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Ask Steven

Does Chris Gayle have the best career strike rate in the IPL?

And who has faced the most dot balls before getting off the mark in an IPL chase?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
15-May-2023
Two West Indies players have the highest career strikes rates in the IPL - Andre Russell (left) with 174.67 and Sunil Narine with 160.03  •  BCCI

Two West Indies players have the highest career strikes rates in the IPL - Andre Russell (left) with 174.67 and Sunil Narine with 160.03  •  BCCI

Who's got the best IPL strike rate overall - is it still Chris Gayle? asked Mumtaz Patel from India
As I write, Chris Gayle sits ninth on this particular list (among batters who have faced at least 500 balls), with a strike rate of 148.96 in all IPL matches, fractionally ahead of Jos Buttler (148.59) and just behind Yashasvi Jaiswal (149.20). But a West Indian does lead the way: Andre Russell has scored 2255 runs from 1291 balls, at an eye-watering strike rate of 174.67. Another West Indian lies second, although he might not be the one you were expecting: Sunil Narine has rattled along at a rate of 160.03. Next come Glenn Maxwell (157.42), Nicholas Pooran (156.16) and Virender Sehwag (155.44).
Harry Tector made his fourth ODI century for Ireland the other day - and finished on the losing side for the fourth time. Can anyone beat this unfortunate record? asked Gary Murphy from Ireland
The exciting Ireland batter Harry Tector - he's still only 23 - hit 140 against Bangladesh in Chelmsford last week. It was his fourth ODI century, but Ireland have indeed lost all four of those matches.
Tector is in pretty good company: the only other batters to score four ODI centuries and lose all four matches are Robin Smith of England and Zimbabwe's Andy Flower.
No one yet has lost the first four ODIs in which they scored centuries and then made another in a win. There is a near miss, though: England did not win any of the first four matches in which Kevin Pietersen made a hundred, but one of them was tied. Pietersen went on to score nine ODI centuries in all, and England won four of those matches.
Against Sunrisers on May 13, Kyle Mayers did not score until the 11th ball he faced. Was this a record for an IPL chase? asked Abhijeet Dongra from India
The innings you're talking about was by the West Indian Kyle Mayers for Lucknow Super Giants against Sunrisers in Hyderabad last week. Mayers was out for 2 from 14 balls, but LSG still won.
This appears to be only the fifth time a batter has faced ten dot balls before getting off the mark in an IPL chase. The Australian Shane Watson actually did it twice in successive matches for Chennai Super Kings - against Sunrisers in Mumbai in the 2018 final (he finished with 117 not out as CSK romped home), and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai in the opening match of 2019.
The first to do it was Dhawal Kulkarni, for Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab in Mohali in 2008. And Yuzvendra Chahal followed suit for RCB against CSK in Mumbai in 2021. Kulkarni and Chahal were down at No. 10 in lost causes; the others were opening.
Who has scored the most Test centuries in England? asked Richard Caldwell from England
I don't remember much fuss being made at the time, but this is a record that changed hands last year: Joe Root's 176 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge was his 16th Test hundred in England, passing the old mark of 15, and Root later added another against India at Edgbaston, so currently has 17. Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, Graham Gooch and Kevin Pietersen all made 15 in England (and Wales).
The leading overseas player is Don Bradman, who made 11 Test centuries in England, in only 19 matches. Steve Waugh comes next with seven.
Cook still leads the way for Test runs in England, with 6568; Root is third with 5624, not far behind Gooch (5917).
How many England Test cricketers are there with an X in their surname? asked John Cooke from Cornwall
There are only five male England Test cricketers whose surname contains an X. The most famous of them is the former captain Ted Dexter, who won 62 caps. Of the others, the first was the Surrey fast bowler Neville Knox, who played two Tests in 1907; he was followed by the Yorkshire seamer Alec Coxon (one cap in 1948), Northamptonshire opener Roger Prideaux (three caps in 1968 and 1968-69) and the Yorkshire batter Martyn Moxon (ten caps in the 1980s).
If you include white-ball internationals as well, the Leicestershire wicketkeeper Paul Nixon made 20 appearances for England in a four-month period from January 2007 that included a 50-over World Cup.
No women with an X in their surname have played for England, although there is a case for another Prideaux - Ruth Westbrook won 11 Test caps between 1957 and 1963 before marrying Roger.
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