October 2, 2012

Ramps' record, and a mystery man

Also: highest score in a follow-on, dismissing all 11 batsmen, and the best figures for New Zealand

The now-retired Mark Ramprakash scored 10,000 first-class runs for two different counties - has anyone else ever managed this? asked Leslie Ward from Surrey
Mark Ramprakash actually exceeded 15,000 runs in first-class cricket for both his counties - he made 15,046 for Middlesex at an average of 50.48, and 15,837 at 67.96 for Surrey. The only other man I can find who passed 10,000 first-class runs for two counties is Tom Graveney, who made 19,705 runs at 43.02 for Gloucestershire, before moving to Worcestershire and making 13,160 (46.17) for them. There was a near-miss by Graveney's old England team-mate Peter Richardson, who scored 9118 runs for Worcestershire and 9775 for Kent.

Is it true that Middlesex once fielded someone playing under the pseudonym "O. N. E. More"? asked Philip Madeley from London
Bizarrely, it is true, although it was a long time ago - "O. N. E. More, Esq." appears on the Wisden scorecards for at least two of Middlesex's matches, against Yorkshire and Surrey on the old Cattle Market ground in Islington in August 1868. "More" was in fact an amateur wicketkeeper called Richard Halliwell, who for reasons that aren't immediately obvious - possibly they were to do with his work as an engineer - appeared under a variety of identities in a first-class career that amounted to 43 matches. His most frequent alias was "R Bisset", which was his middle name, although he also appeared as H Brown, B Richards, and R Tessib (Bisset backwards). Scores and Biographies, a noted reference work of the period, archly observed that "all feigned names in these pages, where known, are altered". Halliwell, a "hard and slashing hitter", died of TB in 1881, not long before his 39th birthday. His son, Ernest "Barberton" Halliwell, also a wicketkeeper, later played eight Tests for South Africa, captaining them twice.

What is the highest individual score in a follow-on? asked Mark Levison from England
The highest score in a follow-on in a Test match is Hanif Mohammad's 337 in Bridgetown in 1957-58. Pakistan had collapsed for 106 after West Indies made 579, so it looked like a lost cause - but Hanif batted for 970 minutes, the longest innings in Test history, to save the match. Hanif himself believes his epic innings lasted 999 minutes, and has a gramophone record (presumably a long-player) of the radio commentary to prove it. The highest in all first-class cricket is 344, by WG Grace for MCC against Kent at Canterbury in 1876. Wisden reported that Grace "kept on hitting, scoring, and fagging the field until near the end".

I was looking at the scorecard of Jim Laker's amazing 19-wicket Test in 1956, and noticed that, not surprisingly, he dismissed all the opposition batsmen at least once. How many others have managed this in a Test? asked Lionel Warwick from Sydney
In that astonishing performance in the Old Trafford Ashes Test of 1956, Jim Laker did indeed dismiss every member of the Australian side at least once. That was the first such occurrence in Test cricket, but it has happened five times since - and remarkably on three of those occasions the bowler concerned "only" took 12 wickets in the match. The first man to emulate Laker was another offspinner, India's Srinivas Venkataraghavan, with 12 for 152 against New Zealand in Delhi in 1964-65, in what was only his fourth Test (he made his debut in the first match of that series). The Australian left-arm seam bowler Geoff Dymock dismissed all 11 opponents in the course of taking 12 for 161 against India in Kanpur in 1979-80; Abdul Qadir took 13 for 101 for Pakistan v England in Lahore in 1987-88; another Pakistani, Waqar Younis, took 12 for 130 against New Zealand in Faisalabad in 1990-91; and the most recent instance was by Muttiah Muralitharan, during his 13 for 171 for Sri Lanka v South Africa in Galle in 2000. For a full list with more details, click here.

Tim Southee took 7 for 64 against India recently. Where does this stand for New Zealand bowlers? asked Ashish Mehta from Gurgaon
Tim Southee's 7 for 64 in the recent second Test against India in Bangalore are New Zealand's best bowling figures in a Test in India - previously it was Dion Nash's 6 for 27 in Mohali in 1999-2000. The only better figures against India by a New Zealander are Richard Hadlee's 7 for 23 in Wellington in 1975-76. Southee now stands fourth for New Zealand in all Tests, also behind Hadlee's 9 for 52 against Australia in Brisbane in 1985-86, Chris Cairns' 7 for 27 v West Indies in Hamilton in 1999-2000, Chris Pringle's 7 for 52 v Pakistan in Faisalabad in 1990-91. Simon Doull took 7 for 65 against India in Wellington in 1998-99.

Has any county ever had a side containing 11 Test players? asked Bob Mitchell from London
The only instance of this came during 1981, when Middlesex several times fielded a team composed entirely of Test players - Mike Brearley, Graham Barlow, Clive Radley, Mike Gatting, Roland Butcher, Paul Downton, John Emburey, Phil Edmonds and Mike Selvey (England), plus Jeff Thomson (Australia) and Wayne Daniel (West Indies). The previous record was ten, by Warwickshire against Leicestershire in August 1972, when their side included six England players and four from West Indies (Lance Gibbs, Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai and Deryck Murray). Ironically, Warwickshire's leading bowler in that match was Norman McVicker, their one non-Test player, who took 6 for 72 in the first innings.

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