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Ask Steven

Does Harry Brook have more runs than even Don Bradman in his first nine Test innings?

Also: what's the most wickets to fall at the same score in an international?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
28-Feb-2023
No batter has more runs than Harry Brook's 809 in their first nine Test innings  •  Getty Images

No batter has more runs than Harry Brook's 809 in their first nine Test innings  •  Getty Images

Is it right that Harry Brook has scored more runs in his first nine Test innings than anyone else - even Don Bradman? asked Dan Perkins from England
It is correct: after his ninth innings - 186 in the first innings of the second Test in Wellington - England's Harry Brook had scored 809 runs. The previous record was 796, by India's Vinod Kambli.
I'm writing this before England's second innings. If he bats in that, Brook needs to score at least 72 to stay ahead of Kambli, who had 880 runs after ten innings. After that, Kambli loses the top spot to the great West Indian Everton Weekes, who had 968 runs after 11 Test innings, and 1024 after 12. And then Don Bradman takes over: after 13 Test innings, he had scored 1196 runs. He stays ahead to the end of his career - 6996 runs in 80 visits to the crease: the next-best in a player's first 80 innings is Weekes's 4446 runs, just ahead of Jack Hobbs with 4384. Weekes had only one more innings, scoring 9. The fewest innings needed to surpass Bradman's 6996 is 126 - 46 more than the Don needed to get there - by Steven Smith.
Mehidy Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman put on 51 for the last wicket to beat India late last year. Was this the highest tenth-wicket stand to win an ODI? asked Roqibul Hossain from Bangladesh
That unbroken stand of 51 between Mehidy Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman in Mirpur last December was actually the fourth-highest last-wicket stand to win an ODI. Still leading the way is a memorable match from the first men's World Cup, at Edgbaston in 1975, when Deryck Murray and Andy Roberts put on 64 to take West Indies to a one-wicket victory over Pakistan.
James Faulkner and Clint McKay put on 57 as Australia beat England in Brisbane in 2013-14, and Tom Odoyo and Hiren Varaiya added 55 as Kenya beat Ireland by one wicket in Nairobi in 2006-07.
Australia lost four wickets with the score at 95 in the second innings of the Delhi Test. What's the most wickets to fall at the same score in an international? asked Aravind Subramani from the United States
Australia lurched from 95 for 3 to 95 for 7 in the recent Test in Delhi. That's one short of the Test record: there have been four instances of a side losing five wickets at the same score, three of them by New Zealand. The first was in Wellington in 1945-46, when they went from 37 for 2 to 37 for 7 in the first innings of their inaugural Test against Australia. On a drying pitch that was giving great assistance to the bowlers, New Zealand were bowled out for 42 - and lost two more wickets at 37 in their second innings of 54 all out.
New Zealand lost five wickets at 59 in the second innings against Pakistan in Rawalpindi in 1964-65 (they actually lost seven wickets for two runs in this spell), and five at 133 against South Africa in Hamilton in 2011-12. A year later, Bangladesh lost their last five first-innings wickets with the score at 134 against Zimbabwe in Harare.
Such collapses are obviously a New Zealand specialty, as they also hold the record for men's one-day internationals: they lost five wickets with the score on 155 against Pakistan in Lahore in 2003-04.
The record for men's T20Is is also five, by Australia against Pakistan in their T20 World Cup match in St Lucia in 2010; Australia started their last over at 191 for 5, but finished with 191 all out, after a Mohammad Amir maiden that included five wickets, two of them run-outs. Mali equalled this record against Kenya in Kigali in 2022-23, losing five wickets with the score stuck on 8, en route to 30 all out.
There are two cases in women's T20Is of six wickets falling at the same score: by UAE against Bangladesh in a World Cup qualifier in Utrecht in July 2018 (from 33 for 2 to 33 for 8), and by Maldives against Nepal in the South Asian Games in Pokhara in December 2019, when they lost their last six wickets with the score on 8, which included seven wides. There are six cases of five wickets falling at the same score in women's ODIs or T20s (note that we do not have full details for some games).
England's first innings in Wellington contained one partnership of 302, but not a lot else. What are the lowest Test totals that contained partnerships of 300, 200 or 100? asked Nick Jones from England
The lowest completed (all-out) Test total to include a partnership of 300 or more is West Indies' 431 against Australia in Kingston in 1998-99: Brian Lara (213) and Jimmy Adams (94) put on 322 for the fifth wicket, but the next-biggest stand was just 22. For an innings in which not all ten wickets went down, India made 361 for 1 against West Indies in Calcutta in 1978-79, with an unbroken second-wicket stand of 344 between Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar.
Australia's total of 284 against West Indies in Brisbane in 1968-69 included a second-wicket stand of 217 between Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell (the next-highest score was 17). And the lowest completed Test total to include a hundred partnership came in Auckland in 1973-74, when New Zealand were all out for 158 against Australia despite an opening stand of 107 between Glenn Turner and John Parker. That came close to being beaten in Galle in 2021-22, when West Indies were bowled out for 160 by Sri Lanka, despite a seventh-wicket stand of 100 between Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva, who came together at 18 for 6.
Regarding last week's question about the number of grounds used in each country for men's internationals, does India still lead the way if you include women's matches too? asked Samanth Karthikeyan from India
India had a comfortable lead when it came just to men's matches - 53 grounds have so far staged internationals in the three formats, with England and Australia next on 23 - but there's a big change if you lump in women's games as well. Australia have staged internationals for both sexes on 63 different grounds, and India on 81 - but England (and Wales) are well ahead with 99. The main reason for this is that some very small club grounds were used for some of the early matches, especially in the inaugural women's World Cup in 1973. To see some of them, click here for the 90 different grounds used just for women's ODIs in England.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
An earlier version of this story featured an answer about Harry Brook being the top scorer from No. 5 on the first day of a Test, which has been replaced due to inaccuracies.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes