The regular Tuesday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:
During a recent holiday in Goa a waiter asked me who the only Test cricketer to come from there was. I never saw him again, so never found out the answer! Can you help?asked Don Richardson from Leicester
Actually there are two, but the one your waiter probably meant was Dilip Sardesai, who was born in Goa in 1940 and was the only cricketer from there to play for India. Sardesai, who sadly died earlier this year, scored 2001 runs in 30 Tests between 1961-62 and 1972-73, and was an important member of the side that won series in the West Indies and England in 1971. The other Goan-born Test cricketer was Antao D'Souza, a fast-medium bowler who won six caps for Pakistan between 1958-59 and 1962.
Has any Test innings ever contained two triple-centuries? asked Milind Jahan from Hyderabad
No Test innings has yet contained two scores of more than 300: the nearest was in the match between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo in 2006, when Mahela Jayawardene made 374 and Kumar Sangakkara 287. Their stand of 624 was a world record for any wicket. In fact there has only been one first-class innings which has featured two triple-centuries - when Tamil Nadu made 912 for 6 declared against Goa in Panaji in 1988-89, the Indian Test batsman WV Raman made 313, and Arjan Kripal Singh, in only his third first-class match, scored 302 not out.
Since I can remember watching cricket, Ricky Ponting has been one of the most dominant batsman in the world. However, which bowler has dismissed or troubled him the most?asked Cameron Hogg from Australia
Ricky Ponting is rapidly approaching 20,000 runs in international cricket (he's already there if you count Twenty20 games), and his Test average of 59.29 is the highest of any current international player apart from his team-mate Michael Hussey, who has only won 16 caps so far. The bowler who has dismissed Ponting most often in Tests is England's Darren Gough, who claimed Ponting's wicket eight times: Anil Kumble of India is next with seven. Another Indian, Harbhajan Singh, should get an honourable mention for dismissing Ponting five times in successive innings, for scores of 0, 6, 0, 0 and 11. In ODIs Ponting's most frequent nemesis is, rather surprisingly, Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, who has dismissed him seven times: New Zealand's Shane Bond lies next with six.
Which batsman has scored the most runs against Australia in ODIs? I believe it's Tendulkar. And how about Tests? asked Sachin from India (no, not that one)
Your namesake Sachin Tendulkar does indeed lead the way in one-day internationals against Australia, with 2461 runs so far, at an average of 45.57. Desmond Haynes (2262) and Viv Richards (2187) also made more than 2000 runs against them. In Tests it's three Englishmen who lead the way: Jack Hobbs scored 3636 runs against Australia, David Gower 3269, and Geoff Boycott 2945. Next comes Brian Lara with 2856.
What are the most expensive figures in Twenty20 internationals? asked Liam Morgan from Durban
Two bowlers have conceded 64 runs in a full four-over spell in Twenty20 internationals: James Anderson, for England against Australia in Sydney in 2006-07, and Sanath Jayasuriya for Sri Lanka against Pakistan in Johannesburg in the recent World Twenty20 championship. Playing for Australia against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2005-06, Brad Hogg bowled two overs which disappeared for 38 runs. There's a table showing the worst economy-rates in Cricinfo's records section.
Which player's autobiography was called Give It A Heave? asked Sam Talyard from Winchester
This unusual title was attached to the autobiography of the New Zealand allrounder Lance Cairns, which was published by Moa in 1984. Lance, the father of Chris, won 43 Test caps, taking 130 wickets and scoring almost 1000 runs. The title referred to his habit of smashing the ball over the boundary fence as often as possible, often using a special bat with more meat, and cut-off shoulders.