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Ask Bearders #166

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Bill Frindall | 10:59 UK time, Wednesday, 19 March 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. During England's abject First Test defeat against New Zealand one thing stood out, the number of catches that Alastair Cook took. What is the record in terms of number of catches in a Test match by a player other than the wicket-keeper? Joel Hockley, UK

Bearders' Answer: The most catches in a Test match by a fielder is seven and is jointly held by Greg Chappell and Matthew Hayden (Australia), Stephen Fleming (New Zealand), Yajurvindra Singh (India) and H.P.Tillekeratne (Sri Lanka). Alastair Cook equalled the England record of six, which he now shares with A.Shrewsbury, F.E.Woolley, M.C.Cowdrey, A.W.Greig, A.J.Lamb and G.A.Hick. I very much doubt if any of those six fielders held as many exceptional catches in one Test as Cook did at Hamilton. It showed that catches do not win matches, a dictum enhanced at Wellington where they shelled numerous chances and yet won the match.

Q. I was wondering if any Northern Territory cricket players have ever represented the Australian national team. I have not found any yet. Miles Keeping

Bearders' Answer: Damien Martyn is the only cricketer born in the Northern Territory to have represented Australia. Born in Darwin on 21 October 1971, he played his state cricket for Western Australia and appeared in 67 Tests.

Q. I recently read of a West Indian who is the only Test cricketer from any country to have been executed. Who was this man and what records (Test, not criminal) did he possess? Matt Richards

Bearders' Answer: Your man was Leslie George Hylton, a Jamaican fast bowler who was hanged in Spanish Town on 17 May 1955 for the murder of his wife. He played in six Tests (1934-35 to 1939 in which year he toured England), achieving a best analysis of 4 for 27 and a highest score of 19. In 40 first-class matches he took 120 wickets at 25.62 (best analysis 5 for 24) and scored 843 runs at 18.73 (highest score 80).

Q. Can you shed any light on a cricket match played in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in the 19th century when the one-armed took on the one-legged? Roland James

Bearders' Answer: There were several matches between one-armed and one-legged pensioners during the mid-nineteenth century. I don't have any specific records with me in New Zealand but I recall that at least one was played in north London, at Islington, and most were won by the one-legged teams. In this period, when cricket was greatly influenced by gambling, there were also matches between smokers and non-smokers, married and single, and over- and under- 40s. The Bs, a team consisting entirely of players with surnames beginning with a 'B', also featured.

Q. I was interested to read your answer regarding Lord Hawke having been born in Lincolnshire. I'd always thought that until the late eighties or early nineties only those who were Yorkshire-born could represent the county. Was this a case of having one rule for the nobility and another for the rest of us? Matt Coomber, Kyoto

Bearders' Answer: Lord Hawke was one of about 20 cricketers (I have a full list on file at home) born outside the county and who represented Yorkshire prior to 1960. From memory, Geoffrey Keighley was the last before overseas players were introduced. Born in France, at Nice, on 10 January 1925, he appeared in 35 county matches (1947-51) before it was discovered that he had been born abroad. The family of Martin Bladon (later Lord Hawke) was firmly rooted in Yorkshire and, but for his mother's riding accident across the border in Lincolnshire, he would have been born within the county. Probably commonsense rather than favouritism towards the titled classes prevailed in his case.

Q. While playing in the Dordogne last summer, the opposition bowler was several times no balled for sending down bouncers well over our opener's head. The youngster eventually 'up periscoped' and holed out. He then held his ground claiming that 'no ball' had been called (which it had been) but was still given out. The umpire claimed it wasn't a no ball if he could hit it. Who was right? James

Bearders' Answer: Your umpire was correct in calling 'no ball' (rather than 'wide') under Law 42.6 (a) (ii) which covers Dangerous and Unfair Bowling - Bowling of fast short pitched balls. However, he has confused the laws concerning wides and no balls. Although an umpire's call of 'wide' must be rescinded if the batsman hits the ball, this does not apply to no balls.

Q. My friend recently bought me an England limited-overs shirt as a present. He couldn't decide what number to get on the back so settled for 28 (my age). How do England assign shirt numbers as from the list I got off the ECB website it seems to be all over the place? Do you get to pick your own number? Max, London

Bearders' Answer: The numbers on the back of the shirts of all international cricket teams are chosen by the players from a list of currently unchosen ones.

Q. What's the historical reason for having separate criteria in Tests and limited-overs internationals for deciding whether a ball is wide or not? Shatajit

Bearders' Answer: This has absolutely nothing to do with history. The rules governing limited-overs game have been drafted with the sole intention of favouring batsmen and the narrowing of the limits of a wide are just one of many in that category. It is grossly unfair for a bowler to be 'wided' for a ball that shaves the leg stump because the batsman has moved inside the line.

Q. Has there ever been a left-arm bowler who batted right-handed? Ron Alexander

Bearders' Answer: Left-handed batsmen who bowl right-handed are far more common but there have been a good many who did the opposite. Without being able to comb record books that are back in England, I can offer Nayan Doshi, Grant Flower and Ray Price from those who appeared in county cricket last season. The most obvious examples among post-war Test players are Derek Underwood, David Steele and Ravi Shastri.

Q. Are pads for the wicket-keeper mandatory or optional? I have always wondered if the wicket-keeper cannot be more mobile without the pads. Partha Mallikarjun

Bearders' Answer: They are optional, Partha. Law 40 (1) permits the wicket-keeper to wear gloves and external leg guards but does not compel him/her to don either.

Q. Hi Bill - always enjoy your column! Has there ever been an instance, in Tests, first-class or limited-overs matches, where a bowler has achieved a hat-trick, spread over three separate innings? Dan, Guernsey

Bearders' Answer: No, Dan. As I have written on several previous occasions, a hat-trick can only be achieved within a match. As the three-innings match has yet to be conceived, the maximum number of innings involved can never exceed two.

Q. Please can you explain why, when a batsman is not out at the end of an innings, although his runs count towards his career average, the innings itself is not used as a divisor? Surely this gives a false impression of a batsman's prowess? For example, a number 11 could, in theory, play 100 test innings, scoring 1 in each. If he was not out in 99 of those innings, his test average would end up as 100. Surely if each innings was counted as a divisor this would be a truer reflection of the player's ability, as his average would then be 1? I know my example is an extreme case, but it would surely make sense that a player's runs divided by total innings should be the criteria for an average. Colin Smith

Bearders' Answer: Ever since batting averages were introduced, 'not out' innings have been disregarded in the calculations. I agree that it is not logical but it has been established over two centuries. No one has invented an alternative method to the arithmetic mean for calculating batting and bowling averages. Pioneer cricket statisticians decided that it would be unfair to include not out innings when batsmen had gone to the crease shortly before the innings ended or had been undefeated after a long innings. There have been very few instances where a player's career, tour or season's average has been grossly inflated by 'not outs'. The most famous such instance occurred on the Australians' 1953 tour of England when their number 11, Bill Johnston, achieved a first-class batting average of 102.00 by virtue of being dismissed only once during his 17 innings and compiling an aggregate of 102 runs with a highest score of 28 not out. Once his average had reached three figures, his captain, Lindsay Hassett, protected it by declaring so that he did not bat again on the tour.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:41 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Phil Peel wrote:

Hello

After the high scoring 1 day tie between England and New Zealand I was wondering how many overs in the match contained at least one boundary, and what is the record for most and least in a match.

Phil, Durham, UK

  • 2.
  • At 12:42 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Kewell wrote:

As an interested aside to the question regarding if anybody from the Northern Territory had played test cricket for Australia, there is another test cricketer from the NT who has played test cricket: Matthew Sinclair, who was born in Katherine, NT on November 9, 1975. He, however, moved to New Zealand at a young age and represents the Black Caps.

  • 3.
  • At 12:43 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Sam Anstee wrote:

Hello Bill,

Firstly, just wanted to say I'm loving your work.

Secondly, Alistair Cook recently hit his first match six. Has any front line batsman faced more balls without scoring a six in test matches?

Cheers,
Sam

  • 4.
  • At 12:45 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Sticky wrote:

hi
Does my memory fail me or do I recall a match at Chelmsford against either Oxford or Cambridge where a batsman was trapped leg before needing just one run to win, and everyone adjourned to the pavillion for tea, only for the umpire to point out that as no one had appealed the player was not out and had therefore won the game? If memory serves the captain that day was Rob Andrew, current England rugby boss.
Sticky

  • 5.
  • At 12:47 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • jim birch wrote:

Sir

Prompted by the ongoing failures of English batsmen to occupy the crease I wonder if there is a table showing who has faced most balls in their career, or, more relevantly,their average balls faced per dismissal (an "out rate" comparable to a bowlers "strike rate"). If not could you compile one? I imagine it may be headed by dour Yorkshiremen.

Regards

Jim Birch

  • 6.
  • At 12:55 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Hicks wrote:

Hi,

Say a team needs one run to win, and the batsman hits the ball towards the boundary, but run the required single before the ball reaches the rope, only 1 run is awarded as the match is said to have been completed once that run has been completed, correct? What then, would happen should one run be required to win, the ball is hit very high in the air, the batsmen complete a run, but the ball is caught by a fielder? When does the match end?


Thanks,

Tom, Herefordshire

  • 7.
  • At 01:00 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

It seems only fair that number 11's should average so highly as if you score 99 consecutive 1 not outs before being out for 1 you have scored the same amount of runs for the same amount of wickets as scoring 100 before being out. It may not be quite as impressive but as batsmen tend to 'get their eye in' after time at the crease one could argue that 100 scores of 1 not out is the more impressive run. I was wondering if their is any evidence of the nervous nineties (i.e. are batsmen statistically more likely to be out in the nineties) as I would think people would get out more often for between 100 and 109 as they lose concentration on reaching their century

  • 8.
  • At 01:01 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Mark, China wrote:

I'd love to see some statistics on batsmen who are able (and not able) to go on and convert, say, 50s into BIG scores.

Any chance of the table of Test batting averages where only innings of 50 or more are counted???

  • 9.
  • At 01:03 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Keith Edwards wrote:

Hi Bill - how many English batsmen have scored a test century, and if more than 100, who was the Centurion of Centurions?

Keith Edwards
UK

  • 10.
  • At 01:05 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Lilia Aird wrote:

When there is a run out and both batsman are stranded at one end of the wicket (and assuming they are level with each other relative to the wicket), are they allowed to decide between themselves who will sacrifice themself?

  • 11.
  • At 01:06 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • David Cranson wrote:

In regards to averages - I was always taught that an average was the number gained by dividing the total by the number of instances.
So the average of 1+2+3+4+5+6 would be 3.5, this makes sense to me.

If I'm right, however, according to the way cricket authorities calculate it, if two of these innings was not out, then the average would be 5.25.

If four of the innings were not out this would mean an average of 21. This is plain daft(!) and makes a mockery of statistics.

If all of the innings were not out, what average is gained? It is not possible to divide by zero?

  • 12.
  • At 01:08 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Pranev Sharma wrote:

Q. Has there ever been a left-arm bowler who batted right-handed? Ron Alexander

A. Adding to Bill's list - Michael Clarke of Australia is one who does this.

  • 13.
  • At 01:14 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Kevin, Hertfordshire wrote:

I'd wear number 17, kind of my lucky number (and birthdate). Unfortunately, I think that already belongs to Liam Plunkett...

  • 14.
  • At 01:17 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Kevin, Hertfordshire wrote:

I'd wear number 17, kind of my lucky number (and birthdate). Unfortunately, I think that already belongs to Liam Plunkett...

  • 15.
  • At 01:19 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Nguyen wrote:

Although I've seen various statistics on the most tests, most runs and most wicket for first class and international cricket, I have not seen any on the longest duration, i.e. between a players first, first class game and last first class game. Who holds the honour and how many years were there between the two games?

