How many batsmen have carried their bat twice in Test cricket?

Dean Elgar became the fifth batsman, and the first South African, to carry his bat twice in Test cricket BCCI

Dean Elgar carried his bat for the second time at Jo'burg. Has anyone else done this for South Africa? asked Gerrie Cullinan from South Africa
Dean Elgar's staunch innings in the second innings against India at the Wanderers made him the first South African to carry his bat twice in Test - he also did it against England in Durban in 2015-16. Bernard Tancred, Billy Zulch, Trevor Goddard, Jackie McGlew and Gary Kirsten all did it once for South Africa in Tests.

Four batsmen from other countries have achieved the feat twice: Bill Woodfull and Bill Lawry from Australia, England's Len Hutton, and Glenn Turner from New Zealand. But the West Indian opener Desmond Haynes leads the way - he carried his bat three times (and nearly added to that: against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1979-80 he was the last man out in both innings). For the full list of openers who carried their bat through a Test innings, click here.

Pakistan have won more Test matches than they have lost. How many other countries have a positive ratio like this? asked John Campbell
Australia lead the way, with 382 victories to set against 216 defeats, while England (356-295), South Africa (158-139) and Pakistan (132-122) all have more wins than losses too. At one stage West Indies were also on the credit side, but their poor form over the last few years means they are now in the red, at 168-187. India (144-160), Sri Lanka (84-100), New Zealand (91-170), Zimbabwe (11-67) and Bangladesh (10-79) have also lost more matches than they have won. For the full table, click here.

In one-day internationals, Australia, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies and Afghanistan have all won more matches than they have lost. For that table, click here.

There wasn't a single over of spin in the Wanderers Test. How often has this happened? asked David Bradley from South Africa
The controversial third Test between South Africa and India in Johannesburg was the first one anywhere without a single over of spin for nearly 28 years - since West Indies beat England by an innings in Antigua in 1989-90.

Of Tests that produced a positive result, there have been only three others since the Second World War that were totally spin-free: the first Test of the 1981 Ashes series, at Trent Bridge; New Zealand v Pakistan in Dunedin in 1984-85; and England v West Indies at Headingley in 1988.

Was Shehan Madushanka the first bowler to take a hat-trick on his one-day international debut? asked Jamie Stewart from Canada
The Sri Lankan seamer Shehan Madushanka's feat against Bangladesh in the tri-series final in Mirpur at the weekend made him only the fourth bowler to take a hat-trick in his first one-day international - but the second Sri Lankan to do it in less than a year! Legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga also achieved the feat last July, against Zimbabwe in Galle.

The others to take a hat-trick in their first ODI were Taijul Islam, for Bangladesh against Zimbabwe in Mirpur in December 2014, and Kagiso Rabada, for South Africa against Bangladesh in Mirpur in July 2015. Tendai Chatara was part of both Taijul and Hasaranga's debut hat-tricks, while Mahmudullah featured in those of Rabada and Madushanka. For the full list of ODI hat-tricks, click here.

With the recent fuss over scheduling a four-day Test in South Africa, was there ever a time when they were restricted to three days? asked John Cunningham from England
All Test matches in England were scheduled for three days until 1930, when the Australians were given four-day games. But all other visitors to England continued to play three-day Tests, until 1947, when the South Africans were accorded four days; in 1948 the Ashes became five-day Tests for the first time in England (in Australia, they had mostly been timeless matches until the Second World War).

The last team to play three-day Tests in England was New Zealand in 1949. They had a strong team that year, and had little difficulty in drawing all four matches: they might even have won at Lord's given more time. I learned from the recent book The Skipper's Diary - a sumptuously produced account of that tour, using the personal papers of the captain, Walter Hadlee, with annotations from his son Richard - that after their strong showing at Lord's, the tourists were asked to consider adding an extra day to the fourth Test, but declined as they did not wish to rejig their travelling arrangements (it was a packed schedule, with lots of county games).

The following year, 1950, all four home Tests against West Indies were scheduled for five days, and that has been the norm in England ever since (with, occasionally, an extra day added to a decider to give more chance of a result). Outside England, Tests have usually been due to last five or six days since then. The last scheduled four-day Tests before the one between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth just after Christmas - which actually ended inside two - were in New Zealand's home series against Pakistan in 1972-73.

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