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Also: highest scores on debut against India, most ducks inflicted, the highest T20 total, and the fastest Indian to 50 Test wickets
October 30, 2012
The lowest total in the 1977-78 Perth Test was India's 330 in their second innings. Is this the only Test in which all four innings were over 300? asked S Hari Narayanan from India
I was rather surprised to discover that that exciting match at the WACA in 1977-78, which Australia eventually won by two wickets, was actually one of 13 Tests in which all four innings have been in excess of 300. The most recent one was an equally exciting encounter in Colombo in 2006, when Sri Lanka (321 and 352 for 9) just pipped South Africa (361 and 311). The highest "lowest" total involved came in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley in 1948, when Don Bradman's Australians (458 and 404 for 3) beat England (496 and 365 for 8 dec) by seven wickets.
Who has hit the highest number of sixes at a particular venue? asked Talha Irfan from Pakistan
Taking all three forms of international cricket into account, the record for one ground is 59 sixes, by Shahid Afridi in 48 matches in Sharjah. He's the only one to have managed a half-century of sixes at a particular venue: next, with 42 in 37 games in Auckland, is the big-hitting New Zealander Chris Cairns. Inzamam-ul-Haq hit 39 sixes in 61 matches in Sharjah, while Sanath Jayasuriya hit 37 in 81 matches at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, and 36 in 58 games at Sharjah. The record for an English ground is 24, by Andrew Flintoff at Lord's.
What's the highest score by anyone in their first Test against India (not necessarily their Test debut)? asked Paul McKinley from Ireland
Four batsmen have made double-centuries in their first Test match against India: the biggest score among them is Geoff Boycott's 246 not out for England at Headingley in 1967. That remained Boycott's highest Test score, but it was a controversial one - it took him 573 minutes, against what was perceived to be a modest bowling attack, and he was dropped afterwards for "selfish batting". Wisden reported: "He did not make a false stroke, but his lack of enterprise met with much disapproval and the selectors dropped him for the next Test." The others to make double-centuries in their first Test against India are Dean Jones (210 in the tie in Madras in 1986-87), Greg Chappell (204 in Sydney in 1980-81) and David Gower (200 not out at Edgbaston in 1979). Don Bradman just missed out, with 185 in Brisbane in 1947-48. The highest score against India by someone making their overall Test debut is 151, by Australia's Michael Clarke in Bangalore in 2004-05.
By my reckoning Muttiah Muralitharan dismissed 102 batsmen for ducks in Tests. Is this the Test record? asked Amal de Silva from Sri Lanka
Your reckoning is spot-on: Murali did indeed despatch 102 batsmen in Tests before they had scored - the same number as Shane Warne. But they are only joint second, as Warne's old sparring partner Glenn McGrath inflicted 104 ducks in his long Test career. Next come Courtney Walsh and Wasim Akram, with 79, and Anil Kumble on 77. Murali does hold the record for dismissing batsmen after they'd scored a century - he did this 34 times, with Harbhajan Singh next on 28.
Chennai Super Kings scored 246 against Rajasthan Royals in the 2010 IPL - is this a record total in T20 cricket? asked Harold Mason from Essex
That innings, in Chennai in April 2010, remains the IPL record - but there have been three higher totals in all senior T20 matches. Somerset made 250 for 3 against Gloucestershire at Taunton in 2006, and in 2010 Gloucestershire themselves beat that with 254 for 3 against Middlesex at Uxbridge, in the first T20 innings to contain two individual hundreds (by Kevin O'Brien and Hamish Marshall). But the highest total so far was recorded in the inaugural World Twenty20 tournament, when Sri Lanka hammered 260 for 6 against Kenya in Johannesburg in September 2007. Sanath Jayasuriya spanked 88 from 44 balls, and Mahela Jayawardene 65 from 27. For the full list, click here.
Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 49 wickets in eights Tests so far. Assuming he gets one in his next game, will he break the Indian record as the quickest to get to 50? asked Ajay Mishra from Delhi
He can afford to take it easy - although I'm sure he won't - because no Indian before Ashwin has reached 50 Test wickets in fewer than ten Tests, which Anil Kumble achieved in 1992-93. Harbhajan Singh and Narendra Hirwani both got there in 11. The overall record is just six Tests, by the old Australian bowler Charles "Terror" Turner - but Vernon Philander threatened that earlier this year, reaching 50 in his seventh match to equal the feat of the 19th-century England fast man Tom Richardson.
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