Six and out, and golden ducks in ODIs
In the World T20 match in Nagpur, Martin Guptill was out second ball for 6. Has this ever been done before? And has it happened in a Test match? asked Nick Jordan from England
Martin Guptill's dismissal for New Zealand against India in Nagpur last week was the fifth case of a batsman being out second ball for 6 in a T20I, but the first time it had happened right at the start of the innings. The previous instances were by Darren Sammy (West Indies), Umar Bhatti (Canada), Ziaur Rahman (Bangladesh) and David Wiese (South Africa). This has also happened seven times in one-day internationals - rather surprisingly, only once by Shahid Afridi! And there is one known case in a Test match (full details are not available for many early matches, although I suspect any further instances would have attracted comment). The impatient Test player was the West Indian fast bowler Frank King, against Australia in Kingston in 1954-55: according to Pat Landsberg's tour book, "King survived two balls, the first of which he hit out of the ground and the second of which he neatly chipped into Ron Archer's hands at slip." For the full list in internationals, click here. But arguably the most famous case of this wasn't in a Test match at all: playing for The Rest against county champions Surrey at The Oval later in 1955, Sussex's Robin Marlar went in as nightwatchman - and was stumped second ball for six!
I was looking at some old highlights and saw that Marcus Trescothick was twice out to the first ball of an ODI, both against Pakistan. Has that happened to anyone else? asked Henrik Back from Sweden
The list of players dismissed by the first ball of either innings in a one-day international is quite a long one. Marcus Trescothick's two first-ball dismissals were inflicted by Waqar Younis at Headingley in 2001, and Shoaib Akhtar in Southampton in 2006. Trescothick is one of 11 men to have been dismissed twice by the first ball of an ODI, but one batsman went this way three times: Adam Gilchrist fell twice to Shaun Pollock and once to Wasim Akram. Chris Gayle has only once been out to the first ball of a match, but has been dismissed by the opening delivery of the chase four times: his total of five first-ball departures is a record, one more than Gilchrist, Sanath Jayasuriya and Tamim Iqbal. Probably the worst way to go is to be run out on the first ball of the match - this has happened twice, to Stuart Matsikenyeri for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2004-05, and Canada's Mohammad Iqbal against West Indies in King City in 2008. Saeed Anwar (Pakistan v South Africa in Nairobi in 1996-97) is the only man to be run out on the first ball of the second innings in an ODI.
India hit only four fours and one six during their World T20 defeat by New Zealand. Was this the fewest runs from boundaries in a completed innings? asked Surendra Prajapati from India
India's 22 runs from boundaries during their match in Nagpur last week was their second-lowest tally in all T20Is: against Australia in Melbourne in February 2008, India managed only three fours in a total of 74, their only lower score in T20Is than the 79 against New Zealand. The lowest boundary count in any completed innings in a T20 international (ignoring four rain-shortened innings with no boundaries at all) was the one four hit by opener Chris Foggo in Bermuda's 20-over total of 70 all out against Canada in Belfast in August 2008. Two days earlier, Bermuda managed one six and one four in their 41 for 8 against Ireland, also in Belfast, although that was in an innings reduced to nine overs by rain.
What is the biggest age difference between two players in the same team in an international? asked Mukesh Khatiwade from Nepal
The biggest age difference between team-mates in a Test is never likely to be approached: it's 31 years 283 days, between the England pair of Wilfred Rhodes (the oldest Test player of all at 52) and Bill Voce (20) in all four Tests of the 1929-30 tour of the West Indies. In the first match, in Bridgetown, Rhodes dismissed Derek Sealy, who was making his debut aged just 17. The biggest difference in one-day internationals is more than 28 years, during the 1996 World Cup: the Netherlands opener Nolan Clarke was 47, while his team-mate Bas Zuiderent celebrated his 19th birthday during the tournament. During the 2011 World Cup, 40-year-old John Davison opened Canada's innings against Zimbabwe with Nitish Kumar, who was not quite 17.
Mark Taylor played 14 Tests before finishing on the losing side. Has anyone played more Tests before losing one? asked Greg Short from Australia
Mark Taylor is actually a fair way down this particular list, behind some other Aussies - and one West Indian, Malcolm Marshall, who was unbeaten in his first 35 Tests before finally tasting defeat, on a turning track in Sydney in 1984-85. Next is Keith Miller, who didn't lose any of his first 25 Tests; then come three other members of the 1948 Invincibles, in Ray Lindwall and Arthur Morris (both 23) and Ian Johnson (22). The record for an entire career without a defeat is 21 Tests, by the Indian offspinner Rajesh Chauhan between 1992-93 and 1997-98. Another Australian, Adam Gilchrist, finished on the winning side in his first 15 Tests; next on that particular list are Stuart Clark of Australia and England's Tim Bresnan with 13, then Eldine Baptiste (West Indies), Brett Lee (Australia) and Thilan Samaraweera (Sri Lanka) with ten. Baptiste played only those ten matches, so finished on the winning side in every Test of his career.
Last week's answer about the progressive list of leading Test run scorers was very interesting. Could we have a similar chronology for the leading wicket-takers? asked Vijay Bedekar from India
Yorkshireman Allen Hill was the first bowler to take a wicket in a Test (Australia's Nat Thomson in Melbourne in 1876-77), but by the end of that inaugural match his team-mate Alfred Shaw and the Australian Tom Kendall led the way with eight. Kendall took six more in the second Test a couple of weeks later, but Fred Spofforth's 13 in the first Test in England - at The Oval in 1880 - put him in front, and he took the record to 94. England's Johnny Briggs and the Australian Charles "Terror" Turner raced each other to 100: they both reached the mark in the same Test, in Sydney in 1894-95, although Briggs got there first. He extended the record to 118, before the Australian offspinner Hugh Trumble stretched it to 141 by 1903-04. SF Barnes claimed the record for England ten years later, finishing with 189 wickets - and he was top of the pile for a record 22 years before Clarrie Grimmett, the Australian legspinner, became the first to 200 Test wickets. "Grum" led the way for more than 17 years, before Alec Bedser sneaked past during the 1953 Ashes; he was top for almost ten years before first Brian Statham then Fred Trueman overhauled his 236 wickets during 1962-63. Trueman made it to 300 in 1964, and finished a year later with 307; that stood until 1975-76, when Lance Gibbs inched the record to 309.
Dennis Lillee passed that in 1981-82, his eventual 355 being caught by Ian Botham in 1986. He was top for only two years until Richard Hadlee went by, and extended the mark to 431; Kapil Dev just made it past to 434 in 1993-94. In March 2000 Courtney Walsh took the lead, and became the first to 500; four years later Muttiah Muralitharan exceeded Walsh's final tally of 519. Later in 2004 Shane Warne nipped past, but his retirement after being the first to 600 and 700 allowed Murali to reclaim the record and extend it to a giddy 800 Test wickets. So far he has topped the list for more than eight years, and no one is terribly close to overhauling him.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes