Two successive triples, and a losing double
Who's the only person to score consecutive triple-centuries in the County Championship? asked Jeremy Bagnall from London
My first thought was that no one ever had - but then I had a closer look, and the answer eventually emerged. In 2006, Justin Langer had two matches for Somerset, as a replacement overseas player, and in the second of them hit 342 against Surrey in Guildford (the highest score ever made there). Not surprisingly, perhaps, Somerset signed Langer up full time for the 2007 season - he'd just retired from Test cricket then - and in his first match as their captain (nine months after his previous innings for them) he scored 315 against Middlesex in Taunton as Somerset made their way to 850 for 7, their high-ever total (the 688 for 8 in Langer's previous match in Guildford slipped down to third). For the record, only eight other men have scored two or more Championship triple-centuries: Wally Hammond, Graeme Hick and Michael Hussey each scored three, while Bill Ashdown (Kent), Jack Brown (Yorkshire), John Crawley (Hampshire), Murray Goodwin (Sussex) and Percy Holmes (Yorkshire) all made two.
Chesney Hughes scored 270 not out for Derbyshire the other day - but lost. Is this the highest score to result in defeat? asked John Rogers from England
Derbyshire's opener Chesney Hughes carried his bat for 270 not out in that County Championship match against Yorkshire last week - but his side still ended up losing by an innings. Only eight higher scores have been made in a defeat - and the one at the top of the list was also in a Derbyshire match, although they actually won that one: Percy Perrin made 343 not out for Essex in Chesterfield in 1904, but Derbyshire won by nine wickets after Essex were all out for 97 in their second innings. And I discovered from Andrew Samson's online statistical blog that only one higher individual score than Hughes' has been made in an innings defeat: Vijay Hazare's 309 for the Rest against Hindus in Bombay in 1943-44 (Hazare shared a stand of 300 in a follow on with his brother Vivek, whose contribution was 21).
Assuming he doesn't retire, Sachin Tendulkar will be 40 when he plays his next Test match. Who was the last 40-year-old to play for India? I can't think of one! asked Mahesh Mistry from Mumbai
You'd need a long memory to remember him: the last time a player aged over 40 appeared in a Test for India was back in 1958-59, when 41-year-old Vinoo Mankad played in two of that season's five Tests against West Indies. Before that, Lala Amarnath played three Tests against England in 1951-52 and captained all five against Pakistan in 1952-53, by which time he was 41. The only others to play Test cricket for India when past their 40th birthdays are Rustomji Jamshedji (his only Test, against England in Bombay in 1933-34, when he was 41); CK Nayudu (three Tests) and Cotar Ramaswami (two) in England in 1936, when both were 40; and Vijay Merchant, who played his final Test against England in 1951-52, a month after his 40th birthday - and scored 154.
What is Victor Eberle's claim to cricketing fame? asked Ken Johnstone via Facebook
Poor Victor Eberle was a young schoolboy when he made his only known mark on cricket. In a junior house match at Clifton College in Bristol in 1899, he dropped a catch when one of the opposition players had scored 20. It was Eberle's misfortune that the batsman - AEJ Collins - went on to score 628 not out, the highest-known individual score in any class of cricket. Eberle's fumble therefore cost a record 608 runs!
I noticed that Andrew Strauss was dismissed four times running in one-day internationals by Nathan Hauritz in 2009. Is this a record for ODIs? asked Jim Kenny from Brisbane
Andrew Strauss is one of nine batsmen to have been dismissed in four successive one-day international innings by the same bowler. Devon Smith of West Indies is on that list twice - he fell four times in a row to Elton Chigumbura of Zimbabwe in December 2007, and again to Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez early in 2011. The latest addition to the list is Yuvraj Singh, who fell four times running to England's James Tredwell earlier this year. But two men have been out to the same bowler five times in a row in ODIs: Gary Kirsten fell to Dominic Cork five times in January 1996, while Collins Obuya of Kenya had similar trouble against his fellow legspinner Graeme Cremer of Zimbabwe early in 2009.
And finally, an update to a previous question: a couple of years ago in this column I was asked about a man who had been out twice as part of the same hat-trick - John Fagge of Kent in 1844. This was the only such instance I was aware of - but I'm relieved to see I wrote "This is believed to be unique in the annals of first-class cricket", as one of my most diligent Facebook contacts, Sreeram from India, seems to have unearthed another one. Playing for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh in a Ranji Trophy match in Delhi in November 1988, Shankar Saini took a hat-trick spread across both innings. In fact he took four wickets in four balls - and the first and third victim was Shakti Singh.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook