Bell's target, and Vettori's double
After the Durham Test, Ian Bell had exactly 500 runs and three centuries in this Ashes series. How many does he need at The Oval to break those two records? asked Michael Green from London
Despite his fine form, Ian Bell will have to go a bit at The Oval to break the record for most runs - Don Bradman hit 974 in the 1930 Ashes series, while the England record is 905 by Wally Hammond in Australia in 1928-29. Bell is the first man to score 500 runs in a home five-match Ashes series for England since John Edrich, who made 554 in 1968. Mike Gatting and David Gower in 1985, Robin Smith in 1989, and Mike Atherton and Graham Gooch in 1993 all did it in six-match series. But Bell could perhaps equal - or even break - the record for most hundreds in an Ashes series: Bradman made four in 1930 and Hammond four in 1928-29, while Herbert Sutcliffe also made four centuries in the course of scoring 734 runs in 1924-25. There have been 20 previous instances of a batsman scoring three hundreds in an Ashes series.
I saw that Daniel Vettori has more than 6000 runs and 600 wickets in international cricket - is he the only man to do this double? asked Arun Villa via Facebook
Daniel Vettori currently has 6831 runs and 681 wickets in all international cricket (Tests, ODIs and T20s). He's actually the fourth man to complete this particular double, after Kapil Dev (9031 runs and 687 wickets), Wasim Akram (6615/916) and Shaun Pollock (7386/829). Jacques Kallis is not far off: he currently has 570 wickets to go with no fewer than 25,292 runs in all international formats. Three others have completed the 5000-run/500-wicket double: Ian Botham (7313 runs and 528 wickets), Imran Khan (7516/544) and Chaminda Vaas (5147/761).
I believe there was a one-day game in India in which Sachin Tendulkar was one of three century-makers in the innings. When was this, and have there been any other instances of three hundreds? asked Ajay Verma from India
The match you're talking about was in the Wills Trophy in Rajkot in November 1995, when the Wills' XI innings of 379 for 3 in 50 overs against Hyderabad included 121 not out from Gagan Khoda and 103 from Sanjay Manjrekar, as well as Sachin Tendulkar's 121. I originally thought this was unique, but I'm indebted to Wisden's statistician Philip Bailey for coming up with another instance, coincidentally involving another very famous batsman: in the West Indian Red Stripe Bowl in Kingston in October 2001, Trinidad & Tobago amassed 409 for 6 against the Northern Windward Islands. Andy Jackson made 112, Brian Lara 129, and Richard Smith 102. One of the suffering Northern Windwards bowlers that day was Darren Sammy, whose seven overs cost 82.
Heather Knight was recently run out in both her innings in a Test match - how unusual is this? asked Owen Morris from the UK
Heather Knight's double run-out in the Ashes Test against Australia in Wormsley - she did make 157 in the first innings to make up for it - was the 11th time this had happened in women's Test matches: the most recent instance was by Annemarie Tanke, who unfortunately bagged a pair in the process, against South Africa in Rotterdam in July 2007, in what remains her (and Netherlands') one and only Test. It has happened 24 times in men's Tests, with the Australians Ian Healy and Mark Taylor both featuring twice on the list. John Trim, the West Indian fast bowler, was run out for 0 in both innings against Australia in Melbourne in 1951-52.
Several of the current England team played alongside Darren Pattinson on his one appearance for England in 2008, and against his brother James earlier this summer. Has anyone else managed this odd double? asked David Bishop from England
There have been only two previous instances of brothers appearing for different Test sides, and no one played with Albert Trott for England and also against his brother Harry for Australia (Albert's two Tests for England came for a privately raised team in South Africa in 1898-99). But in Cape Town in 1891-92 the England side included Alec and George Hearne, while their brother Frank played for South Africa - so all the players in that match played with and against brothers at the same time.
Who is the only player to score a hundred in the first innings and a double-century in the second innings of a Test? asked Keith D'Souza from Saudi Arabia
Six batsmen have scored a double-century and a hundred in the same Test, but only one of them made the double in the second innings: this was Sunil Gavaskar, in the course of his superb debut series in the West Indies in 1970-71, when he made 124 in the first innings of the final Test in Port-of-Spain, and 220 in the second. The others to achieve the feat are Doug Walters (242 and 103 for Australia v West Indies in Sydney in 1968-69), Lawrence Rowe (214 and 100 not out for West Indies v New Zealand in Kingston in 1971-72 - a unique achievement on Test debut), Greg Chappell (247 not out and 133 for Australia v New Zealand in Wellington in 1973-74), Graham Gooch (333 and 123 for England v India at Lord's in 1990 - a unique double of a triple-hundred and a century), and Brian Lara (221 and 130 for West Indies v Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2001-02).
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook