Was Shane Watson the first to score a century in the final of the IPL? asked Ashok Kumar from India
Shane Watson's rampaging 117 not out for Chennai Super Kings against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mumbai on Sunday was actually the second century in an IPL final. The first was Wriddhiman Saha's 115 not out for Kings XI Punjab against Kolkata Knight Riders in Bengaluru in 2014 - but Kolkata won that one, mainly thanks to Manish Pandey's 94 from 50 balls, so Watson's was the first hundred to secure victory in the IPL final. Overall, it was the 52nd century in the 11-year history of the IPL.
Is it true that AB de Villiers has scored the fastest fifty, hundred and 150 in one-day internationals? asked Leroy Phamosa from South Africa
Remarkably, it is true, and emphasises what a talent international cricket has lost with the retirement of AB de Villiers. The fastest ODI fifty and hundred actually came in the same innings, his rollicking 149 from just 44 deliveries for South Africa against West Indies in Johannesburg in January 2015. Entering in the 39th over after an opening stand of 247 between Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw, de Villiers hurtled to a half-century from just 16 balls (beating the previous record by one) and a hundred from 31, with ten sixes (breaking Corey Anderson's record by five deliveries).
De Villiers narrowly missed 150 in that innings but made no mistake six weeks later, during the 2015 World Cup. Again West Indies were the opposition, in the group game in Sydney. This time de Villiers came to the crease in the 30th over. He reached 50 in 30 balls and 100 in 52, then needed only 12 more to zoom to 150. He had 162 not out when the innings closed. South Africa had reached 408 for 5, and ended up winning by 257 runs.
Was Dom Bess' 57 the highest score by an England No. 8 on Test debut? asked Jerry Curtis from Somerset
Dominic Bess' plucky 57 in the second innings of England's defeat by Pakistan at Lord's on the weekend was actually the fourth-highest score by an England debutant from No. 8. The record was set only 18 months ago, in December 2016, when Liam Dawson made 66 not out against India in Chennai. David Bairstow - the father of Bess' team-mate Jonny - scored 59 against India at The Oval in 1979, and Len Braund scored 58 against Australia in Sydney back in 1901-02.
The highest score by any debutant batting at No. 8 in a Test is Jimmy Neesham's 137 not out for New Zealand against India in Wellington in 2013-14. In all, there have been eight debut hundreds from No. 8, four of them by New Zealanders.
Pakistan have won more Tests at Lord's than they have lost. Can any other visiting side boast this record? asked Kamran Ahmed from Pakistan
Pakistan have won more Tests against England at Lord's than they have lost - it's 5-4 in their favour after that big victory on Sunday - but overall, their record there is 5-5, as they also lost to Australia at Lord's in 2010.
But Pakistan's record is bettered only by Australia among visiting sides: the Aussies have won 17 and lost just seven of their 38 Tests at Lord's (that includes a victory over South Africa in 1912). South Africa have won five and lost eight (four draws), West Indies won four and lost ten (seven draws), India won two and lost 11 (four draws), and New Zealand have won one and lost eight (eight draws). Sri Lanka have played eight, losing two and drawing six, while Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have both played twice at Lord's and lost twice. England's record from 134 Tests at Lord's is now won 53, lost 32, and drawn 49.
Has there ever been an instance in Test cricket of a nightwatchman being sent in to open the innings? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
There have been a few instances of this. Probably the most extreme example came in the third Test of the 1936-37 Ashes, on a Melbourne pitch made almost unplayable by heavy rain. After the downpour, England - who were already two up in the series - declared late on the second day at 76 for 9, to get Australia (who had earlier made 200 for 9, most of them on the first day) in again that night. Don Bradman sent in Bill O'Reilly and Chuck Fleetwood-Smith (Nos. 9 and 11 in the first innings) on the basis that they were unlikely to hit the ball and so wouldn't get out caught. O'Reilly, possibly unamused, did hit a return catch, so Frank Ward (No. 10 in the first innings) came out as another nightwatchman. He and Fleetwood-Smith managed to survive until the close, when it was 3 for 1. The next day was fine and sunny, and the pitch dried out. Bradman came in at No. 7 and scored 270. Australia went on to win - and claimed the last two matches as well, to take the series 3-2, the only time in Test history that a team has come from 0-2 down to win.
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