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Most consecutive Tests, and vowel-less surnames

Brendon McCullum's innings was full of aggression Getty Images

England just started a home Test only 18 days after finishing an away one. Is it a record for England, and what's the overall record for all countries? asked Michael Jones from Georgia
So much has happened in English cricket since the end of the Barbados Test - changing the coach and managing director, and the KP saga - that it was a shock to realise, on the opening morning of the Lord's Test against New Zealand, that actually only 18 days had elapsed since England's defeat in Barbados. This is comfortably a record between home and away Tests for England; the previous mark was 36 days, after returning from the West Indies in 2004 (oddly, the next home Test was against West Indies too). The overall record (excluding the Asian Test Championship of 1998-99) was set in November 2000, when India started a home Test just five days after winning the inaugural match in Bangladesh. Late in 1979, India started a home Test just seven days after their epic draw with England at The Oval.

The record for matches in different countries (excluding England's twin tours in 1891-92 and 1929-30) is two days, which Australia have done twice: in 1956, and again in 1964, they started a Test in India two days after finishing one in Pakistan (so had just one day off in between). They had a similar three-day gap in the subcontinent in 1959-60. England also had just three days between Tests in Australia and New Zealand early in 1963. The record for Tests on different continents is five days, by Australia in South Africa and Bangladesh in April 2006.

Brendon McCullum won his 93rd Test cap at Lord's, all of them consecutive since his first one. Is this a record from debut? asked Shahid Mishra from India
Brendon McCullum has indeed been a fixture in New Zealand's Test side since his first match, against South Africa in Hamilton in March 2004. The first Test at Lord's was his 93rd, so a century is on the horizon. But another current player possesses this particular record at the moment: AB de Villiers made his debut for South Africa in December 2004, and has now played 98 Tests without missing one. Australia's Adam Gilchrist played 96 consecutive Tests between his debut in 1999-2000 and his retirement in 2007-08, while Rahul Dravid had 93 successive Tests for India from his debut in 1996 until missing one in December 2006, and also played one for the World XI.

Is Adam Lyth the first person without a vowel in his surname to play Test cricket? asked Chris Ross from England
For obvious reasons my first thought was Monte Lynch, but he played only one-day internationals for England - three of them in 1988 - and no Tests. The only other vowel-less England player appeared more than a century ago: the legendary CB Fry won the last of his 26 Test caps as captain in 1912. A quick search suggests that the only other Test cricketer without a vowel in his surname is someone who might just have opposed Lyth on this tour - the New Zealander Daniel Flynn, who played the last of his 24 Tests to date in January 2013.

I believe that Don Bradman reached the nineties 29 times in Tests, and was never out. Who's next on this list? asked Terry Wright from Australia
Don Bradman was famously never out in the nineties in Tests; the nearest he got without making three figures was 89, against England at Lord's in 1948. Of the 41 batsmen who have scored 20 or more Test centuries, there's only one other man who was never dismissed in the nineties - Greg Chappell, who made 24 Test tons. He was once marooned on 98 not out, against England in Sydney in 1979-80; but apart from that his closest approach to 100 without getting there was 84, also against England in Sydney, in 1974-75. Five of those 41 batsmen were out only once in the nineties: Mohammad Azharuddin (22 hundreds), Allan Border (27), Wally Hammond (22), Neil Harvey (21) and Younis Khan (29).

How may batsmen have scored a triple and a single century in the same match? asked Nirmal Mendis from Sri Lanka
This has been achieved just twice in first-class cricket - both times in Tests. The first to do it was Graham Gooch, for England against India at Lord's in 1990, when he followed 333 with 123. Gooch stood alone until February 2014, when Kumar Sangakkara amassed 319 and 105 for Sri Lanka against Bangladesh in Chittagong. The only man to score two double-centuries in the same first-class match remains Arthur Fagg, with 244 and 202 not out for Kent against Essex at Colchester in 1938.

How often have two batsmen been out in the nineties in an England innings, as happened at Lord's? asked David Burton from England
The dismissals of Ben Stokes for 92 and Joe Root for 98 against New Zealand at Lord's last week was actually the tenth occasion that an England innings had contained two nineties. Two of the previous instances were also at Lord's: against South Africa in 1960, when Raman Subba Row scored 90 and MJK Smith 99 (before becoming part of Geoff Griffin's hat-trick), and against West Indies in 1966 (Tom Graveney 96 on his Test comeback, Jim Parks 91). The first occasion was in South Africa in 1927-28, when Herbert Sutcliffe made 99 and Bob Wyatt 91 in Cape Town. On seven occasions (including this 2015 one) there were no centuries in the innings, but in the most recent instance - against West Indies in Bridgetown in 2008-09 - Andrew Strauss made 142 and Ravi Bopara 104, in addition to Alastair Cook's 94 and 96 from Paul Collingwood, as England amassed 600 for 6.