The Marsh brothers both made ducks in the second innings in Dubai. Was this a first? asked Chris Mitchell from Australia
The double zeroes of the Marshes in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai last week was actually the eighth occasion on which a pair of brothers was dismissed for nought in the same Test innings.
The first instance was in the first Test ever played in England, at The Oval in 1880, when EM and GF Grace both bagged ducks in the second innings against Australia. Their rather more famous brother, WG, sealed victory with 9 not out, after making 152 (the first Test century ever scored in England) in the first innings.
Since then, this family misfortune has befallen Hanif and Wazir Mohammad (for Pakistan against England at The Oval in 1954), Dayle and Richard Hadlee (New Zealand v England at Trent Bridge in 1973), Jeff and Martin Crowe (NZ v England at The Oval in 1983), Andy and Grant Flower (Zimbabwe v Pakistan in Rawalpindi in 1993-94), Bryan and Paul Strang (Zimbabwe v South Africa in Harare in 1995-96), and Mark and Steve Waugh (Australia v Pakistan in Colombo in 2002-03).
The smallest contribution by a pair of brothers in a completed Test (four innings) is two runs, by Amar Singh (0 and 1) and Ladha Ramji (1 and 0) for India against England in Mumbai in 1933-34.
Which South African Test player had a son who was a leading Aussie Rules footballer? asked Kenneth McLaren from Australia
This unusual combination was provided by the Lawrence family. Godfrey "Goofy" Lawrence was a lanky seamer from Rhodesia who played five Tests for South Africa, all in the same home series against New Zealand in 1961-62. He had a successful time, taking 28 wickets at 18.28, including 8 for 53 in the second match, in Johannesburg. Unusually, Lawrence took wickets with what turned out to be the last two balls he ever bowled in Tests, a distinction I think he shares only with Gerry Hazlitt of Australia in 1912.
John Reid, New Zealand's captain in that 1961-62 series, said: "Lawrence's tremendous height enables him to make balls lift from the pitch as they move with the swing… [He] is a true, old-time swinger of the ball… Perhaps his most deceptive ball is the one that comes back late in towards the off stump."
South Africa didn't play very often back then, and by the time of their next series - in Australia in 1963-64 - Lawrence was out of favour. But his son did make it to Australia. Stephen Lawrence, born in South Africa in 1969, played nearly 150 Australian Rules football matches as a ruckman for Hawthorn between 1988 and 1998, winning the Grand Final with them in 1991.
What would the target have been in the 1992 World Cup semi-final between England and South Africa if the Duckworth-Lewis system had been in use then? asked John Ross from Australia
That match ended in controversy when a brief rain shower removed two overs towards the end of South Africa's innings in Sydney - they were 231 for 6 at the time, chasing 253. The competition rules for rain-shortened matches in that World Cup meant the least productive overs from the first side's innings were discounted. England had bowled two maidens, one of which included a leg-bye, so South Africa's target was reduced by just one run, becoming an impossible 21 off one ball (there was additional confusion because the scoreboard originally showed a target of 22 off seven balls, later amended to 22 - and then 21 - off one).
As for what the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern calculation might have been, there's an important consideration which is often overlooked: South Africa bowled their overs very slowly, and only managed 45 in the time available. These days they'd have to complete the overs and be heavily fined, but in 1992 the first innings just stopped. In a match in the 1990s where a team scored 252 in 45 overs, having started out expecting to receive 50, I think South Africa's DL target would have been increased to 275 (this would vary in later editions of the system; the figures are revised, usually upwards, in line with scoring trends). The subsequent loss of two overs would have reduced that to 265 - so actually they would have been even further adrift. In truth, of course, they'd have known about the higher target and would presumably have batted differently.
I asked Professor Steven Stern, who now administers the DLS system after the retirements of D and L, to confirm my figures, which he kindly did. He concluded: "As you rightly note South Africa were never actually chasing 275 and thus their scoring effort was not geared to achieve it. As such, it is more realistic to simply analyse the actual situation South Africa were facing: 253 from 45 overs. In this case, the new target would have been five from one ball (or a four to tie)."
There's more on the match in this Rewind column from 2011.
I noticed that the record for the lowest total in women's Twenty20 internationals is now apparently held by Mexico. How long have they had official status? asked Keith Barton from England
Mexico were bowled out for 18 by Brazil in Bogota, Colombia on August 24. Their total undercut the 25 scored only the previous day by Mozambique against Namibia, a continent away in Gaborone, Botswana.
The reason for these unfamiliar countries suddenly cropping up on the record lists is a recent ICC ruling that gave all T20 matches between the women's teams of Member countries full international status. One result of this is that in the table of the smallest totals in women's T20Is, 20 of the 21 lowest have been set since June this year. The exception was Bangladesh's 44 against Pakistan in Bangkok in November 2016.
This ICC ruling will apply to men's matches too from next year, so look out for some more unfamiliar names on this type of list.
Australia had six lbw dismissals in the fourth innings of their recent Test against Pakistan. Was this the record? asked Anash Chishty from Saudi Arabia
Australia lost eight wickets in the final innings of the recent exciting draw in Dubai, but six of them fell to leg-before decisions. This was actually the 24th instance of six lbws in a Test innings, and the seventh in the fourth innings of a match.
The most lbws in a Test match is 20 - half the wickets to fall - in the opening encounter between West Indies and Pakistan in Providence in Guyana in May 2011.