Which bowler took the most wickets in his last Test? asked Partha Pratim Pal from India
The best match figures by a bowler in what turned out to be his last Test are 14 for 144 - 7 for 56 and 7 for 88 - by the legendary England medium-pacer Sydney Barnes, against South Africa in Durban in 1913-14. Two others took 13 in their last match: left-armer John Ferris claimed 13 for 91 in his only Test for England (after eight for Australia), against South Africa in Cape Town in 1891-92, while legspinner Clarrie Grimmett bagged 13 for 173 for Australia against South Africa in Durban in 1935-36. Charles "Father" Marriott, another legspinner, took 11 for 96 in his only Test, for England against West Indies at The Oval in 1933. In all, there are nine bowlers who have taken ten or more wickets in what turned out to be their final Test, excluding R Ashwin, Rangana Herath and Devendra Bishoo, who are on the list as I write but will presumably play again (but not Pragyan Ojha, who hasn't appeared for three years now).
What is the highest score by a batsman carrying his bat in an ODI? asked Craig Manuel from South Africa
There have been only ten genuine instances of an opener carrying his bat through a completed one-day international innings. The highest score among them remains 125 not out, by Nick Knight in England's all-out total of 246 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 1996. Three other openers reached three figures: Saeed Anwar made 103 in Pakistan's 219 against Zimbabwe in Harare in 1994-95, Damien Martyn 116 of Australia's 191 v New Zealand in Auckland in 1999-2000, and Alec Stewart a round 100 in England's 192 against West Indies at Trent Bridge in 2000. For it to be classified as carrying the bat, all the other wickets have to go down (apart from cases of injury). This occasionally leads to confusion, as it doesn't count if an opener bats through an innings in which all the wickets don't fall. The highest such score is Martin Guptill's 237 not out - in New Zealand's 50-over total of 393 for 6 - against West Indies in Wellington during the 2015 World Cup.
Azhar Ali made 302 in the first innings in Dubai, and 2 in the second. Is this the biggest difference between two scores in the same Test? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
The biggest difference between two individual scores in the same match is actually 320, by Hanif Mohammad - he made 17 in the first innings against West Indies in Bridgetown in 1957-58, then amassed 337 in a famous rearguard as Pakistan followed on. There's one other instance higher than Azhar Ali's difference of 300 against West Indies in Dubai. In the Ashes Test at Old Trafford in 1964, Australia's captain Bob Simpson made 311 in the first innings, and 4 not out in the second.
Devendra Bishoo took 8 for 49 against Pakistan in Dubai. Was this the cheapest eight-for in Tests? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
While the West Indian legspinner Devendra Bishoo's performance for West Indies against Pakistan in Dubai was a remarkable one, it comes in only 21st on the list of the cheapest hauls of eight or more wickets in Tests. In 1895-96, the England opening bowler George Lohmann took 9 for 28 against South Africa in Johannesburg, while Jim Laker claimed 9 for 37 in the first innings against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956 (and 10 for 53 in the second). Lohmann also has the cheapest eight-for - he claimed 8 for 7 as South Africa were blown away for 30 in the previous Test, in Port Elizabeth, and finished that three-match series in 1895-96 with 35 wickets at 5.80.
Pakistan's 579 for 3 in Dubai had only one three-figure score, in Azhar Ali's unbeaten 302. Was this the highest Test score with only one individual centurion? asked Ali Asif from Pakistan
Rather surprisingly perhaps, there have been 24 higher totals with just one three-figure score in Tests than Pakistan's 579 for 3 declared against West Indies in Dubai. The highest of all was by West Indies when they made 687 for 8 declared against England at The Oval in 1976, Viv Richards made 291, but the next-best was Clive Lloyd's 84. The highest total to include a single century (rather than a 200 or 300) is India's 664 against England at The Oval in 2007. Anil Kumble top-scored with 110, but there were half-centuries for Dinesh Karthik (91), Rahul Dravid (55), Sachin Tendulkar (82),VVS Laxman (51), MS Dhoni (92) and even Extras (54).
Australia were blanked 5-0 in the recent one-day series in South Africa. Has this ever happened to them in a one-day series before? asked Stuart from South Africa
The short answer is no - Australia had never previously lost a five-match bilateral one-day series 5-0. They had been whitewashed in a four-match rubber (in England in 2012, in a series in which one match was completely rained off), and in two three-match ones (in England in 1997, and in New Zealand in 2006-07). For the full list of one-day whitewashes in series of three or more matches, click here.
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