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Ask Steven

How often has a batter been run out without facing a delivery at the start of a T20 innings?

And is Mumbai Indians' eight consecutive losses the worst start to an IPL season by any team?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians have lost all eight of their matches since the start of IPL 2022, a record  •  BCCI

Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians have lost all eight of their matches since the start of IPL 2022, a record  •  BCCI

Mumbai Indians just crashed to their eighth defeat out of eight this season. Is this the worst start to any IPL campaign? asked Narendra Vohra from India
Mumbai Indians' horror start to the 2022 IPL does indeed turn out to be the worst yet: defeat to Lucknow Super Giants in Mumbai on Sunday meant they had lost all eight of their matches up to that point. Two other teams started an IPL season with six straight defeats - Delhi Daredevils in 2013, and Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2019.
Apparently there was a suggestion online that Kings XI Punjab lost their first eight games in 2010, but that's incorrect: their sequence included seven defeats and a Super Over win after a tie.
There have been four cases of a streak of nine consecutive losses mid-season, by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2009, Pune Warriors in 2012 and 2013, and Daredevils in 2014. The record straddling seasons is 11 straight defeats, by Pune Warriors in 2013 and 2014, and Delhi in 2015-16.
There were three double-centuries in the recent County Championship game between Derbyshire and Sussex. Has any match had more? asked Robert Sponder from England
The three double-centuries in that match in Derby earlier this month came from Shan Masood, with 239 for Derbyshire, and the Sussex pair of Tom Haines (243) and Cheteshwar Pujara (201 not out). I was slightly surprised to discover that this equalled the first-class record: there had been ten previous instances of three double-hundreds in the same game, the most recent two coming in India's Ranji Trophy in 2016-17, in the matches between Delhi and Maharashtra in Mumbai and Baroda and Punjab in Delhi.
The first such instance was by Barbados and Trinidad in Bridgetown in 1943-44, and it happened again two years later in the same fixture in Port-of-Spain (Frank Worrell reached 200 in both). It's happened twice in Tests - by Australia and West Indies in Bridgetown in 1964-65, and Pakistan vs Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2008-09.
Which bowler has the worst strike rate in Test cricket? asked Michael Robertson from England
Given a minimum of 50 Test wickets, the worst strike rate belongs to the former West Indian captain Carl Hooper, whose 114 victims came at a strike rate of 121 balls per wicket - that's more than 20 overs for each one. Next comes Australia's miserly medium-pacer Ken "Slasher" Mackay, who went for well under two runs an over but didn't take many wickets: his 50 came at a rate of one every 115.8 balls. The worst among those with more than 200 wickets is another West Indian captain, Garry Sobers, whose 235 came at a strike rate of 91.9.
Ben Compton batted through both innings of Kent's recent Championship match against Lancashire - has anyone else ever done this? asked Norman Davidson from England
Kent's new opener Ben Compton carried his bat for 104 in the first innings of the recent Championship match against Lancashire in Canterbury, and was last out in the second innings for 115. This was the 12th instance of a man batting throughout both innings of a first-class match, the first since Derbyshire's Luke Sutton (140 not out and 54) did it against Sussex in Derby in 2001.
Surrey's Harry Jupp did it twice - against Hampshire in 1866 and against Yorkshire in 1874, both at The Oval. The only instance in a Test was by Desmond Haynes, for West Indies against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1979-80; he was the last man out in both innings, after making 55 and 105.
Thanks to an odd-looking lbw decision, Compton was deprived of the distinction of carrying his bat through both innings - a feat achieved just six times in first-class cricket, most recently by Andhra's Sudhakar Reddy against Kerala in Calicut (now Kozhikode) in 1991-92, and Jimmy Cook for Somerset vs Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1989.
Sunil Narine was run out without facing from the first ball of a recent IPL innings. How often has this happened? asked Josh Willmott from England
Opening with Aaron Finch for Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunil Narine was run out without facing against Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai last week. He was actually the fourth batter to collect what some call a "diamond duck" in the IPL, following Karan Goel for Kings XI Punjab against Royals in Cape Town in 2009, and M Vijay for Chennai Super Kings against Delhi Daredevils in Delhi in 2012 (both from the first ball of the match), and Colin Munro for Delhi against Royals in Jaipur in 2018, which like Narine's dismissal was from the opening delivery of the chase.
In all T20 cricket there have now been 22 instances of a batter being run out without facing from the first ball of an innings - rather neatly, 11 from the first ball of the match and 11 from the opening ball of the second innings.
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