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Ask Steven

Is Namibia's win over Sri Lanka in the 2022 T20 World Cup their first against a Test-playing nation?

And how many players have scored a century and taken a wicket in all three international formats?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
18-Oct-2022
Namibia beat Ireland last year, and Zimbabwe earlier this year, before defeating Sri Lanka in the opening game of the 2022 T20 World Cup  •  Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

Namibia beat Ireland last year, and Zimbabwe earlier this year, before defeating Sri Lanka in the opening game of the 2022 T20 World Cup  •  Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

Namibia beat Sri Lanka in the opening match of the T20 World Cup the other day. Have they ever beaten a Test-playing nation before? asked Henning Jansen from South Africa
Namibia's emphatic 55-run win over Sri Lanka in Geelong at the weekend certainly gave the current T20 World Cup a memorable start. Their victory was their 27th, in their 39th official T20I - but 22 of the previous 26 came against non-Test sides. However, Namibia did beat Ireland at the last T20 World Cup in Sharjah a year ago, and earlier this year they stunned Zimbabwe 3-2 in a series in Bulawayo.
Namibia's men have also played 29 official ODIs. They have won 14 of them and lost 15, but none of the wins were against Test-playing nations. They have defeated Oman five times, Papua New Guinea four, United States three and Nepal twice.
New Zealand ran 19 twos in a T20Is against Bangladesh the other day. Is this the most twos in a T20 innings? asked Rezman Rahman Sadid from Bangladesh
The match in which New Zealand's batters were so overworked was during their 208 for 5 against Bangladesh in Christchurch last week.
The first thing to say is that we don't have ball-by-ball details for all T20Is, but the most we can find from the information we do have is an innings containing 30 twos, by Gibraltar (217 for 4) against Bulgaria in Marsa (Malta) on October 2021.
Papua New Guinea's 216 for 4 against Philippines in Port Moresby in March 2019 contained 26 twos, while both Jersey (141 for 7 against Oman in Abu Dhabi in October 2019, and Romania (209 for 6 vs Bulgaria in Ilfov in October 2020) had 25. Scotland's 189 for 3 against Hong Kong in Abu Dhabi in January 2017 included 24 twos.
The most in a match between two Test-playing nations appears to be 21 twos, by Pakistan (189 for 6) against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg during the inaugural T20 World Cup in September 2007, and India (200 for 3) vs Australia in Sydney in January 2016.
Dawid Malan has scored a hundred and taken a wicket in all three international formats. How many others have managed this? asked David Dunford from the United States
England's Dawid Malan is one of just seven men to have scored a century and taken at least one wicket in all three international formats. The others are Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson of Australia, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma of India, Chris Gayle of West Indies and Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan. One woman has the complete set: England's captain Heather Knight.
Knight is also the only woman to have scored a century in Tests, ODIs and T20Is, a feat achieved so far by 20 men. Shane Watson is the only one to score a century and take a wicket in the same match in all three formats.
All of Ben Duckett's first eight T20Is were against Pakistan. Has anyone matched this? asked Muhammad Zaeem from Pakistan
You're right that all eight of Ben Duckett's T20Is prior to this World Cup had come against Pakistan. There's one other man with eight: all of the New Zealander Will Young's eight T20Is have come against Bangladesh. But there is someone ahead of both of them: the South African Janneman Malan played his first nine T20Is against Pakistan, before facing Ireland.
There are several players whose first seven T20Is have been against the same country, most of them from the minor nations. The only one from a Test-playing country is Shan Masood, for Pakistan against England.
I noticed that Roelof van der Merwe is getting close to 300 T20 matches - who has played the most in the format? asked Tom McCormick from England
Netherlands' narrow victory over UAE in their opening encounter at the 2022 T20 World Cup in Geelong was the 281st senior T20 match for the much-travelled allrounder Roelof van der Merwe.
It's a high number, but not very close to the top of the list, which is headed by someone who has played over twice as many matches in all T20 cricket: Kieron Pollard has now featured in 614. His fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo has played 556, Shoaib Malik 481, Chris Gayle 463 and Sunil Narine 435. Ravi Bopara (429), Andre Russell (428), David Miller (404) and Rohit Sharma (401) are all over 400, and there are 37 other players who have completed more than 300 T20 matches, including van der Merwe's fellow South African-born Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate, who played 382.
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