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Ask Steven

Dhoni's epic innings, and a Melbourne triple

The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch

Mahendra Singh Dhoni carved the Sri Lankan attack at Jaipur, scoring an unbeaten 183 off a mere 145 balls © The Cricketer
The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket. This week we had a record number of queries about Mahendra Singh Dhoni's innings:
Was MS Dhoni's innings last week the highest in the second innings of a one-day international? asked Y Ravikumar from India, and many others
Yes, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 183 not out against Sri Lanka at Jaipur last week was indeed the highest individual score for a side batting second in a one-day international. The previous record was 153, by Brian Lara for West Indies against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final at Sharjah in 1993-94. Sanath Jayasuriya made an unbeaten 151 - out of 229 for 6 - as Sri Lanka beat India at Mumbai in 1996-97. For more on this record see our column The List from last week.
Have both wicketkeepers ever scored centuries in the same ODI before? asked Selva Nesan from New Zealand, and even more others
That's a nice easy one: no, there has never been an instance before of both wicketkeepers scoring centuries in the same ODI, as Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara did at Jaipur.
Kumar Sangakkara had his pads on for the entire match at Jaipur - has this happened before? asked Norman Belton from Chichester
Sangakkara became only the third Sri Lankan, after Roshan Mahanama and Marvan Atapattu, to bat right through an entire ODI innings. Overall it has now happened on 70 occasions. The first man to do it and keep wicket in the same game was Andy Flower, for Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka at New Plymouth in the 1991-92 World Cup - it was Flower's debut, too. Zimbabwe were not bowled out in that game, but the batsmen in the two subsequent instances really did carry their bat through a completed innings, as their sides were all out: Ridley Jacobs, for West Indies against Australia at Old Trafford in the 1999 World Cup, and Alec Stewart, for England against West Indies at Trent Bridge in 2000. For a full list of those who have batted right through an ODI innings, click here.
MS Dhoni hit ten sixes in his innings - is this a record? asked Naveen Prasad from Chennai
This was one record Dhoni didn't quite break: his ten sixes at Jaipur was just one short of the ODI record of 11, set by Sanath Jayasuriya during his rapid hundred for Sri Lanka against Pakistan at Singapore in April 96, and equalled later the same year by Shahid Afridi, in his even faster century for Pakistan against Sri Lanka at Nairobi. Dhoni did break an associated record, though - he also smacked 15 fours, and his 120 runs in boundaries is a new record for an ODI innings, beating the 118 of Saeed Anwar (Pakistan v India at Chennai, 1996-97) and Lou Vincent (New Zealand v Zimbabwe at Bulawayo in August 2005). For a full list of the most sixes in an ODI innings, click here.
We are having the Commonwealth Games here in Melbourne in March. Has any other city hosted these, the Olympics, and cricket Tests too? asked Janelle Hopkins from St Kilda
Well, there are two other cities that have - and one of them isn't very far away from you. Sydney staged the Commonwealth Games (then called the Empire Games) in 1938 and the Olympics in 2000, as well as 93 Test matches since 1881-82. Melbourne has currently staged 97 Tests, and the Olympic Games were held there in 1956. The other city this applies to is London, which staged the Olympics in 1908 and 1948, and the second Empire Games in 1934, to go with 110 Tests at Lord's and 88 at The Oval. The other cities to have staged the Commonwealth Games and Test cricket (but not the Olympics yet) are Auckland, Brisbane, Christchurch, Kingston (Jamaica), Manchester and Perth.
I've got two questions: who made the highest score on debut in a Test? And I know Denis Compton played football and cricket for England, but has anyone ever had the honour of captaining in both? asked Richard Burt
Coincidentally, the answer to both your questions is the same. The highest individual score on Test debut is 287, by RE "Tip" Foster for England against Australia at Sydney in 1903-04. Four other people have scored a double-century on Test debut (click here for a complete list). And Foster captained England in three Tests against South Africa in 1907, five years after he skippered the England football team against Wales. Denis Compton, by the way, is not usually included on the list of double internationals: his only football appearances for England were in wartime matches that don't count in the official records.
Steven Lynch is the deputy editor of The Wisden Group. For some of these answers he was helped by Travis Basevi, the man who built Stats Guru and the Wisden Wizard. If you want to Ask Steven a question, contact him through our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.