The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:
I noticed that Desmond Haynes of West Indies scored a century on his ODI debut as well as in his last match. Is he the only one to do this? asked Waqar Ali from Canada
Desmond Haynes did indeed do this, with 148 in his first ODI, against Australia at St John's in 1977-78, and 115 in his last, against England at Port-of-Spain in 1993-94. The only other man to manage this double was Dennis Amiss, who made 103 (the first ODI century of them all) on debut for England against Australia at Old Trafford in 1972, and hit 108 in his final ODI, also against Australia, at The Oval in 1977. Clive Radley of England made 79 in his first ODI and 117 in his last, both in 1978, while Rohan Kanhai of West Indies and Sri Lanka's Sunil Wettimuny both scored half-centuries in their first and last ODIs (Kanhai scored 55 both times). Kepler Wessels achieved this feat too, with 79 for Australia in his first ODI - and 51 in his last, which was for South Africa. Kim Barnett (England) and Ashley Woodcock of Australia both scored half-centuries in their only ODI.
In one of the early-season university matches someone bowled one over that was hit for 34 - what was the sequence of events, and is this a record for someone making their first-class debut? asked Phil Smith
The unfortunate Stephen Moreton, who's a legspinner from Oxford, suffered this fate in the match against Gloucestershire in The Parks. The man who did the damage was the former New Zealand Test batsman Craig Spearman, who was en route to 216. He monstered Moreton's only over for 6, 6, 6, 6, 4 and 6. It does appear to be the most expensive "maiden" over in first-class history: this list shows all the instances of 34 or more runs off an over, and none of the bowlers involved was making his debut. The one by Frans Viljoen - another legspinner - at Kimberley in 1993-94 did come during his first bowling spell, but it seems unlikely that it was his very first over in first-class cricket.
What's the biggest partnership in Test cricket, and in first-class cricket too? asked Anup Nhiall from Kerala
The highest partnership in first-class history came during the Indian Ranji Trophy final of 1946-47 at Baroda. Batting against Holkar, Vijay Hazare (288) and Gul Mahomed (319) put on 577 for the fourth wicket as Baroda ran up a handy total of 784. The Test record is just one run short of that - when Sri Lanka made the current record total of 952 for 6 against India in Colombo in 1997-98, Sanath Jayasuriya (340) and Roshan Mahanama (225) put on 576 for the second wicket. In all there have been seven partnerships of more than 500 in first-class cricket - and the great West Indian Frank Worrell was involved in two of them.
What's the highest first-innings total by a team which ended up losing the match? asked Andrew Sayer from Chesterfield
It came as recently as last September in England, when Essex played Glamorgan at Chelmsford. Essex made 642 in their first innings - Andy Flower, Ronnie Irani and James Foster all scored centuries - and looked on course for victory when they reduced Glamorgan to 286 for 7. But they recovered to post 587, bowled Essex out for 165, and reached their target of 221 with 22 balls (and four wickets) to spare. The previous record was set in 2002, when Northamptonshire's 632 wasn't enough to avoid defeat by ... Essex. There have been three other instances in first-class cricket of a first-innings total of more than 600 not being enough to prevent defeat. The Test record is 586, by Australia against England at Sydney in 1894-95.
Has anyone ever been out for 99 on their Test debut? asked Ramesh Reddy from Bangalore
Three people have had this unfortunate experience. The first was Arthur Chipperfield of Australia, against England at Trent Bridge in 1934. His feat was repeated by the West Indian Robert Christiani, against England at Bridgetown in 1947-48. And the third member of the club is a current player, Pakistan's Asim Kamal, who was out for 99 against South Africa at Lahore in 2003-04. Chipperfield and Christiani did eventually score Test centuries, and Asim Kamal might yet. For a full list of batsmen who were dismissed in the nineties on Test debut, click here.
What is the lowest score for a completed Test innings, in which every player scored at least one run? asked James Beattie
The lowest is 75, by Australia against South Africa at Durban in 1949-50. The lowest score was Colin McCool's 1, while six people managed to score 2. There are three other completed Test innings of under 100 where everyone got off the mark, and two more where all ten dismissed batsmen made runs but the other batsman made 0 not out.
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.