June 11, 2013

Guptill's record, and Tendulkar's ton at Lord's

Also: four fifties each in both innings, four captains in four Tests, the postman, and playing for two countries
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Martin Guptill scored 330 runs in the one-dayers against England. Was this a record for a three-match ODI series? asked Colin Howell from England
With his three innings of 103 not out, 189 not out (a New Zealand ODI record) and 38, Martin Guptill did indeed establish a new record for a three-match bilateral series of one-day internationals. The previous mark was 310, by Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor, at home to New Zealand in October 2011, when his scores were 128 not out, 107 not out and 75. Guptill's previous ODI innings before this series was 27 not out, also against England, in Hamilton in February - giving him 357 runs between dismissals, a list headed by Mohammad Yousuf, with 405 in four innings in 2002.

Sachin Tendulkar is one of the famous names missing from the Lord's honours board, but apparently he has scored a century on the ground. Which match was this? asked Vajinder Taggar from Australia
Sachin Tendulkar famously failed to score more than 37 during five Test appearances at Lord's - and he didn't pass 30 in three one-day internationals there either. But he did make 125 on the ground in 1998, for the Rest of the World against MCC in a special one-day charity match in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, who had died in a car crash the previous year. That doesn't quite get him on to the honours board, though. Tendulkar's early mentor, Sunil Gavaskar, also failed to reach three figures in five Test appearances at Lord's - his highest Test score there was 59 - but his name is on the honours board, for an innings of 188, also for a Rest of the World XI, against MCC, in a match played in August 1987 to celebrate the bicentenary of MCC's formation. It was a five-day game played with all the trappings of a Test match, and although it doesn't count in the official records, MCC have included performances in it on their honours boards.

I'm told there's only one Test match in which four batsmen reached 50 in both innings - which one is it? asked Solaiman Palash from Bangladesh
The match in question was the fourth Test between Australia and West Indies in Adelaide in 1968-69, when Bill Lawry (62 and 89), Keith Stackpole (62 and 50), Ian Chappell (76 and 96) and Doug Walters (110 and 50) reached half-centuries in both innings for Australia. That match featured 17 scores of 50 or over in all, which is still the Test record. There have been only four other matches in which a side has registered four (or more) half-centuries in each innings - by South Africa against England in Durban in 1938-39, England v Australia at Headingley in 1948 (they still lost!), Australia v England in Brisbane in 1962-63, and England v Sri Lanka at Lord's in 2011.

I was looking at the scorecards for the 1929-30 West Indies v England series, after one of last week's questions, and noticed that West Indies had a different captain in all four Tests - and none of them played in the other Tests! Why was this? asked Saurabh Phadke from India
The reason for what seems a peculiar piece of selection was that, in what was West Indies' first Test series at home, it was felt that the captain should come from the territory in which the match was played. And so the Barbadian Teddy Hoad captained in the first Test in Bridgetown, Trinidad's Nelson Betancourt in Port-of-Spain, Maurice Fernandes from British Guiana in Georgetown, and Jamaica's Karl Nunes in Kingston. By the time of England's next tour of the Caribbean, in 1934-35, West Indies felt confident enough to appoint the same captain - Trinidad's Jackie Grant - for all four Tests.

Which cricketer was nicknamed "The Postman"? asked Ahson Atif from India
The man who rejoiced in this unusual nickname was the Wellington and New Zealand medium-pacer Gavin Larsen, who played 121 one-day internationals (55 of them before winning a Test cap, a record at the time) and eight Tests for New Zealand in the 1990s. John Graham, New Zealand's team manager during much of his career, explained the nickname in the foreword to Larsen's book Grand Larseny (yes, really): "He is the consummate professional, committed, conscientious, competitive and consistent. His nickname of 'The Postman' sums him up well, he always delivers!"

With reference to last week's question about players who appeared in one-day internationals for two countries, didn't Dirk Nannes also do it? asked Bharath from India
Dirk Nannes didn't quite fit the bill for the exact wording of that question, which asked about people who had played official one-day internationals for two countries. Nannes did play an ODI for Australia, as well as 15 T20 internationals, after two T20s for the Netherlands (including their famous victory over England at Lord's in 2009). It's also worth mentioning Gavin Hamilton, who played in 50 limited-overs internationals for Scotland - 38 ODIs and 12 T20s - and also won one Test cap for England, against South Africa in Johannesburg in November 1999, when sadly he bagged a pair and failed to take a wicket. The next addition to the two-country list will probably be the tall Warwickshire fast bowler Boyd Rankin, who was recently called up to England's one-day squad after playing 52 matches for Ireland (37 ODIs and 15 T20s) between 2007 and 2012.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook