Ask Steven

When Moeen trumped Sobers, and most wickets in a day

Was Joe Root's 190 the highest score by a batsman in his first Test as captain?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Javed Miandad makes his crease, England v Pakistan, 5th Test, The Oval, 2nd day, August 7, 1992

Javed Miandad was one of four Pakistan batsmen to score between 50 and 59 in their first innings at The Oval  •  PA Photos

Moeen Ali reached 2000 runs and 100 wickets on the same day at Lord's. Has anyone done this before, and how many have completed this double at all? Harmeet Singh from India
Moeen Ali passed both 2000 runs and 100 wickets on the second day of the Lord's Test against South Africa. He was the 28th player overall to complete this particular double and, in 38 Tests, the fifth fastest, after Shakib Al Hasan (31 matches), Trevor Goddard (36), and Keith Miller and Tony Greig (both 37). No one else has completed this double on the same day before, although Ravi Shastri did so on successive days during his 44th Test - India's tie against Australia in Madras in 1986-87. Moeen was the seventh to complete the double for England after Greig, Ian Botham (42 matches), Andrew Flintoff (43), Wilfred Rhodes and Trevor Bailey (48), and Stuart Broad (67). Among the famous names from other countries who needed more Tests than Moeen was Garry Sobers, who took 48 Tests: Moeen joked modestly that "In my garden I was better than Sobers."
Was Joe Root's 190 the highest score by a player in his first Test as captain? asked Brian Robinson from England
Only three players have kicked off their Test captaincy careers with higher scores than Joe Root's 190 against South Africa at Lord's last week. Graham Dowling hit 239 for New Zealand against India in Christchurch in 1967-68, Shivnarine Chanderpaul made 203 not out for West Indies v South Africa in Georgetown in 2004-05, and Clem Hill 191 for Australia against South Africa in Sydney in 1910-11. Only Hill (191) scored more runs than Root (184) on his first day in charge. Remarkably, while only two of England's first 76 Test skippers - Archie MacLaren with 109 against Australia in Sydney in 1897-98, and Allan Lamb with 119 against West Indies in Bridgetown in 1989-90 - started their captaincy careers with a hundred, the last four have all done it: Andrew Strauss in 2006, Kevin Pietersen in 2008, Alastair Cook in 2009-10, and now Root.
Four South Africans reached 50 in their first innings at Lord's, but no one made it to 60. Is this unique? asked Dean Hamilton from South Africa
Rather to my surprise, this has happened before in Tests - twice! At The Oval in 1992, Pakistan's 380 against England included 59 from Javed Miandad, 55 from Shoaib Mohammad, and 50s from Asif Mujtaba and Rashid Latif. There was a near-miss too - Aamer Sohail was out for 49. Then in Hamilton in 2010-11, New Zealand's 275 against Pakistan featured 56 from Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee, and 50 from Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson. The South African quartet at Lord's was Temba Bavuma (59), Dean Elgar (54), Vernon Philander (52) and Quinton de Kock (51). In all there were seven innings ranging between 50 and 59 at Lord's, equalling the Test record set by Sri Lanka (four) and West Indies (three) in Galle in 2010-11.
There were 19 wickets on the fourth day of the first Test. Was this a record for Lord's? asked Michael Carpenter from England
The 19 wickets that fell on the frenetic fourth day of the Lord's Test against South Africa was still some way short of the overall record, set in the Ashes Test of 1888, also at Lord's. On a rain-affected pitch no fewer than 27 wickets tumbled on the second day for just 157 runs, as Australia (116 and 60) overcame England (53 and 62). Wisden reported that "There had been so much rain within a few hours of the start that it was impossible the ground should be in anything like condition for good cricket" and added "the ground was altogether against batsmen". The feared bowling pair of Charles "The Terror" Turner and Jack Ferris shared 18 wickets as the Aussies completed only their second Test victory in England.
Apart from that rain-affected game, though, there has been only one day on which more than 19 wickets fell in a Lord's Test: in 2000, 21 clattered (ten English and 11 West Indian) on a second day which featured part of all four innings, a unique occurrence in Test cricket at the time. There are two other instances of 19 at Lord's - on the fifth day of a soggy draw between England (nine wickets) and Pakistan (ten) in 1954, and also in 2003, when 19 Zimbabwean wickets tumbled on the third day.
Who is the only player to score two double-hundreds in a first-class match? asked Ricky Dooley from Costa Rica
The only man to achieve this particular feat is the Kent player Arthur Fagg - later a Test umpire - who followed up 244 against Essex in Colchester in 1938 with an unbeaten 202 (in 170 minutes) in the second innings. "He had strokes all round the wicket," noted Wisden in Fagg's obituary, "and, being a fine hooker, was particularly severe on fast bowling." Two batsmen - Graham Gooch with 333 and 123 for England against India at Lord's in 1990, and Kumar Sangakkara with 319 and 105 for Sri Lanka v Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2013-14 - have scored a triple and a single century in the same match.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes