Ask Bearders # 158
Below are Bill's responses to some of your questions posed at the end of his last column and if you have a question for Bill, leave it at the end of this blog entry. Please do include your country of residence - Bill loves to hear where all his correspondents are posting from.
Bill isn’t able to answer all of your questions, however. BBC Sport staff will choose a selection of them and send them to Bearders for him to answer.
Q: Has there ever been any Test match where there has been more than one hat-trick? Ian Blowers
Bearders' Answer: Yes, just one, at Old Trafford in the opening match of the 1912 Triangular Tournament, when Australian leg-spinner T.J. (Jimmy) Matthews took a hat-trick in each South African innings, achieving this unique double on the second day (28 May). Springbok wicket-keeper T.A. (Tommy) Ward, the final victim of both hat-tricks, was dismissed for a unique king pair. He later became the only Test cricketer to be accidentally electrocuted while working down a gold mine.
Q: Who was the first person ever to be awarded the Man of the Match award in Test cricket? Stuart
Bearders' Answer: That is a fascinating question and I only happen to know the answer because such awards were introduced in the match in which I made my debut for ‘Test Match Special.’ Those awards, sponsored by Horlicks, made their first appearance at the end of England’s opening Test of the 1966 series against West Indies at Old Trafford. Gary Sobers won the batting award for his 161 (he also won the batting award in the Second Test, followed by the batting and bowling awards in the Fourth), while off-spinner Lance Gibbs was given the bowling award for his ten wickets in the match.
Match awards, the brainchild of Gordon Ross, had been introduced three years earlier, on 1 May 1963, also at Old Trafford, at the start of the Gillette Knock-Out Competition when the first recipient was Lancashire’s Peter Marner.
Q: Was this year at The Oval the latest the County Championship has ever been decided? And where does Lancashire's chase come on the list of highest fourth innings totals? Dav James
Bearders' Answer: Yes, it was the latest by one day. Sussex retained the title when Surrey beat Lancashire at 6.01pm on 22 September, the final day of the 2007 season. The previous latest date for winning the Championship was 21 September, by Leicestershire in 1996.
Lancashire’s fourth innings total is not even in the top 20 list for all first-class cricket. The record is 654-5 by England v South Africa at Durban in March 1939. The Championship record is the 502-6 scored by Middlesex to beat Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 1925.
Q: What is the most consecutive maidens bowled by anyone? James
Bearders' Answer: The record for six-ball overs in both Test and first-class cricket is 21 by R.G. (‘Bapu’) Nadkarni for India against England at Madras in January 1964. A left-handed slow bowler, he could command an immaculate length and returned the astonishing analysis of 32 overs, 27 maidens, 5 runs and 0 wickets in the first innings when several of the England players were suffering from severe stomach problems. His sequence of 131 balls without conceding a run has been surpassed only by South African off-spinner Hugh Tayfield, who bowled 137 balls, including 16 eight-ball maidens, spread over both innings, against England at Durban in January 1957.
Q: I was wondering if you could settle an argument for me. I have just moved back from the US and was playing my last match for my cricket team in New Jersey against the historic Philadelphia Cricket Club. I was keeping and whipped off the bails to stump someone and was told by the umpire that he was not out because his foot was ON the line. My understanding of the law was that, if a batsman was on the line, then they were out. Was I right to feel more than a little aggrieved? Gavin Buck, London (previously Hoboken, USA)
Bearders' Answer: You should have felt VERY aggrieved, Gavin. The line is yours and, unless he had a part of his foot touching the ground within the popping crease, he was out. Law 29 states that ‘a batsman shall be considered to be out of his ground unless his bat or some part of his person is grounded behind the popping crease at that end’.
Q: The Warwickshire and England all-rounder Alex Loudon recently retired from professional cricket to pursue a career in the city. In his only appearance for his country he was run out without facing a ball, having been in the middle for no more than a minute. Assuming Mr Loudon doesn't make an unlikely comeback to professional cricket, is this an unique record? Alex Holland
Bearders' Answer: Although Loudon was run out without facing a ball on his only international appearance, at Chester-le-Street on 24 June 2006, he did field throughout Sri Lanka’s 42.2 overs in 177 minutes and bowled six wicketless overs for 36 runs. Two players, M.D. (Mark) Bailey of New Zealand and R.W. (Roger) Tolchard of England, appeared in limited-overs internationals without batting or bowling, although Tolchard did keep wicket.
The saddest international career of all was probably that of J.C.W. (Jack) MacBryan, whose solitary Test cap was gained against South Africa in 1924 when Manchester’s notorious weather permitted a grand total of 165 minutes of play. He remains the only Test cricketer never to have batted, bowled or dismissed anyone in the field.
Q: In the final moments of the 2005 Old Trafford Ashes Test, as Lee and McGrath were saving the game, Lee was looking to take the strike for the last over. He hit Flintoff's last ball towards the boundary and was hoping it would stop short of the rope so he could run a single; instead the ball reached the boundary. However, if it had stopped short, would it have been within the laws for a chasing English fielder to (rather unsportingly) kick or throw the ball to or over the rope producing a boundary and therefore keeping Lee off strike for the next over or would such an action be deemed overthrows? Ed Bolderston, Kenya
Bearders' Answer: Under Law 19 (6), Lee would have been credited with a boundary 4, plus any completed runs, plus the run in progress if the batsmen crossed before the deliberate act took place. It would not be considered an act of illegal fielding invoking penalty points. The respective ends for each batsman to assume would follow the criteria for overthrows. In this case, Lee would only have had to cross with his partner to retain the strike for the new over.
Q: Wilfred Rhodes batted at number 11 and opened for England during his long career, but did he manage every spot in between? Ray Lashley
Bearders' Answer: Yes, he did. The full tally of his batting positions for the 98 innings that produced 2325 runs, average 30.19, in 58 Tests is: No. 1- 4 times, 2 - 39, 3 - 1, 4 - 2, 5 – 3, 6 – 5, 7 – 11, 8 – 8, 9 – 2, 10 – 15, and 11 - 8.
Q: What are the highest scores at the fall of each wicket in first-class cricket? I guess 561 is the answer for wicket 1, and 1107 for wicket 10, but what about in between? Tim Gill
Bearders' Answer: Here is the current list of record scores at the fall of each wicket:-
Wkt Score Match Venue Season
1st 561 Karachi Whites (561-1d) v Quetta Karachi 1976-77
2nd 618 Delhi (637-3d) v Himachal Pradesh Delhi 1994-95
3rd 778 Maharashtra (826-4) v Kathiawar Poona 1948-49
4th 801 Maharashtra (826-4) v Kathiawar Poona 1948-49
5th 921 Sri Lanka (952-6d) v India Colombo 1997-98
6th 941 Hyderabad (944-6d) v Andhra Secunderabad 1993-94
7th 956 Victoria (1059) v Tasmania Melbourne 1922-23
8th 1043 Victoria (1107) v New South Wales Melbourne 1926-27
9th 1046 Victoria (1107) v New South Wales Melbourne 1926-27
10th 1107 Victoria (1107) v New South Wales Melbourne 1926-27
Q: Does Younis Ahmed hold the record for the longest gap between Test appearances? After playing in October 1969, he was then dropped until February 1987. Robert Boswell
Bearders' Answer: No, A.J. (John) Traicos holds that record with a break of 22 years 222 days between the last of his three Tests for South Africa and the first of his four for Zimbabwe. George Gunn of England is second with 17 years 316 days and Younis Ahmed is third with 17 years 111 days. The longest hiatus in terms of Test matches missed is 115 by England’s Martin Bicknell during an interlude of 10 years and 12 days.
Q: A few years ago, I saw a game where the batsmen edged the ball on to the helmet placed behind the keeper and the ball then went over the rope without bouncing. 11 runs were given and I was wondering if this is the correct application of the law. Is it classed as a legal delivery or an extra ball has to be bowled? Nick N., UK
Bearders' Answer: The ball becomes dead as soon as it hits a helmet belonging to the fielding side. Just five penalty runs should be awarded - Law 31(3). Unless it was a no-ball, no extra ball has to be bowled.
Q: Who was the English fast bowler who, after delivering the ball, suffered an awful injury to his knee? Tony Noble, England
Bearders' Answer: That was David (‘Syd’) Lawrence whose left knee cap split apart as he bowled during the Third Test against New Zealand at Wellington on 10 February 1992. That ended his international career but he did manage to play four first-class matches for Gloucestershire in 1997.