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Eight tons, and Compton centuries

Also: Ceylonese players, starting with sixes, highest partnerships in a Test, and the longest streaks of not-outs

Steven Lynch

March 19, 2013

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Denis Compton, 1948
Denis Compton: averaged over 100 in 1947 © Getty Images
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There were eight centuries in the recent Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Was this a record? asked Saulin Pratap from India
The eight individual centuries scored by Sri Lanka (five hundreds) and Bangladesh (three) in Galle actually equalled the Test record. That was set in St John's, Antigua, in 2004-05: South Africa's 588 for 6 included tons from AB de Villiers, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Ashwell Prince, then West Indies replied with 747, Chris Gayle piling up 317 and Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo all making hundreds too. There have also been six instances of a Test containing seven individual hundreds, the most recent being in India's innings victory over South Africa in Kolkata in February 2010. For a full list, click here.

Nick Compton has just scored centuries in successive Test innings. Did his grandfather ever manage that? asked Colin Miles from England
Nick Compton followed his maiden Test century - 117 in the second innings in Dunedin - with a round 100 in the first innings of the second Test in Wellington. He's got to go one better to equal his grandfather, though - Denis Compton once scored three successive centuries, against South Africa during his record-breaking 1947 summer. He made 163 at Trent Bridge, 208 at Lord's and 115 at Old Trafford. Earlier in 1947, Compton had also made 147 and 103 not out against Australia in Adelaide.

Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka on May 22, 1972. Who was the last Ceylonese to play for the country? And who was the first Sri Lankan? asked Nirgunan Tiruchelvam from Sri Lanka
The last Ceylonese is a nice easy one: Muttiah Muralitharan was born on April 17, 1972 - just a month before the country's name change - and played his last Test in July 2010. If you're talking about all international cricket then Sanath Jayasuriya (born June 30, 1969) played his last one-day international in June 2011, two months after Murali bowed out from that format. The first man born in Sri Lanka to play for them was the fast bowler Dulip Liyanage, who was born on June 6, 1972, little more than a fortnight after the change. Liyanage made his Test debut against Australia in Colombo in August 1992: he won nine caps in all, and also played in 16 one-day internationals.

Sachin Tendulkar hit two sixes off the first two balls he faced in a Test against Australia last month. Has anyone done this before? asked Fahim Khemji from Pakistan
That dramatic start by Sachin Tendulkar came during India's brief run-chase in the first Test in Chennai in February. He hit his first two balls - from the Australian offspinner Nathan Lyon - over long-on for six, causing ESPNcricinfo's commentator to wonder: "Who is he meeting for lunch? He is in an awful hurry." The only other man known to have hit his first two balls for six in a Test is the Barbadian fast bowler "Foffie" Williams, against England in Bridgetown in 1947-48. Williams, who was playing in only his second Test (and his first for more than eight years), smashed his first two deliveries in the second innings - from another offspinner, Jim Laker - over the boundary. Williams careered to 72 in a hectic innings described in detail by Wisden: "The total was 144 for 5 when he came in and proceeded to hit the first four deliveries he received - all from Laker - for 6, 6, 4, 4. His next two scoring strokes were 4, 4, off the next over the same end, bowled by [Jack] Ikin... Altogether Williams made 72 out of 96 added for the sixth wicket with [Robert] Christiani in 63 minutes. His only real chance was when 12, [Gerald] Smithson on the long-on boundary dropping a not-difficult catch."

At Adelaide last year Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke shared stands of 386 and 71. Is their combined total of 457 a Test record? asked Gerry Townsend from Brisbane
Those two fourth-wicket partnerships came against India in Adelaide in January 2012. In the first innings Ricky Ponting made 221 - his 41st and, as it turned out, last - Test century, while Clarke's 210 was the second of his record four double-centuries in the year. The only other pair to add more in two separate partnerships in one Test is Bill Ponsford and Don Bradman, who shared stands of 451 and 29 for Australia against England at The Oval in 1934. There are three higher partnerships in a single innings, the list being headed by the 624 of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara for Sri Lanka against South Africa in Colombo in July 2006.

I noticed that Lance Klusener once had nine successive not-outs in one-day internationals - was this a record? asked Dean Deshayes from Cape Town
Lance Klusener's run of not-outs in one-day internationals came during 1999, and included part of that year's World Cup. He scored 396 runs during that spell. Two others have had nine successive asterisks in ODIs: England's Phil Tufnell (a sequence which included the grand total of 13 runs) and, rather more meritoriously, Damien Martyn of Australia (216 runs without getting out). Another Australian, Rodney Hogg, once had ten successive not-outs (34 runs), but the record holder is Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan, who remained undefeated for 12 successive one-day innings (24 runs) between April 1999 and March 2000.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013

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Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.

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