The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:
How many people have scored a hundred in their 100th Test? asked Nadeem Ahmed from Delhi
Only five people have done this. The first was England's Colin Cowdrey, who was also the first man to play in 100 Tests. In that landmark match, against Australia at Edgbaston in 1968, he scored 104. It was more than 20 years before it happened again, and then it occurred twice: in 1989-90 Javed Miandad hit 145 in his 100th Test, for Pakistan against India at Lahore, and then Gordon Greenidge followed suit with 149 in his 100th, for West Indies against England at St John's. The fourth member of this exclusive club was England's Alec Stewart, scored 105 against West Indies at Old Trafford in 2000. The fifth and, so far, final member was elected only last month, when Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq made 184 against India at Bangalore. For full details, click here.
What was WG Grace's highest score in a Lord's Test? asked David Cosham from Cheltenham
WG Grace played five of his 22 Tests at Lord's, and never did score a century there. In all he made 214 runs there at an average of 30.57 (just below his overall Test average of 32.29), and his highest score there was 75 not out, against Australia, to take England to victory in 1890. WG's two Test centuries both came against Australia at The Oval - 152 on his debut in 1880, and 170 in 1886.
I noticed that in a match you mentioned last week - England v India at Edgbaston in 1974 - that England won while losing only two wickets. Is that a Test record? asked Andy Sanders of Chiswick
It actually equalled the record - and in all there have now been four Tests which have been won by a side losing only two wickets. The first one was at Lord's in 1924, when England scored 531 for 2 declared and bowled South Africa out for 273 and 240. At Headingley in 1958 England (267 for 2 dec) beat New Zealand (67 and 129), and then came the instance at Edgbaston in 1974 mentioned above, when England (459 for 2 dec) beat India (165 and 216). The fourth occasion was much more recent - when South Africa (470 for 2 dec) beat Bangladesh (173 and 237) at Chittagong in April 2003. For a full list, click here.
What happened to CE Dench from the ball that turned out to be the last one he received in first-class cricket? asked Belynda Sowerby
Charles Dench was an allrounder who played 91 matches in six seasons for Nottinghamshire from 1897 to 1902, with modest success. His final first-class match was against Lancashire at Trent Bridge in 1902, and at first glance the end of his career doesn't look terribly eventful - he's down on the scorecard as scoring 16 not out as Notts batted out what seems to have been an unexciting draw. But on closer examination it turns out that there was a little drama at the end. The very last ball of the match, from the slowish bowler Willis Cuttell, broke Dench's little finger. That obviously ruled him out for a while, and in fact he never got back into the first team again. Dench turned to umpiring, and stood in the second Test against Australia at Lord's in 1909, when he was only 36. He died in 1958.
Which animal had its obituary printed in Wisden? asked Stephen Dight
I think I've answered this one before but, for the record, the fortunate (or unfortunate) mammal was Peter, the Lord's cat, whose death was solemnly recorded in the obituary section of the 1965 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack: "CAT, Peter, whose ninth life ended on November 5, 1964, was a well-known cricket-watcher at Lord's, where he spent 12 of his 14 years. He preferred a close-up view of the proceedings and his sleek, black form could often be seen prowling on the field of play when the crowds were biggest. He frequently appeared on the television screen. Mr SC Griffith, secretary of MCC, said of him: `He was a cat of great character and loved publicity'."
Steven Lynch is the editor of Cricinfo. For some of these answers he was helped by Travis Basevi, the man who built Stats Guru and the Wisden Wizard. If you want to Ask Steven a question, contact him through our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.