Which two batters have made centuries in the same Test innings most often? asked Muhammad Riaz via Facebook
The answer here is quite intriguing, as the same man features in the top three pairs in the table. The prolific South African Jacques Kallis
scored hundreds in eight innings in which AB de Villiers
also reached three figures, while he scored seven in the same innings as both Hashim Amla
and Graeme Smith
. Kallis played 83 Tests alongside de Villiers, 68 with Amla and 106 with Smith.
Seven pairs reached centuries in the same innings six times, including Kallis again with Herschelle Gibbs (in 79 Tests), and de Villiers and Smith together (in 88). The others are Rahul Dravid with both Virender Sehwag (93) and Sachin Tendulkar (146), Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer (75), Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (103), and Ian Bell and Alastair Cook (106). Among those on five, Clyde Walcott and Everton Weekes played only 41 Tests together, and Tendulkar and Navjot Singh Sidhu 42. (Thanks to the eminent Australian statistician Charles Davis for his help with this one, which saved me a lot of legwork!)
Jasprit Bumrah failed to take a wicket in the World Test Championship final, and was also out for nought in both innings. Has anyone bowled more fruitless overs in a Test in which they also bagged a pair? asked Arvind Mukund from India
Poor Jasprit Bumrah
endured a barren time in the WTC final against New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl
: apart from his pair, he sent down 36.4 overs without picking up a wicket (he did take a catch though). It still left him with a pretty good record overall - 83 wickets at 23.21 from 20 matches so far.
Only five players have married a pair in a Test to more wicketless overs. Bumrah's sometime team-mate Amit Mishra
tops the list: against South Africa in Nagpur
in 2009-10, he sent down 53 overs and finished with 0 for 140, to go with a pair courtesy of Dale Steyn.
And Zimbabwe's Brandon Mavuta delivered 40 overs but finished with 0 for 189 against Bangladesh in Mirpur
in 2018-19. He did take three catches, though.
There was a near-miss by Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath against Pakistan in Galle
in 2000 - he bowled 36 overs, four balls fewer than Bumrah, to go with a three-ball pair. It was the third of his 93 Tests; he ended up with 102 wickets in Galle.
Charith Asalanka played his first ODI the other day on his birthday - and was out for a duck. How many people have suffered this fate? asked Awais Khan Sherwani via Facebook
The Sri Lankan batter Charith Asalanka
made his one-day international debut against England at Chester-le-Street
last week on his 24th birthday, but was caught at slip off David Willey before he'd scored. In all, 22 batters have been dismissed for nought in an ODI on their birthday, but the only other one to suffer this fate in his first match was the Pakistan left-hander Asif Mujtaba
, against West Indies in Gujranwala
Has anyone been out for 99 in his last Test? asked James Crawford from England
The only man to be dismissed for 99 in what turned out to be his final Test match was the adhesive South African batter Bruce Mitchell
, who was caught behind off England's Alec Bedser after six and a half hours in Port Elizabeth in 1948-49
Although Mitchell was 40, and had been playing Tests for nearly 20 years, he didn't know this was his last match: he was left out when Australia toured the following season. After making heavy weather of some short-pitched bowling in two tour games leading up to the first Test
, he was not selected the following week, and never appeared again. The watching RS Whitington wrote: "Much to the consternation of his fellow Transvaalers - and delight of the Australians, who saw in Mitchell one of the potentially most serious obstacles to the winning of four-day Tests - [he] had been omitted from the Springbok team following his score of 8 made in 95 minutes at Durban."
Which bowler has conceded the most runs in his first over in Tests? asked Kevin Harris from England
There are two men known to have conceded 17 runs in their first over in Test cricket. One of them is rather a surprise - it's Jimmy Anderson
, with an expensive start against Zimbabwe at Lord's
in 2003, featuring three fours and a three from Dion Ebrahim, and two no-balls (fear not: he soon regrouped, and finished with 5 for 73). The other was the West Indian fast bowler Patterson Thompson
, against New Zealand in Bridgetown
in 1995-96; Nathan Astle hit four fours, and there was also a no-ball that wasn't scored from (Thompson overstepped 31 times in the match).
Eighteen runs came from the first Test over of the Bangladesh offspinner Sohag Gazi
, against West Indies in Mirpur
in 2012-13, but that included four leg-byes, which don't count against the bowler. It was the very first over of the match, and Chris Gayle
walloped the opening delivery for six - a unique start - before adding another six and a two.
We can't be entirely certain that there are no other instances, since ball-by-ball data is not available for many early matches - although you might hope that such an unusual start might have been mentioned in a report.
And there's an update on one of last week's questions, about six-day Test matches, from one of my Wisden colleagues
"Concerning your interesting assessment of Tests that went into a sixth day, there's a technical point about the World Test Championship final. In a special regulation just for this game, the ICC's playing conditions stated that 'The match shall be of five days' scheduled duration, with a reserve day available in order to make up lost playing time.' The idea was not really to provide an extra day to improve the chances of a result, but to ensure the full ration of around 450 overs was delivered (if by the end of the fifth day the total had been, say, 30 overs short, the sixth day would have comprised only those 30 overs). And if no play at all had been lost to the weather, the match would have ended in five days, with or without a positive result - a draw would have meant the trophy was shared. This being England, of course, quite a lot of play was
lost, including the whole of the first day. That meant the reserve day was bound to be triggered, so pretty soon - and certainly by the time the match actually started - it was definitely heading for a sixth day (unless a result was achieved before that), which meant it was generally described as a six-day game."