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Was Dawid Malan's hundred the fastest for England in T20Is?

Dawid Malan's maiden T20I hundred came off 48 balls, 12 less than the next fastest - Alex Hales hundred off 60 balls AFP

Was Dawid Malan's hundred the other day the fastest for England in T20Is? asked Cherise Asha Clarke from Trinidad
Dawid Malan reached three figures against New Zealand in Napier last week in 48 balls. It was only the second hundred for England in T20s, after Alex Hales' against Sri Lanka in Chittagong (now Chattogram) during the World T20 in March 2014. That took 60 deliveries, so Malan's was easily the quickest for England.

There have been 14 faster hundreds in all T20Is. The record is 35 balls, a feat achieved by three men - David Miller, for South Africa against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom in November 2017; Rohit Sharma, for India v Sri Lanka in Indore two months later; and Sudesh Wickramasekara, for the Czech Republic against Turkey in Ilfov in August 2019.

Does Mark Taylor hold the record for starting the most Ashes series with a century? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
Mark Taylor kicked off three Ashes series with a century in the first Test - on successive England tours in 1989, 1993 and 1997 - a feat that has been matched by five others: Lindsay Hassett, Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith and Steve Waugh for Australia, and England's Archie MacLaren. But there are no prizes for guessing who did it four times: Don Bradman began the 1930, 1938, 1946-47 and 1948 Ashes series with hundreds.

Overall, the leader is Sachin Tendulkar, who scored 19 centuries in the first (or only) Test of a series. Mahela Jayawardene and Jacques Kallis managed 18, Kumar Sangakkara 15, Hashim Amla 14, and Alastair Cook, Rahul Dravid and Younis Khan 13.

Two brothers opened the bowling for England in a recent T20I in New Zealand - was this a first? asked Jainan Desai for India
Tom and Sam Curran opened the bowling for England in four of the five T20 internationals in their recent series in New Zealand (Saqib Mahmood shared the new ball with Sam in the second one, in Wellington).

This was the first time brothers had shared the new ball for England in any international match. For other countries, there has been one instance in a Test, by Dayle and Richard Hadlee for New Zealand against Australia in Adelaide in 1973-74. Pedro Collins and Fidel Edwards, who are half-brothers, opened the bowling in four Tests for West Indies during 2004.

There have been two previous instances in T20Is: by James and Shem Ngoche for Kenya against Netherlands in Windhoek in April 2013, and Aftab Alam and Karim Sadiq for Afghanistan against Hong Kong in Abu Dhabi in November 2015. There are four further instances in ODIs.

Last week's question about Garry Sobers' ODI average made me wonder what the lowest batting averages above zero are in the different formats asked Simon from South Africa
That's an intriguing one, as the players concerned must have made at least one run somewhere along the line. It turns out that the lowest such average in Tests is 0.25, by the Sri Lankan Roshan Jurangpathy, who played two Tests in the 1980s, scoring a single in one innings and bagging ducks in his other three. He just shades the England fast bowler Martin Saggers - now a first-class umpire - whose three Test innings brought him 1, 0 and 0, for an average of 0.33. In all there are currently 12 men with a Test batting average of less than 1 (but more than 0). They include the Australian spinner Jack Iverson (0.75), who batted seven times.

The ODI record is held by the offspinner Mohammad Kashif, who scored one run in three innings for Netherlands between 2006 and 2010. There are nine others with an average of 0.50.

And there are 11 men who have an average of less than 1 in T20Is, although nine of them have played in 2019, so that list is likely to change (one of those that won't change is Muttiah Muralitharan, with 0.50). On the top (or the bottom) at the moment is the Scotland seamer Alasdair Evans, who has bagged five ducks in 27 matches, but also managed a 1 not out against UAE in Dubai in February 2016, which gives him an average of 0.20.

I was interested by last week's question about centuries on the most different grounds. Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Steve Waugh made tons on seven in Australia - presumably the main venues of Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney… but where else? asked David Macaskill from New Zealand
Matthew Hayden scored centuries at the six main grounds you mention, and also hit 117 and 132 in Cairns, against Sri Lanka in 2004.

Justin Langer did the same: centuries at the main six, plus one in Cairns in 2004.

Steve Waugh made a century in Cairns, and also one in Darwin, both against Bangladesh in 2003 (these were the only innings he played at both venues). But he never made one in Perth, although he got rather close - his highest score at the WACA was 99 not out, against England in 1994-95, when his twin Mark, acting as a runner, managed to run himself out.

And finally there's an update to last week's question about the most runs in a day's play, from Hasitha Anuradha from Sri Lanka
"The most runs by one side in a day in a Test is actually 509, by Sri Lanka (from 32 for 0 to 541 for 9) on the second day against Bangladesh at the P Sara Oval in Colombo in July 2002."

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