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Ask Bearders #175

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Bill Frindall | 10:09 UK time, Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Welcome to Ask Bearders, where Test Match Special statistician Bill "The Bearded Wonder" Frindall answers your questions on all things cricket.

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. In a recent county match, a hit to long-on landed on the sponsor's triangular cover placed over the boundary rope. I thought that to be a six a ball has to clear the boundary rope, not hit it. In this case the third umpire ruled it a six. Was this correct? Simon (Colchester)

Bearders' Answer: Yes, the umpire was correct. Law 19 covers boundaries in great detail. The boundary is part of the line or rope that is closest to the umpires. As soon as the ball touches any part of it a boundary is scored. The allowance of four or six runs depends on whether the ball touches the ground before reaching the boundary (4) or lands on or beyond it (6).

Q. What is the highest second-innings score recorded by a Test team that has followed on? Barrie Street (Canada)

Bearders' Answer: Having mustered only 171 in their first innings in reply to Australia's 445 at Calcutta in 2000-01, India claimed that record by amassing 657 for 7 declared. They then dismissed the visitors for 212 to gain a 171-run victory - only the third by a side following-on in Tests.

Q. In the first Test match v South Africa Monty Panesar bowled sixty overs without a wicket. What is the record number of overs bowled in a Test innings without taking a wicket? Friamere111

Bearders' Answer: Barbadian off-spinner, Denis Atkinson, bowled the most wicketless overs in a Test innings - 72 (72-29-137-0) for West Indies v England at Birmingham in 1957. Panesar's 60 fruitless overs ranks equal-ninth in the list, with three England bowlers above him: Jack Young (48 eight-ball overs, the equivalent of 64 six-ball ones) v South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 1948-49; Maurice Tate (62 v Australia at Melbourne in 1928-29); and John Emburey (61 v Pakistan at The Oval in 1987).

Q. I have recently finished reading a dusty copy of Wally Hammond's 'Cricket - My World'. The book is full of anecdotes and tales from back in the day, though one story towards the end was beyond my comprehension. While discussing the workload placed on bowlers at all levels, Wally speaks of his concern about individuals being over bowled and injured as a result. He then gives the example of a chap referred to only as 'Shaw', who once bowled over 100 overs in a day - as a result of this he injured his foot and never played again. Now I don't want to accuse Wally of being liberal with the truth, but how is this possible? Does any record exist of this incredible feat of bowling stamina? Unfortunately no first name or county team/fixture is given. Roland James

Bearders' Answer: Fascinating question, Roland. Hammond was referring to Alfred Shaw, the renowned right-arm slow-medium bowler who appeared in 404 first-class matches for Nottinghamshire, Sussex, the MCC and England between 1864 and 1897. His 2,027 wickets included 177 five-wicket innings hauls. On 44 occasions he took ten or more in a match. In an era of four-ball overs, he bowled a grand total of 101,967 balls - the equivalent of almost 17,000 six-ball overs. He sent down over 10,500 balls (1,750 six-ball overs) in 1876 and 1878. However, on only one occasion did he bowl 100 four-ball overs in an innings (100.1 for Sussex v Notts at Trent Bridge in 1895) but they were not all on the same day. Yet he may have sent down 100 overs when the opposition batted twice on the same day.

Q. In this summer's Twenty20 match between England and New Zealand, Ravi Bopara was making his debut in this form of the game and neither batted nor bowled. Have there been any other players that have had a similarly inactive international career, in any form of the game? I recall mention of a poor chap some years ago who was called up for his debut Test, only for rain to intervene. The match finished without him either bowling or batting and he was never called up again, can you shed any light on who this might be? William

Bearders' Answer: Bopara has hardly had an 'inactive international career'. Prior to the limited-overs phase of South Africa's current tour, he has played in three Tests and 26 fifty-overs internationals. He is likely to play in their imminent 20-overs game at Chester-le-Street.

John Crawford William ('Jack') MacBryan, a stylish Somerset and Cambridge University batsman, was the cricketer you mention. Selected for the Fourth Test against South Africa in 1924 in a contest involving just 165 minutes of play, his Test career fell victim to Manchester's notorious climate and he remains the only Test cricketer who did not bat, bowl or dismiss anyone in the field. He did field for 66.5 overs and subsequently became England's oldest surviving Test cricketer before being summoned by the Great Scorer when eight days adrift of his 91st birthday.

Q. Regarding the number ways that a batsman can be out, you didn't mention Absent. I recall poor Abdul Aziz being "retired hurt" in the first innings of a match, and "Absent Dead 0" in the second. If a batsman was Absent I would record it as such in the scorebook, or would that now be classed as Timed Out? Bill Benton (Nutley Hall CC, Surrey)

Bearders' Answer: Timed out (Law 31) applies to incoming batsmen, who must be in a position to take guard, or ready for his partner to receive the next ball, within three minutes of the fall of the previous wicket. It does not apply to a batsman who, for whatever reason, is absent from the ground, or unable to bat through injury. If a batsman is absent he cannot be out because he was never going to begin his innings. A posthumous 'absent' is just a footnote. Incidentally, 'retired hurt' counts as a 'not out' innings in batting records.

Q. What constitutes "hitting the ball twice"? In a game I played in last season, a batsman played a short ball that then began rolling back towards his stumps, he then proceeded to hit the ball away from the stumps, which we thought meant he had hit the ball twice and should have been dismissed. The umpire (one of their players), said that the batsman was not out.
Was this the correct decision? Bhav (London)

Bearders' Answer: Yes, it was correct. Law 34 allows a batsman to hit the ball a second time in order to guard his wicket or return the ball to a fielder.

Q. During the First Test of the England v South Africa series at Lord's in the final session of the first day Kevin Pietersen scored 91 runs. How rare is this? Has any batsman scored a hundred before lunch on the first day of a Test match? Tom B (Suffolk)

Bearders' Answer: Four batsmen have scored a pre-lunch first-day Test match hundred: Australians Victor Trumper, Charles Macartney and Donald Bradman, plus Pakistan's Majid Khan. There have been 15 pre-lunch hundreds on subsequent days, 20 middle-session hundreds and 27 in the final session.

Mark Boucher, Kevin Pietersen

Q. I am a freelance journalist in Durban currently doing a series of articles in a local newspaper on cricketers who played in the UK during the apartheid era. How can I find some data and stats for Mustupha M. Khan who played for Hampstead CC (London) and West Bromwich Dartmouth (Midlands) between 1972 and 1975? Feroz Shaik (Durban)

Bearders' Answer: Cricket Archive lists an M.M.Khan who played for Natal (1971-72 to 1988-89) but has no personal details. I suggest that you ask the secretaries of those two clubs - you should find contact details on their websites: Hampstead and West Bromwich Dartmouth.

Q. The England selectors have over the years included a long list of players born or raised in another country, including Ted Dexter (Italy), Tony Greig, Allan Lamb and Kevin Pietersen (South Africa) and the latest, Darren Pattinson (raised in Australia). Have other Test countries picked as many players born or raised beyond their shores, and which are the best known names? James R. Hobbs

Bearders' Answer: Apart from several Australians who played for their home country first and a host of recent players born in the Caribbean, you could add 'Gubby' Allen, Tim Ambrose, Jason Gallian, Adam and Ben Hollioake, and Geraint Jones (Australia), Freddie Brown (Peru), Andrew Caddick (New Zealand), Donald Carr and Paul Terry (Germany), Phil Edmonds and Neal Radford (Northern Rhodesia), Colin Cowdrey, Duleepsinhji, George Emmett, Errol Holmes, Nasser Hussain, Robin Jackman, John Jameson, Douglas Jardine, Norman Mitchell-Innes, the Nawab of Pataudi snr, Min Patel, Ranjitsinhji, Neville Tufnell, Bob Woolmer, Edward Wynyard and Richard Young (India), Graeme Hick and Paul Parker (Southern Rhodesia), Derek Pringle (Kenya), Dermot Reeve (Hong Kong), Basil D'Oliveira, Ian Greig, Chris and Robin Smith, and Andrew Strauss (South Africa), Lord Harris and Sir Pelham Warner (Trinidad).

No other country has approached this tally, although Australia's early Test teams included many players born in England and Ireland. Their most famous imported player was leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who was born in New Zealand at Dunedin.

Q. A player at my club, Shepley CC, recently took a hat-trick where all three batsmen were out caught and bowled. How unusual is this? We can find no other instance in the record books. Townian

Bearders' Answer: It has not happened in a Test match. The closest to achieving it was T.J. ('Jimmy') Matthews who caught and bowled the last two victims of his second hat-trick (one in each innings) for Australia v South Africa on the second afternoon of the Triangular Test at Old Trafford in 1912. I have no record of a caught-and-bowled hat-trick in first-class matches.

Q. Relating to a previous question about the number of ways that a batsman may be dismissed, is there a cricket equivalent to football's "Red Card"? AsleepAtThirdMan

Bearders' Answer: In soccer, the referee's award of a red card ejects the recipient from the game and he may not be replaced. There is no equivalent in cricket. Umpires can report a player's bad conduct to his fellow umpire. They can then jointly advise his captain of the offence and instruct him to take action. In extreme cases the captain has then ordered the offending player off the field. Umpires can also report a grave offence to the Executive of the player's team and any governing body responsible for the match.


  • Comment number 1.

    There is always much discussion about how wicket keepers hate conceding byes. Has a table of the biggest bye-conceders been produced?

    Could one produce a keeping average, based on byes conceded divided by the number of dismissals they have taken?

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Bill,

    England often seem to win the last match of a Test Series they have already lost (dead rubber), as at the Oval this year. Could you tell me how often this has occurred and whether other test teams have a similar record?

    Thanks, Rob

  • Comment number 3.

    Freddie Flintoff became the bowler with the least amount of 'five fors' to take 200 test wickets recently.

    Which player has the most amount of test wickets without ever having taken five wickets in a test match innings?

  • Comment number 4.

    Thank you for the answer to my previous question on the number of overs bowled without a wicket in a test match. Atkinson must have been at the other end when Sonny Ramadhin bowled all his overs at Cowdrey and May. As you may know Sonny still claims to this day he had both LBW a number of times without success from the umpires finger. This leads on to another
    question if I may. I noticed in the recent Yorkshire v Notts match that Yorkshire had 11 LBW against them in the game. Is this a record number of LBW in a game?

  • Comment number 5.

    Wasn't Geraint Jones born in Papua New Guinea? Were any other 1st class cricketers also born in PNG?

  • Comment number 6.

    question 4 - Friar Mere 111

    well in tests the record is 17, in the 1st Test between WI and Pak in 1992/93, but this for both teams

    NZ had 11 batsmen given out LBW vs AUS in the 1st Test in 2004/5, 4 in the 1st inns and 7 in the 2nd, no other test team has beaten this (or would want to i suspect)

    as for all first class i admit i don't know

    question 3 - Fink

    that record belongs to Michael Hendrick who between 1974 and 1981 for ENG took 87 wkts at 25.84 in 30 matches without ever taking a "five for"

    (this question allows me my habitual gripe that i try to get in every blog....why don't we have a FORUM with threads for different questions, TESTS/BOWLING/WICKETS for example, which would allow users to search answers more easily...i mention it here as Fink's question was already asked and answered back in blog 146 )

  • Comment number 7.

    Hello Bill,

    Q. Recently Mark Ramprakash got his 100th First Class Hundred. How many players have achieved 100 limited overs (either 40 or 50 over matches) hundreds?


  • Comment number 8.

    On which overseas test match ground have England won the most test matches?
    My guess would be Sydney,or another Australian ground,but I'm not sure.

  • Comment number 9.

    Question 7 -

    According to this list of stats

    Noone has got close to 100 hundreds in List A matches. Tendulkar is the only person to get over the 50 mark.

  • Comment number 10.

    Which Minor County has been the birht place of most test match players? I am guessing the answer would be Durham if you included it pre 1992? But two counties I have close links to are well represented, Hertfordshire and Staffordshire are reasonably well represented. (In recent times messrs Ramprakash, Knight and Ilott amongst others are from Hertfordshire, whilst Dominc Cork is from Staffs, but I know Staffs has a much more historic reputation!) Cheshire would be another contender maybe?

  • Comment number 11.

    Imagine the following... it is day 1 of a county championship game, the players of both teams and the umpires are in position, but before the first ball of the day is bowled, it starts raining and washes out the whole of that day's play but play starts any time on day 2. Is the follow-onfigure worked out as though the game is a 3 day game or a 4 day game? Also, if the scenario as I have just mentioned prevents any play on days 1, 2, 3 and 4, do the batsmen get their 0 not outs included in their averages, even though they have not faced a ball?

  • Comment number 12.

    In the Recent ODI between Ireland and Netherlands 28-07-2008 at Dublin

    3 of the dutch bowlers have figures of below is this common in ODI or domestic One Day where a bowler (or bowlers) go(es) for as many runs per over as overs bowled or is this a very unique event?. I assume that no first class or test match bowler has achieved this feat unless bowling a very small number of overs?.

    Bowler O M R W
    Schiferli 7.0 0 49 1
    Bukhari 4.0 0 16 1
    Mol 5.0 0 25 0

  • Comment number 13.

    I would like to know about wicketkeepers who stand up to the stumps. If a batsmen is attempting a late cut or similar late shot and the ball has passed his stumps, can the wicketkeeper snatch the ball before the batsmen plays a shot?


  • Comment number 14.

    Which test teams have the highest test first innings batting average, having batted first in a match? Where do England rank on this list?



  • Comment number 15.

    Is there a law that says if a batsmen is given out on ball 7 of an erroneous 7 ball over that if he points this out, he will be allowed to stay in?


  • Comment number 16.


    Which bowlers had the most success against Sir Don Bradman in Test cricket? I have read that Hedley Verity got him out 10 times in all, eight of those in Tests, but can't verify that.

    My own research has tracked down that Sir Alec Bedser, who must be the last person alive to have dismissed him in Tests, got him six times.

    Did anyone else do better than them against Bradman in Tests?



  • Comment number 17.


    In a recent County Championship game, Durham defeated Kent by 43 runs despite their highest score in the match being 28 by Will Smith in their second innings.

    Has there ever been another County Championship game where the highest match score by a member of the winning team in both innings has been lower than 28?

    If so, when?


  • Comment number 18.

    This season 2 bowlers have taken four wickets in four balls on my teams ground. Has there ever been an occurrence of 4 wickets in 4 balls taking place twice in a season or even twice on one ground? Incidentally the fifth ball of the second spell of 4 in 4 was dropped. Both bowlers also ended with figures of five wickets for no run. Have those figures ever occurred twice in a season or even twice on the same ground?

  • Comment number 19.

    question 18 - Segga Express

    in all 1st class cricket 4 wkts in 4 balls has only happened 35 times

    of these there were 4 years/seasons when the event happened twice, 1895, 1907, 1914 and 1965/66, however none of these occured at the same ground

    of occurrences at grounds Lord's with 3 (1890, 1895 and 1907) is the record holder, followed by The Oval, Manchester, Nottingham, Derby, Sydney and Durban with 2

    question 15 - Maw 501

    No, the batsman is out, the umpire decides when an over is over, if he/she miscounts thats what goes in the scorebook (if the batsman pointed it out BEFORE the delivery then the umpires would consult and ask the scorer and then correct the over, but AFTER the event is too late)

    from law 22

    5. Umpire miscounting
    If an umpire miscounts the number of balls, the over as counted by the umpire shall

    question 13 - Maw 501

    yes, if the ball has passed the stumps the 'keeper can take the ball

    from law 40

    3. Position of wicket-keeper
    The wicket-keeper shall remain wholly behind the wicket at the striker's end from the moment the ball comes into play until
    (a) a ball delivered by the bowler
    either ....
    or (ii) passes the wicket at the striker's end

  • Comment number 20.

    An Above Question Mentioned Players Born In Minor Counties... And I Was Just Curious To The Number Of Players From Cornwall That Have Played / Are Playing First Class Or International Cricket?

  • Comment number 21.


    Thinking about Ryan Sidebottom's hat-trick in a losing cause in the Hamilton test earlier this year. I wondered if any other players had taken hat-tricks in a losing cause?

    Also what is the highest individual score for a batsman in a losing cause?


  • Comment number 22.

    Bill - Can you tell me please why A.B. de Villiers in the South African team is always referred to as AB and a first name not used. Presumably A and B represent his first names. I think there is also someone in the Indian team who is referred to in the same manner. Thanks.

  • Comment number 23.

    question 21 - Kapstif

    of the 37 hat-tricks in tests 10 have been in a losing cause (22 winning and 5 draws)

    Briggs ENG vs AUS 1892
    Griffin SA vs ENG 1960
    Petherick NZ vs PAK 1976
    Hughes AUS vs WI 1988
    Gough ENG vs AUS 1999
    Sami PAK vs SL 2002
    Lawson WI vs AUS 2003
    Kapali BANG vs PAK 2003
    Pathan IND vs PAK 2006
    Sidebottom ENG vs NZ 2008

    for more info see blog 166 question 153 (or Bearders answers in blog 168)

    as to a batsman on losing side

    the highest joint score over both innings is 351(221 and 130) by Lara vs SL in 2001

    in one innings it is Ponting who scored 242 in his first innings vs IND in 2003 (he was out for a duck in the 2nd)

  • Comment number 24.

    Question 22 - AB De Villiers (data from Wikipedia)

    Abraham Benjamin de Villiers (born 17 February 1984 in Pretoria), more commonly known by his initials AB, plays cricket for South Africa and the Northern Titans. He also plays for the Delhi DareDevils in the Indian Premier League. Probably understandable why he prefers "AB".

    His mother is called Millie and his father, Abraham Benjamin, is a doctor. He has two brothers called Jan and Wessels and used to play cricket with them and Martin van Jaarsveld when he was younger. He currently lives with fellow Titans cricketer Morné Morkel. A devout Christian, he has stated that his religion is crucial to his approach to life. He has said ‘Jesus is everything in my life – he’s the man,’ and ‘My faith means more to me than playing for my country. It comes first.'

    In his younger days he played for Carrickfergus Cricket Club in Northern Ireland as a professional. He is a naturall born sportsman and has talents in golf (playing off scratch despite playing infrequentl)y, rugby, cricket and tennis.

    his Test career so far de Villiers has batted, bowled and kept wicket. He has been dismissed four times in the 90s in Tests (included in his 14 50s, in addition to his 6 hundreds) and currently holds the record (77) for most Test innings without registering a duck (though he has made a few in ODIs). In He became the second youngest and second fastest South African to reach 1000 test runs after Graeme Pollock (that's Shaun's uncle and Peter's brother, if you're not old enough to remember the 60s... GP was one of the best left-handed batsmen ever, who averaged 61 in 23 Tests). AB looks like a pretty good player to me and potentially one of SA's best ever, looking forward...

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Bill,
    At a recent club match, a player in our side bowled several no balls. These, along with others were duly smashed to the boundary. In total Nathan Marsh of Croesyceiliog Cricket Club (sorry Nathan!) conceded 41 runs from his over.
    Are you aware of a higher tally and what are the records in professional cricket?
    Croesyceiliog Cricket Club
    South Wales

  • Comment number 26.

    Question 22 the indian player you are refering to is VVS Laxman

  • Comment number 27.

    I was pleased to see Freddie Flintoff hit a six to win the recent Oval test match; has there been any other test when the only six of the match was the last ball?
    martin westbrook, england

  • Comment number 28.

    As you have mentioned previously, the rules of cricket state that 'bowled' takes preference over any other form of dismissal. But supposing a batsman treads on his stumps, removing both bails, before the ball subsequently goes on to hit the wicket. Would this be given out as 'bowled' (even though the ball did not 'break' the wicket), or 'hit wicket'? If the latter, would it make any difference if the ball uprooted a stump when it hit?

    Iain, Farnborough

  • Comment number 29.

    Bill just a quick comment about Question 25.
    ( being the bowler still trying to deal with this harrowing experience ) Do you think the scales have now completely tipped over in favour of the Batsman ? Apparently the batsman is now able to wander aimlessly about in his crease forgetting whether he was batting left or right handed. The first no-ball I bowled in this terrible nightmare was because I didn't tell the umpire I was right arm over !!!! Here you are Mr Batsman have a sighter and then have an extra ball.... what rubbish. All this while the batsman was trying to work out with what hand to grip the bat. Nonsense !!! I Say. But I'm not a tiny bit bitter. Long live this great game.. (cheers monty) The Grafter...

  • Comment number 30.

    What would happen if a batsman padded up to a ball (bowled on the legside by a spinner, for example) and then proceeded to leather it to the boundary?
    Doesn't seem to be hit twice, bounced outside the line so no lbw..? I seem to remember a ball that flew sideways out of Phil Tufnell's hands once which the batsman ran over to and belted away for some runs.

    Is there a reason that nobody seems to do it?

  • Comment number 31.

    Is there a reason why Alan Lamb and Kevin Petersen are missing from your list of South African born players who represented England?

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm from England and have keen interest in the progress of english cricketers through the ranks.

    I am just repeating a question which I post in Blog 174.

    There was a friendly between England U19 and Canada U19 in Loughborough in 2006 or 2007 - I am trying to find the scorecard for it but haven't had any luck yet, please advise if you any details of that match.

    I agree with PortoIan regarding the format of this Blog (question 6 above).


  • Comment number 33.

    question 30 - Kiran FB

    it would be out HIT BALL TWICE

    the hit is any part of the body, not just the bat, so if you stop the ball with your pads and then hit it with your bat, deliberately, you are out

    if it hits your pads and bat during ONE stroke thats okay (as long as the umpire doesn't believe you did it on purpose)

    Law 34 (Hit the ball twice) (my CAPS)

    1. Out Hit the ball twice
    (a) The striker is out Hit the ball twice if, while the ball is in play, it strikes ANY PART OF HIS PERSON or is struck by his bat and, before the ball has been touched by a fielder, he WILFULLY strikes it again with his bat or person....

    question 25 and 29 - Nathan and Monty

    the record in first class cricket is 77, in an over bowled by Robert Vance for Wellington vs Canterbury in NZ. He bowled 22 balls, mostly no-balls, in an unsuccessful effort to "buy" wickets.
    the full over went- 1444664614116666600401
    Lee Germon scoring 69 from his bat in the one over

    regarding your over the first ball, when you didn't inform the umpire of your action, should NOT have been a no-ball as the law quite clearly states that it for the umpire to ask you, not for you to tell him (you only do this if you change in the midle of an over)

    law 24 NO BALL (my CAPS)

    1. Mode of delivery
    (a) The umpire SHALL ASCERTAIN whether the bowler intends to bowl right handed or left handed, over or round the wicket, and shall so inform the striker.
    It is unfair if the bowler fails to notify the umpire OF A CHANGE in his mode of delivery

  • Comment number 34.

    How does one qualify to become an international umpire?

  • Comment number 35.

    I have long observed the reluctance of county captains to take bold decisions in the hope of achieving a win (at risk of losing) in a game that inevitably becomes a draw. The Championship is invariably decided on number of wins in the season, bonus points are rarely a factor. Particularly in rain affected matches or where both sides make a big first innings score there are countless cases where, in my view, the side batting second should have declared behind on first innings, in the hope of a reciprocal declaration but instead drag on to lead by 20 or 30, denying sufficient time to force a result. Is it just a psychological thing, not wanting to be seen to 'throw a game away'? A logical tactician might judge that the probabliity of a win 30% lose 60% draw 10% is a better option in terms of points than win 10% lose 10% draw 80% and declare accordingly (not to mention pleasing the crowd more!) Do we have any stats on the relative success of so-called sporting declarations over the years?

  • Comment number 36.

    Ajantha Mendis' 26 wickets are the highest number of wickets taken in a debut test series comprising 3 matches.

    Is Terry Alderman's 42 the highest ever in a debut series? If one had to combine number of wickets, strike rate, and bowling average, what is the best performance by a bowler in a debut test series?

    Prashant from New York

  • Comment number 37.

    PS My previous question refers only to bowlers who played all the matches in their debut series.

  • Comment number 38.

    Also, has anyone matched Michael Kasprowicz in going wicketless over their first two tests?

  • Comment number 39.

    question 32 - Bee ZZee

    not a lot of help but....

    have you tried contacting

    the email of the events organizer is

    Mohammed R. Shaikh, Events Manager

    their website doesn't have any record of Canada U19s in Eng in 2006 or 07 (whilst it does have other U19 games) but if anyone should know he will

  • Comment number 40.

    question 38 - PBHA Walkar

    hmmm...maybe your question needs some clarification as, for example, Lara went wicketless in 232 innings (and yes he did bowl occasionally) as did 10 other 100+ test players

    so maybe you are limiting your question to bowlers who actually took a wkt? or bowled in their first test?

    well Tendulkar fits both of these criteria (but he may not be the worse, just an example worse than Kasprowicz), his first wkt came in his 6th innings with the ball (but he didn't bowl in all possible innings in between, in fact his 6th with the ball was in his 14th test)

    so maybe you are asking about players who bowled in consecutive tests from the 1st onwards

    Paul Collingwood bowled in his first 5 tests (6 innings) without taking a wicket. In fact in all it wasn't until his 14th test (13th innings) that he took a wkt (again this might not be the record but its worse than Kasprowicz)

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi Bill,

    I play local club cricket for a side called Corley based in Warwickshire just outside Coventry, a side for which in fact former England seamer James Ormond used to play for as a teenager along with his dad Dick. A couple of years ago in a sunday league game consisting of 45 overs against local rivals Fillongley, I recall a very peculiar incident in the game. During our innings a hat-trick took place where the bowler was Andrew Moore and his brother Chris Moore was the catcher on all three occasions. I unfortunately was facing the hat-trick ball and cut it straight to point where he was standing. Has their ever been any notable incidents of brothers being involved in a hat-trick of this kind in higher forms of cricket and if so who were they?

    Jonpaul McGrane

  • Comment number 42.

    Comment 19 PortoIan

    "question 15 - Maw 501

    No, the batsman is out, the umpire decides when an over is over, if he/she miscounts thats what goes in the scorebook (if the batsman pointed it out BEFORE the delivery then the umpires would consult and ask the scorer and then correct the over, but AFTER the event is too late)"

    I was going to write and say this was wrong, but then I re-thought.

    What I am sure is wrong is what I see a lot in park cricket where the scorer pipes up uninvited and starts shouting "There's still one more to come" or "That's the over".

    But I assume it is fine for the umpire to actually ask the scorer if there is any uncertainty in his mind?
    And presumably then there's no problem with the batsman saying to the umpire "I think that's the over" and asking the umpire to check?

  • Comment number 43.

    Darn - no edit option on here eh?!

    Just to clarify, the only bit I originally thought was wrong was "...the umpire would consult and ask the scorer..."

    Everything else about the umpire being the sole arbiter of when an over is over and the batsman being out even if it is on the 7th legit ball is obviously spot on.

  • Comment number 44.

    In a recent LVCC match against Lancashire at the rose bowl. Hampshire's tenth wicket partnership was the largest partnership in both innings. How often does this happen and has it occured at Test Match Level.

    Thanks, Oliver, Fareham

  • Comment number 45.

    Re players who were selected for one test and neither batted nor bowled Frank Smailes Old Trafford 1938.

  • Comment number 46.

    Hearing the talk about the Primary Club and 'pre-primaries' during the last test reminds me that I seem to have stumped Bill. My question was 'what is the highest score that a batsman has been out first ball for in Tests, first-class cricket?'.

  • Comment number 47.

    question 45 - John Steele

    yes he did

    Frank Smailes played in just one test vs India at Lords in 1946, when he scored 25 in one innings and took 3 wkts for 62 runs across both innings

    you are correct in that he was selected for a test vs Aus in 1938 but the test was called off before anyone took the field, even before the teams were announced, and as he was one of the squad of 13 we'll never know if he would have been selected to play

  • Comment number 48.

    question 44 - Captain Strobe

    the equal highest 10th wkt partnership ever in tests of 151 between Mahmood and Ahmed in the 1997 test between PAK and SA was easily the highest of the 26 partnerships in the match, the next highest being 114 between Kallis and Kerstein of SA

  • Comment number 49.

    Other than in first ever tests for each test playing nation, has any test team been comprised of eleven uncapped players?

  • Comment number 50.

    SA came close on readmission, But had Kepler Wessels who had played for Aus...

  • Comment number 51.

    Hello Mr Frindall.

    During the recent test series against New Zealand I remember one of the commentators (I think it may have been Aggers and Bocott on air at the time) asking you to find out which county had the most English test captains.

    Sadly I was on ym way to the airport at the time and missed your answer!

    Did you work it out?

    Warm regards.

  • Comment number 52.

    question 16 - Oliver Brett

    the top five players dismissing Bradman in tests are

    Verity - 8 (3 bwl, 4 ct, 1ct+bwl)
    Bedser - 6 (1bwl, 5 ct)
    Tate - 5 (1bwl, 2ct, 1ct+bwl, 1 lbw)
    Larwood - 5 (2bwl, 2ct, 1 ct+bwl)
    Bowes - 5 (4bwl. 1 ct+bwl)

  • Comment number 53.

    Howdy Bearders,

    In the most recent Test against South Africa, Ian Bell got off the mark with a 5. I was wondering how many other batsmen got off the mark with a score that cannot (usually) be scored in the normal course of an innings such as a 5, 7,8...?

    What is the highest score that a batsman has opened his innings with?

  • Comment number 54.

    Following on from my previous question:

    Have any batsman gone to a hundred unexpectedly following extras added to the batsmen's score rather than the the Extras column?

    Has a batsman ever run a three, then another three in over throws after the ball bounced off a helmet behind the wicketkeeper and miraculously evaded all the fielders, giving the batsman 11 runs off one ball and thus allowing him to go from 89 - 100 bypassing the nervous nineties alltogether?

    Is 11 the highest amount of runs that can be awarded to the batsman off any one ball or is there a permutation that I have missed?

  • Comment number 55.

    question 53+54 - Buntee Yumper

    well it doesn't answer all your questions but it sums up maximum runs in tests, 1st class and other cricket, from blog 161 answer 102 and blog 162 and 166

    theoretically a batsman could score any amount of runs off one ball, by the fielding team constantly throwing the ball past the 'keeper but never to the boundary, and the batsman just keep running, however....

    in first class cricket the record is 10 by SHWood of Derbyshire from Burnup, MCC in 1900, but this is a special case as it was under a trial law having the boundary marked with a net, allowing the batsman to score a boundary and still run. TWO coming from the trial boundary net and EIGHT actually ran,
    one has to imagine that the fielders forgot about the net and just watched the ball, before realizing they had to actually field it so....

    in test cricket the record would appear to be 7 (runs off the bat, not a no ball 6) which Bill actually scored, here is his comment from his column number 22 (!!)
    "Alan Knott off Vanburn Holder in the Fourth England v West Indies Test at Headingley in 1976. Knott took a quick single to extra-cover where Bernard Julien fielded and overthrew the wicket-keeper. Knott and Tony Greig ran two overthrows before Andy Roberts, fielding at square-leg, retrieved the ball and threw it past the stumps at the bowler's end and over the long-off boundary for four more runs."
    however both of these included a boundary, so the ALL RAN test record would be McDermott for Aus vs SL in the 3rd Test, Jan 1996, when the first ball he faced he ran FIVE from
    see the note for day 3 here
    or here

    to be added to all this there are the "NOT lost" ball stories (it should be pointed out that if the ball is lost then the runs are limited to when the fielders call "lost ball", see law 20) which range from 63 runs to 286 runs when a ball is stuck in a tree, or in a tiger's paws, inside the boundary, but plainly visible and therefore not lost (the tree story would need that the two teams had not decided on a "penalty" boundary for hitting the tree beforehand) in all cases the stories end "until a fielder fetched a gun" and either shot the ball out of the tree or just shot the tiger.....these stories never have any evidence (which is not to say they are not true) and are not First Class matches

  • Comment number 56.

    Greetings from Gibraltar.

    In the 2nd England / SA Test this month, it was late in the day, SA had a hat-full of wickets left and only needed half a dozen runs to win.

    However the light was terrible and then it started to rain. The extra time had already been claimed and used because victory was in sight.

    Common sense says that the umpires would let them play on in otherwise unplayable conditions to secure the inevitable result - but - imagine 8 wickets in hand and 2 runs to win but you're off for torrential rain. Under the laws (and to avoid a farce) is there any provision to concede and not have to turn up the next morning to face just one over of inevitable defeat?


  • Comment number 57.


    Thanks very much!

  • Comment number 58.

    Going back to "Ask 174", bring_back_athers asked if Freddie Flintoff had played with most team mates for England. I reckon Flintoff has played with 62 others, 21 who made their debut before him and 41 (of the 48) who made their debut after him.
    Graham Gooch played with 113 others (and he missed out on 13 who debuted after him - and played before the end of his career). Gooch beats Alec Stewart who played with 97. Don't think anyone beats him.

    Phil Britton

  • Comment number 59.

    #11 - the decision of which day a match starts on depends upon the umpire's call of play - if play has been called, tha match has started, if not, then the match has not started.

    As an aside to the example quoted, the follow on figure is the same for 3 and 4 day matches - it varies between the other lengths of games.

    #56 - A captain may concede a match at any time - Alec Stewart conceded an ODI to Pakistan a few years ago when the behaviour of the fans made any return to the pitch unsafe.

    However, there's no real reason to concede - if the heavy rain at the end of one day continues for the demaining day (by no means impossible in England), then the fielding side could yet escape with a drawn match.

  • Comment number 60.

    In a match at Stanmore Alastaire Fraser (brother of Angus) was bowling with most of the fielders behind the wicket. The batsman managed to get the full bat on the ball and pushed it past Peter Nichols at extra cover towards the boundary.

    Now Peter Nichols was on the Lords Ground staff in his youth and a very fine cricketer all his life, but at this time, towards the end of his playing days, was not the quickest in he field and could only amble after the ball as we all, to our shame, watched from the slip cordon.

    After a little while the batsmen had embarked upon their second run and Peter was not exactly gaining on the ball. Alastair decided to go after it himself. He overtook Peter quite quickly and arrived at the ball which had come to rest inches short of the boundary.

    Alastair picked the ball up and, as the batsmen completed their fourth run, presumably with the adrenalin pumping, threw the ball clean over the Wicket Keeper's head. First slip had moved to a backing up position but the ball hit a hard spot and bounced over his head. Hat long-leg not been chatting at the time to a scantilly clad sunbather he might have managed to save the four over throws.

    The question, therefore, is this - Has more than eight runs been scored in one delivery, with only the bowler (and none of the fielders) having touched the ball?

  • Comment number 61.

    Re: No. 11 - the washed out match and the 0 not outs.

    Surely it does not matter whether or not the 0 not outs are included in the averages: a batsman's average is the number of runs he has scored divided by the number of times he's been out. The number of runs is not changed by the 0 not out and nor is the number of times he has been dismissed.

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi Bill

    In #174, you mentioned the 11 ways a batsman can be out - my question concerns the more unusual ones. I remember seeing a few people get out by handling the ball (Graham Gooch for one), but in test matches, how many people have been out:
    - hitting the ball twice
    - obstructing the field
    - timed out
    - retired out?

  • Comment number 63.

    question 62 - Leadieri

    well this is from blog 168 question 34, a reply about the batsman getting out in the most different ways, it includes all the answers you asked for

    no test player has ever been given out in two of the 10 ways, TIMED OUT or HIT BALL TWICE

    the only player given out in tests OBSTRUCTING FIELD was len hutton, however he was never given out HANDLED BALL, but 7 others were (gooch, vaughan, s waugh, haynes, m khan, hilditch and endean)

    of these HUTTON, HAYNES and WAUGH were also out HIT WICKET, so they are the joint record holders with 7

    i'd also like to point out that 2 batsman have been out another way in tests-RETIRED OUT (different from retired hurt, which is not out) Attapattu and Jayawardene, both in the same test vs Bangladesh in 2001, but as neither have ever been out hit wkt then they don't have 7 types

  • Comment number 64.

    Relating to 17.

    I know of at least two first class matches in which the highest score was less than 24. In the Glamorgan v Gloucestershire game at Margam on 22-24 August 1982, DM Young topscored with 24. The scores were Gloucs 88 and 92, Glam 62 and 49, Gloucs winning by 69 runs. The match total of 291 runs came off an incredible 236.2 overs spread over three days.
    In the even more amazing MCC v Australians game in 1878 - completed in one day - AN Hornby was the top scorer in the MCC first innings with 19 (MCC 33 and 19, Australians 41 and 12-1). Only two others reached double figures.
    There are probably a good number of other instances from the nineteenth century.
    Bob Letham, Bridgend

  • Comment number 65.

    Re 64

    The Margam game was, of course, played in 1962, not 1982.
    Bob Letham

  • Comment number 66.

    Re 17 again.

    I notice that the question asked about the lowest highest score by a member of the winning team. In the 1878 match I mentioned in 65, Hornby was on the losing team. The highest score for the winners, the Australians, was - believe it or not - only 10, made in the first innings by W. Midwinter.
    If there is a lower score by a member of the winning team I would be glad to know it. It could hardly be much lower than that!
    Bill, do you know of any?
    Bob Letham, Bridgend

  • Comment number 67.


    I have heard umpteen times that Ian Bell has never scored a century in a Test innings where another batsman has not also scored a century.

    This suggests to be that he finds it hard to score 'tough runs', despite his impressive career average. I would be fascinated to know what his Test match average is for innings in which England total under 300 runs.

    Many thanks!

  • Comment number 68.

    Hi Bearders

    Ever since Alec Stewart retired from first class cricket many people have tried to replace him in the role of wicket keeper. One of the problems is that England want a keeper batsmen, like Gilchrist, yet we don't really have one in this country. We either have good keepers who bat a little bit, or good batsmen who can keep but are liable to drop the odd catch, and no one knows which is the better option. The keeper/batsmen may catch everything but score no runs, while the batsmen/keeper may score runs but drop someone who then scores a hundred.

    I was just wondering if there was a way of comparing all those keepers who have been tried since Stewart, maybe by subracting any runs scored from a batsmen that the keeper dropped from the runs that the keeper then scored in each match. This way you could decide which keeper is best value for the side, the keeper/batsmen or the batsmen/keeper.

  • Comment number 69.

    Re 68

    The August edition of the Wisden Cricketer has a feature which addresses this question, including byes conceded, runs cost in missed catches, and batting averages, resulting in a net figure representing a quantifiable value. Of the keepers since Alec Stewart, Chris Read is top with 18.21, Ambrose second at 15.27, followed by Jones at 7.03, Foster at 6.40, and last of all Prior at - 22.56.

    Factors not included are such things as the state of the pitch, and the stage of the 'keepers respective careers when they played - Foster was probably chosen too early and his results might well be better if he were to be selected now.
    Bob Letham, Bridgend

  • Comment number 70.

    To tomrutherford - thanks very much for your reply at #59 to my #56 question. I wasn't aware of the ability to concede at any time, but your common-sense approach of holding out for the draw is the logical choice. Cheers.

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi Bill

    If 15 overs is taken as a minimum requirement; are there any bowlers who have conceeded 0 runs in a test match innings. If not, who has the most economical figures in a test match innings.

    Eddie, West Yorkshire

  • Comment number 72.

    If a batsman was to get hit on the pad outside the line of off stump playing a shot- then the ball rolls back towards the stumps and batsmen kicks it away can the fielding side appeal for lbw! I would think yes because the ball has not made contact with the bat at any point and the ball is going on to hit the stump!

  • Comment number 73.

    Sorry i meant to ask could the batsmen be given out according to the laws of the game obviously the side could appeal and it could be given out our be declined but what does the law say

  • Comment number 74.

    Hi Bill

    In my village green cricket experience, left arm bowlers who also bat left handed are very rare animals indeed. Is it unique for two of these to be batting together in test cricket, namely Panesar and Sidebottom?

    Phil - Norfolk

  • Comment number 75.

    question 71 -Eddie S

    using 15 overs as a minimum nobody in tests has bowled in an innings for 0 runs

    the most economical was RG Nadkarni for India vs Eng in 1964 when his figures for the 1st innings were
    unsurprisingly the match was drawn
    (i believe his figures included 15 consecutive maidens but you wanted in an innings not a partial one)

  • Comment number 76.

    I was reflecting on a dismissal 25 years ago with a friend and wondered if you would have the correct interpretation. I struck the ball and went for a single only to be turned back. As I was gaining my ground to avoid a run out I dislodged my bails and the umpire gave me out Hit Wicket. As a teenager I was rather disgruntled, but accepted the decision. Should I have been given out? Thanks

  • Comment number 77.

    #76., Pluckybrill

    No, you shouldn't have been given out.

    The law on Hit Wicket says:

    " ... the batsman is not out under this Law ... if ...

    (b) it occurs when he is in the act of running, other than in setting off immediately for his first run.

    (c) it occurs when he is trying to avoid being run out or stumped. ... "

    So it seems to me that there are at least two reasons that you shouldn't have been out.

    Nick, London

  • Comment number 78.

    ref 72 - not LBW, because although the qualifying parts of law 36(LBW) section 1 are met, section 2 says ..... In assessing points (c), (d) and (e) in 1 above, only the first interception is to be considered.... So the second contact is legitimately defending your wicket (as you could equally safely do with the bat) and you should be not out.

  • Comment number 79.

    ref 67 I insticntively think you are right but be careful not to do Mr Bell a disservice. If you think about it, ANY batsman's average in high scoring innings is likely to be greater than in low scoring innings (whether you set the cutoff at 300 or anywhere else). You would get a better answer if you categorise the total into bands centreing on (for example) 200 and 400 then you would EXPECT a ratio around 2 for ALL the batsmen. Anyone whose rate turned out to be over 3 would match your description of only doing well when everyone else does; anyone on about 1.5 or less would be the guy to dig you out of a crisis. (Jack Russell???) Hope this helps! We just need someone to provide the actual figures.

  • Comment number 80.

    Dear Bill,
    if a fielder mis-throws a return and it crosses the boundary, at what point does it become an overthrow onto which the completed runs taken by the batsmen can be added? If the the throw goes behind the fielder is this still considered an overthrow? Does it need to pass the stumps? What if the throw is part of the same movement as a sliding stop, say, and therefore closer to being a fumble?


    Richard - Canterbury

  • Comment number 81.

    RE 27... the test you mentioned, Freddie also hit a six in the first innings.

  • Comment number 82.

    Hello Bill,

    Perhaps a silly question but yesterday during the Kent/Derbyshire Pro 40 game I noticed that Watson was run out for 1 off 1 ball. I deduce he was run out coming back for a second. Does that qualify him for the primary club, or do you have to have been out for a golden duck?

    Thank you for your help,


  • Comment number 83.

    76/77 - the quotes from the Law will have been different 25 years ago when the incident took place, but the principle would be the same - you can only be out hit wicket while playing at the ball, or setting off for your first run.

  • Comment number 84.

    hello bearders,
    is it possible to view previous blogs on the website here? if so how?

  • Comment number 85.

    RE #80 - richardt0001

    From Law 19 (Boundaries):

    6. Overthrow or wilful act of fielder
    If the boundary results either from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder the runs scored shall be
    (i) the penalty for a No ball or a Wide, if applicable, together with any penalties under either of Laws 18.5(b) (Deliberate short runs) or 42 (Fair and unfair play) that are applicable before the boundary is scored
    and (ii) the allowance for the boundary
    and (iii) the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they have crossed at the instant of the throw or act.

    So there's no real 'definition' of an overthrow and it's irrelevant in terms of scoring runs. You can keep running and running whilst the ball is inside the ropes. As soon as a fielder picks it up and deliberately throws it (in any direction, eg not necessarily crossing the line of the stumps) then if the ball subsequently crosses the boundary the runs already completed AND the four are added together.

    Regarding your comment about the fumble; that would presumably not be viewed as a 'wilful' act by the umpire and so just the 4 runs would be scored.

    It would be a judgment call for the umpire if a player were to cleanly field a ball, but then, as he made the motion to throw it, it slipped backwards out of his hand over the line. I think would be a harsh umpire who deemed it a 'wilful' act and thus awarded both the runs scored and the four.

  • Comment number 86.


    Is it possible that Kevin Pietersen could be given out lbw to a ball landing outside leg stump and then going on to possibly hit the stumps if he has changed hands to play his reverse/cross sweep/swipe shot?

    Richard Roberts



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