September 2, 2014

Rossouw's agony, and most stumpings in international cricket

Also, the highest scores by wicketkeepers, and the most ODI fifties without a hundred

Is Rilee Rossouw the first South African to be dismissed for ducks in his first two one-day international innings? asked Jamie Stewart from Canada
The unfortunate Rilee Rossouw started his international career last month with ducks against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo and in Harare. He is actually the third South African - and the 21st overall - to suffer this fate. The other two were basically bowlers, though - Charl Willoughby in 2000 and 2003, and Johan van der Wath in January 2006. Rossouw, however, was out first ball in both his innings: the only other person to have been dismissed by the first two balls he faced in his first two ODIs is New Zealand's Nathan McCullum, in 2009. Andrew Samson has kindly informed me that Namibia's Gerrie Snyman was dismissed first ball in each of his first two innings (in his second and third matches, having not batted in his first), while the New Zealand wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins was run out without facing in his first innings and out first ball in his second (in his fifth and sixth matches). Among the other batsmen whose first two one-day innings were ducks are New Zealand's Kane Williamson, and some other handy performers in Asif Mujtaba (Pakistan), Faoud Bacchus (West Indies), Mathew Sinclair (New Zealand), and, the one I suspect Rossouw would most like to emulate in the long run … Sachin Tendulkar.

Had Zimbabwe ever beaten Australia before they did so last weekend? asked Alexander Hammond from Scotland
That match in Harare on Sunday was the 30th one-day international between the two teams, and only the second time Zimbabwe have won. Their first victory was in the first meeting - Zimbabwe's first official one-day international, in fact - back in the 1983 World Cup. A team led by Duncan Fletcher, and strong enough to leave the 17-year-old Graeme Hick on the bench, defeated Australia by 13 runs at Trent Bridge. Fletcher himself scored 69 not out and took 4 for 42. In between Zimbabwe's two wins, the teams contested 28 ODIs, of which Australia won 27 and one (at Melbourne in January 2004) was a no-result after it rained. Zimbabwe also won their first Twenty20 international against Australia - at Cape Town in the inaugural World Twenty20 in September 2007 - and, since the teams haven't played another one since, still have a 100% record! It's a different story in Tests, though: Australia have recorded hefty wins in all three matches between the two countries.

Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella made 13 dismissals against Pakistan recently - is that a record for a two-match series? asked Tushar Mukherjee from the United States
Sri Lanka's new keeper Niroshan Dickwella took 12 catches and a stumping in those two Tests against Pakistan. It turns out that's not quite a record: for a start, in the series which immediately preceded the Pakistan one, South Africa's Quinton de Kock made 15 dismissals against Sri Lanka, while earlier this year BJ Watling took 15 catches in New Zealand's home two-match series against India. But even they just missed out on the record: in the short series in the West Indies in 2005, Kamran Akmal made seven dismissals in the first Test and nine in the second for a total of 16 (one of them a stumping). The overall record for any Test series was also set recently: Brad Haddin took 29 catches in the five Tests of the 2013 Ashes series in England.

Angelo Mathews' 93 against Pakistan recently was his 22nd half-century in one-day internationals - but he's yet to score a hundred. Is this a record? asked Don Henadeera from Australia
Angelo Mathews' 93 at Hambantota last week was the highest of his 22 scores of 50-plus in one-day internationals - beating his previous-best of 89, set only three days before on the same ground. But the man who holds this particular record wasn't very far away while Mathews was doing his stuff - Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain, currently has 37 fifties but no hundreds in 149 one-day internationals. Misbah's highest score is 96 not out, against West Indies at The Oval during the 2013 Champions Trophy. New Zealand's Andrew Jones, with 25 fifties, is also currently in front of Mathews, whose latest near-miss put him ahead of Graham Thorpe's 21.

Was Denesh Ramdin's 169 in St Kitts the highest score by a keeper-captain in ODIs? asked Ian Hugo from Nigeria
Well, it would have been - except he wasn't captain (Dwayne Bravo currently captains West Indies in one-day internationals, Ramdin in Tests). There have only been 12 centuries by wicketkeeper-captains in ODIs, and the highest is by the man responsible for exactly half of them: MS Dhoni made 139 not out for India against Australia in Mohali in October 2013. AB de Villiers has scored three centuries as keeper-captain, Adam Gilchrist, Brendon McCullum and Kumar Sangakkara one each. Still, Ramdin's 169 against Bangladesh at Basseterre equalled the third-highest score by a wicketkeeper in ODIs, Sangakkara's 169 against South Africa in Colombo in July 2013. The only higher scores by people who kept wicket in the same match are Gilchrist's 172 against Zimbabwe in Hobart in January 2004, and Dhoni's astonishing unbeaten 183 against Sri Lanka in Jaipur in October 2005.

Does MS Dhoni hold the record for the most stumpings in international cricket? asked Seena John from Bahrain?
The two stumpings MS Dhoni made in the one-day international against England at Trent Bridge on Saturday took him clear of Kumar Sangakkara's 129 stumpings in all international cricket. Dhoni had 131 after that Nottingham game - 83 in ODIs, 37 in Tests, and 11 in Twenty20s. The only other wicketkeeper to have made 100 international stumpings is another Sri Lankan, Romesh Kaluwitharana, with 101. In ODIs only, Dhoni is still six behind Sangakkara (89). The only keepers with more stumpings in Tests are Bert Oldfield (52), Godfrey Evans (46) and Syed Kirmani (38); Adam Gilchrist also made 37. Kamran Akmal leads the way in T20 internationals with 32, well ahead of Sangakkara and Mushfiqur Rahim with 20.

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