODI debut, against India in Harare. Many years ago Crocker asked this column how rare this feat was, as he was trying to emigrate to America and his prospects of a "green card" would be improved if he could demonstrate sporting excellence. I wonder if he got in?
What is the highest number of Test wickets by a bowler on a ground outside his home country? asked Anand K from the United States
Two old-time England bowlers lead the way here. Sydney Barnes took 35 wickets in five Tests in Melbourne between 1901-02 and 1911-12, while George Lohmann claimed 35 in only four matches in Sydney - at an average of 9.45! - around a decade earlier. Lohmann's innings figures were 3 for 30 and 3 for 20, 8 for 35 and 2 for 52 (1886-87), 5 for 17 and 4 for 35 (1887-88), and 8 for 58 and 2 for 84 (1891-92). Shane Warne of Australia took 32 wickets in four matches at The Oval, and 29 in four at Trent Bridge, while England's Angus Fraser took 29 in four matches in Port-of-Spain.
Lancashire have just been relegated from the first division of the County Championship the year after winning the title. Has this fate befallen anyone else? asked John Templeton from Bristol
Since the County Championship was split into two divisions for the 2000 season, there have been two previous instances of the defending champions being relegated the year after their title triumph. Yorkshire won the Championship in 2001, but finished bottom of the first division the following year (it took them three seasons to get back into the top flight). And Nottinghamshire won the title in 2005 (after winning the second division the previous year), but were relegated after finishing eighth in 2006.
South Africa beat Zimbabwe in the World Twenty20 with 44 balls unused - is this a record margin? asked Trevor Mills from London
South Africa's margin of victory in that match in Hambantota last week is, rather surprisingly perhaps, only the 11th-biggest in all Twenty20 internationals by that yardstick. The list is headed by Ireland, who coasted to victory over Kenya in Dubai earlier this year with no fewer than 12.4 of their 20 overs (76 balls) remaining. Kenya had been bowled out for 71, and the Irish openers hurried them home. The previous record - and the best at a World Twenty20 tournament - was set by New Zealand in Durban in September 2007, when Kenya were again on the receiving end, losing with 74 balls to spare. For a full list, click here.
What is the highest successful run chase in World Cup history? asked Aroop Chatterjee from India
This is another table that Ireland sit proudly on top of, after shocking England by overhauling their total of 327 for 8 in Bangalore last year, mainly thanks to Kevin O'Brien's astonishing onslaught, which brought him 113 from just 63 balls in their 329 for 7. There have been four more successful chases of 300 or more: Sri Lanka made 313 for 7 to beat Zimbabwe in New Plymouth in 1992, Ireland (again!) scored 307 for 4 to beat Netherlands in Kolkata in 2011, England made 301 for 9 to beat West Indies in Bridgetown in 2007, while South Africa scored 300 for 7 in Nagpur to inflict India's only defeat of the 2011 World Cup. Also in Bangalore in 2010-11, England scored 338 for 8 - the highest total in the second innings of any World Cup match - to tie with India. The highest second-innings total in the World Cup that still led to defeat is South Africa's 294 against Australia (who had earlier piled up 377 for 6) in Basseterre in 2007.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test