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Four golden ducks in an innings

Hardik Pandya saved his maiden first-class ton for a Test against Sri Lanka Associated Press

How many people have hit their maiden first-class century in a Test, as Hardik Pandya did in Pallekele? asked Chandrakant Sarwate from India
Hardik Pandya, whose previous highest score was 90, was the 41st batsman - the 14th in the current century - to score his maiden first-class hundred in a Test match. The first instance was in the very first Test match of all, by Charles Bannerman for Australia against England in Melbourne in 1876-77. Bannerman's famous 165 retired hurt in that game was actually his only century in a career of 44 first-class matches. The list includes four other Indians: Vijay Manjrekar (1952), Kapil Dev (1978-79), Ajay Ratra (2001-02) and Harbhajan Singh (2010-11, in his 88th Test).

How many wicketkeepers have been out for 99 in a Test, as Jonny Bairstow was? asked Michael Ward from England
Jonny Bairstow's important 99 at Old Trafford was only the third such score by a wicketkeeper in a Test. The first to fall for 99 was Brendon McCullum, for New Zealand against Sri Lanka in Napier in 2004-05. He was followed by MS Dhoni, for India against England in Nagpur in 2012-13. Bairstow was the unlucky 13th batsman to be out for 99 in a Test for England, but the first since Kevin Pietersen against Bangladesh in 2009-10. Mike Atherton and MJK Smith were both dismissed for 99 twice, while Geoff Boycott - who was out for 99 against West Indies in Port-of-Spain in 1973-74 - was also stranded on 99 not out against Australia in Perth in 1979-80. Alex Tudor, against New Zealand at Edgbaston in 1999, is the only other man to make 99 not out in a Test innings for England.

Who was the first man to play 100 ODIs? asked Wayne Johnstone from Australia
The first man to reach the milestone of 100 one-day international appearances was Australia's Allan Border, in January 1985. The record he overhauled shortly before was held by another Australian, Rod Marsh, with 92. Border was also the first to play 200 ODIs, reaching the mark in February 1990, at which point Viv Richards had played 177 and Desmond Haynes 171. First to 300 was Mohammad Azharuddin, in September 1998; he had gone past Border's final tally of 273 earlier that year. And the first of the four men so far to reach 400 was Sanath Jayasuriya, in October 2007. At that time Sachin Tendulkar had played 397 ODIs; he went past Jayasuriya in February 2011, and finished with 463 one-day caps.

There were four first-ball ducks in South Africa's second innings at The Oval - was this a record? asked George Symons from South Africa
South Africa's disappointing second innings in the third Test at The Oval was indeed the first in Tests to contain four golden ducks - Faf du Plessis, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel all perished first ball. With the proviso that there are several matches for which we don't have complete ball-by-ball records, there appear to have been 12 previous instances of an innings containing three golden ducks, most recently by India (Abhinav Mukund, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar) against England at Trent Bridge in 2011. The first such instance was in an Ashes Test at Edgbaston in 1902, when the Australian trio of Warwick Armstrong, Ernie Jones and Bill Howell were all out first ball. In Melbourne in 2003-04, Sachin Tendulkar, Parthiv Patel and Ajit Agarkar were all out first ball, while Zaheer Khan also faced just one ball, but finished with 0 not out.

I know that the first delivery of a Test match was hit for six only once, but how many times has the first ball of a Test match resulted in a wicket, and which team has done it most often? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
There have now been 30 instances of a batsman being dismissed by the first ball of a Test, most recently when Mitchell Starc dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne in the second Test in Galle in August 2016. West Indies have done it most often - eight times, helped by the fact that Pedro Collins three times dismissed Bangladesh's Hannan Sarkar with the opening delivery of a match. Australia have started five different Tests with a first-ball wicket, England four, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa three, and Bangladesh one.

Just in case anyone doesn't know about the first-ball six you mention, it was struck by Chris Gayle off Bangladesh's Sohag Gazi in Mirpur in 2012-13. It was actually Gazi's first ball in Test cricket!

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