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Ask Steven

Which players have appeared in the most World Cup finals?

And has any team made more than England's 170 to win a T20I by ten wickets?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Alyssa Healy has appeared in seven World Cup finals  •  Getty Images

Alyssa Healy has appeared in seven World Cup finals  •  Getty Images

Ben Stokes has now played in three World Cup finals - is that the most for England? And who's played the most all told? asked Richard Baker from England
Ben Stokes has now appeared in three World Cup finals - one of 50 overs and two T20s - and has played a central role in each. He's one of five England players to have played in three, after Graham Gooch (two of 50 overs and one of 60, all lost), Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan and Adil Rashid.
In all, 26 men have played in three World Cup finals, and four in four. But a distinguished quartet of Sri Lankans lead the way with five final appearances: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga and Kumar Sangakkara all appeared in the 50-over finals of 2007 and 2011, and in the T20 in 2009, 2012 and 2014.
In women's World Cups, three Australians have played in seven finals. Alyssa Healy has appeared in six in T20s (between 2010 and 2021), to go with the 2022 50-over World Cup, in which she hammered a record 170 in the final; she has an unrivalled collection of six winners' medals. Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry have both played in two 50-over and five T20 World Cup finals.
England scored 170 without loss to beat India last week. Was this the highest score to win a T20I by ten wickets? asked Kris McKenzie from England
England's 170 for 0 to overhaul India in last week's semi-final in Adelaide was a record for the T20 World Cup - it beat Pakistan's 152 for 0, also against India, in Dubai in October 2021.
But there have been two higher totals to win by ten wickets in all T20Is. The record was set only about six weeks ago: Pakistan scored 203 for 0 to defeat England (199 for 5) in Karachi in late September. The previous record was New Zealand's 171 for 0 to defeat Pakistan (168 for 7) in Hamilton in January 2016.
Gibraltar, batting first, scored 213 for 0 against Bulgaria in Marsa (Malta) in May 2022, and won by 21 runs.
I was admiring Jim Laker's performances in the 1956 Ashes. In five successive innings, he took 34 wickets - is this the overall record? asked James Harrison from England
The England offspinner Jim Laker holds the record for the most wickets in two successive Test innings (19, all Old Trafford in 1956), three innings (25 wickets) and four (30; he had taken 5 for 58 and 6 for 55 in the previous Test against Australia, at Headingley).
Laker then took 4 for 80 in the first innings of the fifth Test at The Oval, to give him 34 wickets in five successive Test innings, which equalled another Surrey bowler, George Lohmann, in South Africa in 1895-96. He took 7 for 38 and 8 for 7 in Port Elizabeth, 9 for 28 and 3 for 43 in Johannesburg, and 7 for 42 in Cape Town.
Laker took three wickets and Lohmann one in the sixth innings of their sequence, but have to give way to Sydney Barnes, who proved almost unplayable for England against South Africa in 1913-14. Barnes, who had already taken ten wickets in the first Test of the series, collected 8 for 56 and 9 for 103 in Johannesburg, 3 for 26 and 5 for 102 in the next match, also in Johannesburg, and 7 for 56 and 7 for 88 in what turned out to be his final match, in Durban, giving him 39 wickets in his last six innings, and a record 49 in the series.
Shakib Al Hasan scored a century and took ten wickets in a Test in Bangladesh in 2014 - how many others have done this? asked Masud Hasan from Bangladesh
Shakib Al Hasan followed an innings of 137 with 5 for 80 and 5 for 44 as Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 162 runs in Khulna in 2014-15. Shakib was only the third man to score a century and take ten or more wickets in the same Test, as this list shows.
England's Ian Botham hit 114 in between taking 6 for 58 and 7 for 48 against India in Bombay in 1979-80, and Imran Khan made 117 and took 6 for 98 and 5 for 82 while captaining Pakistan against India in Faisalabad in 1982-83. The only other man to achieve the "match double" of 100 runs and ten wickets was Alan Davidson, with 80, 5 for 135, 44 and 6 for 87 against West Indies in the tied Test in Brisbane in 1960-61.
All the above gentlemen were preceded in women's Tests by Australia's Betty Wilson, who had scarcely credible figures of 7 for 7 and 4 for 9 to go with her 112 against England at St Kilda in Melbourne in 1957-58. She was followed in 1979 by 38-year-old Enid Bakewell, who carried her bat for 112 not out in England's second innings (having scored 68 in the first) and took 3 for 14 and 7 for 61 against West Indies at Edgbaston.
Victoria were shot out for 63 the other day. Was this their lowest in the Sheffield Shield? asked Marcus Corbett from Australia
Victoria's 63 against Queensland at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane last week was actually their fourth-lowest in the Sheffield Shield. They were skittled for 31 in 1906-07 and 35 in 1926-27, both times by New South Wales in Sydney, and for 43 by South Australia in Melbourne in 1895-96. None of those three lower totals was the first innings of the match, though.
Victoria were 47 for 8 at lunch on the first day in Brisbane, their worst-ever start to a match. But it wasn't quite a record for the domestic competition: in Sydney in 2004-05, South Australia were bowled out for 29 in 14.4 overs by New South Wales, who had scored 12 for 0 themselves by lunch. They went on to a total of 430, and won by an innings.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes