Ask Steven

Eight off one ball, and six ducks all in a row

Three successive hundreds, most runs between dismissals, and definitive all-round performances in ODIs

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch

Run like hell: Symonds ran four and got four overthrows as a bonus - all off one ball in the Brisbane Test © Getty Images
How many times have eight runs been scored off a single ball in Test cricket, as Andrew Symonds managed in the first Test against New Zealand? asked Karen Herring from Australia
Andrew Symonds managed this rare feat in Brisbane with an all-run four plus four overthrows off the unfortunate New Zealand bowler Iain O'Brien, who had had Symonds dropped the previous ball (he did get him out shortly afterwards, though). Charlie Wat's exhaustive statistical tome Test Cricket Lists gives three previous instances of eight being scored off one ball. The first one was in Melbourne in 1928-29 - the final Test of Don Bradman's first series - when England's Patsy Hendren also collected four overthrows after an all-run four off the Australian debutant Percy Hornibrook. The next known instance was also in Melbourne, in 1980-81: this time it was New Zealand's John Wright who benefited from four overthrows (by Rod Marsh, who collected a fielder's return and hurled it at the stumps) after an all-run four off an unamused Lenny Pascoe. The other eight occurred in Port-of-Spain in 2004-05, when Brian Lara glanced a ball from the South African slow left-armer Nicky Boje for three. The wicketkeeper, Mark Boucher, ran after the ball and threw it back in, but his return hit a fielder's helmet on the ground, so he incurred five penalty runs, making eight in all off that delivery. The five runs would previously have been credited to Lara, but after a recent rule change they went down as penalty extras. Lara probably cursed the lawmakers - he was out later for 196.
Is the six consecutive ducks by Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka recently an ODI record? asked Trevor Landers from Finland
Those six successive ducks by Zimbabwe in last week's match against Sri Lanka in Harare was indeed a first for one-day internationals. There had been three previous instances of six ducks in an ODI innings, but they were not successive batsmen on the scorecard. The first occasion was at Edgbaston in 1987, when Pakistan's respectable total of 213 for 9 rather surprisingly included six scoreless innings. It happened to Pakistan again, in Cape Town in 1992-93 when their disastrous 43 all out against West Indies included six ducks (five of them consecutive batsmen on the scorecard). Finally South Africa's 106 all out against Australia in Sydney in 2001-02 also included six dismissals for nought. For a full list showing the most ducks in an ODI innings, click here.
Yuvraj Singh made centuries in successive innings against England. Has anyone ever managed three or more? asked Rajan Bhatia from the United States
Three players have scored centuries in three successive innings in one-day internationals. The first to do it was Pakistan's Zaheer Abbas, with 118, 105 and 113 in consecutive matches against India at home in 1982-83. Another elegant Pakistani, Saeed Anwar, made 107, 131 and 107 in successive innings in Sharjah in 1993-94, the first and third hundreds being against Sri Lanka and the middle one against West Indies. And finally Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa made 116 (against Kenya) and 116 not out (against India) in the Champions Trophy in Colombo in 2002-03, and added 153 in his next innings, against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom.
Yuvraj scored 256 runs against England before he was dismissed. Is this a record? asked Hari Prasad from India
The ODI record for runs between dismissals (a record which in Tests belongs to Sachin Tendulkar) is 405, by Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf. In successive innings against Zimbabwe late in 2002 he scored 141*, 76*, 100* and 88. He just sneaked past the previous record of 400, set by South Africa's Lance Klusener in 1999, when he had a remarkable run of undefeated innings - 103*, 35*, 13* and 35* against New Zealand, then 12*, 52*, 48*, 52* and 46* in the World Cup in England, before finally being dismissed for 4.
Who has played the most consecutive one-day internationals for his country without missing one? asked Dennis Clarke from Southampton
This record is another one that's held by Sachin Tendulkar, who played 185 successive one-day internationals for India between April 1990 and April 1998. Second on the list is Andy Flower, who played 172 consecutive matches for Zimbabwe from his debut in 1991-92 until finally missing one in 2001. South Africa's Hansie Cronje, with 162 in a row between September 1993 and March 2000, is the only other man with a run of more than 150 successive matches: eight further players have managed more than 100. For a full list, click here.
Has anyone ever taken five wickets and scored a century in the same ODI? asked Ronak Punjabi
There have been nearly 3000 one-day internationals played now, and this particular all-round feat has only ever been managed twice. The first instance came in 1986-87, when Viv Richards followed his 119 for West Indies against New Zealand in Dunedin with 5 for 41. It happened again at Trent Bridge in 2005, when England's Paul Collingwood made 112 not out against Bangladesh and then took 6 for 31. For a list of those who have scored a century and taken four wickets in the same ODI, click here.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket (reviewed here)