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Ask Steven

Is Ishan Kishan the only man to make fifties on debut in ODIs and T20Is?

And what's the highest ODI total without a half-century?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Chris Gayle goes big, West Indies vs Australia, 3rd T20I, St Lucia, July 12, 2021

Chris Gayle picked up his tenth Player-of-the-Match award in T20Is at age 41, for his 38-ball 67 against Australia  •  AFP/Getty Images

Chris Gayle won a Man-of-the-Match award the other day aged 41. Is he the oldest man to win such an award in an international? asked Brady Sampson from Barbados
The evergreen Chris Gayle won the match award for his 38-ball 67 against Australia in St Lucia a fortnight ago. At 41 years 291 days, the "Universe Boss" was the oldest to win such an award in a T20I while representing a Test-playing country, but there have been four players from Associate nations who won one when past 42. The oldest of those was Faisal Javed of Qatar, who was nearly 44 when he won the award for his 60 against Bahrain in Al-Amerat in January 2019, when he opened the batting with 40-year-old Inam-ul-Haq.
The oldest man to win the match award in a one-day international was Khurram Khan, who was 43 years 61 days old when he smote an undefeated 132 for UAE against Afghanistan in Dubai in November 2014 (he was also the oldest to score an ODI century, almost four years older than Sanath Jayasuriya). Australia's Bob Simpson was 42 when he won the award in his second (and last) ODI, against West Indies in St Lucia in April 1978.
The oldest man to win one in a Test was Graham Gooch, who was six weeks short of his 41st birthday when he hit 210 for England against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in June 1994. Three others have been named Man of the Match in a Test when aged over 40: Clive Lloyd (in 1984-85), and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Misbah-ul-Haq, both in 2014-15. I'm ignoring England's Tom Graveney, who was a "Batsman of the Match" in three Tests in the 1960s, when often several similar awards were presented in the same game; his last came at the age of 40, against Pakistan at The Oval in 1967. (A couple of caveats: Man-of-the-Match awards did not become the norm in Tests until around 1980, and there are still some internationals which do not have them, usually through lack of sponsorship. Also we do not have dates of birth for some Associate players.)
Is Ishan Kishan the only man to make fifties on debut in one-day internationals and T20Is? asked Abhishek Hariharan via Facebook
India's Ishan Kishan marked his first innings in one-day internationals, against Sri Lanka in Colombo last week, by hitting the first ball he received - from Dhananjaya de Silva - for six, on his way to 59 from 42 balls. Just to put the icing on the cake, it was also Kishan's 23rd birthday.
He was the 16th to reach a half-century in his first ODI for India: KL Rahul remains the only one to make it to 100.
Earlier this year, Kishan made 56 in his first T20I, against England in Ahmedabad, starting that time with a first-ball four off Jofra Archer. The only other man to achieve this particular double is South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen, with 56 in his first T20I and 93 in his debut ODI, both in 2018-19. He completed the full set with 51 in his first Test, against England in Centurion in December 2019; we await Kishan's Test debut for a possible repeat!
In pre-T20 days, Pravin Amre made 103 on Test debut for India against South Africa in Durban in 1992-93, after 55 against them in his first ODI, in Kolkata in November 1991 - South Africa's first official international after readmission.
What's the highest ODI total without a half-century? asked Dhanuhan Jayasekar from Sri Lanka
The highest total in one-day internationals without an individual half-century is 286, by England against Sri Lanka at Old Trafford in 2006. England's top nine all got into double figures, as did Mr Extras, but the highest individual contribution was 45 from Andrew Strauss, down at No. 4. The previous highest was Pakistan's 281 for 9 against West Indies in Adelaide in 2004-05, when four men reached 40 but Mohammad Yousuf top-scored with 45.
The Test record is England's 315 against West Indies in Port-of-Spain in 1985-86, when the biggest individual contribution was David Gower's 47 (there were, however, 59 extras). And the highest in T20Is is Australia's 221 for 5 against England in Sydney in 2006-07, when Adam Gilchrist made 48 and Ricky Ponting 47.
What's the biggest innings by someone who made their highest score in their final one-day international? asked Tim Reddington from Scotland
The current holder of this bittersweet record is the West Indian John Campbell, who has not played since hitting 179 in his most recent one-day international, against Ireland in Dublin in March 2019; he shared an opening stand of 365 with Shai Hope, who made 170.
If Campbell does play again, the record will revert to New Zealand's James Marshall, who hit 161 (his only ODI century) against Ireland in Aberdeen in 2008 - he shared an opening stand of 274 with Brendon McCullum (166) - but rather surprisingly never played another international match.
There are currently 22 men who scored a century in their last ODI - not necessarily their highest score - although several of those are current players who will presumably appear again, including South Africa's Janneman Malan, who made an unbeaten 177 against Ireland in Malahide a few days ago.
Which Yorkshire player of the 1940s was born in France? asked Kenneth Hamilton from England
I think your point here is that Yorkshire operated a (supposedly rigid) policy at the time, under which only men born inside the county could play for them. Despite that, a few people slipped through the net - notably Lord Hawke, arguably Yorkshire's most famous captain, who was actually born in Lincolnshire. In 1947, there was an addition to the list: Geoffrey Keighley, an Old Etonian and Oxford Blue, made his county debut a few days after being dismissed for 99 in the Varsity Match.
Keighley was a member of a wealthy Yorkshire family, but actually he was born in Nice, in the south of France. "I was born in France but nevertheless came to Yorkshire cricket," he remembered in a passage in a hard-to-find biography. "If my parents had not both been born in Yorkshire it could not have happened because the rule was that if you were not born in Yorkshire you could not play, but as I had never played in any other county and wasn't born in any other county and my birth had been registered at the British Consulate in Nice, I was considered British and it was hard to argue that I was not eligible for Yorkshire with that parentage."
In all, Keighley played 65 first-class matches, scoring two centuries (one for Yorkshire), before emigrating to Australia with his new wife in 1951. Already a lawyer, he ran a farm in New South Wales and also took up politics. After he died in 2005, Wisden summed up a varied life in his adopted country: "He became an idiosyncratic Country Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Council (advocating the decriminalisation of both abortion and marijuana), represented Australia at international agricultural negotiations, learned to fly and paint, filled his house with art treasures, and ran a classical-music radio station."
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes