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Ask Steven

Who holds the record for the most runs on a single ground in a calendar year?

And has any other batter bettered Chris Gayle's 15 Test hundreds on 15 different grounds?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
No other batter has more than Sikandar Raza's 753 runs on one ground - Harare - in a single calendar year  •  Associated Press

No other batter has more than Sikandar Raza's 753 runs on one ground - Harare - in a single calendar year  •  Associated Press

Essex needed 98 to beat Lancashire the other day, but were all out for 59. What's the lowest target never achieved in a County Championship match? asked Colin Bezant from England
Although Essex's collapse in that remarkable match in Chelmsford last week was very striking, overall it was well down the list of the smallest targets not achieved. There have been over 150 smaller ones, the lowest recognised by the Association of Cricket Statisticians being 41, when MCC were all out for 34 against Oldfield (a team from Berkshire) at the original Lord's Ground in 1794. Rather more recently, Border, set 42, were bowled out for 34 by Eastern Province in a low-scoring Currie Cup match in South Africa in East London in 1946-47.
The lowest in the English County Championship is Lancashire's inability to reach 57 in the Roses match against Yorkshire at Old Trafford in 1893; they were bowled out for 51. The Test record is England's failure to score the 85 required to beat Australia at The Oval in 1882, in the exciting match that spawned the Ashes; with Fred "the Demon" Spofforth taking 7 for 44, they were all out for 77.
Is it right that Sikandar Raza broke the record for most runs on one ground during 2022? Who held the record before him? asked Suresh Dhani from India
Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza scored 753 international runs at the Harare Sports Club during 2022 - 540 in nine one-day internationals (including three centuries), and 213 in six T20Is. The previous record for one ground in a calendar year was 738 by Pakistan's Zaheer Abbas, in Lahore in 1982; his total was made up of 401 in three Tests, with 215 against India and 134 against Sri Lanka, plus 337 in three ODIs, in each of which he scored a century.
Not far behind come Sachin Tendulkar (709 in Sharjah in 1998), Shakib Al Hasan (703 in Mirpur in 2010) and the Flower brothers, on different grounds at home in Zimbabwe in 2001: Grant scored 699 in Bulawayo, while Andy made 676 in Harare.
What's the highest number of bowlers to take a wicket in a Test innings - and ODIs and T20s? asked Monte Christopher Candappa from Sri Lanka
The record in a Test innings is seven different bowlers taking a wicket, which has happened four times now. The first was by all seven bowlers tried by England against Australia in Melbourne in 1897-98, while the most recent instance came in Centurion in 2005-06, when seven New Zealanders took wickets in South Africa's second innings. The record for different bowlers taking a wicket in a Test is 13, which has also happened four times.
In one-day internationals, the record is also seven, which has happened eight times now, most recently by USA in their tie against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby earlier this month. That was the first ODI in which 13 different bowlers took a wicket; for that list, click here.
There have been four T20Is in which seven bowlers have taken a wicket in an innings, and just two which featured 12 different bowlers with wickets in the match - Bangladesh (5) vs Zimbabwe (7) in Khulna in 2006-07, and New Zealand (6) vs England (6) in Auckland in 2007-08.
Chris Gayle scored 15 Test hundreds, all on different grounds. Is this the record for Tests? And what's the most in ODIs? asked Elamaran Perumal from the United States
Chris Gayle's 15 centuries on 15 different grounds is easily a record for Tests. Australia's Simon Katich comes next, with ten, while Ted Dexter of England, New Zealand's Stephen Fleming and Navjot Sidhu of India all scored nine hundreds on nine different grounds.
The record for one-day internationals is ten centuries on ten different grounds, currently shared by Matthew Hayden of Australia, the West Indian Marlon Samuels, and England's Jos Buttler. They are followed by Michael Clarke with eight, and Mohammad Azharuddin (seven).
I noticed that England had a lead of 563 in a Test in 1930 but didn't enforce the follow-on. Have there been any higher instances than this in all first-class cricket? asked Richie Edwards from Australia
England's captain Freddie Calthorpe preferred to bat again despite a lead of 563 (849 vs 286) against West Indies in Kingston in 1929-30. His thinking was that it was a timeless Test - but it didn't do him much good, as West Indies, set the little matter of 836 to win, had reached 408 for 5 by the end of the seventh day. It then rained for two days, and the match had to be left drawn as the England side needed to catch the boat home.
That's the Test record - next comes the Ashes Test in Brisbane in 2006-07, when Australia batted again despite a lead of 445. But there have been two bigger leads in all first-class matches where the follow-on was waived. In Savar in Bangladesh in 2013-14, Dhaka (756 for 5 declared) declined to make Rajshahi (178) bat again despite leading by 578, and that record was broken in a Ranji Trophy match in Kolkata in 2021-22, when Jharkhand (880) batted again even though they led Nagaland (289) by 591 runs on first innings. By the end of the match Jharkhand had 417 for 6 in their second innings, so led by 1008.
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