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Two debutants opening the bowling, and the highest ODI score by a keeper

Quinton de Kock's 178 against Australia last week has been bettered by only one wicketkeeper in ODIs AFP

Two debutants opened the bowling as Australia lost to South Africa the other day. Has this ever happened before? asked Mitchell Frazer from Australia
The two newcomers who had the chastening experience of sharing the new ball in Australia's defeat by South Africa in Johannesburg on the weekend were Victoria's Chris Tremain, who took 1 for 78, and Joe Mennie of South Australia, who ended up with 0 for 82. They were the first pair of debutants to share the new ball in an ODI for Australia since 1996-97, when Andy Bichel and Anthony Stuart did the honours against West Indies in Brisbane. There were four other instances for Australia in the early days of ODIs. Graham McKenzie and Alan "Froggy" Thomson took the new ball in the first ever official one-day international, against England in Melbourne in 1970-71. In Australia's second match, against England at Old Trafford in 1972, Dennis Lillee and Bob Massie opened the bowling. Max Walker and Gary Gilmour took the new ball against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1973-74, while the following season Alan Hurst and Jeff Thomson started things off against England in Melbourne.

Where does Quinton de Kock's 178 stand on the list of highest ODI scores by a wicketkeeper? asked Hammad Shakil from Pakistan
There's been only one higher individual score from a wicketkeeper than Quinton de Kock's turbocharged 178 for South Africa against Australia in Centurion last week. That was 183 not out, by Mahendra Singh Dhoni for India against Sri Lanka in Jaipur in 2005-06. Next come Adam Gilchrist, with 172 for Australia against Zimbabwe in Hobart in 2003-04, and Luke Ronchi, with 170 not out for New Zealand v Sri Lanka in Dunedin in 2014-15. Kumar Sangakkara made 169 for Sri Lanka v South Africa in Colombo in 2013, and Denesh Ramdin 169 for West Indies against Bangladesh in Basseterre in 2014, while Gilchrist added 154 against Sri Lanka in Melbourne in 1998-99, as well as 149 against them in the 2007 World Cup final in Bridgetown. De Kock's 11 sixes has been surpassed just six times in any ODI innings, and only once by someone who kept wicket in the same game - AB de Villiers smashed 16 sixes while scoring 149 from 44 balls for South Africa against West Indies in Johannesburg in January 2015.

Six different South African bowlers took a wicket against Australia at the Wanderers. Was this a record? asked Hendrik Hitge
There were indeed six different wicket-takers as South Africa bowled Australia out for 219 in Johannesburg on the weekend - but the record for any one-day international is seven, which has happened four times. The first two were by New Zealand: against India in Auckland in 1975-76, and Sri Lanka in Dunedin in 1990-91. Netherlands had seven wicket-takers in their win over Bermuda in Rotterdam in 2007, as did Australia in overcoming Scotland in Edinburgh in 2009. The Test record is also seven, and that has also happened four times, most recently by New Zealand against South Africa in Centurion in 2005-06.

What are the earliest Test and ODI from which all 22 players are still alive? asked Steve Austin from Australia
I hope I'm not tempting fate here in saying that the longest-ago Test match from which all the players are still with us is the first one between Australia and Pakistan in Adelaide in December 1972. All of them have thus survived nearly 44 years - and let's hope there's many more to come. The oldest single team who are all still alive is also Australian - their side in the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town in 1966-67, almost 50 years ago. All the Aussies are also still alive from the first-ever official one-day international, against England in Melbourne in 1970-71 (England, sadly, have lost two men from that game). The oldest ODI from which all 22 players survive is the one between England and New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1978.

Was Mosaddek Hossain the first Bangladesh player to take a wicket with his first ball in ODIs? asked Savo Ceprnich
Offspinner Mosaddek Hossain played his first one-day international for Bangladesh last week, in Mirpur, and took the wicket of Afghanistan's Hashmatullah Shahidi with his first delivery. He's the 24th bowler to strike with his first ball in ODIs, but the first from Bangladesh. For the full list, click here.

Another Bangladesh record was set in the third and final match of that series against Afghanistan, also in Mirpur: slow left-armer Mosharraf Hossain, 34, played his first match for nearly nine years. That puts him seventh on the overall list, just ahead of Faruk Ahmed, who went eight years 144 days between ODIs for Bangladesh between 1990 and 1999. For that list, click here.

My dad left me a piece of paper signed by Garry Sobers and his 1966 West Indian side. There's one name on there I can't work out - it looks like "R. Barker". Do you know who this is? asked David Fifield from England
That sounds like an interesting piece of memorabilia, from a famous team - Garry Sobers' strong 1966 line-up won that year's series in England 3-1. His team included big names like Rohan Kanhai, Conrad Hunte, Basil Butcher, Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith and Lance Gibbs, all among West Indies' all-time greats. But there were some lesser lights. Two of that year's 17-strong touring party never played a Test: the back-up fast bowler Rudolph Cohen, and the man I suspect you're after… Rawle Brancker, a slow left-armer from Barbados. He played in most of the first-class matches outside the Tests, and finished with 33 wickets, including a career-best 7 for 78 against Kent in Canterbury, when his victims included Colin Cowdrey, Alan Knott, Brian Luckhurst and Derek Underwood. (Sobers took 9 for 49 in the second innings of that match.) Brancker also took 6 for 39 for Barbados against Combined Islands in Bridgetown earlier in 1966. He played his last first-class match early in 1970, ending up with 106 wickets at 27.32 - and an almost identical batting average (27.31). He was a handy lower-order batsman who hit five first-class centuries for Barbados, including one against the 1964-65 Australian tourists, when he shared a big stand with Sobers, who made 183.

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