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Ask Steven

Which IPL centurion has never played international cricket?

Also, how many batsmen have scored 99 in an IPL match?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Suresh Raina is the first IPL batsman to be stranded on 99  •  BCCI

Suresh Raina is the first IPL batsman to be stranded on 99  •  BCCI

Is Chris Gayle the first man to be marooned one short of a hundred in the IPL? asked Bader Ahmed from India
Chris Gayle, playing for Kings XI Punjab against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Mohali on the weekend, was actually the second batsman to make 99 not out in an IPL innings. The first was Suresh Raina, for Chennai Super Kings against Sunrisers in Hyderabad in 2013.
Two batsmen have been out for 99 in the IPL: Virat Kohli, for RCB against Delhi Daredevils in Delhi in 2013, and Prithvi Shaw, earlier this season, for Delhi Capitals against Kolkata Knight Riders in Delhi.
There have been two scores of 99 - one out, one not - in T20Is. Both were for England: Luke Wright was stranded on 99 against Afghanistan in the World T20 in Colombo in September 2012, while Alex Hales had been bowled by West Indies' Ravi Rampaul for 99 at Trent Bridge three months previously.
Who's the only man to make a century in the IPL who never played international cricket? asked Arvind Mohan from India
My first thought was that this was the exciting batsman Sanju Samson, who has twice scored 102 in the IPL, most recently for Rajasthan Royals against Sunrisers in Hyderabad about a fortnight ago. But I'd forgotten that he has played once for India, in a T20I against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2015.
And so the only non-international to hit an IPL century remains Paul Valthaty, something of a shooting star on the 20-over scene. As a virtual unknown, yet to appear in a first-class match, he hammered an unbeaten 120 for Kings XI Punjab against Chennai Super Kings in Mohali in 2011. Valthaty made 463 runs that season but was dumped by Kings XI after six successive single-figure scores in 2013, and has hardly played since.
Who has finished on the losing side in the most Test matches? It used to be Brian Lara, but has he been overtaken now? asked Graham Ferris from the Philippines
You're right that Brian Lara used to hold this unwanted record. He finished on the losing side in 63 Test matches, one of them for the World XI. But his West Indian team-mate Shivnarine Chanderpaul took the mark late in his career, and finished with 77 Test defeats (from 164 matches). Five others have taken part in 50 or more Test defeats. Sachin Tendulkar was on the wrong end of 56 results, Alastair Cook lost 55 and Alec Stewart 54; Jimmy Anderson has lost 50 so far. Mohammad Ashraful, of Bangladesh, played only 61 Tests - but lost 50 of them.
David Miller took four catches in the field against Mumbai Indians the other day. Was this an IPL/T20 record? asked Savo Ceprnich from South Africa
Those four catches by David Miller for Kings XI Punjab against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai equalled the record for the IPL. Miller's national captain, Faf du Plessis, later added his name to this list, with four for Chennai Super Kings against Knight Riders in Kolkata. Sachin Tendulkar was the first fielder to hold on to four catches in the same IPL innings, for Mumbai against KKR in Mumbai in 2008, and the feat was later matched by David Warner (2010), Jacques Kallis (2011) and Rahul Tewatia (2019).
In all T20 cricket, the record is five catches in an innings by a fielder, which has happened six times now. The most recent instance was by the Scottish international Matt Machan, for Sussex against Glamorgan in a T20 Blast match at Hove in 2016.
Which bowler dismissed Don Bradman for a duck in Tests - twice? asked Joel Pojas from South Africa
Don Bradman's 70 Test dismissals included seven in which he failed to open his account. And the man who twice removed him for a duck was the great England seamer Alec Bedser - in Adelaide in 1946-47, and at Trent Bridge in 1948.
In his book Farewell to Cricket, Bradman bracketed Bedser and Maurice Tate (who was at his peak in the 1920s) as the best English seamers of his time. "I found Bedser harder to play, especially in England in 1948," he wrote, admitting that "my own advancing years doubtless caused my reactions to be slower". The Don concluded: "Both were magnificent, both delightful personalities and ornaments to the game."
The others to dismiss Bradman for 0 included four more England bowlers: Bill Bowes (in the 1932-33 Bodyline series, in Melbourne), Gubby Allen and Bill Voce (in successive innings, in Brisbane and Sydney in 1936-37), and Eric Hollies (at The Oval in 1948, in Bradman's final innings). The first to do it was the West Indian fast bowler Herman Griffith, in Sydney in 1930-31.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes