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Also: big leads in defeats, highest score in Sri Lanka, Bradman's nemesis, and Ponting's fast-bowling cousin
November 6, 2012
After 90 one-day internationals Virat Kohli has made 13 centuries. Has anyone bettered this? asked Bilal Amal from Delhi
The quick answer is no - the most centuries any other player has recorded after 90 one-day internationals is nine, by Gordon Greenidge (Sachin Tendulkar had only made three by that point). Hashim Amla, however, might yet break Kohli's mark - he has already scored ten hundreds, but has played only 62 ODIs so far. Kohli currently has 3886 runs from his 90 matches, another record: Viv Richards made 3826 in his first 90 ODIs. Richards (56.26) and Mike Hussey (54.93) both had higher averages after 90 matches than Kohli's current 51.81 - but they all have to give best to the Australian Michael Bevan, whose average after 90 ODIs was a remarkable 59.59 (boosted by being not out in 29 of his 80 innings to that point).
What's the most matches a county has gone without winning one? asked Jim Dryden from Wales
This unwanted record, which will probably never be beaten, was set by Northamptonshire during the 1930s - between May 1935 and May 1939 they played 99 County Championship matches without winning one - not surprisingly, Northants finished bottom of the table each season from 1934 to 1938. But just as they seemed set to complete a fruitless century, Leicestershire visited Wantage Road - and, with the elegant Dennis Brookes making 187, Northamptonshire won by an innings and 193 runs. It was the only match they won in 1939, but it was enough to lift them off the bottom of the table, with the wooden spoon going instead to... Leicestershire.
What is the biggest first-innings lead that still resulted in defeat in a Test? asked Mark Lorimer from England
Strictly speaking, the answer is 331, by Pakistan (504) against England (173) at The Oval in 2006, in the match Pakistan ended up forfeiting, when they refused to play on after being accused of ball-tampering. But leaving aside that rather peculiar instance, the record is 291, by Sri Lanka (547 for 8 dec) against Australia (256) at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo in August 1992. Australia made 471 in their second innings, but Sri Lanka still needed only 181 - and looked certain winners at 127 for 2. But they collapsed to 164 - a little-known legspinner called Shane Warne took 3 for 11 - and lost by 16 runs. There have been six further instances of a team losing despite having a first-innings lead in excess of 200, one of those being another controversial match, in Centurion in 1999-2000, when England forfeited their first innings (and went on to win) after South Africa had made 248 for 8 declared.
Who has made the highest score in a match in Sri Lanka? asked Bipin Mendis from Sri Lanka
The highest individual score in a first-class match in Sri Lanka is Mahela Jayawardene's 374 in the first Test against South Africa at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo in July 2006. That beat the previous record of 340, also in a Test, by Sanath Jayasuriya against India at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in August 1997. Chris Gayle made 333 for West Indies in Galle in November 2010. The highest score in the Sri Lankan domestic championship is 285, by Kumar Sangakkara, for Nondescripts against Moors in Colombo in March 2008 - that beat Jayawardene's old mark of 274 for Sinhalese Sports Club v Tamil Union in March 2002.
Which bowler dismissed Don Bradman most often in Test matches? asked Ahson Atif from India
Don Bradman was dismissed 70 times in Tests, and the bowler who removed him most often was the Yorkshire and England slow left-armer Hedley Verity, who managed it on eight occasions, including in both innings of a match twice - on a rain-affected pitch at Lord's in 1934 (England's only victory over Australia at the headquarters of cricket in the 20th century), and in Melbourne in 1936-37 (but not before the Don's 270 in the second innings had all but ensured another Australian win). Next comes Alec Bedser, who claimed Bradman's wicket six times, including twice for ducks: the only other man to dismiss him twice before he'd scored was Bill Voce, in successive matches in 1936-37. Three other England fast bowlers - Bill Bowes, Harold Larwood and Maurice Tate - dismissed Bradman five times in Tests. In all first-class cricket, Verity dismissed Bradman ten times, a record he shares with the Australian legspinner Clarrie Grimmett - who also, apparently, had him dropped nine times!
I heard that Ben Hilfenhaus and Ricky Ponting are cousins. Is this true? asked Vinay Mahant from New Zealand
Ricky Ponting and Ben Hilfenhaus are second cousins, which means (if I have understood my dictionary correctly) that they each have a parent who is a cousin of the other. Ponting is also the nephew of Greg Campbell, the Tasmania fast bowler who played four Tests for Australia in 1989 and 1990. I believe there are some people on mainland Australia who would suggest that all Tasmanians are related to each other, but I couldn't possibly comment on that!
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