Trott's sixes, and Tayfield's dots
Is Jonathan Trott the only player to score more than 3500 Test runs without a six? asked Kayvon Besharatpour from Nigeria
Jonathan Trott has scored 3763 runs in Tests so far, without ever hitting a six. This is a record for a complete career (and, sadly, I suppose it is possible that Trott's is indeed over). The Indian batsman Vijay Manjrekar scored 3208 runs without a six, and Glenn Turner of New Zealand 2991. However, there is at least one man who scored more runs in Tests before hitting a six: the obdurate Australian batsman Ian Redpath had scored 4460 runs before, in the 65th of his 66 Tests, he lofted the West Indian offspinner Lance Gibbs over the fence in Adelaide. He liked the feeling so much he did it again a few overs later, this time off the fast bowler Van Holder.
Has anyone ever got two fifties and two five-fors in the same Test? asked Mark Long from England
No one has quite managed this prodigious all-round feat in a Test yet. The closest was by the New Zealander Daniel Vettori, who did his best to stave off an embarrassing defeat by Bangladesh in Chittagong in October 2008, following 55 not out with 76, and taking 5 for 59 and 4 for 74 in a match New Zealand ended up winning by just three wickets. Twelve other people have managed two half-centuries and one five-for in the same Test, most recently Shakib Al Hasan for Bangladesh against West Indies in Mirpur in October 2011. For the full list, click here.
Who scored the most Test runs before his 30th birthday? asked Manek Bhasin from Mumbai
You probably won't be terribly surprised to discover that Sachin Tendulkar leads the way here - he had scored 8811 Test runs, including 31 centuries, before his 30th birthday. Next comes Alastair Cook with 8047, before a trio of distinguished South Africans: Graeme Smith (7457), Jacques Kallis (7337) and AB de Villiers (6966). Tendulkar also leads the way in one-day internationals, with no fewer than 12,219 runs before turning 30: next come Yuvraj Singh (8051) and Sourav Ganguly (7732), then Kallis with 7703.
What is the highest score made by both openers in the same innings? asked Martin Clarke from England
The Test record changed hands relatively recently, in November 2011, when Australia's openers Shane Watson and Phil Hughes were both out for 88 against South Africa in Johannesburg. Previously the highest was 77, by Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes (who was not out) for West Indies v England at The Oval in 1988. Haynes also has a share in the one-day international record: he made 72 not out and Richie Richardson 72 against India in Sharjah in 1985-86. The highest score for which both openers have been dismissed in ODIs is 64, by Mudassar Nazar and Rameez Raja for Pakistan v West Indies in Sharjah in 1988-89. The current T20 international record is, rather surprisingly, higher than the ODI one: Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt both made 73 for Pakistan against Bangladesh during the World Twenty20 in St Lucia in May 2010.
At Kingsmead in 1956-57, Hugh Tayfield bowled 137 consecutive deliveries without a run being scored off him - is this still a record? asked Michael Arnold
The South African offspinner Hugh Tayfield ended the first innings of the third Test against England in Durban in 1956-57 with 119 successive dot balls (he finished with figures of 24-17-21-1) and added 18 more in the second innings before finally conceding another run, making a total of 137 dot balls in succession - that remains the first-class record. (Tayfield took 8 for 69 in that second innings.) Most of Tayfield's dots were delivered to Trevor Bailey who, according to EW Swanton, "confronted him, almost regardless of length, with the dead-bat forward stab". Tayfield's record was threatened but not broken in Madras (now Chennai) in 1963-64, when the Indian slow left-armer Bapu Nadkarni sent down 131 successive dot balls during the course of his remarkable analysis of 32-27-5-0 in the first Test against England. I read recently that Nadkarni remains peeved that the sequence was ended by a misfield!
In the famous 872-run match at Johannesburg in March 2006, there were seven individual scores of 50 or more. Is this a record? asked Dale Simpson from South Africa
The seven individual half-centuries in that astonishing match at the Wanderers - in which Australia made a record total of 434, only to be overhauled by South Africa's 438 for 9 - equalled the record at the time, but it has been beaten since. There were eight half-centuries in the match between Pakistan (five) and Zimbabwe (three) in Karachi in January 2008, and this has happened twice more since - by India (three) and Australia (five) in Jaipur in October 2013, and by Bangladesh and Pakistan (four each) in Mirpur in March this year.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2014. Ask Steven is now on Facebook