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Starting and ending with half-centuries, and 99 on debut

Also, Tamim's share of Bangladesh's runs, run out for a duck on debut, most Test wickets against Pakistan, and 40-year-old captains

Steven Lynch

August 26, 2014

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Misbah-ul-Haq was able to see the lighter side on a fruitless day for Pakistan, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 3rd day, August 8, 2014
Misbah-ul-Haq: Pakistan's oldest captain © AFP
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Mahela Jayawardene made half-centuries in his first and last Test innings. How many other people have done this? asked Nirmal Mendis from Sri Lanka
Mahela Jayawardene scored 66 in his first Test innings, as part of Sri Lanka's Test-record 952 for 6 against India at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in August 1997, and he bowed out of Test cricket with 54 in his final innings, against Pakistan at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo last week. He's actually the 22nd player to do this: the first was Australia's Alick Bannerman, who made 73 in his first innings, against England in Melbourne in 1878-79, and 60 in his last, at Old Trafford in 1893. Famous names on the list (only first and last innings, not first and last match) include Walter Hammond, Ian Redpath, Clive Lloyd, Greg Chappell, Sunil Gavaskar and Mohammad Azharuddin. Those 22 names exclude current players but include New Zealand's Rodney Redmond, who scored 107 and 56 in his only Test, against Pakistan in Auckland in 1972-73.

I think three players have been dismissed for 99 on Test debut. But did anyone score 99 in his last Test? asked Jamie Stewart from Canada
The only man to score 99 in his final Test was the South African Bruce Mitchell, against England in Port Elizabeth in 1948-49. It was the last of 42 Tests spread over 20 years for someone typecast as a defensive batsman, and this innings was typical: Wisden reported that "Mitchell was so dogged that he spent six hours 37 minutes over 99." It wasn't obvious this was his last Test, even though he was over 40: Mitchell was surprisingly overlooked when Australia toured the following season. The three men who made 99 on their Test debut were Arthur Chipperfield, for Australia against England at Trent Bridge in 1934, Robert Christiani for West Indies v England in Bridgetown in 1947-48, and Asim Kamal for Pakistan v South Africa in Lahore in 2003-04. Chipperfield and Christiani did later make Test centuries, but Asim Kamal never did.

Tamim Iqbal scored 37 of Bangladesh's 70 against West Indies - does this effort put him in any list? asked Khaleed Waleed from Saudi Arabia
Tamim Iqbal's 37 against West Indies in Grenada last week amounted to 52.85% of Bangladesh's miserable total of 70. That's well down the overall list, but is the fourth-biggest percentage for Bangladesh - a list headed by Tamim himself, with 125 out of 228 against England in Mirpur in 2009-10. The biggest percentage of all remains 69.48%, by Viv Richards in scoring 189 not out in West Indies' 55-over total of 272 for 9 against England at Old Trafford in 1984. Note that this table only includes innings that were all out, or in which the full allocation of overs was used up: this qualification rules out some fine performances, like Brendon McCullum's 80 not out in New Zealand's 95 for 0 (84.21%) in six overs against Bangladesh in Queenstown in December 2007, and Shane Watson's 185 not out in Australia's 231 for 1 (80.08%) in 26 overs against Bangladesh in Mirpur in April 2011.

Rilee Rossouw was run out for 0 on his one-day debut. How many people has this happened to? asked Savo Ceprnich from South Africa
South Africa's Rilee Rossouw, who was run out in the first over against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo last week, turns out to be the 24th debutant to suffer this fate in one-day internationals. The previous one, little more than a month previously, was also in Bulawayo - Afghanistan's Sharafuddin Ashraf, although this time it was in the final over of the innings. The first man to suffer this fate was Dayle Hadlee, for New Zealand against Pakistan in Christchurch in 1972-73. Other sufferers include Roger Binny, Asanka Gurusinha and MS Dhoni. For the full list, click here.

I noticed that Kapil Dev took 99 Test wickets against Pakistan. But has any bowler taken 100 or more wickets against a single country? asked Joel Pojas from the Philippines
There's a long list of bowlers who have taken 100 wickets against a particular country. For a start, 19 men have done it in England-Australia Tests, with Shane Warne leading the way overall with 195; Dennis Lillee took 167 and Glenn McGrath 157, before the top Englishman Ian Botham with 148. Curtly Ambrose took 164 wickets against England, Courtney Walsh 145, Malcolm Marshall 127, Garry Sobers 102 and Lance Gibbs 100; Muttiah Muralitharan claimed 112 English wickets in only 16 Tests. Walsh took 135 wickets against Australia, Ambrose 128 and Gibbs 103; Richard Hadlee took 130, and Anil Kumble 111. Warne also took 130 against South Africa and 103 against New Zealand, while Murali took 105 against India and 104 against South Africa. McGrath took 110 against West Indies. Kapil Dev is the only man to take 99 wickets against one country, and no one has taken more against Pakistan. As far as the other countries are concerned, Murali took 89 against Bangladesh (Daniel Vettori is next with 51) and 87 against Zimbabwe, while Anil Kumble took 74 against Sri Lanka.

Misbah-ul-Haq was over 40 when he captained against Sri Lanka recently. Who was the last 40-year-old to captain in a Test? asked Brian Cooper from Australia
Misbah-ul-Haq was the 22nd man to captain his country in a Test when past the age of 40, but the oldest from Pakistan, whose previous-oldest captain was Imran Khan (39 in 1991-92). The only man to captain in a Test since when older than Imran was Graham Gooch, who was three days past his 40th birthday on the final day of his 34th and last Test as captain, against Australia at Headingley in 1993. Goochie probably didn't celebrate too much: he resigned after England's eventual defeat, and on his actual birthday (the second day of the match) Australia took their score to 613 for 4. The oldest captain in any Test was WG Grace, who was nearly 51 when he led England for the last time, against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1899. Next come England's Gubby Allen (45 in West Indies in 1947-48) and Walter Hammond (43 in 1946-47), and Australia's Warren Bardsley (43 in 1926). Nelson Betancourt played only one Test, aged 42, but captained West Indies in it - against England in Port-of-Spain in 1929-30.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2014. Ask Steven is now on Facebook

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Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.

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