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Ask Steven

Has any side made more than Ireland's 492 in a Test and still lost by an innings?

Also: have any non-openers scored double-centuries in ODIs?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
02-May-2023
Indian fielders begin celebrating after the fall of the tenth wicket, India v England, 5th Test, Chennai, 5th day, December 20, 2016

Ireland's innings loss after piling on 492 in the first innings beat the previous highest - England's 477 against India in 2016  •  Associated Press

Ireland scored 492 in the second Test in Sri Lanka - but still lost by an innings. Was this a record? asked Brian McKenzie from Ireland, among many others
Ireland's 492 in the first innings in Galle last week did set a new mark for the highest total by a side that went on to lose a Test by an innings. Previously it was England's 477 against India in Chennai in 2016-17 - India piled up 759 for 7 before declaring, and bowled England out again for 207.
There are only two higher totals in all first-class cricket that still weren't enough to avoid an innings defeat. In Northampton in 1995, Nottinghamshire made 527 (and 157), but still lost to Northamptonshire (781 for 7 declared). But that record was broken at Grace Road last July, when Leicestershire's 584 (and 183) was not enough to avoid an innings defeat by Glamorgan (795 for 5 declared).
I noticed that in India's inaugural Test against Australia, Don Bradman scored more runs himself than India managed in both innings. Are there any other cases of one batter scoring more in one innings than the opposition in both in a Test? asked AK Srivastava from India
The instance you mention - by Don Bradman (185) against India (58 and 98) in Brisbane in 1947-48 - was the third time this had happened in Tests, and it has occurred only twice more since. The first instance was by England's Bobby Abel (120) against South Africa (47 and 43) in Cape Town in 1888-89. It was also achieved by another England opener, Len Hutton, with 364 against Australia (201 and 123) at The Oval in 1938, by Inzamam-ul-Haq (329) for Pakistan vs New Zealand (73 and 246) in Lahore in 2002, and Matthew Hayden (119) for Australia vs Pakistan (59 and 53) in Sharjah in 2002-03.
Four other men have outscored the opposition in a Test if you count both innings: Patsy Hendren (169 and 45) for England against Australia (122 and 66) in Brisbane in 1928-29, Gordon Greenidge (134 and 101) for West Indies vs England (71 and 126) at Old Trafford in 1976, Justin Langer (191 and 97) for Australia vs Pakistan (179 and 72) in Perth in 2004-05, and Dimuth Karunaratne (158 not out and 60) for Sri Lanka vs South Africa (126 and 73) in Galle in 2018.
Rohit Sharma hit his 250th six in the IPL the other day. Is anyone ahead of him? asked Karun Desai from India
Rohit Sharma reached the milestone of 250 sixes in the IPL during Mumbai Indians' recent match against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium; Rahul Chahar was the bowler. That left him just one behind AB de Villiers, who managed 251. So Rohit should soon be second - but he'll still be an awfully long way behind the IPL's leading six-hitter, Chris Gayle, who cleared the boundary no fewer than 357 times. For the list, click here.
In all T20 matches, Gayle has smashed an eye-watering 1056 sixes - he's more than 200 clear of Kieron Pollard (812), with another West Indian, Andre Russell, a distant third on 598. For that list, click here.
Is it right that Shai Hope has a better average in one-day internationals than any other opener? asked Kirk Mayweather from Barbados
At the moment, West Indies' Shai Hope averages 60.74 when opening in ODIs - that's higher than anyone who has opened more than 20 times, although India's Shubman Gill currently averages 70.75 from exactly 20 innings.
There are four others who average more than 50, given a minimum of 20 innings as opener: Rohit Sharma (55.76 from 156 innings), Usman Khawaja (53.63 from 20), Travis Head (50.60 from 21), and Imam-ul-Haq (50.55 from 58). For the list, click here.
It looks to me as if all the double-centuries in men's and women's ODIs have been scored by openers. If that's true, what's the highest score by a non-opener? asked Dipak Basu from the United States
First of all, you're correct that all 12 double-centuries in official one-day internationals (ten by men, two by women) were scored by openers. The best from another position is 194 not out, by Zimbabwe's Charles Coventry, who came in at No. 3 against Bangladesh in Bulawayo in 2009; the best in women's ODIs is 178 not out by another No. 3, Chamari Athapaththu, for Sri Lanka against Australia in Bristol during the 2017 World Cup. Oddly, both Coventry and Athapaththu finished on the losing side.
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