Ask Steven

How often have the first three batters been dismissed for ducks in World Cups?

And how many times has a World Cup innings featured three centurions?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Australia knocked over India's first three batters for blobs in Chennai, the fourth instance of this happening in World Cups  •  AFP/Getty Images

Australia knocked over India's first three batters for blobs in Chennai, the fourth instance of this happening in World Cups  •  AFP/Getty Images

India's first three batters were all out for ducks in the World Cup match against Australia. How often has this happened? asked Rajesh Gupta from India
It looked ominous for India when Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer all departed for ducks at the start of their chase against Australia in Chennai on the weekend, although it came out all right in the end.
There have been 11 previous instances of the first three batters all being out for ducks in men's one-day internationals. Four of those have been in the World Cup: by Pakistan against New Zealand at Edgbaston in 1983; by Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka in Pietermaritzburg in 2003 (when Chaminda Vaas took a hat-trick with the first three balls of the match); by Sri Lanka vs India in Johannesburg later in the 2003 tournament (actually the first four wickets were all ducks); and by Pakistan vs West Indies in Christchurch in 2015.
India were only the second team to win an ODI after losing their first three men for ducks, after Pakistan against Australia in Hobart in 1996-97. After Aamer Sohail, Zahoor Elahi and Ijaz Ahmed were out for 0, Pakistan recovered to make 149, and then skittled Australia for 120.
Three South Africans scored centuries in their first match. How often has this happened in the World Cup, and overall? asked Patrick McKenzie from South Africa
South Africa's 428 for 5 against Sri Lanka in Delhi was the first World Cup innings to contain three individual centuries - by Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen and (from just 49 balls, another World Cup record) Aiden Markram.
It was also the highest total in any World Cup match, beating Australia's 417 for 6 against Afghanistan in Perth in March 2015. And the match aggregate of 754 runs in Delhi was yet another World Cup record, beating the 714 of Australia (381 for 5) and Bangladesh (333 for 8) at Trent Bridge in 2019.
There have been 18 other World Cup innings that contained two centuries. The nearest to three in one innings before was in Australia's match against South Africa in St Lucia in 2007, when Matthew Hayden made 101, Ricky Ponting 91, and Michael Clarke 92. No other World Cup innings has included three innings of 90 or more.
In all ODIs, there have been three previous instances of three individual centuries in an innings. Two of them were also by South Africa - against West Indies in Johannesburg in January 2015, and against India in Mumbai a few months later, in October. The third was by England against Netherlands in Amstelveen in 2022.
Every England player reached double figures against New Zealand. How often has this happened in the World Cup? asked Ken Paine from England
Rather surprisingly perhaps, England's innings against New Zealand in Ahmedabad in the opening match of this year's World Cup was the first time in any one-day international - and there have been more than 4650 of them - in which all 11 batters reached double figures. Here's the list of previous instances of most batters in an ODI innings making it to double figures.
There have been 15 instances in Tests of all 11 men reaching double figures. The record for a T20 international innings is nine, by Tanzania against Uganda in Rwanda in December 2022.
Bas de Leede followed his father as a World Cup player this year. How many fathers and sons have taken part in the World Cup? asked Jamie Harper from England
The Dutch pair of Bas de Leede and his father Tim (1996, 1999 and 2003) were the seventh father and son to play matches in the World Cup. A couple of days before de Leede Jr played his first World Cup game, England's Sam Curran followed his father Kevin, who represented Zimbabwe in 1983 and 1987.
The earlier pairings were Don Pringle (for East Africa in the 1975 World Cup) and his son Derek, who appeared for England in 1987 and 1992 (when he played in the final); New Zealanders Lance Cairns (1975, 1979 and 1983) and son Chris (1992, 1996, 1999 and 2003); the England duo of Chris (1987) and Stuart Broad (2007, 2011 and 2015); another Kiwi pair, Rod (1992) and Tom Latham (2019 and 2023); and Geoff Marsh of Australia (1987 and 1992), and his two sons Mitchell (2015 and 2023) and Shaun (2019).
We should also mention Sam's brother Tom Curran, who was in England's 2019 squad but didn't actually play a game, and the Indian pair of Roger Binny, who was part of the winning team in 1983 and also played once in 1987, and his son Stuart, who was in the 2015 squad but did not play.
Has anyone ever scored a faster century in a one-day game than Jake Fraser-McGurk the other day? asked Kris Thompson from Australia
Jake Fraser-McGurk smashed a century in just 29 balls, with 12 sixes, for South Australia in a Marsh Cup one-day match against Tasmania in Adelaide last weekend. Remarkably, his side still lost!
Fraser-McGurk, who is only 21, undercut the fastest century in all List A cricket - the 31 balls needed by AB de Villiers for South Africa against West Indies in an ODI in Johannesburg in January 2015.
However, I think Fraser-McGurk has broken a more significant record - the fastest authentic century by balls in any professional match. The quickest in all T20 cricket is 30 balls, by Chris Gayle for Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL game against Pune Warriors in Bengaluru in April 2013. And the fastest in competitive conditions in first-class cricket is 34 balls, by David Hookes for South Australia vs Victoria in Adelaide in October 1982. There have been two 27-ball hundreds, by Glen Chapple for Lancashire in 1993 and Mark Pettini for Essex in 2006, but both of those were scored against friendly bowling aimed at expediting a declaration.
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