A bonus statistics blog challenge for you, in case you have some time to fill in between now and whenever.

Simply spot the one false statistic amongst the genuine stats emanating from the Lord's Test.

Statistic A
Alastair Cook's 162 was his 13th second-innings century, equal with Sachin Tendulkar in second place on the all-time list of Most Prolific Second-Innings Century-Makers.

Substats: Cook is one second-innings ton behind Kumar Sangakkara. In 12 Tests against New Zealand, Cook averages 23.5 in the first innings, and 67.7 in the second.

Statistic B
Kane Williamson made his 10th Test century, becoming the sixth man to reach that milestone before the age of 25.

The other players on the list: Bradman (13 hundreds before turning 25), Neil Harvey (11), Sobers (11), Tendulkar (16) and Graeme Smith (11).

Statistic C
Ben Stokes' match total of 193 was the second highest ever by a No. 6 in a Lord's Test, behind Garfield Sobers' 209 (46 and 163 not out) in his golden summer of 1966.

Substats: Stokes' 193 was the third-highest match aggregate by a No. 6 in a Test in England (behind Sobers and the Nawab of Pataudi, who scored 64 and 148 for India at Headingley in 1967), overtaking Tony Greig's record for most runs by an England No. 6 in a home Test, set when he scored 192 (116 and 76 not out) against West Indies, also in Leeds, in 1976.

Statistic D
Stokes was only the sixth player in Test history to pass 90 in both innings batting six or lower (although the fourth to do so since 2009).

Substat: From an admittedly small statistical sample of ten matches, Stokes is currently averaging 49 in 11 innings as a No. 6, and 15 in seven innings as a 7, 8 or 9.

Statistic E
Tim Southee's match analysis of 3 for 266 was not only the most runs conceded by a New Zealander in a single Test match, but also the second most conceded by a pace bowler in a Test (after Brett Lee's 4 for 276 v India in Sydney in 2003-04).

Substat: Southee's was the third-highest total conceded by a bowler in a Lord's Test, behind Roly Jenkins' 9 for 290 against West Indies in 1950, and Clarrie Grimmett's 8 for 272 in 1930.

Bouncing on the other end of the match-analysis see-saw…

Statistic F
Trent Boult's nine wickets were the most ever taken in a Lord's Test by a visiting left-arm bowler, and the most ever by any left-arm seamer; no left-arm pacer had taken more than seven wickets in a Lord's Test since World War I.

Substat: If Boult had taken one more wicket, he would have become the first left-arm seamer to take ten wickets in a Test in England since - any guesses? - Frederick "Nutty" Martin against Australia at the Oval in 1890. Yes, that Frederick "Nutty" Martin. The one of whom your uncle probably has a tattoo on his left shoulder. Thanks be to Statsguru, which knoweth all things and more.

Statistic G
James Anderson's 2 for 119 were his worst match figures in 17 Lord's Tests.

Substats: It was also the first time Anderson has taken fewer than four wickets in a match in 11 Tests since the 2013-14 Ashes.

Statistic H
BJ Watling became the third wicketkeeper to score fifty or more in both innings of a Lord's Test, after Matt Prior (71 and 103 not out v India in 2011) and Jeffrey Dujon (53 and 52 for West Indies in 1988).

Substats: It was the second time Watling has scored two half-centuries in a Test (he scored 63 in both innings in Port Elizabeth in January 2013); the only other New Zealand wicketkeeper to achieve this feat is Jock Edwards, against England in Auckland in 1977-78. Admittedly, Watling did not do a vast amount of actual wicketkeeping, but a scorecard is a scorecard, and therefore a legally binding document from now until Armageddon, so the stat stands.

Statistic I
There is no Statistic I.

Statistic J
The match total of 1610 runs was the highest for a Test match in which all 40 wickets have fallen since 1925, and the fifth-highest of all time. All four matches above it in the list were timeless Tests.

Substats: It also was the highest-scoring Lord's Test of all time, the third highest ever in England (behind the Headingley Ashes Test of 1948, and the Tendulkar's-maiden-hundred Old Trafford match of 1990), and the 19th highest scoring Test of all time.

Statistic K
Joe Root's match aggregate of 182 was the second highest by an England player without a century in the game, after Frank Woolley's 188 (95 and 93) in the 1921 Ashes Test at Lord's.

Substats: Root's total was the equal seventh-highest such total of all time, well behind the runaway leader, pre-first-World-War baggy green stalwart Clem Hill, whose 98 and 97 in Adelaide against England in 1901-02 not only set a standard for hundred-avoiding run-scoring than no one has since come close to matching, but also followed a 99 in the second innings of the preceding Test. Hill's three dismissals within four of a century in a single series is one of cricket's more untouchable records - no other player has done so even twice.

Statistic L
Alastair Cook became the first England captain to score a century at Lord's whilst batting with a lucky ferret nestled inside his front pad since Percy Chapman in 1930.

Cook attributes his recovered form to the presence of Ferdinando, aged 2, who was given to him as a gift by the British Ferret Sanctuary midway through last summer. "Little F wriggling away inside my pad reminds me to move my feet," explained the England captain in an interview with Ferrets In Sport magazine, Europe's largest-circulation specialist sporting ferret usage publication. Chapman made his 121 against Australia accompanied by the then Lord's ferret Mildred, who had taken refuge inside the Kent left-hander's kit bag after eating a hamster belonging to Jack Hobbs, who was understandably irate at the turn of events.

Statistic M
England's first innings was only the fourth time ever that numbers 5 to 8 have all passed 50 in the same innings.

Substats: The previous occasion was also in the first innings of an English Test summer at Lord's, four years ago, when Bell, Morgan, Prior and Broad all scored at least a half-century against Sri Lanka. The two instances before that were both by New Zealand against India.

Statistic N
Root and Stokes became the first numbers five and six to be out in the 90s in the same innings of a Test.

Substats: They also became the third 5 and 6 combination both to pass 50 in both innings of a Test (after Taibu and Ervine for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh in 2003-04, and Shakib and Mushfiqur in a revenge counter-stat for Bangladesh against Zimbabwe in 2013). Never before had a team's 5 and 6 reached 60 in all four individual innings; Root and Stokes scored 98, 84, 92 and 101.

Statistic O
Gary Ballance's 1 and 0 represented the second-worst match return by a No. 3 in a Test against New Zealand.

Substats: The only No. 3 to have a less successful match against the Kiwis was Justin Langer, who scored a pair (if indeed you can "score' a pair) in March 1993. Langer played only three more Tests in the next five-and-a-half years. Ballance has probably built up enough selectorial credit to be treated rather more leniently, unless England's new regime goes fully 1980s on itself.

(That said, the last England top-three batsman to score 1 and 0 in a Lord's Test - Chris Broad, against West Indies in 1988 - was dropped after doing so. He had scored six Test hundreds in his previous 16 Tests (out of the 14 centuries scored by England's batsmen in that period), and, in the preceding Test, had made 54 in four hours against Marshall, Patterson, Ambrose and Walsh. Nevertheless, the selectors were merciless, after Broad committed the heinous crime at Lord's of being dismissed in both innings by Malcolm Marshall, one of the greatest bowlers of all time at his absolute peak. Broad senior's jettisoning was one of the greatest displays of selectorial ingratitude and impatience known to mankind. Look out, Ballance. Eighties revivalism is a powerful force.)

Write your answer below. The correct answer is provided at the bottom of the page.


ANSWER: Statistic L is false.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on BBC Radio 4, and a writer