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Ask Steven

Eight centurions in a summer, and five left-armers

Steven Lynch answers more of your questions

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
09-Aug-2004
The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:


One of the eight: Andrew Flintoff © Getty Images
Andrew Flintoff has just become the eighth English batsman to score a century this summer. Is this the most from one side to score centuries in one summer here? asked Geoff Cooke from Lincoln
Yes it is: the previous record for an English summer was seven different century-makers, by England in four Tests in 1938 (Charles Barnett, Denis Compton, Wally Hammond, Joe Hardstaff, Len Hutton, Maurice Leyland and Eddie Paynter), over seven matches in 2002 (Mark Butcher, John Crawley, Nasser Hussain, Alec Stewart, Graham Thorpe, Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan), and Australia in six Tests in 1993 (David Boon, Allan Border, Ian Healy, Michael Slater, Mark Taylor, Mark Waugh and Steve Waugh). So far this season, with two Tests still to play, the following eight players have reached three figures for England: Flintoff, Hussain, Geraint Jones, Robert Key, Andrew Strauss, Thorpe, Trescothick and Vaughan.
There were five left-arm bowlers on display in the final of the Asia Cup. Is this a record for a one-day international? asked several people
The record turns out to be seven left-arm bowlers in the same game, between India and Sri Lanka at Sharjah in 2000-01. The bowlers concerned were Zaheer Khan, Sunil Joshi, Sridharan Sriram and Yuvraj Singh for India, and Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa and Sanath Jayasuriya for Sri Lanka.
I noticed that the top ten individual scores in one-day internationals have all been made in the first innings of the match. Who holds the record for the highest individual score in the second innings? asked Rahul Kulkarni from Mumbai
That's a good spot: in fact the 19 highest individual scores in one-day internationals have come in the first innings of the match. The highest scorer in the second innings is Brian Lara, with 153 for West Indies against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final at Sharjah in 1993-94. Lara is also third on this particular list, with 146 not out against New Zealand at Port-of-Spain in 1995-96. Second is Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya, with 151 not out against India at Mumbai in 1996-97.
There's a table in an article about Steve Harmison in the August edition of The Wisden Cricketer that shows the most wickets by an England fast bowler after 19 Tests. On top is Sydney Barnes, with 112 - is this a record for all bowlers from all countries after 19 Tests? asked George Osborne
It is - just. The Australian legspinner Clarrie Grimmett was only three behind, taking 109 wickets in his first 19 Tests. Andy Roberts, of West Indies, is next with 102. A more mainstream statistic is the most wickets in a player's first 20 Tests: Sydney Barnes (who took ten wickets in his 20th Test to make it 122 wickets) here stretches his lead over Grimmett (112). The following bowlers all took 100 or more wickets in their first 20 Tests: Wes Hall, Erapalli Prasanna, Andy Roberts and Alf Valentine (all 103), Waqar Younis (102), Bill O'Reilly and Bobby Peel (101), Ian Botham and Maurice Tate (100). Three other bowlers took 100 wickets but didn't play in 20 Tests: George Lohmann (112 wickets in 18 matches), Charles "Terror" Turner (101 from 17) and Colin Blythe (100 from 19).
Which Test side has the highest cumulative number of Test wickets between them? Is it one of the recent Australian sides - Warne, McGrath and Gillespie have over 1100 wickets between them - or one of the West Indies sides from the 1980s? asked Steven Prescott from London
As you suspect, it's the current Australian side. The team which drew with Sri Lanka at Cairns recently had taken 1270 wickets between them at the start of the match. But the first Test team to boast 1000 Test wickets between them - and the only one so far other than recent Australian teams - was Pakistan's against West Indies at St John's in 1999-2000. That team, which included Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed, had a combined total of 1002 wickets between them at the start of the match.
There was an interesting article in the Lord's Test programme by John Woodcock, who said he was sure there used to be a station on the corner farthest from the pavilion, but it wasn't there now. My father also thinks there was one - what happened to it? asked Andrew Cowton from Cheltenham
Well, this is slightly out of my normal field, but as it happens I do know about it: there was once a station on the corner of St John's Wood Road and Wellington Road, opposite the big church, and much nearer to Lord's Ground than St John's Wood station now is. The old station, which was originally called St John's Wood Road and eventually renamed just as Lord's, was on the Metropolitan Line. It opened in 1868, but was closed in 1939 when the new Bakerloo Line opened. The new line included the current St John's Wood station and one at Swiss Cottage. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Line stations at Lord's, Marlborough Road (not far up the main road from where the current St John's Wood station is) and Swiss Cottage were closed, giving the engines a free run to Finchley Road station. Railway passengers can still make out the remnants of the platforms of the old Lord's station, just as the trains from Marylebone and Baker Street enter the tunnel under the hotel which now stands on that corner. And the Marlborough Road station building, the last time I looked, was a Chinese restaurant.
Steven Lynch is editor of Wisden Cricinfo. 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, e-mail him at asksteven@cricinfo.com. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.