March 25, 2014

Twenty for two, and Baz's T20 record

Also, the oldest man to score an ODI century on debut, four innings on the same day, poor double-centurions, and the rugby relative

In the Test in which Jim Laker took 19 wickets, obviously only two bowlers took wickets for England. Are there any other instances of two bowlers sharing all 20 wickets in a match? asked Jonathan Bell from England
The Old Trafford Ashes Test of 1956, in which Jim Laker took 19 for 90 and Tony Lock 1 for 106, was the fourth of only six instances in Tests where two bowlers shared all 20 opposition wickets. The same Australian side was involved in another case less than three months later: on their way home they played a Test in Karachi, in which Fazal Mahmood took 13 for 114 and Khan Mohammad 7 for 112 for Pakistan. The only instance in nearly 1700 matches since then came at Lord's in 1972, when Bob Massie - making his Test debut for Australia - took 16 for 137, and Dennis Lillee 4 for 140. The first such case was in 1901-02, when Monty Noble (13 for 77) and Hugh Trumble (7 for 87) shared all England's wickets in the second Test in Melbourne. In the first Test of the 1909 Ashes series, at Edgbaston, Colin Blythe took 11 for 102 and George Hirst 9 for 86 for England, while a few months later in Johannesburg the feat was achieved against England, by the South African legspinners Ernie Vogler (12 for 181) and Aubrey Faulkner (8 for 160).

What's the highest score in a Twenty20 international by the wicketkeeper? asked Jewel Ahmed from India
The only wicketkeeper to score a century in T20 internationals so far is Brendon McCullum, whose 123 for New Zealand against Bangladesh in Pallekele in the 2012 World T20 came in a match in which he also kept wicket. Actually McCullum currently has the three highest T20 scores by a wicketkeeper - he also made 91 against India in Chennai in September 2012, and 81 not out against Zimbabwe in Harare in October 2011. Next comes Kumar Sangakkara, with 78 for Sri Lanka against India in Nagpur in December 2009, just ahead of Mohammad Shahzad's 77 for Afghanistan v Ireland in Dubai in March 2012. McCullum's other T20 century - 116 not out in a tie against Australia in Christchurch in February 2010 - came in a match in which Gareth Hopkins kept wicket.

Was Michael Lumb the oldest man to score a century in his first one-day international? asked Savo Ceprnich from South Africa
Michael Lumb was 34 years 16 days old when he scored 106 on ODI debut for England against West Indies in Antigua last month. He was only the ninth man ever to score a hundred in his first one-day international, and the second for England after Dennis Amiss, against Australia at Old Trafford in 1972. Amiss was 29 then, which made him the previous-oldest debut centurion. The youngest was 18-year-old Saleem Elahi for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in Gujranwala in September 1995. For the full list of batsmen who scored hundreds on ODI debut, click here.Four players were older than Lumb when they made their first one-day hundreds for England (but not on their debut): Clive Radley and Nasser Hussain were also 34, Wayne Larkins 35, and Geoff Boycott 39.

The 2011-12 Cape Town Test between South Africa and Australia saw part of all four innings being played on the same day. How often has this happened? asked Harshvardhan from India
That Test at Newlands - in which Australia were rolled for 47 in their second innings, which actually represented quite a recovery from 21 for 9 - was only the third instance of a day's play in a Test containing part of all four innings. Australia had started the second day on 214 for 8; they made it to 284 before bowling South Africa out for 96. Then came Australia's sensational collapse, and South Africa had made 81 for 1 by the end of a day in which 23 wickets fell. The first such instance was at Lord's in 2000, when the second day started with the one ball required to wrap up West Indies' first innings for 267. After England limped to 134 all out, West Indies were demolished for 54, and there was just time for England to go in again (they were 0 for 0 in their second innings at the close). It happened again on a rain-affected pitch in Hamilton in 2002-03. After the first day was washed out, India reached 92 for 8 after a late start on the second. On the third day they made it to 99, then bowled New Zealand out for 94. India then made 154, and New Zealand had reached 24 for 0 in their second innings by the close.

I once heard that Faoud Bacchus has the lowest average of those making a 250 in Tests. Now Brendon McCullum has made a triple-century, is he the man with the lowest average having made 300? asked Andrew Shirley from the UK
The West Indian batsman Faoud Bacchus, who averaged only 26.06 in Tests despite scoring 250 against India in Kanpur in 1978-79, did hold that particular record for a time - but he was beaten, if that's the right word, by Wasim Akram - his overall Test average was 22.64, notwithstanding an innings of 257 not out against Zimbabwe in Sheikhupura in 1996-97. Brendon McCullum currently averages 38.09 in Tests, fractionally the lowest of any of the 24 triple-centurions, although he does have the chance to slip past England's Andy Sandham - the only other man in the thirties, with 38.21 - if he continues his current fine form. The lowest average by anyone with a Test double-century is Jason Gillespie's 18.73.

Someone told me Allan Lamb's brother-in-law captained England at rugby - is this true? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan via Facebook
I don't think it is true: according to Allan Lamb's autobiography, his wife Lindsay had one sister and one brother, Richard Bennett, who took over the running of the family farm in South Africa when their father died. I've been trying to think of a different combination of relations, without much luck: the best I can do on this particular front is the Old brothers, Chris and Alan, who once played Test cricket and rugby union for England on the same day.

(Added March 25): After I wrote this, another ardent Facebooker, Pete Church, reminded me there was another way of acquiring a brother-in-law! Allan Lamb has two sisters - one of whom, Brenda, married Tony Bucknall, who won ten rugby caps for England between 1969 and 1971. He captained them in one but lost, maintaining the family's 0% success rate in that regard!

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