The quickest thousand, and five tons in a day
Michael Clarke scored more than 1000 Test runs in less than four months around the turn of the year. Is this the fastest thousand by anybody in Tests? asked Neil Ronaldson from Australia
Michael Clarke completed 1000 runs between November 11, 2012, and February 23, 2013 - a span of 105 days. He kick-started that sequence with successive innings of 259 not out and 230 against South Africa. But the quickest thousand runs in Tests was completed by Graham Gooch, during the English summer of 1990: in a sequence that included his 333 (and 123) in the Lord's Test against India, Gooch made more than 1000 runs in just 68 days between June 21 and August 27. He remains the only man ever to score 1000 Test runs in one season in England. Sunil Gavaskar compiled 1000 runs in 78 days in 1978-79, and Jacques Kallis did it in 101 days in 2003-04.
There were five hundreds in ODIs on September 3 - three in the Ireland-England game, and two in Scotland-Australia. Is this a record for a single day? asked Hasnain Raza via Facebook
That haul of five centuries on a single day was indeed a new record for one-day internationals, and actually there had only been two previous days on which four ODI hundreds had been scored. On November 10, 1998, in Lahore, Ijaz Ahmed made 111 and Mohammad Yousuf 100 for Pakistan, then Adam Gilchrist (103) and Ricky Ponting (124 not out) replied in kind for Australia, who won by six wickets. And there were four hundreds in three different matches on February 4, 2007: Ashish Bagai (122) and Eoin Morgan (115) reached three figures in the match between Canada and Ireland at the Jaffery ground in Nairobi, while elsewhere in the Kenyan capital, at the Ruaraka ground, Ryan ten Doeschate hit 109 not out for the Netherlands against Bermuda. Meanwhile, in Melbourne, Ricky Ponting made 104 for Australia against New Zealand.
Both captains scored centuries in the one-day international in Dublin. How often has this happened before? asked Colin Makepeace from England
That's a good spot, as never in 3408 previous one-day internationals had both captains scored centuries in the same one-day international, as William Porterfield (112) and Eoin Morgan (124 not out) did in the match between Ireland and England in Dublin on September 3. The only previous occasion on which two captains scored ODI hundreds on the same day was March 7, 2003, when Ricky Ponting hit 114 and Sourav Ganguly 107 not out - but they were in different matches during the World Cup (Australia v Sri Lanka in Centurion, and India v Kenya in Cape Town). During the Asia Cup in Pakistan in June 2008 three different captains made centuries on consecutive days: Mohammad Ashraful 109 for Bangladesh v UAE in Lahore on June 24, MS Dhoni 109 not out for India v Hong Kong in Karachi on June 25, and Shoaib Malik 125 not out for Pakistan against India in Karachi on June 26.
Bangladesh seem to have had lots of very young players. But who was their oldest debutant? asked Shamiullah Ahmed from Pakistan
The oldest man to make his Test debut for Bangladesh was Enamul Haque senior, the left-arm spinner who is now an umpire. Enamul was 35 years 58 days old when he won his first Test cap, against Zimbabwe in Harare in April 2001. The unrelated Enamul Haque junior - also a left-arm spinner - was Bangladesh's fourth-youngest player, at 16 years 320 days in October 2003. Mohammad Rafique was Bangladesh's oldest Test and Twenty20 player, retiring in 2007-08 not far short of his 38th birthday: he was also their oldest T20 debutant, at 36 in 2006-07. Their oldest ODI debutant was Jahangir Shah Badsha, a medium-pacer from Bangladesh's pre-Test days, who was 36 years 255 days old when he took 2 for 23 against Pakistan in Moratuwa in March 1986: he was 40 when he played his last one-dayer in April 1990.
Who has the most 15-wicket hauls in a match? I'm guessing Muttiah Muralitharan, but how many did he get? asked Taimoor Qureshi from Canada
If you're talking about Tests then no one has taken more than one - there have been only 12 hauls of 15 or more wickets in Test history. The only man to take 14 or more twice is the great England bowler Sydney Barnes. Muttiah Muralitharan does hold the overall record for Test ten-fors - he did it no fewer than 22 times, more than twice as many as the next man (Shane Warne, with ten). In first-class cricket the Kent legspinner Tich Freeman took 15 or more wickets in a match on a record nine occasions: he did it three times in 1931 alone. Against Sussex in Hove in 1922, Freeman took 17 for 67 in the match - 9 for 11 and 8 for 56. Murali took 16 for 220 in the Test against England at The Oval in 1998, but never quite managed 15 or more in other first-class matches.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been undefeated in 42 Test innings. Is this the record? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
The man with the most undefeated innings in Tests is actually Courtney Walsh, the former West Indies fast bowler and professional No. 11 batsman, who had 61 not-outs in his long career. Next come Muttiah Muralitharan (56), Bob Willis (55), Chris Martin (52) and Glenn McGrath (51). The leading specialist batsman is Steve Waugh, who finished with 46 not-outs, two ahead of Allan Border. Makhaya Ntini had 45, while James Anderson sits alongside Chanderpaul with 42 undefeated innings so far. Jacques Kallis currently has 40.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook