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Ask Steven

Was South Africa's 326 at Lord's the lowest total to result in an innings victory?

And which Australian captain was named after the town he was born in?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
South Africa's 326 was the third-lowest total to secure an innings win at Lord's  •  Getty Images

South Africa's 326 was the third-lowest total to secure an innings win at Lord's  •  Getty Images

South Africa won the Lord's Test by an innings despite scoring just 326. Is this the lowest total to result in an innings victory, at Lord's or anywhere? asked Vinod Nair from India
There have been two lower totals than South Africa's 326 in 2022 that have been enough to win a Test at Lord's. In 1933, England's 296 proved sufficient to beat West Indies, who were bowled out for 97 and 172. And the lowest of all was in 1958, when New Zealand managed only 47 and 74 in response to England's 269.
In all Tests, there have been 33 lower totals that were enough for innings victories, including three of under 200: Australia's 153 was too much for South Africa (36 and 45) on a treacherous, rain-affected pitch in Melbourne in 1931-32; England (172) beat Australia (81 and 70) at Old Trafford in 1888; and Australia (199 for 8 declared) thumped New Zealand (42 and 54) in the first Test between the sides, in Wellington in 1945-46.
I noticed that Mike Atherton, the captain, and wicketkeeper Alec Stewart opened the batting for England in the Ashes at Nottingham 1997. How often have the captain and keeper opened the innings in a Test? asked Phillip Reid from England
Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart opened the innings together in five Tests when captain and wicketkeeper, including the one you mention at Trent Bridge in 1997. The fifth time - and the most recent from anywhere - came in the truncated match in Kingston early in 1998. Stewart also opened and kept wicket in two Tests in which Graham Gooch captained, against Pakistan at The Oval in 1992, and against India in Kolkata a few months later.
There have been only four other Tests in which the batting was opened by a team's captain and wicketkeeper (leaving out occasions when one person did both). The first was by Australia against England in Sydney in 1886-87 (Percy McDonnell and Jack Blackham). Frederick Fane and Dick Young went in first for England vs Australia in Sydney in 1907-08, Herbie Taylor and Tommy Ward for South Africa vs England in Durban in 1913-14, and Bandula Warnapura and Mahes Goonatilleke for Sri Lanka vs India in Madras in 1982-83.
What's the most stumpings in an innings in an international? asked David Fleming from England
The most stumpings in a men's international innings is five, by India's Kiran More against West Indies in Madras in 1987-88, in the match in which the debutant legspinner Narendra Hirwani took 16 wickets.
There are two cases of four stumpings in a Test innings, by Bert Oldfield for Australia against England in Melbourne in 1924-25, and "Khokan" Sen for India vs England in Madras in 1951-52 (all off Vinoo Mankad).
There have also been two instances in men's T20Is, by Kamran Akmal for Pakistan against Netherlands at Lord's in June 2009, and Denesh Ramdin for West Indies vs Pakistan in Mirpur in April 2014. The record for ODIs is three, which has happened 18 times.
There are two cases of five stumpings in an innings in women's one-day internationals, by V Kalpana for India against Denmark in Slough during the 1993 World Cup, and Karuna Jain for India vs New Zealand in Lincoln (NZ) in 2005-06. There have been four instances of four in women's Tests, and eight in T20Is , the most recent two by Scotland's Sarah Bryce.
Which Australian captain's first name is the same as the town in which he was born? asked Derek Francis from Australia
The obvious one is Sydney Gregory, who was born in 1870 in Sydney - indeed he was born on the site of what is now the Sydney Cricket Ground, as his father was a groundsman there. Syd made a record eight Ashes tours of England, and was captain in 1912, when he played the last of his 58 Tests.
However, your question says "town" rather than "city", so I suspect you're actually after another answer. It's another New South Welshman: Warren Bardsley, who played his early Tests alongside Gregory and had a similarly long career that stretched to 1926, when he was 43. He captained in two Tests in England that year, standing in for the injured Herbie Collins. Bardsley was born in Warren, a small town in central NSW about 75 miles from Dubbo (Glenn McGrath's birthplace).
There was a near-miss with Australia's Bodyline captain Bill Woodfull: his middle name was Maldon, the town in Victoria in which he was born, where the sports ground is now named after him.
Following up last week's question about the most wickets on a single Test ground, who holds this record in Australia? asked Keith Drysdale from Australia
Top of the table is the great fast bowler Dennis Lillee, who took 82 wickets in 14 Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Shane Warne comes next at the MCG with 56, but he leads the way at the Gabba in Brisbane with 68, and at the Sydney Cricket Ground with 64. Warne and Nathan Lyon have both taken 56 at Adelaide Oval. Glenn McGrath leads the way at the WACA in Perth with 52; he also took 65 in Brisbane and 50 in Sydney. Stuart MacGill is the only other man to pass the half-century, with 53 Test wickets in Sydney.
England's Sydney Barnes took 35 wickets in Melbourne, and George Lohmann 35 in Sydney, to share the record for visiting bowlers.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes