Ask Steven

Did Mohammad Rizwan make the highest World Cup score by a wicketkeeper?

And how many times has a World Cup innings featured three centurions?

The Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match had four centurions, the first instance of this happening in a World Cup  ICC via Getty Images

There were four centuries in the World Cup match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. How often has this happened? And how often has a team managed two hundreds but lost? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
In the World Cup match in Hyderabad, Sri Lanka's total of 344, in which Kusal Mendis made 122 and Sadeera Samarawickrama 108, was trumped by Pakistan, for whom Abdullah Shafique hit 113 and Mohammad Rizwan 131 not out.

Loading ...

This was only the third one-day international to include four individual centuries, and neither of the others were at the World Cup: Pakistan vs Australia in Lahore in 1998-99, and India vs Australia in Nagpur in 2013-14.

In addition to the three instances mentioned above, there have been 29 cases of a team losing an ODI despite two men scoring centuries. The only other one in the World Cup was at Trent Bridge in 2019, when England lost to Pakistan (for whom Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 84) despite hundreds from Joe Root and Jos Buttler.

Litton Das was out to the first ball of Bangladesh's World Cup match against New Zealand. How often has this happened? asked Hossain Ayoob from Bangladesh
The Bangladesh opener Litton Das gave a catch - Trent Boult's 199th wicket in one-day internationals - off the first ball of the match against New Zealand in Chennai last week.

Litton provided the 86th instance of a batter departing to the first ball of a men's one-day international; the full list includes a few instances where the dismissal came from the first legitimate delivery after wides or no-balls.

However, Litton was only the seventh man to fall to the first legal delivery of a World Cup match. The first was the New Zealander John Wright, against Australia in Auckland in the first match 1992 (the game started with two wides from Craig McDermott). Since then it's happened to Hannan Sarkar, for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka in Pietermaritzburg in 2003, when Chaminda Vaas began the match with a hat-trick and four wickets in the opening over; Ed Joyce, for England vs New Zealand in St Lucia in 2007 (James Franklin started with a no-ball); Brendan Taylor, for Zimbabwe vs Canada in Nagpur in 2011 (lbw to Khurram Chohan); Martin Guptill, for New Zealand vs West Indies at Old Trafford in 2019 (lbw to Sheldon Cottrell); and Dimuth Karunaratne, for Sri Lanka vs South Africa in Chester-le-Street, also in 2019 (the bowler was Kagiso Rabada).

Just to make it worse for Litton Das, it was his birthday! He was the 25th man to be dismissed for a duck in an ODI on his birthday, but only the third in the World Cup, after Ian Bell (England against Bangladesh in Bridgetown in 2007) and Shahid Afridi (Pakistan vs Zimbabwe in Brisbane in 2015). Five of the 25 were golden ducks - and the list also includes Makhaya Ntini, who was run-out without facing for South Africa vs Sri Lanka in Galle on July 6, 2000, his 23rd birthday.

Liam Livingstone was out first ball in England's World Cup match against Bangladesh, but made up for it by taking a wicket with the first ball he bowled. Has this happened before? asked Trevor Hinch from Australia
This answer comes with a familiar health warning: we don't have much ball-by-ball data for the men's World Cups prior to 1999. But Liam Livingstone's feat of a golden duck (bowled by Shoriful Islam) and a first-ball wicket (Towhid Hridoy caught behind), against Bangladesh in Dharamsala last week, has happened at least once before in a World Cup.

In Auckland in March 2015, the Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz was dismissed by the first ball he faced, from the South Africa legspinner Imran Tahir. But he made up for it later by having Hashim Amla caught behind off his opening delivery.

In the famous semi-final against Australia at Edgbaston in 1999, South Africa's Allan Donald dismissed Darren Lehmann with the first ball he bowled, but was later run-out without facing in the spectacular climax to the match, which ended in a tie.

The ESPNcricinfo database, which includes most men's ODIs from 2001, throws up 13 further instances in other one-day internationals. There are likely to be a few more early cases that we don't know about for sure.

Gary Kirsten's 188 against UAE is the highest score by a player on World Cup debut  Getty Images

Was Devon Conway's 152 the highest score by a player in his first World Cup match? asked Ollie Patterson from New Zealand
The New Zealand opener Devon Conway was the 16th man to score a century on World Cup debut; he was followed in the same innings by his team-mate Rachin Ravindra, and a few days later by Pakistan's Abdullah Shafique.

Conway's unbeaten 152 against England in Ahmedabad in the first match of this year's tournament was the fourth-highest score on World Cup debut. The list is headed by South Africa's Gary Kirsten, who made 188 not out in his first match, against United Arab Emirates in Rawalpindi in 1996. Craig Wishart of Zimbabwe hit 172 not out against Namibia in Harare in 2003, while on the very first day of World Cup cricket - June 7, 1975 - Glenn Turner amassed 171 not out for New Zealand against East Africa at Edgbaston.

Did Mohammad Rizwan make the highest World Cup score by a wicketkeeper? asked Zeeshan Ali Ahmad from Pakistan
Mohammad Rizwan's unbeaten 131 against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad last week was the 20th World Cup century by a wicketkeeper (Quinton de Kock added the 21st two days later). Five of those were scored by Kumar Sangakkara.

At the time of writing, Rizwan's innings was the sixth-highest by a wicketkeeper in a World Cup match. Top of the list is Adam Gilchrist's 149 for Australia in the 2007 final against Sri Lanka in Bridgetown. Sri Lanka were on the receiving end of the second-highest, as well: Rahul Dravid made 145 for India in Taunton in 1999 .

Kusal Mendis made 122 for Sri Lanka before Rizwan's fine knock in Hyderabad. It's the first time both designated keepers have made centuries in the same World Cup match - but that stat should come with an asterisk attached, as Mendis did not actually keep wicket after his exertions, handing the gloves instead to Sadeera Samarawickrama for the whole of Pakistan's innings.

Rizwan's score was the highest by a Pakistan wicketkeeper in the World Cup. Their only other century was Sarfaraz Ahmed's unbeaten 101 against Ireland in Adelaide in March 2015.

Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.

Litton DasLiam LivingstoneDevon ConwayMohammad RizwanBangladeshPakistanNew ZealandEnglandBangladesh vs New ZealandSri Lanka vs PakistanEngland vs BangladeshEngland vs New ZealandICC Cricket World Cup

Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes