Ask Steven

Who has the most Test wickets without dismissing the same man twice?

And who is the youngest batter to make a first-class double-hundred?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
29-Mar-2022
Kraigg Brathwaite prepares to bowl, New Zealand vs West Indies, 1st Test, Hamilton, 1st day, December 3, 2020

Kraigg Brathwaite has never dismissed the same batter twice in his 25 wickets in Tests  •  David Rowland  /  AFP/Getty Images

Kraigg Brathwaite now has 25 Test wickets, with each one being a different batter. Who has the most Test wickets without dismissing the same man twice? asked Lachlan McBeath from Australia
That's a nice easy one, as those 25 different wickets by Kraigg Brathwaite is the Test record. Next comes Mohammad Ashraful, whose 21 wickets for Bangladesh were all different people. The Sri Lankan left-arm seamer Sajeewa de Silva follows him with 16, one more than the Surrey and England pair of Gareth Batty and Mark Butcher.
In all international cricket, Ashraful took 47 wickets, again without ever dismissing the same batter twice. He's well clear of a trio on 28 - Dillon Heyliger of Canada, Oman's Fayyaz Butt, and Mark Jonkman of the Netherlands.
When was the first-ever first-class match? asked Simon Duke from England
The match that the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians considers to be the inaugural first-class fixture was played 250 years ago this year: on Broadhalfpenny Down in Hambledon, Hampshire beat "England" by 53 runs in a two-day game that started on June 24, 1772. John Small, one of the game's first notable batters, made 78 for Hampshire; the might of England managed only one run more between them in their second innings. Three years later, also at Hambledon, Small made what is now recognised as the maiden first-class century - 138 for Hampshire against Surrey.
Both captains scored 150s in the Bridgetown Test - how rare is this? asked Ahson Atif from India
That double by Joe Root (153) and Kraigg Brathwaite (160) in the second Test in Bridgetown was the eighth time both captains had made a score of 150 or more in the same Test. The first such double was at Old Trafford in 1964, when Bob Simpson amassed 311 for Australia and Ted Dexter responded with 174 for England. The most recent instance before last week came in Abu Dhabi in March 2021, when Asghar Afghan made 164 for Afghanistan and Sean Williams 151 not out for Zimbabwe.
Has there been an ODI innings in which all 11 players made it into double figures? asked Mahesh Siddique from India
Unlike in Tests (15 instances so far), there hasn't yet been a one-day international innings in which everyone reached double figures. There are four cases of ten getting there. When West Indies made 246 against Australia in Bridgetown in 1990-91, everyone reached double figures except last man Courtney Walsh, who was out for 4. Pakistan's 259 for 9 against West Indies in Dhaka in 1998-99 included ten double-figure scores, plus 4 from Shahid Afridi, who opened. When Zimbabwe scored 262 against India in Rajkot in 2000-01, last man Brian Murphy was out for 1. And Robin Uthappa also made 1 as India totalled 275 against Pakistan in Jaipur in 2007-08.
There have also been two innings in men's ODIs that included no double-figure scores at all. When Zimbabwe slipped to 35 all out against Sri Lanka in Harare in April 2004, the highest score was 7, by Dion Ebrahim and Mr Extras. (That was a record low for ODIs at the time, since equalled by the USA against Nepal in Kirtipur in February 2020; Xavier Marshall made 16 of those.) And when Canada slumped to 36 all out - the lowest World Cup total - against Sri Lanka in Paarl in 2003, the highest contributions were a pair of 9s, by opener Desmond Chumney and skipper Joe Harris.
A couple more thoughts about that Ranji Trophy runfest between Jharkhand and Nagaland, that was mentioned in last week's column. Kumar Kushagra, who is only 17, scored 266. And Sushant Mishra bagged a pair despite his team amassing more than a thousand runs. Were either of these records? asked Shreyal Bose and Divyanand Valsan from India
Both of these things were records, depending on how you define them. At 17, Kumar Kushagra was the sixth youngest to score a first-class double-century - Hasan Raza, whose age is disputed, was reportedly only 15 when he scored 204 not out for Karachi Whites against Bahawalpur in Karachi in 1997-98. The others were Ijaz Ahmed (16 in 1984-85), and 17-year-olds Reetinder Sodhi (1997-98), Ambati Rayudu (2002-03) and Johann Myburgh (1997-98). But none of those younger than Kushagra made it to 250, so he is the youngest to reach that particular milestone.
The unfortunate Sushant Mishra collected a four-ball pair in the match in Kolkata, despite his side piling up 1297 runs in all. The only other man to bag a pair of ducks in a match in which his side scored more than 1000 runs did it in a Test: the Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria, while his side amassed 1078 runs against India in Faisalabad in 2005-06.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes