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Ask Steven

Have all four top batsmen made hundreds in the same Test innings before?

Also, have both captains ever bagged golden ducks in the same ODI?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam all made centuries in Karachi, only the second instance of all top four batsmen scoring hundreds in the same Test innings  •  AFP / Getty Images

Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam all made centuries in Karachi, only the second instance of all top four batsmen scoring hundreds in the same Test innings  •  AFP / Getty Images

All Pakistan's top four batsmen made hundreds in the Karachi Test. Has this ever happened before? asked Jamie Stewart from Canada
Pakistan's innings of 555 for 3 against Sri Lanka in Karachi last month, in which Shan Masood made 135, Abid Ali 174, Azhar Ali 118 and Babar Azam 100 not out, was only the second occasion that the top four all made centuries in the same Test innings. The other instance came in Dhaka in 2007, when Dinesh Karthik hit 129, Wasim Jaffer 118, Rahul Dravid 129 and Sachin Tendulkar 122 not out as India hustled to 610 for 3 against Bangladesh.
There was a near miss at Lord's in 1993, when Australia's No. 4, Mark Waugh, was out for 99 after the top three - Mark Taylor, Michael Slater and David Boon - all made hundreds.
Abid Ali scored a century in his first Test, after making one in his first ODI. Has anyone else done this? asked Ian Hugo from Nigeria
The Pakistan batsman Abid Ali hit an unbeaten 109 on his Test debut, against Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi last month, to go with 112 in his first one-day international, against Australia in Dubai in March 2019.
Ali is the first man to achieve this double - but a woman did it a few years ago. The England opener Enid Bakewell hit 113 on her Test debut, against Australia in Adelaide in 1968-69, and an unbeaten 101 in her first ODI, against an International XI in Hove during the inaugural women's World Cup in 1973.
After three Test innings, Ali has 321 runs: only two men have made more. Reginald "Tip" Foster of England scored 355 runs (287, 19 and 49 not out) in his first three innings, against Australia in 1903-04, while Lawrence Rowe hit 336 (214, 100 not out and 22) for West Indies against New Zealand in 1971-72.
Who scored four Test centuries - and no others in first-class cricket? asked Chris Jackson from Australia
The man with this lopsided record is the former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy, who scored four centuries in his 119 Tests. In 112 other first-class matches, 55 of them for Queensland, he reached 50 on 17 further occasions, but never made it past 90. Curiously, however, Healy averaged 27.39 in Tests, but 34.05 in those other matches.
Both captains bagged golden ducks in an ODI at Vizag in December. Was this a first? asked Sourabh Vyas from India
Virat Kohli and Kieron Pollard were both out first ball in the match between India and West Indies in Visakhapatnam in December. This was indeed the first time both captains had bagged golden ducks in the same ODI. It hasn't happened in T20Is either or, as far as I can see, in Test matches, although we don't have ball-by-ball data for several early Test matches.
Rohit Sharma hit ten international centuries during 2019. Was this the most? asked Gary Dockerty from Jamaica
Rohit Sharma's ten centuries in all forms of international cricket in 2019 was the most; Virat Kohli came next with seven, while Babar Azam and David Warner both made six. Kohli, though, scored more runs overall, with 2455 to Sharma's 2442. Babar came next with 2082.
Helped by his stellar World Cup, Sharma led the way in ODIs, with 1490 runs and seven centuries (Kohli was next, with 1377 and five). Marnus Labuschagne was first in Tests, with 1104 runs and three centuries in 2019; Steve Smith was next with 965 and three. Azam, Sharma, Mayank Agarwal and Tom Latham also made three hundreds. In T20Is, two Irishmen led the way: Paul Stirling hit 748 runs, and Kevin O'Brien 729. Nineteen batsmen made one century apiece.
For the bowlers, Pat Cummins finished with 99 wickets in all formats in 2019, well clear of Mohammed Shami and Mitchell Starc, who both took 77. Cummins took 59 in Tests, with Nathan Lyon next on 45; Shami led the way in ODIs, with 42, with Trent Boult next on 38. Brandon Glover of the Netherlands and the Nepal pair of KC Karan and 19-year-old Sandeep Lamichhane all took 28 wickets apiece in T20Is.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes