Most wickets for a captain, and bye-less totals
I read that Shane Warne took exactly 200 Test wickets under Ricky Ponting's captaincy. Is this the record? asked Cameron Douglas from Australia
Shane Warne took 200 Test wickets under Ponting's captaincy, which puts him fourth on the Australian list behind Craig McDermott, who claimed 231 while being captained by Allan Border, Glenn McGrath (217 under Steve Waugh) and Merv Hughes (212 - his total Test haul - under Allan Border). Warne also took 199 for Mark Taylor, and 175 for Steve Waugh. But two South Africans head the list: Dale Steyn has so far taken 335 wickets while being captained by Graeme Smith, while Makhaya Ntini collected 280 while Smith was skipper. McDermott is third, just one wicket ahead of Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 230 wickets under Sanath Jayasuriya (and 203 for Arjuna Ranatunga, and 186 for Mahela Jayawardene).
India's 726 for 9 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in 2009-10 contained no byes at all. Was this a record for first-class cricket? asked Samanth Sharma from Bangalore
Prasanna Jayawardene of Sri Lanka established the Test record in that innings, not conceding a bye while India scored 726 runs at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in December 2009. Not much got past the bat, actually, especially while Virender Sehwag was clobbering 284 not out on the second day (he was out early in the third for 293). That was a record for Test matches, beating 713 for 3 by Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe (whose wicketkeeper was Tatenda Taibu) in Bulawayo in May 2004. But there have been two higher first-class totals that did not include a single bye: Victoria's 806 for 8 dec against Queensland in Melbourne in 2008-09 (wicketkeeper Chris Hartley), and Northamptonshire's 746 for 9 dec against Gloucestershire in Bristol in 2002 (keeper Jack Russell). There have been three other bye-less totals of 700 or more in first-class cricket.
Last week in Mirpur Al-Amin Hossain hit four sixes as Bangladesh went down to Sri Lanka. Was this a Test record by a No. 11? asked Nabil Abrar from Bangladesh
I don't suppose it will be a huge consolation for Al-Amin Hossain or Bangladesh after their massive defeat in Mirpur, but four sixes in an innings did equal the record for a No. 11 in a Test. The first to hit four sixes from there was England's Bill Voce, one of the Bodyline protagonists, against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1930-31. Alan Connolly followed suit for Australia against India in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1969-70, as did Sylvester Clarke for West Indies v Pakistan in Faisalabad in 1980-81. Mushtaq Ahmed also did it for Pakistan v South Africa in Rawalpindi in 1997-98. Al-Amin also hit a six in the first innings - his first scoring shot in Tests - and his five sixes equalled Clarke's record for a whole Test.
Mahela Jayawardene's 203 not out against Bangladesh was his 15th score of 150 or more in a Test innings. Was that a record? asked Jamie Stewart from Canada
Mahela Jayawardene's 15th score of 150 or more in a Test, which he achieved in Mirpur last week, put him level with Ricky Ponting - but he is still behind his compatriot Kumar Sangakkara (16), Don Bradman (18), Brian Lara (19), and the leader Sachin Tendulkar (20). Bradman, of course, played only 52 Test matches - well under half the others above him on this particular list.
When India scored 524 for 9 against New Zealand in Kanpur in 1976-77, six batsmen reached 50 but no one made 100. Is six the record for the most half-centuries in a Test innings? asked Paras Dotiwalla from India
All 11 of India's batsmen reached double figures in that innings in Kanpur in 1976-77, even the noted rabbits Bishan Bedi and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar. Bedi, indeed, made 50 not out - his highest Test score - and was one of the six men to make a half-century in the innings, which remains the highest in Tests not to contain an individual century (the highest score was Mohinder Amarnath's 70). At the time it was the only Test innings to contain six fifties but no hundred, but that has happened three more times since: by Pakistan against Australia in Melbourne in 1981-82 (500 for 8 dec; highest score 95 by Mudassar Nazar), by Zimbabwe against Bangladesh in Harare in 2003-04 (441, highest 86 by Sean Ervine), and by Pakistan v New Zealand in Napier in 2009-10 (455, highest 89 by Mohammad Yousuf). England's 627 for 9 dec against Australia at Old Trafford in 1934 was the first of three Test innings to include seven individual scores of 50 or more (there were two centuries in that one).
Which cricketers were nicknamed "Banger" and "Bangers"? asked William Harvey from London
"Banger" was quite a familiar one - it's the affectionate nickname given to the prolific Somerset and England opener Marcus Trescothick, because of his love (early on, anyway) for sausages. The man himself says the nickname was coined by Bob Cottam, an early coach at Somerset, and admitted that his diet as a youngster was "Sausages, chips, sausages, toast, sausages, baked beans, sausages, cheese, sausages, eggs, sausages, and the occasional sausage tossed in, together with a sprinkling of sausage. The only muscles I had in my body were around my mouth." I wasn't so sure about "Bangers", but eventually tracked him down - it was the former Victoria (2005-10) left-hander Lloyd Mash.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook