March 18, 2014

The most sixes, and most successive fifties

Also, twin hundreds in South Africa, T20's leading run scorer and wicket-taker, and more on innings hoggers

Rohit Sharma hit 30 sixes in one-day internationals in 2013 (most of them in his innings of 209). Is that a record for a calendar year? What's the record for Tests? asked Vikas Vadgama from India
Rohit Sharma's 30 sixes in one-day internationals in 2013 - 16 of them in his 209 against Australia in Bangalore in November - put him in joint 11th place on that particular list (along with, among others, George Bailey who also hit 30 sixes in 2013). On top of the pile is Shahid Afridi, who struck no fewer than 48 sixes in 2002 - out of a total of only 743 runs, meaning that 39.5% of his runs that year came in hits over the boundary. Shane Watson hit 42 sixes in 2011 (15 of them in one innings against Bangladesh in Mirpur), and Sachin Tendulkar 40 in 1998, the year he scored a record 1894 runs in all. Shahid Afridi pops up again with 37 sixes in 2005, then come Sourav Ganguly (35 in 2000), Matthew Hayden (35 in 2007), MS Dhoni (34 in 2005), Yuvraj Singh (33 in 2007, and 31 in 2008), and Ricardo Powell (31 in 1999). The most in a calendar year in Tests is 22 sixes, by Adam Gilchrist in 2005 and Virender Sehwag in 2008. Andrew Flintoff struck 21 in 2004.

AB de Villiers made at least a fifty in 12 consecutive Tests before he was dismissed for 14 and 43 at Cape Town. Is that a record? asked Adarsh Chopra from Belgium
It was indeed: AB de Villiers' run of 12 Tests with at least one score of 50 or more broke the old record of 11, set by Viv Richards in 1976, and later equalled by Gautam Gambhir (2008-09) and Virender Sehwag (2009-10). It's a slight surprise not to find Don Bradman's name on this sort of list, but his best run was seven Tests in a row with at least a half-century. However, between 1936-37 and 1946-47 he did have a run of scoring at least a fifty in each of 13 Tests in which he batted, but that sequence includes the Oval Test of 1938, in which he broke his foot in the field and couldn't bat at all. For the full list, click here.

Was David Warner the first visiting player to score two hundreds in a Test in South Africa? asked Mauro Freitas from the United Arab Emirates
David Warner, who made 135 and 145 in the recent third Test in Cape Town, was actually the sixth visiting batsman - but the fourth Australian - to score two hundreds in the same Test in South Africa. The first two to do it were Englishmen: Jack Russell made 140 and 111 in Durban in 1922-23 (in what, oddly, turned out to be his final Test) and Eddie Paynter 117 and 100 in Johannesburg in 1938-39. Then the Aussies took over: Jack Moroney scored 118 and 101 not out in Jo'burg in 1949-50, Ricky Ponting 103 and 116 in Durban in 2005-06, and Phillip Hughes 115 and 160 in Durban in 2008-09. Rather strangely, only one South African has managed this feat at home: Jacques Kallis hit 161 and 109 not out against India in Cape Town in 2010-11.

Who is the leading scorer in T20 internationals? asked James Burgess from New Zealand
Going in to the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, there's a clear leader in this list. New Zealand's Brendon McCullum is just 41 short of becoming the first man to reach 2000 runs in T20s, and he is over 600 clear of the chasing pack, which is led by a trio of Sri Lankans - Mahela Jayawardene (1335 runs), Tillakaratne Dilshan (1320) and Kumar Sangakkara (1311). Next comes Australia's David Warner, with 1260. For the full list, click here.

How many bowlers have taken 100 wickets in T20 internationals? asked Colin Reed from England
At the time of writing no one has - but that may change quite soon. Saeed Ajmal currently leads the way with 81, but he is not far in front of two of his Pakistan team-mates - Umar Gul with 74 and Shahid Afridi on 73. Going in to the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh there are four other bowlers with 50 or more wickets: Ajantha Mendis (62), Stuart Broad (61), Lasith Malinga (60) and Graeme Swann (51). For the full list, click here.

Regarding last week's question about the highest percentage of runs by one batsman in an ODI innings, what about Shane Watson? He scored around 80% of the total in one match against Bangladesh… asked Brad Michaelson from Sydney
The list on the ESPNcricinfo records page regarding this feat includes (as the footnote says) only innings that are all-out or in which the full allocation of overs is used up. This means that the case of Shane Watson - who hammered 185 not out in a total of 232 for 1 against Bangladesh in Mirpur in April 2011 - is not included on there, as Australia used up only 26 of the 50 available overs. I admit this is a bit harsh on Watson, although he still isn't top if you include all innings which ended when the victory target was reached: Brendon McCullum smashed 80 not out in New Zealand's 95 for 0 as they zoomed past Bangladesh's modest 93 in only six overs in Queenstown on New Year's Eve, 2007. That's 84.21% of the total, compared to Watson's 79.74%. If you take all innings into account, there's even a case of 100%: during the 1992 World Cup, in Mackay, India made 1 for 0 off two balls before rain ended their match against Sri Lanka - and Kris Srikkanth scored the run. I was sorry to see that Mackay was not on the list of venues for the 2015 World Cup, so Harrup Park won't be adding to its grand total of two international deliveries just yet.

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