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Ask Steven

How many father-son pairs have scored double-hundreds in Tests?

And how often have both captains produced double-centuries in a first-class cricket match?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
14-Feb-2023
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene's (240) and Pakistan captain Younis Khan's (313) double-hundreds in Karachi in February 2009 is the only instance of both captains scoring double-hundreds in a Test  •  AFP

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene's (240) and Pakistan captain Younis Khan's (313) double-hundreds in Karachi in February 2009 is the only instance of both captains scoring double-hundreds in a Test  •  AFP

Both captains scored double-centuries in a recent Ranji Trophy match. How often has this happened in first-class cricket? asked K Lokaraj from India
The match you're talking about was last week's Ranji semi-final in Bengaluru, when Mayank Agarwal scored 249 for Karnataka, and his opposite number Arpit Vasavada responded with 202 for Saurashtra, who eventually won by four wickets.
There have been only five previous instances of both captains scoring double-centuries in the same first-class match. The first was by Clyde Walcott (209 for Barbados) and Jeff Stollmeyer (208 for Trinidad) in Bridgetown in 1950-51. It didn't happen again for more than half a century, until 2001-02, when Carl Hooper made 222 for Guyana and Stuart Williams 252 not out for Leeward Islands in a West Indian domestic semi-final in Albion (Guyana).
The next instance - the only one in Tests - came in Karachi in 2008-09, when Mahela Jayawardene scored 240 for Sri Lanka and Younis Khan 313 for Pakistan. In a Ranji Trophy match in Delhi in 2016-17, Deepak Hooda hit 293 not out for Baroda and Yuvraj Singh 260 for Punjab. And in a County Championship game at The Oval in 2021, Chris Cooke made 205 not out for Glamorgan, and Ollie Pope 274 for Surrey, an innings which raised his first-class average on the ground at the time to a Bradmanesque 99.94.
Is it true that Glenn McGrath took a wicket with his last ball in all three international formats? Has anyone else done this? asked Martin Harrison from Australia
Actually the great Australian seamer Glenn McGrath did not quite complete this impressive treble. He did dismiss England's Paul Collingwood with his last ball in a T20I (in Southampton in 2005) and Jimmy Anderson with his final delivery in Tests, in Sydney in 2006-07. But in his last one-day international - the 2007 World Cup final in Bridgetown - the wicket of Russel Arnold came from his penultimate delivery. McGrath bowed out with a ball that Chaminda Vaas pushed away for a single.
The data is not quite complete, but it looks as if only two other bowlers have taken wickets with the last balls they bowled in two of the three international formats: the Bermudian seamer Stefan Kelly, and Scotland's slow left-armer Mark Watt. Both of them appeared only in ODIs and T20Is; Watt will probably play again soon.
With Tagenarine Chanderpaul passing 200 the other day, are there any other father-and-son pairs who have scored double-centuries in Tests? asked Leon Ben-Lambrecht from South Africa
The new West Indian opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul scored 207 not out, in only his third Test, against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo last week. His father, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, made 203 not out against South Africa in Georgetown in 2005, and repeated that score against Bangladesh in Mirpur in 2012-13.
The only other father and son to score Test double-centuries are a proud Pakistan pair. Hanif Mohammad made 337 against West Indies in Bridgetown in 1957-58, and also scored 203 not out against New Zealand in Lahore in 1964-65. His son Shoaib Mohammad emulated Chanderpaul senior in twice making 203 not out: against India in Lahore in 1989-90, and New Zealand in Karachi in 1990-91. There are ten further father-and-son combinations who have all scored Test centuries, including the Indian Amarnaths and the Australian Marshes, where two sons followed their father into three figures.
Kuldeep Yadav has a ridiculously low ratio of white-ball internationals where he has gone wicketless. Does anyone have a better record? asked Choyon Sen from India
India's left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav has so far bowled in 103 innings in ODIs and T20Is, and taken wickets in 82 of them - that's 79.61%. Counting only bowlers who have also bowled in 100 or more innings in white-ball internationals, he comes in eighth overall: on top is Rashid Khan, who has struck in 132 of the 155 innings in which he has bowled (85.16%). Also ahead of Kuldeep are Brett Lee of Australia (82.64% from 242 innings), the South African pace pair of Dale Steyn (81.29% from 171) and Allan Donald (80.25 from 162), New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond (80% from 100), Sri Lanka's Muthiah Muralidaran (79.89% from 353) and Kuldeep's current team-mate Mohammed Shami (79.82% from 109).
If you reduce the qualification to those who have bowled in at least 50 innings, there's a new leader: the Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane has struck in 65 of 73 innings, or 89.04%. Kuldeep Yadav is 15th by that reckoning.
My friends and I have been trying to think of allrounders who have the best positive difference between their first-class batting and bowling averages. After the first Test against Australia, Ravi Jadeja reached +22.50, surpassing Jacques Kallis at +22.42. Who are the top performers in such a list? asked David Moore from England
You're right that Ravindra Jadeja has just inched past Jacques Kallis on this particular list. They are actually 11th and 12th overall, given a minimum of 100 first-class matches and a reasonable number of wickets. On top is another Indian, possibly an unexpected name: the former Test captain Vijay Hazare averaged 58.38 with the bat in first-class cricket, and 24.61 with the ball (595 wickets), a difference of 33.77. Next come Garry Sobers (27.12), Warwick Armstrong (27.11) and Keith Miller (26.60).
Sobers leads the way in Tests with 23.75 (57.79 vs 34.04), a little ahead of Kallis (22.71). Jadeja (12.70) is currently fifth, behind Imran Khan (14.88) and Miller (13.99). There are 74 players who have completed the Test double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets: bottom by this measure is Bangladesh's Mohammad Rafique, with minus 22.19 (18.57 with bat, 40.76 with ball).
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes