First-day frolics, and centuries from No. 10
Australia scored 482 runs on the opening day of the second Test against South Africa. Is this a record for the first day? asked Umair Mumtaz from Pakistan
Australia's total of 482 for 5 in Adelaide is the second-highest score recorded on the first day of any Test. The only higher one was more than 100 years previously, when Australia hit 494 for 6 in Sydney on the opening day of their 1910-11 series against South Africa (Australia's captain that day, Clem Hill, just missed a double-century, making 191). The most runs on any day (not just the first) of a Test match is 588, on the second day at Old Trafford in 1936, when England went from 173 for 2 to 571 for 8 dec and India made 190 for 0. All told, there have been eight higher daily totals than Australia's last week (and another instance of 482, by Australia and India in Sydney in January 2000). For the full list, click here.
How many people have scored successive Test double-centuries, like Michael Clarke? asked Derek Burnham from Scotland
Michael Clarke, who followed his 259 not out against South Africa in Brisbane with 230 in Adelaide, produced only the sixth instance of back-to-back double-centuries in successive Test innings. The first to do it was England's Wally Hammond, with 251 and 200 against Australia in the 1928-29 Ashes, and Hammond did it again in New Zealand in 1932-33, with 227 in Christchurch and 336 not out (a new Test record at the time) in Auckland. Almost inevitably, Don Bradman then got in on the act, making 304 and 244 for Australia in the 1934 Ashes series in England. Then there was a long gap until Vinod Kambli made 224 against England in Bombay in February 1993, and 227 in his next innings, against Zimbabwe in Delhi the following month. And finally Kumar Sangakkara made 200 and 222 (both not out) in successive innings for Sri Lanka against Bangladesh in July 2007.
Michael Clarke made 489 runs before he got out against South Africa in this series. Is this a record for all Test cricket? asked Mitchell Warren from Sydney
Clarke's sequence of 489 runs between dismissals left him just short of the Test record of 497, set by Sachin Tendulkar early in 2004. Tendulkar followed 241 not out and 60 not out against Australia in Sydney in January with 194 not out and 2 against Pakistan in Multan and Lahore a couple of months later. That beat the existing mark of 490, set by Garry Sobers in 1957-58, when he scored 365 not out and 125 against Pakistan in successive innings in Kingston and Georgetown. By the way, as readers of last week's column will have worked out, Clarke has now become the first batsman ever to score four Test double-centuries in a calendar year.
Has anyone ever scored a century on Test debut before while batting at No. 10, as Abul Hasan did last week? asked Saleem Ahmadi from Dhaka
Abul Hasan, for Bangladesh against West Indies in Khulna last week, became only the fourth batsman ever to score a century from No. 10 in the order in a Test. Surprisingly, though, that includes one other man who was making his Test debut: Australia's Reggie Duff made 104 against England in Melbourne in January 1902. That was a slightly false record, though - Duff was really a batsman (he often opened later in his career), and went in late in that innings after the Australians fiddled with their batting order on a spiteful pitch. The other No. 10s to score Test centuries are Walter Read, with 117 for England against Australia at The Oval in 1884 ("a superb display of hard and rapid hitting of two hours and a quarter's duration", according to Wisden), and the South African offspinner Pat Symcox, who made 108 against Pakistan in Johannesburg in 1997-98.
Was Abul Hasan the first batsman to score a century on Test debut on a ground that was also making its Test debut? asked Nicholas de Castro from New York via Facebook
There were two early instances of a batsman scoring a century on debut on a ground also staging its first Test: Charles Bannerman made 165 retired hurt for Australia against England in the first Test of all, in Melbourne in March 1877, and WG Grace scored 152 against Australia in the first Test ever played in England, at The Oval in 1880. Since then, George Headley made 176 in the first Test ever played in Bridgetown, Barbados (for West Indies v England in January 1930); around a fortnight later, Jackie Mills made 117 for New Zealand against England in the first Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington; Lala Amarnath (India) and Bryan Valentine (England) both made debut hundreds in the only Test ever played at the Bombay Gymkhana, in 1933-34; Kripal Singh made 100 not out for India v New Zealand at Hyderabad's Fateh Maidan in 1955-56; Greg Chappell 108 for Australia v England at the WACA in Perth in 1970-71; Gordon Greenidge 107 (after 93 in the first innings) for West Indies v India in the first Test ever played in Bangalore, in 1974-75; Dave Houghton 121 in Zimbabwe's inaugural Test, against India, in Harare in 1992-93; Taufeeq Umar 104 for Pakistan v Bangladesh in the first match at the new Multan Cricket Stadium in 2001; Scott Styris 107 for New Zealand v West Indies at the new ground in St George's, Grenada, in 2002; and Kirk Edwards 110 on his debut for West Indies v India in the first Test ever played in Roseau, Dominica, in 2011. Abul Hasan, with his century on debut for Bangladesh against West Indies at Khulna last week, has now joined this list.
I know that Jim Laker and Anil Kumble are the only ones to take all ten wickets in a Test innings. But is there anyone else who has been involved in all ten dismissals in an innings? asked Sunny Aryan from India
Apart from Jim Laker (England v Australia at Old Trafford in 1956) and Anil Kumble (India v Pakistan in Delhi in 1998-99), there are two known instances of a player being involved in all ten dismissals in an innings. Hugh Tayfield, the South African offspinner, took 9 for 113 against England in Johannesburg in 1956-57, and caught the other batsman (England's top scorer Doug Insole). And in Brisbane in 1985-86, New Zealand's Richard Hadlee took 9 for 52 against Australia, and also caught the other one, Geoff Lawson, off the bowling of offspinner Vaughan Brown, whose only Test wicket it was. It's just possible that someone else might have taken eight or nine wickets in an innings and been involved in the run-out of the other batsmen, but we don't have all the information on the fielders involved to say so for sure.