How many people have finished a Test with a hat-trick, as Moeen Ali did at The Oval? asked Richard Whitehead from England
Moeen Ali's hat-trick to wrap up the match at The Oval yesterday was actually the fourth time a Test had been concluded in this way. The first instance was in 1895-96, when England's George Lohmann ended the South African resistance in Port Elizabeth: they were all out for 30, with Lohmann taking 8 for 7. Not long afterwards, in 1901-02, the Australian offspinner Hugh Trumble ended an Ashes Test in Melbourne by taking the last three wickets in successive balls, then in Cape Town in 1957-58 Australia's Lindsay Kline's hat-trick clinched victory for Australia. (Moeen's was the first Test hat-trick against South Africa since that one.)
And Moeen's Oval hat-trick set some other records, too. It was the first in Tests to feature three left-handed batsmen, the first in 100 Tests at The Oval, and the first in the same Test innings to include both an opener and the No. 11. Merv Hughes (for Australia in 1988-89) and Jermaine Lawson (for West Indies in 2002-03) also dismissed an opener and the last man, but both of those were spread over two innings, with the opener being the final element in the hat-tricks. For the full list of Test hat-tricks, click here.
Shikhar Dhawan was out for 190 before tea on the first day at Galle. Has anyone had a higher score at tea on the first day of a Test? asked Amit Shukla via Facebook
In his remarkable innings in the recent Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, Shikhar Dhawan was out for 190 in the last over before tea on the first day. There has only been one higher score: at tea on the first day of the Ashes Test at Headingley in 1930, Don Bradman was sitting pretty on 220 - he finished the day with 309 not out, another record. I'm indebted to Charles Davis from Melbourne for unearthing the next-highest, Jack Hobbs' 180 not out before tea on the first day for England against South Africa in Cape Town in 1910-11.
I wondered during the Oval Test whether Alastair Cook now has more scores between 80 and 99 than anyone else? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
Alastair Cook's 88 in the Test that has just finished at The Oval was the 15th time he had been out for a score between 80 and 99 in Tests. There are a trio of batsmen who had 16 such scores: Brian Lara (including one not-out), Mike Atherton (two not-outs) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (a remarkable seven asterisks). But there are two others with even more innings in this range, and they're the usual suspects, really: Rahul Dravid had 21 scores from 80 to 99 (one of them not out), while Sachin Tendulkar had 22, all of them ending in dismissals. Another Indian, Chetan Chauhan, had seven scores between 80 and 99 in Tests - and never did make it to 100.
Was India's victory at Galle their biggest over Sri Lanka? asked Ian Hugo from Nigeria
India won the first Test in Galle by 304 runs, their fourth-largest by runs against any team. They beat Australia by 320 runs in Mohali in 2008-09, New Zealand by 321 in Indore in October 2016, and South Africa by 337 in Delhi in 2015-16. India's previous-biggest victory over Sri Lanka by runs was 278, at the P Sara Oval in Colombo in August 2015. India have also won 15 Tests by a margin of an innings and 100 or more runs, the highest being an innings and 239, against Bangladesh in Mirpur in May 2007.
How many England players have taken a five-for on Test debut, as Toby Roland-Jones did at The Oval? asked Paul Greaves from England
Toby Roland-Jones, who took 5 for 57 in South Africa's first innings at The Oval, was the 47th bowler to take a five-for on Test debut for England. Four of them - Fred Martin (1890), Tom Richardson (1893), Charles "Father" Marriott (1933), and Ken Farnes (1934) - took two in the match, so this was the 51st instance. The best figures on debut for England remain Dominic Cork's 7 for 43 against West Indies at Lord's in 1995. Four other bowlers took seven in an innings in their first match for England: John Lever (7 for 46 v India in Delhi in 1976-77), Alec Bedser (7 for 49 v India at Lord's in 1946), James Langridge (7 for 56 v West Indies at Old Trafford in 1933), and Jim Laker (7 for 103 v West Indies in Bridgetown in 1947-48).
Roland-Jones is the first England player with a double-barrelled surname since 1935, when Mandy Mitchell-Innes played against South Africa, and the first to take five wickets in an innings for them since George Simpson-Hayward, who claimed 6 for 43 in the first Test of 1910-11, in Johannesburg, and 5 for 69 in the third, also at the Old Wanderers. Bowling underarm lobs, Simpson-Hayward took 23 wickets in that five-match series, his only taste of Test cricket.
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