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Ask Steven

Where does Kyle Mayers' 210 not out rank among fourth-innings scores on debut?

And has anyone taken more six-fors in an innings than Stuart Broad's 12?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
09-Feb-2021
Kyle Mayers raises his bat after getting to the 150-run mark, Bangladesh vs West Indies, 1st Test, Chattogram, Day 5, February 7, 2021

Kyle Mayers now holds the record for the highest fourth-innings score on debut  •  BCB

Where does Kyle Mayers' 210 not out stand in the list of highest scores on Test debut - particularly in the fourth innings? asked Ken Hutchinson from England
The highlight of West Indies' remarkable chase to win the first Test against Bangladesh in Chattogram at the weekend was the double-century by Kyle Mayers, who was making his Test debut. His unbeaten 210 was the fifth-highest score on debut, behind Reginald "Tip" Foster (287 for England vs Australia at Sydney in 1903-04), Jacques Rudolph (222 not out for South Africa vs Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2002-03), Lawrence Rowe (214 for West Indies vs New Zealand in Kingston in 1971-72) and Mathew Sinclair (214 for New Zealand vs West Indies in Wellington in 1999-2000). Brendon Kuruppu of Sri Lanka also made a double-century on debut (against New Zealand in Colombo in 1986-87).
But Mayers' innings is easily the highest in the fourth innings on debut, beating 112 by Abbas Ali Baig for India at Old Trafford in 1959. England won that match by 171 runs. The only other century by a debutant in a successful run chase was Yasir Hameed's 105 for Pakistan against Bangladesh in Karachi in 2003 (Hameed had also made 170 in the first innings). And there have been only five other double-centuries in the fourth innings of any Test, the highest being George Headley's 223 for West Indies against England in Kingston in 1929-30.
The West Indies team in Chattogram included debutants coming in at Nos. 3, 4 and 5. When was the last time this happened? asked Peter Everitt from Barbados
The three West Indian newcomers in Chattogram were Shayne Moseley, Nkrumah Bonner and, as mentioned above, Kyle Mayers. The last time debutants went in at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 in their first Test - excluding countries' inaugural matches - was at Lord's in 1946, when debutants Rusi Modi, Vijay Hazare and Abdul Hafeez Kardar filled those spots in the second innings. Kardar, who later captained Pakistan, had batted at No. 8 in the first innings, and was possibly a nightwatchman (not a very successful one, since he was out for a duck). Arguably a more genuine instance happened at Trent Bridge in 1935, when South Africa's Nos. 3, 4 and 5 in the first innings were debutants Eric Rowan, Dudley Nourse and the captain Herby Wade. There were ten earlier instances, eight of them in the 19th century.
Five bowlers took two wickets each in an innings in a recent Test in New Zealand, and it nearly happened again at Chennai. How often has this happened in Tests? asked Michael Anderson from New Zealand
The instance you're talking about came during the first Test against Pakistan in Mount Maunganui in December: as New Zealand pushed for victory, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner and Mitchell Santner all took two wickets. It didn't quite happen in England's first innings in Chennai, although it was possible after eight wickets as four of the Indian bowlers had two apiece.
The first time this occurred in a Test match was in Sydney in 1882-83, when Joey Palmer, Billy Midwinter, Fred Spofforth, Harry Boyle and Tom Horan all took two wickets for Australia against England; it did not happen again for almost a century, until India's first innings against England in Delhi in 1981-82, when Bob Willis, John Lever, Derek Underwood, Ian Botham and Graham Gooch all claimed two. After that there were six such instances before the recent one at Mount Maunganui: by South Africa against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 1997-98 and in Durban in 2002-03, Australia vs New Zealand in Adelaide in 2004-05, Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh in Galle in 2012-13, New Zealand vs Australia in Wellington in 2015-16, and England vs Pakistan at Edgbaston in 2016.
I noticed that Stuart Broad has taken six wickets in an innings on 12 occasions - has anyone done it more often, for England or anyone? asked Stuart Beckett from England
You're right that Stuart Broad has taken six or more wickets in a Test innings on 12 occasions. It equals the record for England, set by the remarkable Sydney Barnes, who played only 27 Tests to Broad's 144 to date. Way out in front overall is Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 30 six-fors in his long career. Next come Anil Kumble and Shane Warne, with 19 apiece.
Apparently there's a man who played Tests alongside both Victor Trumper and Don Bradman - who is it? asked Geoff Knight from Australia
Victor Trumper and Don Bradman are often bracketed together as Australia's best-ever batsmen: in Trumper's case it's more down to the style in which he batted than the bare statistics, which are relatively modest. There is indeed one man who played in Trumper's last series, the 1911-12 Ashes, and in Bradman's debut Test in Brisbane in 1928-29: the New South Wales allrounder Charles Kelleway, who featured in 27 Tests in all. Three England cricketers - Jack Hobbs, Phil Mead and Frank Woolley - played against both Trumper and Bradman in Tests.
Kelleway opened the bowling in that match in Brisbane - which Australia ended up losing by 675 runs, still a record margin - but picked up an injury during it and never played another Test. I don't know much about Kelleway, and am looking forward to finding out more when a recent book about him - The Pupil and the Master - makes it through the Covid-affected postal system!
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes