January 20, 2015

AB's assault, and losing T20 centuries

Plus, most hundreds in an ODI innings, the youngest West Indies captain, and Australia's Indian-origin players

Was South Africa's innings against West Indies the first to include three centuries? asked Gavin Carlisle from South Africa
South Africa's 439 for 2 against West Indies in Johannesburg last Sunday was indeed the first one-day international innings to contain three individual centuries - Hashim Amla's 153 not out, Rilee Rossouw's 128 (his first international ton) and AB de Villiers' amazing 149 from just 44 balls. The total was the second-highest in all ODIs, beating South Africa's own 438 for 9 in a famous match against Australia (434 for 4) at the Wanderers in March 2006, and behind only Sri Lanka's 443 for 9 against Netherlands in Amstelveen later in 2006. There had been 116 previous instances of an ODI innings containing two centuries, including two matches where there were two on both sides: Pakistan v Australia in Lahore in 1998-99, and India v Australia in Nagpur in 2013-14.

AB de Villiers hit 16 sixes at the Wanderers. Is this a new one-day record? asked Carl Montgomery from England
AB de Villiers established a new record for the fastest century in one-day internationals in Johannesburg, hurtling to three figures from just 31 balls to beat the New Zealander Corey Anderson's record by five deliveries (for the full list, click here). But 16 sixes in an innings had been done before - by Rohit Sharma in his 209 for India against Australia in Bangalore in November 2013.

Is Jason Holder the youngest player to captain West Indies? asked Joel Pojas from the Philippines
Jason Holder from Barbados was 23 years and 72 days old when he captained West Indies for the first time, in the one-day international against South Africa in Durban last week - about five months younger than anyone else who has captained them in an official international. West Indies' previous youngest captain in an ODI was Ramnaresh Sarwan, 228 days older when he took charge against England in Georgetown in April 2004. Overall there have been nine more youthful ODI captains than Holder, the youngest of all being Bangladesh's Rajin Saleh, who was 21 in September 2004. West Indies' youngest Test captain remains GC "Jackie" Grant, who was 23 years 217 days old when he skippered against Australia in Adelaide in 1930-31, while Denesh Ramdin (24 years 2 days in March 2009) was their youngest in a T20 international.

David Wiese took a five-for against West Indies the other day. Were these the best bowling figures for South Africa in Twenty20s? asked Kyle Eastwood from South Africa
Titans seamer David Wiese, in only his eighth T20 international, took 5 for 23 against West Indies in Durban last week. This was the 14th instance of a bowler taking five or more wickets in a T20I innings, headed by Ajantha Mendis, the only man to manage six - which he has done twice. But that list includes one better analysis for South Africa: Ryan McLaren took 5 for 19 against West Indies in North Sound in Antigua in May 2010.

South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis scored a Twenty20 century against West Indies, but finished on the losing side. Has this happened before? asked James McLeod from the UK
Faf du Plessis turns out to be the second man to score a T20 international century in a losing cause. The first was for West Indies against South Africa - Chris Gayle made 117 in Johannesburg in the opening match of the inaugural World T20, in September 2007. Du Plessis made 119 against West Indies at the Wanderers earlier this month, so he now has the highest score in a losing cause. His score was also a record by a skipper in T20 internationals: the only other captain's century was Tillakaratne Dilshan's undefeated 104 for Sri Lanka against Australia in Pallekele in August 2011.

Was Gurinder Sandhu the first player of Indian origin to represent Australia in international cricket? asked Jamie Stewart from Canada
Gurinder Sandhu, the 21-year-old New South Wales fast bowler who made his international debut against India in Melbourne on Sunday, was not quite the first player of Indian descent to play for Australia: the parents of Stuart Clark, another recent NSW seamer, both came from India. Rex Sellers, the South Australian legspinner who played one Test in 1964-65, was born in Gujarat, while Bransby Cooper - who appeared in the very first Test of all, in Melbourne in 1876-77 - was born in Dacca, which was in India at the time but is now the capital of Bangladesh. Usman Khawaja, the former NSW batsman who now plays for Queensland, was born in Islamabad in Pakistan. He has played nine Tests and three ODIs for Australia so far.

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

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