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Ask Steven

Which player has scored the largest percentage of his team's runs in T20s?

Also: which first- or second-change seamers have the best career records in Tests?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Martin Guptill's 50 for Kings XI Punjab was 73.53% of his team's target of 68 against Delhi Daredevils in 2017  •  BCCI

Martin Guptill's 50 for Kings XI Punjab was 73.53% of his team's target of 68 against Delhi Daredevils in 2017  •  BCCI

KL Rahul recently scored 98 of his team's total of 139 - more than 70% - in an IPL match. Was this a record for the IPL, or any T20 game? asked Abhinav Mishra from India
That innings by KL Rahul against Chennai Super Kings in Dubai last week - 98 not out, from 42 balls with eight sixes, in Punjab Kings' 139 for 4 - represented 70.50% of the total, and comes in sixth on the IPL list. On top is Martin Guptill's 50 out of 68 - that's 73.53% - as Kings XI Punjab beat Delhi Daredevils by ten wickets in Mohali in 2017.
Sanath Jayasuriya twice managed more than 70% for Mumbai Indians in the space of three days in the first IPL in 2008: he hit an undefeated 114 out of 158 for 1 against Super Kings in Mumbai on May 14, and an unbeaten 48 in 68 for 2 against Kolkata Knight Riders, also at the Wankhede Stadium, on May 16.
The largest proportion in all men's senior T20 matches is 86.54% - 45 out of 52 for 0 - by Hadisullah Tarakhel for Belgium against Malta in Marsa in July 2021, which is also the record for T20Is. Shane Dadswell cracked 98 not out in North West's 116 for 0 (84.48%) in an Africa T20 Cup match against Nigeria in Paarl in September 2018, while Jayasuriya made 51 not out in Sri Lanka's 62 for 1 as they chased a reduced target against New Zealand in Wellington in December 2006.
In Tests and ODIs this record is usually only applied to completed (all-out) innings. That's not terribly practical in T20, when it's relatively rare for all ten wickets to fall. But for the sake of completeness, the IPL record in a completed innings is 50.43%, by Kevin Pietersen (58 out of 115) for Delhi Daredevils against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali in 2014; in men's internationals it was when Chris Gayle carried his bat for 63 out of 101 (62.37%) for West Indies in the World T20 semi-final against Sri Lanka at The Oval in 2009; and in all men's senior 20-over games it's 65.17% (73 out of 112) by Justin Kreusch for Warriors against Titans in a South African Pro20 Series match in Benoni in January 2006.
I noticed that Australia's recent total of 62 against Bangladesh featured no ducks. Is this the lowest total in T20Is in which no-one was out for nought? asked Dave Foster from New Zealand
Australia's paltry 62 - their worst total in T20 internationals - in the last match against Bangladesh in Mirpur in August was the lowest total without a duck in a T20I involving Test teams. There has been one lower score in all such men's internationals, though: in Ilfov County in October 2020, Bulgaria's 60 all out against Romania did not include any ducks either (three men were out for 1). The previous nadir among Test nations was Sri Lanka's duckless 82 against India in Visakhapatnam in February 2016.
The Test record is also held by Australia, in their 75 against South Africa in Durban in 1949-50 (they went on to win that match), while in ODIs it's India's 54 against Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy in Sharjah in October 2000.
Which player scored hundreds only in his first and last Tests? asked Jamie Stewart from the United States
The answer to this one dates from a long time ago: the Australian Reggie Duff made 104 in his first Test, against England in Melbourne in 1901-02, and 146 in his last, at The Oval in 1905. He did not reach three figures in 20 matches in between.
Duff is one of only seven men to score hundreds in their first and last Tests (but the rest all scored other centuries too). The list includes two current players, Fawad Alam and Rohit Sharma.
We should perhaps also mention those old quiz favourites Andy Ganteaume and Rodney Redmond, who both made centuries in their only Test match, in 1947-48 and 1972-73 respectively.
Most of the top Test wicket-takers among pace bowlers are the ones who regularly took the new ball. Which first- or second-change seamers have the best career records? asked Kalyan Desaraj from India
The pace bowler who took the most Test wickets in innings in which he did not take the new ball is South Africa's Jacques Kallis, with 276 (he took 16 in the eight innings in which he did open the bowling). Neil Wagner currently has 222 (out of 229 wickets in all), then come Courtney Walsh (192 of 519) and the England allrounders Ian Botham (177 of 373), Andrew Flintoff (165 of 226) and Ben Stokes (159 of 163).
And if you want to see the list of wickets in innings in which bowlers did take the new ball, click here. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy Anderson is top of that one with 606.
Robin Uthappa has played for six different IPL teams. Is this a record? And who has played for the most different teams in T20 matches? asked Shrinath Desai from India
The attacking Indian batter Robin Uthappa has indeed played for six different IPL teams, starting with Mumbai Indians in 2008, before making his debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009, Pune Warriors in 2011, Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014 and Rajasthan Royals in 2020, then joined Chennai Super Kings for 2021. He's one of six who have played for six different IPL teams, the others being Dinesh Karthik, Thisara Perera, Parthiv Patel, Ishant Sharma and Yuvraj Singh. There are also three men - Moises Henriques, Irfan Pathan and Steve Smith - who played for five IPL teams and were in the squad of another without getting on the field for them.
But the clear leader in this category is the Australian Aaron Finch, who has played for eight different teams: Rajasthan Royals (starting in 2009), Delhi Daredevils (2011), Pune Warriors (2013), Sunrisers Hyderabad (2014), Mumbai Indians (2015), Gujarat Lions (2016), Kings XI Punjab (2018) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (2020).
Overall, Thisara Perera has played for 32 different teams in senior T20 matches. Chris Gayle has turned out for 26, Shahid Afridi 25, Shoaib Malik 24, and Wahab Riaz 23.
Thanks to Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team for his help with some of this week's questions.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes