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Ask Steven

How many IPL teams have won and lost a match by ten wickets in the same season?

And which horse named after a cricketer won a classic race?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
CSK thumped Kings XI Punjab by ten wickets earlier in the IPL only to be beaten by the same margin last week by the Mumbai Indians  •  BCCI

CSK thumped Kings XI Punjab by ten wickets earlier in the IPL only to be beaten by the same margin last week by the Mumbai Indians  •  BCCI

In the current IPL, the Chennai Super Kings have won and lost a match by ten wickets. Has any other side done this in the same season? asked Vinay Ramachandran from India
The Mumbai Indians' ten-wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah last week was only the 13th by such a margin in the IPL; CSK's thumping of the Kings XI Punjab in Dubai earlier this month was the 12th.
The only other IPL to feature two such results was in 2017, when the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Gujarat Lions in Rajkot, and the Kings XI Punjab beat the Delhi Daredevils in Mohali. So the current season is the first one in which one team has featured on both ends of a ten-wicket victory.
After Cameron Green's 197 the other day, I was wondering: what is the highest first-class score by someone who never played in a Test? I'm sure it's much higher than 197! asked Peter Bradford from Australia
Cameron Green scored 197 for Western Australia against New South Wales in Adelaide last week, an innings that kept him firmly in contention for a Test call-up.
As you suspect, however, Green is a long way down the list of the highest first-class scorers without a Test cap. The highest score by someone who never played a Test is 443 not out, by the Indian Bhausaheb Nimbalkar for Maharashtra against Kathiawar in a Ranji Trophy match in Poona (now Pune) in 1948-49. Nimbalkar was denied a shot at the record score at the time - Don Bradman's 452 not out in 1929-30 - when the Kathiawar captain refused to carry on (Maharashtra had 826 for 4 at the time), and conceded the match.
The highest score by an uncapped Australian is 383, by Charles Gregory - from the famous Sydney family - for New South Wales against Queensland in Brisbane in 1906-07.
What's the most runs in a Test series without a century, and the most wickets without a five-for? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
The record for the most runs in a Test series without a century is held by England captain turned commentator Michael Atherton, who scored 553 in the 1993 Ashes, with a highest of 99 (run out) in the second Test, at Lord's. Atherton beat the old record of 550, set by Conrad Hunte for West Indies at home to Australia in 1964-65, which remains the record for a five-match series (there were six Tests in 1993). Hunte made six scores between 53 and 89.
The equivalent record for bowling - most wickets in a series without taking five in an innings - changed hands last year: Pat Cummins took 29 wickets in the 2019 Ashes series, with a best return of 4 for 32 in the first Test, at Edgbaston. He pipped another Australian seamer, Wayne Clark, who took 28 wickets without a five-for in his maiden series, at home to India in 1977-78.
Michael Holding scored six half-centuries in Tests, but averaged only 13.78. Is this some sort of record? asked David Whiting from England
Well, it's a fairly specific request, but I can confirm that, of the men who scored at least five half-centuries in Tests, Michael Holding's average of 13.78 is the lowest. Next comes the Pakistan wicketkeeper Wasim Bari, who also made six fifties but averaged 15.88. And in third spot is Shane Warne (12 fifties, average 17.32), whose 3154 runs is the overall Test record by someone who never managed a century - his highest score was 99 (caught off what was later revealed to be a no-ball from Daniel Vettori) against New Zealand in Perth in 2001-02.
Which horse named after a cricketer won a classic race? asked Christopher Ingham from England
I think there are a few contenders here. The most obvious one - and the only one I can think of that was genuinely named after a cricketer - was Jack Hobbs, which won the Irish Derby in 2015, not long after finishing second in the English one. Jon Snow - lacking only an "h" to make him an England fast bowler - won the Australian Derby at Randwick in 2017, and Jardines Lookout won the Goodwood Cup in 2002. Turning to books, Wisden readers probably cheered home Editor's Note in the Belmont Stakes (one of the American Triple Crown races) in 1996, while Playfair won the Grand National in 1888. But my personal favourite cricketing horse is probably the winner of the French 2000 Guineas in 1995: Vettori, ridden by Frankie Dettori, which must have amused the commentators. There may well be more!
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes