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Ask Steven

Does Graham Gooch still hold the record for the most runs scored in a single Test?

Also: what is the highest total on the first day of any Test?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Chris Gayle blitzed an unbeaten 104 off 63 balls in Mohali in 2018, getting there with 11 sixes and one four  •  BCCI

Chris Gayle blitzed an unbeaten 104 off 63 balls in Mohali in 2018, getting there with 11 sixes and one four  •  BCCI

Who scored a hundred in the IPL that included 11 sixes but only one four? asked David Dudgeon from Nigeria
It's probably not a great surprise to discover that this big-hitting feat belongs to Chris Gayle: his undefeated 104 for the Kings XI Punjab against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mohali in April 2018 contained 11 sixes and a solitary four.
When Andre Russell smashed 88 not out from just 36 balls - a strike rate of 244 - for the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Chennai Super Kings in Chennai a few days earlier in 2018, he also hit 11 sixes and just one four. Sanju Samson's recent blitz for the Rajasthan Royals against the Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah - he smacked 74 from 32 balls - contained nine sixes and one four. For the full list of the most sixes in an IPL innings, click here.
Australia scored 482 for 5 on the first day against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval in 2012. Was that the highest total on the first day of any Test? asked Martin Gage from Australia
Australia hurtled to 482 for 5 in 86.5 overs on the first day against South Africa in Adelaide in 2012-13, mainly thanks to Michael Clarke, who was undefeated with 224 at the close; David Warner and Michael Hussey also made centuries.
There has been one higher total on the first day of a Test, also by Australia against South Africa: on the opening day of the series in Sydney in 1910-11, they ran up 494 for 6, with opener Warren Bardsley scoring 132 and skipper Clem Hill 191. South Africa bowled 99 overs that day.
The most runs on any day of a Test is 588, on the second at Old Trafford in 1936. England moved from 173 for 2 overnight to 571 for 8 declared, then India made 190 without loss before the close of a day on which around 140 overs were bowled.
Does Graham Gooch still hold the record for the most runs scored in a single Test? asked Amitayu Sengupta from India
The short answer is yes: Graham Gooch scored 456 runs - 333 and 123 - for England against India at Lord's in 1990, which remains the most in a single Test. The record he broke was 380, by Greg Chappell, who made 247 not out and 133 for Australia against New Zealand in Wellington in 1973-74.
Since Gooch did it, three others have made 400 or more runs in a Test: Mark Taylor (334 not out and 92 for Australia against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1998-99), Kumar Sangakkara (319 and 105 for Sri Lanka v Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2013-14), and, of course, Brian Lara (400 not out for West Indies v England in St John's in 2003-04.
Only Lara (501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston in 1994) and Hanif Mohammad (499 for Karachi v Bahawalpur in Karachi in 1958-59) have scored more runs than Gooch in any first-class match. Next comes Don Bradman, who made up for being dismissed for 3 in the first innings by making 452 not out in the second for New South Wales against Queensland in Sydney in 1929-30.
The Bob Willis Trophy final was a five-day match - when was the last time a non-Test in England lasted five days? asked Kieren Marshall from England
The exciting inaugural (and presumably only) Bob Willis Trophy final, between Essex and Somerset at Lord's, was the first fixture scheduled for five days in England that wasn't a Test since the MCC Bicentenary match, also at Lord's, in 1987. Before that, the five games between England and the Rest of the World in 1970 were all scheduled for five days. They were marketed as Test matches at the time, but were later ruled unofficial.
The last county game that reached a fifth day appears to be as long ago as 1834, when Yorkshire defeated Norfolk in Sheffield. I don't think it was scheduled as a five-day match - back then it looks as if games were usually played to a finish, and this one was badly affected by the weather.
I noticed that Kamran Akmal has more stumpings than catches in T20Is. Did any other wicketkeeper manage this? asked Iftikhar Rao from Pakistan
Pakistan's Kamran Akmal made 60 dismissals in his 58 T20Is - 28 catches and 32 stumpings. Among keepers with more than 12 dismissals, the only other one with more stumpings than catches is Mohammad Shahzad of Afghanistan, with 26 and 28.
This discrepancy is much more common in women's T20Is, where several of the leading performers have more stumpings than catches, including the top two - Alyssa Healy of Australia, and England's Sarah Taylor, who ended up with 51 stumpings to go with just 23 catches.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes