Ask Steven

When was the last time someone bowled four or more maidens in an ODI?

And what's the lowest all-out total in a Test without a duck?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Bishan Bedi sent down eight maidens in a World Cup game against East Africa in 1975  •  PA Photos

Bishan Bedi sent down eight maidens in a World Cup game against East Africa in 1975  •  PA Photos

Both captains in the Afghanistan-Pakistan match at the Asia Cup were out first ball - has this happened before? asked George Nixon from England
Mohammad Nabi and Babar Azam were the two captains who departed first ball in last week's match between Afghanistan and Pakistan in Sharjah. There has been one previous instance in T20Is: earlier this year, when Sweden played Greece in a regional World Cup qualifier in Vantaa (Finland), both Abhijit Venkatesh and Anastasios Manousis collected golden ducks.
It's also happened once in ODIs, in the match between India and West Indies in Visakhapatnam in December 2019, when Virat Kohli and Kieron Pollard were both out first ball (Kohli was dismissed by Pollard). In all, there have been 12 ODIs and 13 T20Is in which both captains were out for ducks.
Is it right that a Test match was also interrupted when the Queen's father died, back in 1952? asked Lalith de Silva from Sri Lanka
The events of the just-completed Test at The Oval, when the second day was called off to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II, did indeed mirror the events when she came to the throne 70 years earlier in 1952. Back then her father, King George VI, died on February 6, while England were starting the fifth Test of a tour of India, in Madras. The second day was blank, as a mark of respect, but play resumed on February 8. India eventually completed an innings victory, their first Test win in 25 attempts spanning almost 20 years.
When was the last time someone bowled four or more maidens in a one-day international? asked Azweer from India
I suspect this question arose out of Sean Abbott's eye-catching figures for Australia against New Zealand in Cairns last week - he finished with 5-4-1-2. The last man to deliver four maidens in an ODI innings before that was the Bangladesh slow left-armer Nasum Ahmed, with 10-4-19-3 against West Indies in Providence (Guyana) in July.
There have been two instances of a bowler sending down eight maidens in an ODI innings. The great Indian left-arm spinner Bishan Bedi had figures of 12-8-6-1 against East Africa at Headingley during the first World Cup in 1975, while the West Indian medium-pacer Phil Simmons returned a miserly 10-8-3-4 as Pakistan were skittled for 81 in Sydney in 1992-93.
In women's ODIs, the Trinidadian offspinner Carol-Ann James has a record that will be impossible to beat, unless there's a change in the regulations. Playing for West Indies against Denmark in Beckenham during the 1993 World Cup in England - a 60-over tournament - she bowled 11 maidens, finishing with 12-11-4-1. Denmark made 76 in 52.1 overs, 24 of which were maidens.
Who has played alongside the most debutants in Tests - is it Sachin Tendulkar? asked Nitin Karmarkar from India
As Sachin Tendulkar played more Tests than anyone else - a round 200 - it's reasonable to think he might be top of this list… but actually he comes in second: Tendulkar appeared with 213 debutants in Tests, but England's Wally Hammond racked up 225, from 115 fewer appearances. Three other long-serving England players come next: Frank Woolley, who played only 64 Tests, featured alongside 169 debutants, Godfrey Evans (91 matches) 161, and Len Hutton 156 in 79 Tests.
Tendulkar does lead the way in all formats, having appeared alongside no fewer than 343 debutants in all. Next come Sanath Jayasuriya and Mohammad Azharuddin with 261 apiece, one more than Mahela Jayawardene.
What's the lowest all-out total in a Test or a first-class match without a duck? asked Martin Chandler from England
The lowest Test total not to include a duck is Australia's 75 against South Africa in Durban in 1949-50 - a match they ended up winning, despite conceding a first-innings deficit of 236. Set 336 to win, Australia skated home by five wickets, with Neil Harvey making a superb undefeated 151. The first-class record dates back to a match in New Zealand in 1891-92: Taranaki's total of 39 against Hawke's Bay in Napier included seven scores of 1, but no ducks.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
Use our feedback form, or the Ask Steven Facebook page to ask your stats and trivia questions

Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes