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Ask Steven

Batting in all positions, and Shafiq's No. 6 heroics

Plus: a double-centurion dismissing another in the same Test, stumped in both innings, and the highest ODI scores in a losing cause

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
The moment before impact: Abdul Razzaq winds up for a big hit, Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi, October 31, 2010

Mr Flexible: in ODIs, Abdul Razzaq has batted in all slots, from opening to No. 11  •  AFP

Shoaib Malik took the wicket of Alastair Cook in Abu Dhabi - is this the first instance of a double-centurion dismissing a double-centurion in the same Test? asked Shammir Rahil from India
My first thought was that this couldn't have occurred before, and indeed it hadn't happened until 2015. But… it has happened twice this year! In the match in Khulna this April, Mohammad Hafeez scored 224 for Pakistan, and later had Tamim Iqbal stumped for 206. The match in Abu Dhabi provided the 37th instance of two or more double-centuries being scored in the same Test, which includes two cases of three - by Australia (Bill Lawry 210 and Bob Simpson 201) and West Indies (Seymour Nurse 201) in Bridgetown in 1964-65, and Sri Lanka (Mahela Jayawardene 240 and Thilan Samaraweera 231) and Pakistan (Younis Khan 313) in Karachi in 2008-09.
Was Alastair Cook's 263 the highest score in a Test in the UAE? asked Bilal Ahmed from Pakistan
Alastair Cook's 263 in the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last week was the eighth double-century in a Test in the UAE, following swiftly on the seventh, Shoaib Malik's 245 in the first innings. Six of them have come in Abu Dhabi, including the only higher score in the Emirates, AB de Villiers' 278 not out for South Africa against Pakistan in 2010-11. Shoaib's was the third double-century for Pakistan in the UAE, after Taufeeq Umar's 236 against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi in 2011-12, and Younis Khan's 213 against Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2014-15. Graeme Smith made 234 for South Africa in Dubai in 2013-14, Kumar Sangakkara 211 for Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi in 2011-12, and Brendon McCullum 202 for New Zealand in Sharjah in 2014-15.
Kemar Roach was stumped in both innings of the first Test against Sri Lanka. How often this has happened in Tests? asked Mohammad Rilwan from Sri Lanka
Kemar Roach - a double victim of wicketkeeper Kusal Perera and Rangana Herath in Galle - was the 19th man to be stumped in both innings of a Test. He was the first for more than ten years, since Zimbabwe's Chris Mpofu completed a pair (both on the same day) against New Zealand in Harare, stumped by Brendon McCullum off Daniel Vettori in both innings. The first to suffer this fate was the England captain Albert "Monkey" Hornby, against Australia at Old Trafford in 1884. Two wicketkeepers - both West Indians - have been stumped in both innings: Ivan Barrow, against Australia in Brisbane in 1930-31, and Jeff Dujon, against West Indies in Madras in 1987-88. For the full list, click here.
During the commentary on the Abu Dhabi Test, it was suggested that Shoaib Malik had batted in every position from 1-11 in one-day internationals. Has anyone else done this? And what about in Tests? asked Don Henadeera from Australia
Shoaib Malik has actually occupied every position from 1-10 in ODIs - he hasn't yet gone in at No. 11. Five others have also occupied ten of the batting positions: the Pakistan pair of Shahid Afridi (never a No. 11) and Abdul Razzaq (lacking only No. 1), Bangladesh's Mohammad Rafique (never No. 4), plus the South African Lance Klusener and Hashan Tillakaratne of Sri Lanka, neither of whom ever went in at No. 11. Since there's not much difference between being No. 1 or 2, Razzaq is probably the overall winner here. In Tests there are three men who have occupied all 11 batting positions: Syd Gregory (Australia), Wilfred Rhodes (England) and Vinoo Mankad (India). Nasim-ul-Ghani of Pakistan also batted in every position from opener to No. 11, but never faced the first ball of an innings so technically was never a No. 1. The others to bat in ten different positions in Tests are Jack Blackham (never a No. 4), Sammy Jones (missing 11), Hugh Trumble (5), Warwick Armstrong (10) and Ian Johnson (4) all of Australia, Shujauddin of Pakistan (missing No. 5), and the more recent Indian pair of Farokh Engineer and Ravi Shastri, neither of whom ever went in last.
In Abu Dhabi Asad Shafiq made his eighth Test century from No. 6 in the batting order. Who holds the record? asked Dale Crossan from England
Asad Shafiq has now scored eight Test centuries, all of them from No. 6 in the order. That equals the record from that position, and Shafiq is in pretty good company: the first man to score eight tons from there was the great West Indian Garry Sobers. Four batsmen made seven centuries from the No. 6 spot - Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tony Greig, Ricky Ponting and Hashan Tillakaratne. For the full list, click here.
Was Rohit Sharma's 150 the highest score by a player who ended up losing an ODI? asked Arvind Sridhar from India
There have actually been ten higher scores in vain in one-day internationals than Rohit Sharma's 150 for India against South Africa in Kanpur last week. Top of the list is Charles Coventry's 194 not out for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh in Bulawayo in 2009, and next comes Matthew Hayden's 181 not out for Australia v New Zealand in Hamilton in 2006-07. Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan has twice scored 160 in an ODI against India and lost - in Rajkot in 2009-10, and in Hobart in 2011-12 (when he was not out). The others above Rohit are Sachin Tendulkar (175 for India against Australia in Hyderabad in 2009-10), Robin Smith (167 not out for England v Australia at Edgbaston in 1993), Ricky Ponting (164 for Australia v South Africa in the famous 872-run match at Johannesburg in 2005-06), George Bailey (156 for Australia v India in Nagpur in 2013-14), Kyle Coetzer (156 for Scotland v Bangladesh in Nelson during the 2015 World Cup) and Chris Gayle (152 not out for West Indies v South Africa in Johannesburg in 2003-04). Overall there have now been 367 individual centuries in a losing cause in ODIs. Rohit's 150 was also, as Jamie Stewart from Canada pointed out, the highest by anyone batting second in an ODI against South Africa - beating Brendan Taylor's 145 not out for Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein in 2010-11, which also wasn't enough to bring victory.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2014. Ask Steven is now on Facebook