Matches (13)
WC Warm-up (3)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)
Marsh Cup (1)
Ask Steven

What are the best figures by a captain in ODIs and T20Is?

Also: how many women have scored World Cup centuries in a losing cause?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Waqar Younis' 7 for 36 against England at Headingley in 2001 are the best figures by a male captain in ODIs  •  Tony Marshall/PA Photos/Getty Images

Waqar Younis' 7 for 36 against England at Headingley in 2001 are the best figures by a male captain in ODIs  •  Tony Marshall/PA Photos/Getty Images

Sakibul Gani followed his 341 on debut with 98 and 101 in the next match. Has anyone scored more runs after three first-class innings? asked Azweer from India, among many others
That astonishing start from Bihar's Sakibul Gani has seen him score 341 against Mizoram in Kolkata (the record score for anyone on first-class debut), followed by 98 and 101 not out against Sikkim at Eden Gardens (the first match was at the Jadavpur University Campus).
Gani's 540 runs is a record for a player's first three first-class innings, surpassing 494 (12, 290 and 194) by the New Zealander Bill Carson for Auckland in 1936-37. Gani made 38 and 23 in his next match, so did not pass the Australian Bill Ponsford's records of 616 runs after four-class innings, and 724 after five. The records for six and seven innings - 831 and 900 runs - were set by the Afghanistan batter Bahir Shah in 2017-18. Ponsford reached 1000 runs in his eighth innings, the record at the moment.
Sophie Devine scored 108 in the World Cup opener, but still lost - how many other women have scored a World Cup century but finished on the losing side? asked Deborah Mitchell from New Zealand
That hundred by New Zealand's captain Sophie Devine in the opening match against West Indies in Mount Manganui last week was the sixth time that an individual century had not been enough to bring victory in a Women's World Cup match. The seventh was not long coming: Nat Sciver scored an unbeaten 109 for England as they ran Australia close next day in Hamilton.
Devine was the third New Zealander on the list, after her current team-mates Suzie Bates, with 102 against Australia in Cuttack in February 2013, and Amy Satterthwaite, who hit 103 a week later against England in Mumbai.
There have also been two cases for India: Harmanpreet Kaur made an undefeated 107 in vain against England in Mumbai in 2013, and Punam Raut 106 against Australia in Bristol in 2017. The other instance - and the highest such score - was made by Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu, with 178 not out against Australia, also in Bristol in 2017. Despite Athapaththu's remarkable effort, Sri Lanka managed only 257 for 9 in their 50 overs, which Australia chased down with some ease; Meg Lanning hit 152 not out.
In the men's World Cups, it has happened on 40 occasions.
I heard that Shakib Al Hasan is the only batter in ODI history whose average never fell below 30 in his entire career. Is this true? asked Fahim from Bangladesh
Well, it's partly true: Shakib Al Hasan currently averages 37.62 in one-day internationals, and the lowest his average has ever been was 30.91. But, given a qualification of 30 innings, there are no fewer than 31 other men whose average has also never been below 30 (including Eoin Morgan, who once averaged exactly 30). Of these, three have never averaged below 40: Imam-ul-Haq of Pakistan, whose lowest to date is 49.18, and the retired Australian pair of Michael Hussey (47.89) and Michael Bevan (42.33). This record is perhaps overly dependent on someone making at least 30 in their first ODI innings.
Who has played the most Tests without ever playing a one-day international, and what's the equivalent record for T20s? asked David Knight from England
Leaving aside players like Godfrey Evans, who won 91 Test caps but had retired before the first one-day international in 1971, the ODI record is held by England's Mark Butcher, who won 71 Test caps without ever featuring in England's one-day team (this always struck me as slightly odd, as he had a very respectable record in List A cricket). Next comes the New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner, who has so far played 58 Tests without a single white-ball appearance. The former England captain MJK Smith played 50 Tests, but no ODIs, although his international career only just stretched into the ODI era. Of players who made their Test debut after ODIs started, Butcher and Wagner lead the way, then come the Sri Lankans Kaushal Silva (39 Tests) and Tharanga Paranavitana (32), alongside England's Rory Burns (32 Tests).
Moving to T20Is, Shane Warne played 145 Tests without appearing in a 20-over international, which started towards the end of his great career. Considering only players who made their Test debut after the first official T20I early in 2005, the leader is Cheteshwar Pujara (95 Tests), ahead of Azhar Ali (91), Dimuth Karunaratne at 75 and Kraigg Brathwaite and Dean Elgar bracketed together on 74. All of these players did play some ODIs.
What are the best bowling figures by a captain in ODIs and T20Is? asked Ramaswamy Gohel from India
The best by a captain in ODIs is 7 for 36, by Waqar Younis, for Pakistan against England at Headingley in 2001. Next, rather surprisingly perhaps, comes Viv Richards, with 6 for 41 for West Indies against India in Delhi in 1989-90. There have been three more six-fors, by Dwayne Bravo (2012-13), Gulbadin Naib (2019) and Waqar again, with 6 for 59 two days later in 2001 at Trent Bridge.
There are a further 21 instances of a captain taking a five-for in a one-day international. Waqar did it three times in all, and Greg Chappell, Jason Holder, Shahid Afridi and Wasim Akram twice.
In T20Is the best figures by a captain are 6 for 18, by Argentina's Hernan Fennell against Panama in a World Cup Americas Region qualifier in Antigua in November 2021. Next comes Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga, with 5 for 6 against New Zealand in Pallekele in September 2019.
There are four other cases of a captain talking a five-for in a T20I, by Moazzam Baig (Malawi), Charles Perchard (Jersey), Ahmed Raza (UAE) and Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh).
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
Use our feedback form, or the Ask Steven Facebook page to ask your stats and trivia questions

Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes