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Ask Steven

The fastest five-fors, and the most caught-and-bowleds

Also: the most expensive figures without a wicket, and the most sixes in an innings

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Farokh Engineer watches Keith Fletcher dispatch the ball to the leg side, England v India, Lord's, World Cup, June 7, 1975

England's score of 334 in 1975 stood for eight years - the longest they have ever held the record ODI score  •  Getty Images

England sit proudly on top of the list after scoring 444 in the recent one-day international. When was the last time, if ever, they held the record for the highest total? asked Jarvis Powell from South Africa
England have actually had five previous spells on top of this list, although two of them were very brief. After scoring 190 in the first official one-day international of all, against Australia in Melbourne in 1970-71, England held the record for little more than three hours, at which point Australia overtook their score and won the match. England reclaimed the record in August 1972, scoring 226 for 4 to overhaul Australia's 222 at Old Trafford. They improved that two days later with 236 at Lord's … but Australia then made 240 for 5 to win the match and reclaim the record. Australia improved the mark with 265 for 5 against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1973-74, but England went one better in July 1974, scoring 266 for 6 at Headingley to trump India's 265.
That 266 remained the record going in to the inaugural World Cup, in England in 1975. On the first day, Australia made 278 for 7 against Pakistan at Headingley, and New Zealand 309 for 5 against East Africa at Edgbaston … but England topped the lot at Lord's with 334 for 4 - a total considered so huge that India made no attempt to chase it, even though in those days they had 60 overs at their disposal. That 334 remained the highest ODI total for eight years, until Pakistan made 338 for 5 against Sri Lanka in Swansea during the 1983 World Cup.
West Indies raised the bar to 360 during the 1987 World Cup, against Sri Lanka in Karachi, but England reclaimed the record with 363 for 7 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 1992. Sri Lanka beat that by smashing 398 for 5 against Kenya in Kandy during the 1996 World Cup - and, until they amassed 444 for 3 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge last week, England hadn't held this record since.
Both New Zealand's openers at Centurion were out for ducks. How often has this happened in Tests? asked David Morrison from New Zealand
The double failure of Martin Guptill and Tom Latham against South Africa in Centurion last week was actually the 52nd time both openers had fallen for ducks in the same Test innings. The previous instance was by Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva, against India in Galle in August 2015. Earlier in 2015, Guptill and Latham also made ducks against England at Lord's (Latham was again out for a golden duck, but Guptill lasted two balls). What made this latest one unusual was that they both fell first ball, and both in Dale Steyn's first over. As far as I can see, this has happened only once before in Tests - in Pakistan's second innings at Headingley in 1982, as Wisden confirms: "By the end of [Bob] Willis' opening over Mohsin Khan and Mudassar Nazar were both out, Mohsin caught behind driving loosely against the first ball and Mudassar edging the fifth and his own first, a rising delivery, to third slip." Both England's openers were out first ball against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1932-33, but while Herbert Sutcliffe fell to the first ball of the match, Eddie Paynter was out to the first delivery of the second over.
England hit 16 sixes in their 444 for 3 at Trent Bridge. Was this a record? asked Jatin Krishnamurthy from India
The 16 sixes in the record ODI total of 444 for 3 at Trent Bridge last week was a new record for England - beating 15 in their 399 for 9 against South Africa in Bloemfontein in February - but is some way down the overall list, in joint 13th place. The most sixes in any ODI innings is 22, by New Zealand against West Indies in Queenstown on New Year's Day in 2014. Remarkably, that came from just 21 overs - and 14 of the sixes were hit by Corey Anderson.
Wahab Riaz conceded 110 runs in his ten overs at Trent Bridge, without taking a wicket. What are the records for conceding most runs without taking wickets in all three formats? asked Gaurav Shukla from India
Wahab Riaz's final figures of 0 for 110 at Trent Bridge last week were comfortably Pakistan's most expensive in one-day internationals - it surpassed Riaz's own 2 for 93 against South Africa in Johannesburg in March 2013. The only bowler to concede more in any ODI innings is Australia's Mick Lewis, with 0 for 113 in the famous 872-run match against South Africa in Johannesburg in March 2006. The only other man to concede more than 100 in an ODI without taking a wicket is New Zealand's Tim Southee, against India in Christchurch in March 2009. The record in Tests remains Khan Mohammad's 0 for 259 for Pakistan against West Indies in Kingston in 1957-58, in the innings in which Garry Sobers made 365 not out, while the worst in T20Is is Sanath Jayasuriya's 0 for 64 for Sri Lanka v Pakistan in Johannesburg in September 2007, during the inaugural World T20.
What are the fastest five-wicket hauls in Tests, in terms of balls bowled? asked Amit Kumar from India
The fewest balls required to take five wickets in a Test match is 12, by Jacques Kallis in the course of his 5 for 21 for South Africa against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom in October 2002. That just bettered a burst of 5 for 0 in 13 balls by Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis, also against Bangladesh, while taking 6 for 55 in Dhaka the previous season. Jim Laker's 9 for 37 in the first innings of the Ashes Test at Old Trafford in 1956 (which he finished with a record 19 for 90), also included a spell of 5 for 0 in 13 balls. The fastest five-for from the start of a bowling spell in a Test is 19 balls, set by Australia's Ernie Toshack against India in Brisbane in 1947-48, and equalled by Stuart Broad for England against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2015.
Following on from last week's question about Mohammad Amir having played 18 Tests without taking a catch, who has taken the most catches off their own bowling in Test cricket? asked Richard Vince from England
There's a tie at the top of this particular table in Tests: both Anil Kumble and Muttiah Muralitharan took 35 return catches. They're a long way clear at the top: Daniel Vettori and Shane Warne both took 21 caught-and-bowleds, and Derek Underwood 20. Murali also took 35 in one-day internationals, six more than the next best, by the New Zealander Chris Harris. Shahid Afridi took 24 caught-and-bowleds, and Saqlain Mushtaq 20.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes