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Ask Steven

What's the most runs by a partnership pair in any Test series?

And how many teams have gone past 300 runs in a T20I?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
28-Jun-2022
Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe walk out to bat, England v Australia, 5th Test, The Oval, 1st day, August 16, 1930

Jack Hobbs (left) and Herbert Sutcliffe put on 868 runs in the 1921-25 Ashes in Australia, tied with Bill Ponsford and Don Bradman, who also made 868 in 1934  •  PA Photos

Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell seem to have been batting all the time in the current Test series in England. What's the most runs by a partnership in any series? asked Phillip Marshall from New Zealand
You'd have got good odds before the just-finished series on Daryl Mitchell and wicketkeeper Tom Blundell being the leading scorers for New Zealand (Mitchell, after all, had not been expected to play in the first Test before an injury to Henry Nicholls).
In all, Mitchell and Blundell put on 724 runs together, with an average partnership of 120.66. That puts them equal tenth on the overall list - but most of the pairs above them were playing in longer series. Tied at the top are the England openers Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe, who put on 868 runs in nine innings together in the 1924-25 Ashes series down under, while the legendary Australians Bill Ponsford and Don Bradman also put on 868 during the 1934 Ashes in England.
Although those were both five-match series, Ponsford and Bradman actually batted together only three times, adding 388 for the fourth wicket at Headingley, and 451 and 29 for the second wicket at The Oval. The record for a three-match rubber is 861, by Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf for Pakistan at home to India in 2005-06.
Nicholas Pooran took four wickets in a recent ODI, having never taken one before. Is this a record? asked Vince Patterson from Trinidad
West Indies' new captain Nicholas Pooran put himself on to bowl some offbreaks, and took 4 for 48 against Pakistan in Multan earlier this month. It was his 100th international - 43 ODIs and 57 T20s - but only the second time he had bowled.
Having shown his predecessors they were wrong to ignore him, Pooran will presumably get some more overs soon - but for now he is the only man to take four wickets in ODIs, all of them in the same innings, among players who have played more than one ODI. The elegant Sri Lanka batter Roy Dias played 58 ODIs and took just three wickets - all of them in the same game, against Australia in Melbourne in 1984-85.
I'm talking here about people who played in multiple matches: the England fast bowler David "Syd" Lawrence took 4 for 67 in his only ODI, against West Indies at Lord's in 1991.
The equivalent record in Tests is held by another West Indian, Basil Butcher. He won 44 caps, but his enthusiastic legbreaks claimed only five wickets - all in one innings against England in Port-of-Spain in 1967-68. Brian Close, who was watching the series from the press box after being sacked as England's captain, said: "He delivers a googly which is easy to read but turns considerably."
Yet another West Indian, Robert Christiani, won 22 caps but took all three of his Test wickets in one innings (against India in Delhi in 1948-49), while India's Hemu Adhikari took 3 for 68 against West Indies in Delhi in 1958-59, while captaining for the only time in the last of his 21 Tests. He bowled only two overs in his other 20 appearances.
David Warner was stumped for 99 the other day. Has anyone fallen this way in an ODI before? asked Kirk McCausland from Australia
David Warner was stumped one short of what would have been his 19th hundred in one-day internationals last week in Colombo. He was only the second to fall this way in an ODI, after India's VVS Laxman, against West Indies in Nagpur in 2002-03.
It has also happened three times in Tests, the batters involved being Pakistan's Maqsood Ahmed (in 1954-55), John Wright of New Zealand (1991-92), and India's Virender Sehwag (2010). Maqsood, who was known as "Merry Max", never did make a Test century: "The whole crowd wept for him when Maqsood hurriedly went forward to deflect a short-pitched legbreak from [Subhash] Gupte to complete his century and was stumped," commiserated the watching Pakistan journalist Qamaruddin Butt.
Which is the only country to cross 300 in a T20I? asked Mohan Kartikheyan from India
There have been two totals in excess of 300 in women's T20Is. Uganda amassed 314 for 2 in Kigali (Rwanda) in June 2019, then bowled Mali out for 10 to win by an improbably large margin. But Bahrain's women improved the highest total in May 2022, with 318 for 1 in Al Amerat, Oman, against Saudi Arabia, who were then restricted to 49 for 8.
No men's international side has yet breached the 300 barrier. Afghanistan made 278 for 3 against Ireland in Dehradun in February 2019, and Czech Republic equalled that with 278 for 4 against Turkey six months later in Ilfov, Romania. Here's the the list of highest totals in men's T20Is.
Apparently there was once an 11-ball over in a Test, after the umpire lost count. Can you confirm this? asked Michael Connolly from England
This unusual incident happened during the first Test of England's tour of New Zealand in 1962-63, in Auckland. It seems that umpire Dick Shortt dropped his ball-counter towards the end of the sixth over by the New Zealand offspinner John Sparling. Shortt picked up the counter and started again - in all, Sparling's over contained 11 deliveries, none of them no-balls or wides. It's not known why Shortt didn't consult the scorers or the other umpire, John Brown, who was standing in his first Test. "I was bowling to Fred Titmus," remembered Sparling a few years ago in an interesting podcast with the New Zealand Cricket Museum. "I don't know why I didn't react - I just kept going back to my mark and bowling. Quite extraordinary."
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