I watched the first day at Adelaide in 2012, when Australia made 482 against South Africa. Was this a record first-day score?asked Michael Johnstone from Australia
Australia recovered from 55 for 3 to amass 482 for 5 on that first day against South Africa in Adelaide in November 2012, with David Warner and Mike Hussey scoring centuries, and Michael Clarke going on to 230 the next day.
Surprisingly, perhaps, it's not quite the tallest score on the first day of a Test: in Sydney in 1910-11, also against South Africa, Australia ran up 494 for 6, with Clem Hill making 191 and Warren Bardsley 132. It's clearly an Australian speciality: they are in third place too, with 475 for 2 against England at The Oval in 1934, when Bill Ponsford and Don Bradman both hit double-centuries.
Can you tell me which players finished close to milestones in their international careers without quite getting there? I think Shahid Afridi is notable in this regard,asked Ali Siddiqui from Switzerland
You're right that Shahid Afridi finished up close to bowling milestones in all three international formats: he took 395 wickets in one-day internationals, 98 in T20Is, and 48 in Test matches. Derek Underwood took 297 Test wickets, the same number Ishant Sharma currently has, while Kagiso Rabada has 197, Josh Hazlewood 195 and Kemar Roach 193.
Which Test cricketer once broke the world triple-jump record? Was it CB Fry?asked James Moore from England
The remarkable all-round sportsman CB Fry once equalled the world record for the long jump, while at Oxford University in 1893, but he doesn't seem to have branched out into what was more usually called the "hop, step and jump" back then.
The man who attempted the triple jump was Grace - not WG, who was a handy hurdler in his youth, but his older brother Edward Mills Grace, who was usually known just as EM, or "The Coroner" because of his day job. The Grace brothers opened in the first Test played on English soil, at The Oval in 1880. EM apparently set a world's best for the triple jump in 1866 - but you won't find it in many reference books, because World Athletics (formerly the International Amateur Athletic Federation) only recognised the event for world-record purposes in 1912.
Xavier Marshall recently played another one-day international ten years after his previous one. What's the record for the longest gap?asked Shafqat Baksh from the United States Xavier Marshall reappeared for the United States in April 2019, ten years and 110 days after his previous ODI, for West Indies. There are only four players with longer gaps between one-day international appearances. Another West Indian, Floyd Reifer, played no ODIs between February 1999 and a surprise recall as captain in the middle of a contracts dispute in July 2009. The Hampshire offspinner Shaun Udal reappeared for England in 2005, more than ten years after his previous ODI, and fast bowler Anderson Cummins, who had played the last of his 63 ODIs for West Indies in December 1995, popped up for Canada before the 2007 World Cup, when he was nearly 41. But the leader on this particular list is the New Zealand allrounder Jeff Wilson, who went 11 years 331 days between ODI appearances in 1992-93 and 2004-05. In the interim he had carved out a very successful rugby union career with New Zealand's All Blacks. Wilson had missed 271 matches and Reifer 254.
The Bombay and Baroda player Vasant Raiji recently passed away in India. Who is now the oldest living first-class cricketer?asked Joel Pojas from the Philippines Vasant Raiji, who died last week aged 100, did play for both Bombay and Baroda - he scored 68 and 53 for Baroda against Maharashtra in Poona (now Pune) in December 1944 - but was probably better known as a cricket writer. He produced sought-after books on Ranjitsinhji, CK Nayudu and Victor Trumper, among many others.
Raiji's successor as the oldest surviving first-class cricketer appears to be a New Zealander, Alan Burgess, who celebrated his 100th birthday on May 1. A slow left-armer who gradually concentrated more on his batting, Burgess took 6 for 52 (and 9 for 113 in the match) on his first-class debut, for Canterbury against Otago in Christchurch, in a match that started on Christmas Day 1940.