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Ask Steven

How often have Zimbabwe beaten India in an official international match?

And how many women have scored a hundred in one session of a Test?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Babar Azam and Rohit Sharma go head-to-head as captains for the first time at the ODI World Cup, India vs Pakistan, Men's World Cup 2023, Ahmedabad, October 13, 2023

Babar Azam has 87 runs to get to surpass Rohit Sharma as the leading run-scorer in T20Is  •  AFP/Getty Images

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have bowed out of T20Is as the two leading scorers in the format. Which current player is on top now? asked Jason Hewitt from England
You're right that Rohit Sharma (4231 runs) and Virat Kohli (4188) are currently the leading scorers in men's T20Is. The only other man over 4000 as I write is Pakistan's Babar Azam, with 4145 - so he needs only another 87 runs to take over top spot, assuming Rohit and Kohli don't play again.
There's something of a surprise in fourth place: it's Ireland's Paul Stirling, with 3601 runs. There are five other men over 3000, but three of them are no longer playing internationals. Of current batters, Mohammad Rizwan has 3313 runs and Jos Buttler 3264.
However, this is one area in which the women currently outrank the men: New Zealand's Suzie Bates is still playing, and her 43 in the first match against England in Southampton at the weekend took her past Rohit Sharma's tally.
What's the most centuries scored in a Test and an ODI without someone else making a fifty? asked Vikash Lal Dodani from Pakistan
There have been seven Test matches which featured seven individual centuries (plus two with eight). In one of the instances of seven, there were no other scores between 50 and 99 - in the match between India and South Africa in Kolkata in 2009-10.
There were seven hundreds and only one fifty in England's matches against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1938, and against West Indies in Port-of-Spain in 2008-09. The match between Australia and New Zealand in Perth in 2015-16 featured six hundreds but no fifties.
The record for one-day internationals is four hundreds and no individual fifties, in a match between Pakistan and Australia in Lahore in 1998-99.
How many people have extended their maiden Test century to 300? asked Peter de Vries from Ireland
Three men have turned their maiden Test century into a triple. The first to do so was the great West Indian Garry Sobers, with 365 not out - the record Test score at the time - against Pakistan in Kingston in 1957-58.
Australia's Bob Simpson waited till his 30th Test before reaching three figures - but made it count when he did, by going on to 311 against England at Old Trafford in 1964. And the latest man to join this exclusive club was India's Karun Nair, with 303 not out against England in Chennai in 2016-17.
Shafali Verma scored a hundred between lunch and tea in the recent women's Test at Eden Gardens. Has anyone else ever scored a hundred in a session in a women's Test? asked AK Srivastava from India
The Indian opener Shafali Verma had 65 at lunch on the first day of the recent women's Test against South Africa in Chennai, and made rapid progress to 165 not out at tea. Women's Tests are not as well documented as most of the men's, but after looking at the likely contenders I'm reasonably confident in saying this was the first occasion that a woman has scored a hundred or more runs in a session.
Verma went on to 205, the tenth double-century in women's Tests and the second for India, after Mithali Raj's 214 against England in Taunton in 2002.
Verma's opening partnership of 292 with Smriti Mandhana (149) was another women's Test record: the previous-best for the first wicket was 241, by Kiran Baluch and 16-year-old Sajjida Shah for Pakistan against West Indies in Karachi in 2003-04. The only higher stand for any wicket is 309 for the third, by Lindsay Reeler and Denise Annetts for Australia against England in Wetherby in 1987.
And finally, India's eventual total of 603 for 6 declared was also a record for a women's Test, beating Australia's 575 for 9 declared against South Africa in Perth earlier this year.
At the other end of the scale, to answer a different question from Michael Tucker from the West Indies, the unfortunate Delmi Tucker provided the 30th instance of a woman bagging a pair in a Test. England's Laura Marsh is the only player with two.
How often have Zimbabwe beaten India in an official international, as they did the other day? asked Lamela Makonwe from Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's win in a T20 international in Harare at the weekend was their 15th victory over India in all formats, but the first for more than eight years, since another T20 win in Harare in June 2016. It should be acknowledged that this was an entirely different Indian side to the one that won the T20 World Cup final in Bridgetown a week earlier.
Zimbabwe have now won three T20 matches against India, to go with ten one-day international victories, including a 50-over World Cup win in Leicester in 1999. They have also come out on top in two Test matches: by 61 runs in Harare in October 1998, and by four wickets in Harare in June 2001.
For the full list of Zimbabwe's victories over India in all three formats, click here. The two countries have not yet met in an official women's international.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes