Who is the oldest century-maker in first-class cricket?? asked Tim Bentley from England
The answer here is WG - but probably not the one you might think. WG "Willie" Quaife of Warwickshire was 56 years 140 days old when he scored 115 against Derbyshire at Edgbaston in August 1928, in his 719th and last first-class match. Quaife broke the record set by the more famous WG - Grace - who hit 166 for London County against MCC at Crystal Palace in 1904. The first 61 of those runs came on Grace's 56th birthday (July 18), and the rest the following day.
Between them the two WGs occupy the top six places in this particular list, both of them making three after turning 54. Next comes the long-serving Leicestershire left-hander John King, who made 114 against Sussex in Hove about a fortnight after his 54th birthday in 1925.
The last 50-year-old to make a first-class hundred was the former England captain Gubby Allen, with an unbeaten 143 for Free Foresters against Cambridge University at Fenner's in 1953. DB Deodhar scored 105 and 141 for Maharashtra in a Ranji Trophy match against Nawanagar in Poona in 1944-45 when he was nearly 53, and the following season another legendary Indian, CK Nayudu, made two centuries for Holkar: 101 in the Ranji Trophy semi-final against Mysore (in a total of 912 for 6) in Indore, and 200 in the final against Baroda, also in Indore. He was 50 at the time.
Was Kuldeep Yadav the first bowler to take a hat-trick against Australia in a one-day international? asked Steve Rafferty from France
Kuldeep Yadav's fine feat in Kolkata last week was India's first hat-trick against Australia in a one-day international, but the seventh against them in all. The first was also the first in any ODI - by the Pakistan seamer Jalal-ud-Din when the Aussies visited Hyderabad in Sind in 1982-83. Then came Wasim Akram (for Pakistan in Sharjah in 1989-90), Jerome Taylor (for West Indies in Mumbai in 2006-07), Shane Bond (for New Zealand in Hobart in 2006-07), Lasith Malinga (for Sri Lanka in Colombo in August 2011), and most recently England's Steven Finn, in Melbourne during the 2015 World Cup.
There had been only two previous hat-tricks for India in ODIs, and none for more than 25 years. Chetan Sharma took the first, against New Zealand in Nagpur during the 1987 World Cup, and he was followed by Kapil Dev, against Sri Lanka in Calcutta in 1990-91.
Which ground has staged the most Tests without anyone ever scoring a century, or a double-century, or a triple? asked Maneck Ghose from India
None of the 92 grounds which have staged more than one Test have failed to witness an individual century. But of the 22 which have held just one, there are four hundred-free zones: the Sector 16 Stadium in Chandigarh (the highest score was 88, by Ravi Shastri for India against Sri Lanka in 1990-91), the Southend (Defence) ground in Karachi (81, by Shoaib Mohammad for Pakistan v Zimbabwe in 1993-94), the Pindi Club in Rawalpindi (76, by Bruce Taylor for New Zealand v Pakistan in 1964-65), and the Jinnah Stadium in Gujranwala, where the highest score of Pakistan's rain-affected Test against Sri Lanka in 1991-92 - only 36 overs were possible in the whole match - was Rameez Raja's undefeated 51.
There has never been a double-century in 27 Tests at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth, where the highest score remains Herschelle Gibbs's 196 for South Africa against India in 2001-02. And the ground that has staged most Tests without anyone managing a triple is Adelaide, with 75 - although there was an agonising near-miss there in 1931-32, when Don Bradman was left stranded on 299 against South Africa when the last man was run out.
I was surprised to read that Jan Brittin was still the leading scorer in women's Tests. Is anyone close to her record? asked Derek Potter from England
Jan Brittin, who sadly died recently, remains the leading scorer in women's Test matches with 1935 runs. Charlotte Edwards - who opened with Brittin on her Test debut in 1996 when only 16 - lies second with 1676, but has now retired. In all just ten women have reached 1000 runs in Test matches. This is down to the scarcity of such games - there have been only six in the current decade (three in 2014), and none at all since the one-off Ashes match in Canterbury in 2014, although one is scheduled for Sydney in November. It is difficult to see this situation changing much, given the current popularity of 20- and 50-over games, so Brittin's record (and her five centuries, also the highest) may stand forever.
Which player achieved the feat that narrowly eluded Don Bradman - ending his Test career with a 100-plus batting average? asked Chris Bloore from Hong Kong
The man who technically bettered Don Bradman's famous Test batting average of 99.94 was the Trinidadian opener Andy Ganteaume, who scored 112 in his first innings for West Indies, against England in Port-of-Spain in 1947-48. He didn't bat in the second innings, and remarkably never played again, so finished with a Test average of 112. Another player who, like the Don, just missed out was Sri Lanka's Naveed Nawaz, whose sole Test came against Bangladesh in Colombo in 2002. He scored 21 and 78 not out, so finished with an average of 99.
If you impose a qualification of 15 innings then the next-best Test average after Bradman's is 65.72 by New Zealand's Stewie Dempster, who scored 723 runs in 15 innings, four of them not-out. Raise the bar to 20 innings and second place goes to Adam Voges, who recently retired from Test cricket: he made 1485 runs in 31 innings (seven not-outs) at an average of 61.87. Bradman himself had 80 innings (ten not-outs): the next-best average from as many attempts as that is 60.73 by Herbert Sutcliffe (84 innings, seven not-outs, 4555 runs). The highest average by anyone who has batted more than 100 times in Tests is a current player: Steve Smith, with 59.66 (5370 runs).
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