Roston Chase took eight wickets in the second innings of the first Test against England, but did not take another in the series. Is this some sort of record? asked Jerry Powell from Barbados
West Indian offspinner Roston Chase took 8 for 60 in the second innings of the first Test against England in Bridgetown last month, but no other wickets in the rest of the series, in which his combined figures were 0 for 163. This performance is indeed unique.
Five men have taken seven wickets in a Test innings and no other wickets in the series, but four of them played in only one match: Tom Emmett (7 for 69 for England in a one-off Test against Australia in Melbourne in 1878-79; he took only two wickets in six other Tests); William "Gobo" Ashley (7 for 95 for South Africa v England in Port Elizabeth in 1888-89, his only Test); Bill Lockwood (7 for 71 for England v Australia at The Oval in 1899); and Franklyn Rose (7 for 84 for West Indies v South Africa in Durban in 1998-99). The man who played in two matches was James Langridge, a left-arm spinner, who collected 7 for 56 for England in the second innings against West Indies at Old Trafford on his Test debut in 1933, but failed to strike in the first innings, or his other match in that series.
Australia's Albert Trott took nine wickets in the 1894-95 Ashes series, eight of them (for 43) coming on his debut in Adelaide, while Bernard Bosanquet, the man credited with the invention of the googly, took nine in the 1905 Ashes, including 8 for 107 at Trent Bridge.
I know Javed Miandad's Test batting average never dipped below 50. Are there any current players who have never gone below 40? asked Zafar Hasan Ali from Pakistan
You're right that Javed Miandad's Test batting average never went below 50 during his distinguished 124-Test career - the lowest it reached was 51.75 (he finished on 52.57). The only man who can better this is the England opener Herbert Sutcliffe, whose average went down to 60.73 in his 54th Test, in 1935, at which point - presumably disgusted - he retired.
Given a qualification of 30 innings, there are only 18 other players whose Test batting average never fell below 40 throughout their career. The list includes two current players: Mominul Haque of Bangladesh has never seen his average drop below 41.60, while the lowest for South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis is 40.60.
The list includes four other Englishmen - Denis Compton (a lowest of 42.94), David Gower (40.53), Geoff Pullar (41.62) and the recently retired Alastair Cook (40.88). There are four Australians - Herbie Collins (45.07), Adam Gilchrist (43.50), Bill Lawry (40.29) and Doug Walters (47.03) - and four West Indians: Conrad Hunte (40.92), Alvin Kallicharran (44.31), Lawrence Rowe (43.00) and Frank Worrell (49.49). Three Indians made the list - Mohammad Azharuddin (43.96), Sourav Ganguly (40.42) and Sunil Gavaskar (47.70) - plus one Sri Lankan, in Thilan Samaraweera (40.04).
Some 80 players have represented South Africa in T20Is since the format was introduced. Which country has used the most players? asked Savo Ceprnich from South Africa
South Africa's 80 different men in T20Is, since the first one was played in Auckland in February 2005, puts them joint-fifth on the list, alongside Pakistan, who have also capped 80 players. Well in front are Australia, who have so far used 93 different players; England and New Zealand come next with 82. India, Sri Lanka and West Indies have all used 78 players, Zimbabwe 51, Ireland 44 and Afghanistan 36.
Shoaib Malik remains the only man on this list to have played more than 100 T20Is; he reached three figures in Harare last July, and now has 111 caps. Shahid Afridi retired after 99 T20Is, but two Indians are poised to join the 100 club: MS Dhoni has so far played 96, and Rohit Sharma 93.
There were 38 wides during the third Test between West Indies and England. What's the record? asked Victor Dubuisson from Jamaica
That total of 38 runs from wides during the recent match in St Lucia was actually the highest number in any Test. The previous record was 34, in the match between West Indies and Australia in Bridgetown in 2008. Successive matches in Johannesburg between South Africa and India, in 2013-14 and in 2017-18, produced 31 and 33 runs from wides . It should be noted that these figures show the total number of runs accrued from wides, not necessarily the amount of wide deliveries called (if a wide reaches the boundary it goes down as five extras). In the match in St Lucia there were only 18 actual deliveries that were deemed to be wides.
I noticed that George Ulyett played in both Australia and South Africa's inaugural Tests. Has anyone else achieved such a double? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
Yorkshire's George Ulyett played for England in Australia's first Test, in Melbourne in 1876-77, and South Africa's first, in Port Elizabeth in 1888-89. That Melbourne game was also England's first Test, so you could argue that Ulyett appeared in three countries' inaugural matches!
Using that logic, the other 21 players at the MCG in March 1877 also played in the inaugural Test for two countries. The most likely other candidates for this particular distinction were Englishmen in the period between the two World Wars, which featured maiden Test matches for West Indies (in 1928), New Zealand (1929-30), and India (1932), all of which came against England. As it turns out, no one appeared in all three, but Wally Hammond, Douglas Jardine and Herbert Sutcliffe all played against West Indies at Lord's in 1928, and against India, also at Lord's, in 1932 - while Frank Woolley appeared against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1929-30 and against India at Lord's in 1932.
There was an addition to the list, though: Many years later, Zimbabwe played their inaugural Test against India in Harare in 1992-93, while Bangladesh also started against India, in Dhaka in 2000-01. Sachin Tendulkar and Javagal Srinath played in both those matches.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes