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Ask Steven

What is the highest identical score made by the first three batters in a Test innings?

And what is the record for the most overs bowled by a player on debut in his first Test innings?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan (batting) and Nazmul Hossain were all out for 14 against Pakistan  •  AFP/Getty Images

Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan (batting) and Nazmul Hossain were all out for 14 against Pakistan  •  AFP/Getty Images

Bangladesh's top three were all out for 14 in the Chattogram Test. Was this the highest identical score by the first three batters? asked Azweer from India
The trio of 14s by Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan and Nazmul Hossain against Pakistan in Chattogram last week was the highest such coincidence of scores in a Test. In the 1985 Ashes at Edgbaston, Andrew Hilditch, Graeme Wood and Kepler Wessels were all out for 10 in Australia's second innings.
In all international formats, the highest identical score by the top three is 17, by AB de Villiers, Boeta Dippenaar and Jacques Kallis for South Africa in an ODI against West Indies in Port-of-Spain in 2005.
The most identical scores in a Test innings (excluding ducks) is six instances of 2. The first of those was by Australia against South Africa in Durban in 1949-50; India had six scores of 1 against West Indies in Ahmedabad in 1983-84.
The highest identical score made by three batters in the same innings (not specifically the top three in the order) is 50, by Easton McMorris, Willie Rodriguez and Wes Hall for West Indies against India in Port-of-Spain in 1961-62. This was equalled by Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson and Tim Southee for New Zealand against Pakistan in Sharjah in 2014-15. In ODIs it's 64, by Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah for Bangladesh against West Indies in Chattogram earlier this year.
In the first Test against India, Tom Latham was stumped by a substitute. Has this ever happened in a Test before? asked Alan Richards from England
Tom Latham was stumped in Kanpur by Srikar Bharat, after Wriddhiman Saha went off with a stiff neck. Latham is the third man to suffer this unusual fate in a Test. The first was the South African Sibley "Tip" Snooke, in the second Test against England in Durban in 1909-10. He was stumped by Neville Tufnell, who was deputising for Herbert Strudwick, who had been hit in the face: "I had a blow just over the eye," Strudwick wrote. "A ball from [George] Thompson pitched on the leg stump and got straight up!" Tufnell hadn't played a Test at the time, but he did make his debut in the final match of the tour, in Cape Town, keeping wicket even though Strudwick also played.
The second instance came in Lahore in 1964-65, when Bevan Congdon of New Zealand deputised for the unwell Artie Dick against Pakistan, and stumped the left-arm spinner Pervez Sajjad off what turned out to be the last ball of the match. New Zealand's captain, John Reid, had kept earlier in the same innings, and taken two catches behind the stumps himself. The successful bowler, Barry Sinclair, was turning his arm over for the only time in his 21 Tests, and recalled: "They didn't bounce a lot."
Who has taken most wickets for England in the Ashes? Is Jimmy Anderson likely to go top in the coming series? asked Michael Roberts from England
Ian Botham leads the way for England in Tests against Australia with 148 wickets, although strictly speaking only 128 of those came in Ashes matches (he played four against Australia in which the urn was not at stake, in 1979-80 and 1980). The lower figure is more likely to fall in the coming series to Stuart Broad, who currently has 118 wickets against Australia in Tests; Jimmy Anderson has 104.
In all, 21 bowlers have so far taken 100 or more wickets in Ashes Tests; Shane Warne leads the way with 195. The most likely addition to this list from the upcoming Ashes series is Nathan Lyon, who currently has 85. For the list, which includes all Tests between England and Australia, click here.
Have New Zealand ever won a Test match in India? I can't recall one! asked Ahson Atif from India
Before the current series got underway, New Zealand had played 34 Test matches in India. Of those, they had lost 16 (including the last six) and also drawn 16. That leaves the two matches New Zealand have won: by 167 runs in Nagpur in 1969-70 (only their third Test victory away from home, after two in South Africa in 1961-62), and by 136 runs in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1988-89, with Richard Hadlee taking ten wickets.
I noticed that Sri Lanka's Suraj Randiv bowled 73 overs in the first innings of his Test debut. Was this the most by a bowler in his first match? asked Arquam Siddique from India
The Sri Lanka offspinner Suraj Randiv toiled through 73 overs in the first innings of his debut Test, against India in Colombo in July 2010. He finished with 2 for 222, which is the most runs conceded by a bowler in an innings on debut (next comes Australia's Jason Krejza, with 8 for 215 against India in Nagpur in 2008-09), but one debutant did send down more overs. In his first Test, in the Ashes at Old Trafford in 1964, the England seamer Tom Cartwright delivered no fewer than 77 overs, including 43 on the first day alone. He finished with 2 for 118, and 32 maidens, many of them bowled to Australia's captain Bob Simpson, who made 311 in nearly 11 hours. Cartwright told his biographer Stephen Chalke: "I was going for under two an over, so I never felt under any pressure. In fact, I rather enjoyed it... It was just a long grind."
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