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Ask Steven

How many wicketkeepers have effected ten dismissals and scored a hundred in the same Test?

And was Mahika Gaur the youngest player to debut in a T20I at age 12?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
22-Aug-2023
AB de Villiers equalled the record for dismissals in a Test with 11, South Africa v Pakistan, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 4th day, February 4, 2013

AB de Villiers took a record 11 catches and also scored 103 against Pakistan in Johannesburg in 2013  •  Getty Images

Has any wicketkeeper done the "match double" of 100 runs and ten dismissals in a Test? asked Andrew Taylor from Australia
This is a very rare feat: for a start, as this list shows, only seven wicketkeepers have so far taken ten or more dismissals in a single Test. And only one of them allied that to 100 runs: AB de Villiers scored 31 and 103 not out, and also took a record-equalling 11 catches, for South Africa against Pakistan in Johannesburg in 2012-13.
There are only 12 further instances of this wicketkeeping double in all first-class cricket, two of them by Rod Marsh. Perhaps the most eye-popping performance by a keeper in any first-class match came from the Zimbabwean Test player Wayne James in 1995-96: captaining Matabeleland in the Logan Cup final against Mashonaland Country Districts in Bulawayo, he hoovered up 13 dismissals to add to scores of 99 and 99 not out.
A wicket fell to the first ball of both innings in the UAE's recent T20I against New Zealand. Had this happened before, in T20s or ODIs? asked Elamaran Perumal from the United States
In last week's match in Dubai, Chad Bowes was out to the first ball of New Zealand's innings, then the UAE's captain Muhammad Waseem was dismissed by the first ball of the reply.
It seems this is the first such instance in men's T20Is, but there is one additional case in an ODI: in Cape Town in February 1993, Pakistan's Ramiz Raja was dismissed by the first ball of the match, and Desmond Haynes fell to the opening delivery of West Indies' chase.
During the women's T20 World Cup in the West Indies in November 2018, Yasoda Mendis (Sri Lanka) and Sanjida Islam (Bangladesh) fell to the respective opening deliveries of their matchin St Lucia. Less than a year later came the only such instance in women's ODIs: Australia's Rachael Haynes was out to the opening delivery of the match, and West Indies' Natasha McLean went first ball in the chase, in Coolidge (Antigua) in September 2019.
Has anyone who only has one Test wicket taken a better single scalp based on the batsman's career average than David Gower, who dismissed Kapil Dev (average 31.05)? asked Matt Barrett from England
It's true that David Gower's only wicket, in 117 Tests, was that of Kapil Dev, caught for 116 in the closing stages of a draw in Kanpur in 1981-82 - but 31.05 currently only makes it to 116th place on this particular list.
The man whose solitary wicket accounted for the man with the highest Test batting average was the old Essex player Jack O'Connor, whose one and only victim in Tests was the great West Indian George Headley, who finished with an average of 60.83: he was bowled by O'Connor in Bridgetown in 1929-30. According to Wisden, O'Connor "bowled slow legbreaks and offbreaks mixed, and had the advantage of looking a good deal simpler than he was".
Just behind O'Connor comes the New Zealander Doug Freeman, whose only Test wicket was that of England's Herbert Sutcliffe, who ended up with a Test average of 60.73. Freeman was 18, and still at school, when he played two Tests against England in 1932-33; in the second, in Auckland, he had Sutcliffe caught by Lindsay Weir for 33, but had no further success as Wally Hammond purred to 336 not out. A tall legspinner, Freeman did not play again: his Test career was over before his 19th birthday.
There are currently 20 other bowlers whose only victim in Tests was someone with an average of more than 50. The list includes Andy McKay (New Zealand) and Ujesh Ranchod (Zimbabwe), who both dismissed Sachin Tendulkar (53.79), and - for the time being at least - England's Harry Brook, whose only wicket to date is Kane Williamson (54.89).
I noticed that Mahika Gaur, who has just been called up by England, played for the UAE in 2019 when she was only 12. Was she the youngest person to appear in a T20I? asked Mohit Karve from the United States
You're right that left-arm seamer Mahika Gaur, who was added to England's T20i squad after some impressive displays for Manchester Originals in the Hundred, had previously played for United Arab Emirates. She was born in Reading in March 2006, but her family was living in the Gulf when she played the first of her 19 T20Is for the UAE, against Indonesia in Bangkok in January 2019, when she was still two months short of her 13th birthday.
The proliferation of T20Is since all matches between ICC members were declared official means that no fewer than 15 women younger than Gaur have now appeared in such matches. Six of them come from Jersey, including the youngest of all - Nia Greig, who was just 11 years 40 days old when she played against France in Nantes in July 2019.
The youngest in a women's ODI remains Sajjida Shah, of Pakistan, who was 12 years 171 days old when she made her debut against Ireland in Dublin in July 2000.
The youngest to feature in a men's T20I is Marian Gherasim, who was 16 days past his 14th birthday when he played for Romania against Bulgaria in a Balkan Cup match in Ilfov County in October 2020.
The youngest in a men's ODI is Hasan Raza, 14 years 233 days when he played for Pakistan against Zimbabwe in Quetta in 1996-97. The previous week, Hasan had become the youngest male Test player, in Faisalabad, although it should be noted that there are those who dispute the accuracy of his date of birth.
Saud Shakeel has now played seven Tests, and scored at least a fifty in all of them. Has anyone had a more successful start in this regard? asked Zahid Ahmed from Pakistan
The Pakistan left-hand batter Saud Shakeel is unique in kicking off his Test career with a score of 50 or more in all of his first seven matches. Four men started with half-centuries (or better) in each of their first six Tests: Bert Sutcliffe (New Zealand), Saeed Ahmed (Pakistan), Basil Butcher (West Indies) and Sunil Gavaskar (India). Three men managed five: David Steele (England), Roy Dias (Sri Lanka) and Devon Conway (New Zealand).
Saud Shakeel has 875 runs after his first seven Tests, a number surpassed at that stage of a career only by Everton Weekes (878), Gavaskar (918) and, almost inevitably, Don Bradman (1196)
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