Ask Steven

Is Aiden Markram the fastest South African to 1000 Test runs?

And how many women have taken T20I hat-tricks?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
03-Apr-2018
If BJ Watling had a made a century in Christchurch, it would have been the fifth time that both wicketkeepers scored hundreds in a Test  •  Getty Images

If BJ Watling had a made a century in Christchurch, it would have been the fifth time that both wicketkeepers scored hundreds in a Test  •  Getty Images

Did Aiden Markram become the fastest South African player to reach 1000 Test runs at Johannesburg? asked David Ferrier from Belgium
At the end of the fourth Test against Australia in Johannesburg, the South Africa opener Aiden Markram had exactly 1000 runs from ten matches (18 innings). Graeme Smith reached 1000 in only 17 innings, but that spanned 12 Tests. So Markram is the quickest by matches for South Africa, Smith by innings. AB de Villiers comes next: he reached four figures in his 20th innings, in his 12th match. Markram was the quickest in terms of time as well, though: it took him 185 days to de Villiers' 365. Only Michael Hussey (166 days for Australia) has got there quicker than Markram.
The overall record for the fewest innings is shared by Herbert Sutcliffe (England) and Everton Weekes (West Indies), who both reached 1000 runs in their 12th innings, in their ninth Tests. Don Bradman reached 1000 in just his seventh Test for Australia, but it took him 13 innings.
It didn't quite happen at Christchurch, but how often have both wicketkeepers scored a century in the same Test? asked Brian Martin from New Zealand
If BJ Watling had joined Jonny Bairstow in scoring a century in Christchurch last weekend - in fact he was out for 85 - it would have been only the fifth time that both wicketkeepers had scored a century in the same Test. The first was in St John's, Antigua, in May 2002, when 20-year-old Ajay Ratra made 115 not out for India, and Ridley Jacobs replied with 118 for West Indies.
It happened again in Ahmedabad in 2009-10 (MS Dhoni 110 for India, Prasanna Jayawardene 154 not out for Sri Lanka), in Galle in 2012-13 (Dinesh Chandimal 116 not out for Sri Lanka, Mushfiqur Rahim 200 for Bangladesh), and in Hyderabad in 2016-17 (Wriddhiman Saha 106 not out for India, Mushfiqur Rahim 127 for Bangladesh).
The only wicketkeeper to score two centuries in the same Test is Andy Flower, with 142 and 199 not out for Zimbabwe against South Africa in Harare in September 2001.
Megan Schutt took a hat-trick in a Twenty20 international the other day. Was she the first woman - or first of either sex - to do this? asked Jeff Marshall from Australia
That triple by Megan Schutt last week, at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, was actually the seventh hat-trick in women's T20Is, but the first for Australia. The first one anywhere was by Pakistan's Asmavia Iqbal, against England in Loughborough in 2012.
The women are outdoing their male counterparts at the moment in this respect. To date there have been six hat-tricks in men's T20 internationals, the most recent by Faheem Ashraf for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi last October.
Has anyone reached 300 wickets with fewer five-fors than Morne Morkel? asked Brad Thornton from England
The South African fast bowler Morne Morkel reached 300 wickets in his 85th (and next-to-last) Test, the now infamous one against Australia in Cape Town. His 5 for 23 in the second innings there - which took him to 306 wickets, one behind Fred Trueman - was only his eighth five-for in that time. No one else has reached 300 with so few: Brett Lee is next with ten, Zaheer Khan managed 11, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon and Chaminda Vaas all 12. Apart from Morkel, only Lee and Bob Willis (who had 16 five-fors) reached 300 wickets without ever taking ten in a match.
Morkel's best innings figures were 6 for 23, against New Zealand in Wellington in 2011-12. The only other taker of 300 who never took more than six in an innings is, again, Brett Lee, whose best figures were a surprisingly modest 5 for 30, against West Indies in Brisbane in 2005-06.
Which woman ended her Test career with a batting average above 80? asked Toby Freeman from Mexico
Given a minimum of ten innings, the only woman with a Test batting average that high is Denise Annetts, who made 819 runs in ten Tests (13 innings) for Australia between 1987 and 1991-92 at an average of 81.90. Another Australian from around the same time, Joanne Broadbent, averaged 109.25 from ten Tests, but had only eight innings, four of them not-outs.
With so little women's Test cricket being played these days, it seems rather unlikely anyone will join this list. India's Thirush Kamini currently averages 79 in Tests, but she has only played two matches, both of them in 2014. For the full list, click here.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes