Ask Bearders #175
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.
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.