Australia made 173 without loss to win the first Ashes Test. Was that the highest score made to win by ten wickets? asked Damien Campbell from Scotland
That unbroken stand of 173 between Cameron Bancroft and David Warner in Brisbane was indeed the highest fourth-innings opening stand to win a Test by ten wickets by one run: Bill Ponsford and Archie Jackson put on 172 when Australia beat West Indies by ten wickets in Adelaide in 1930-31. Actually Australia occupy the top four spots on this particular list: Mark Taylor and Geoff Marsh shared an opening stand of 157 to beat England in Brisbane in 1990-91. Keith Stackpole and Ian Redpath added 135 to beat West Indies in Georgetown in 1972-73. The first non-Aussie pair on the list are the Sri Lankans Michael Vandort and Upul Tharanga, with 120 against Bangladesh in Bogra in 2005-06. In all, there have been eight occasions when the openers have knocked off a fourth-innings target of more than 100 without being separated.
Has anyone made more double-centuries while a Test captain than Virat Kohli? asked Dinesh Marriam from India
I was asked this question last week, and didn't answer it in the column because Virat Kohli didn't hold the record - but now he does! His 243 against Sri Lanka in Delhi at the weekend was his sixth double-century as captain, all of them scored since July 2016, when he made 200 against West Indies in Antigua. Kohli beat the record he previously shared with Brian Lara, who hit five doubles as captain. Don Bradman, Michael Clarke and Graeme Smith all made four, while Greg Chappell, Stephen Fleming, Mahela Jayawardene, Brendon McCullum and Bob Simpson managed three.
Which bowler has the best record of hitting the stumps, given a large amount of wickets? asked Brian Morley from England
Of the 181 bowlers who have so far taken 100 or more Test wickets, the two with the highest percentage of bowled dismissals are the 19th-century England pair of George Lohmann, with 51 out of 112, or 45.53% bowled, and Johnny Briggs, with 52 out of 118 (44.06%). Next comes the first post-war bowler, Australia's Ray Lindwall, who bowled 97 of his 228 victims (42.54%). The Australian Charlie "Terror" Turner (42/101, or 41.58%) and England's Brian Statham (102/252; 40.47%) both also bowled more than 40% of their victims. Bottom of the list is the Indian slow left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who rattled the timbers for only eight of his 113 Test wickets (7.07%).
Statham is one of only seven men to have bowled more than 100 batsmen in Tests. The others, most of whom played significantly more matches, are Muttiah Muralitharan (167), Shane Warne (116), Jimmy Anderson (104, before the Adelaide Test), Fred Trueman (103), Waqar Younis (102) and Wasim Akram (101).
Two New Zealanders scored hundreds on debut in the same innings of the recent Test against West Indies. Has this ever happened before? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
New Zealand's first innings against West Indies in Wellington at the weekend did include two maiden centuries. But only wicketkeeper Tom Blundell was making his Test debut: Colin de Grandhomme had six previous caps to his name.
There is just one instance of two debutants scoring a century in the same Test innings: against South Africa in Rawalpindi in 1997-98, Ali Naqvi made 115 and Azhar Mahmood 128 for Pakistan. Mahmood had a long career in international and county cricket, but Naqvi played just five more Tests, and never again passed 30.
This is a bit macabre, but apparently two Australian players died on the same day during an Ashes series. Who were they? asked Jake Carter from Australia
I think the pair you're talking about are James Kelly and Hugh Trumble, who each died on August 14, 1938. Both of them were 71. Kelly was a wicketkeeper who played 33 times against England, while Trumble took 141 wickets in 31 Ashes Tests, including two hat-tricks. The final Test of Australia's 1938 tour of England - the one in which Len Hutton scored 364 - started at The Oval six days later.
This was the first time two Test players are known to have died on the same day: it didn't happen again until December 13, 1940, when England's George Macaulay and Dusty Tapscott of South Africa both passed away.
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