  • 16.
  • At 01:21 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Howdy Bearders,

There's been a lot of talk about the lack of centuries scored by the England top 6. I was just wondering how this compared to other test playing nations in recent years. Is England the worst performer in terms of centuries scored by the top 6 per matches played?

Chris
Edgbaston, Birmingham

  • 17.
  • At 01:22 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Nguyen wrote:

Although I've seen various statistics on the most tests, most runs and most wicket for first class and international cricket, I have not seen any on the longest duration, i.e. between a players first, first class game and last first class game. Who holds the honour and how many years were their between the two games?

  • 18.
  • At 01:23 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • jwilkinson wrote:

Has Andrew Flintoff ever played in a series at home in which England have lost. If he hasn't is this a recored for an English player?

Thanks

  • 19.
  • At 01:25 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Nguyen wrote:

Although I've seen various statistics on the most tests, most runs and most wicket for first class and international cricket, I have not seen any on the longest duration, i.e. between a players first, first class game and last first class game. Who hold the honour and how many years were their between the two games?

  • 20.
  • At 01:26 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Nguyen wrote:

Although I've seen various statistics on the most tests, most runs and most wicket for first class and international cricket, I have not seen any on the longest duration, i.e. between a players first, first class game and last first class game. Who holds the honour and how many years were there between the two games?

  • 21.
  • At 01:26 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Hicks wrote:

Hi,

Say a team needs one run to win, and the batsman hits the ball towards the boundary, but run the required single before the ball reaches the rope, only 1 run is awarded as the match is said to have been completed once that run has been completed, correct? What then, would happen should one run be required to win, the ball is hit very high in the air, the batsmen complete a run, but the ball is caught by a fielder? When does the match end?


Thanks,

Tom, Herefordshire

  • 22.
  • At 01:28 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • jwilkinson wrote:

Has Andrew Flintoff ever played in a Test series at home in which England have lost. If he hasn't is this a recored for an English player?

Thanks

  • 23.
  • At 01:29 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Howdy Bearders,

There's been a lot of talk about the lack of centuries scored by the England top 6. I was just wondering how this compared to other test playing nations in recent years. Is England the worst performer in terms of centuries scored by the top 6 per matches played?

Chris
Edgbaston, Birmingham

  • 24.
  • At 01:30 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Nil P wrote:

In reponse to Ron Alexander's q, Australia's Michael Clarke also bats right hand and bowls left hand spin

  • 25.
  • At 01:33 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Bloke wrote:

"Ever since batting averages were introduced, ‘not out’ innings have been disregarded in the calculations."

So how do they calculate an average for a player who has never been dismissed? Say your number 11 plays 5 innings for a total of 60, never gets dismissed...that would be 60/0 which is obviously a nonsense

  • 26.
  • At 01:41 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Hicks wrote:

Hi,

Say a team needs one run to win, and the batsman hits the ball towards the boundary, but run the required single before the ball reaches the rope, only 1 run is awarded as the match is said to have been completed once that run has been completed, correct? What then, would happen should one run be required to win, the ball is hit very high in the air, the batsmen complete a run, but the ball is caught by a fielder? When does the match end?


Thanks,

Tom, Herefordshire

  • 27.
  • At 01:49 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Vincent Smith wrote:

Dear Bearders

I was wondering what the highest score (out or not out) achieved by a test opener before his partner had yet scored.

Cheers

Paul.

  • 28.
  • At 02:02 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

When a batsman records a not out, the innings isn't used as a divisor because they werent out!

Why would you punish a batsman for not getting out? Number 11s don't have an awful lot of time to score hundreds like openers do

In the case of Bill Johnston, all that proves is that batting average shouldn't be looked at in isolation of other statistics.

  • 29.
  • At 02:06 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • John Sherman wrote:

Whilst reasearching 18th centuary cricketers I discovered a player named John Sherman (whom I am lead to believe played for Surrey), which was of paticular intrest as this was also my name! I have discovered that he had the joint longest first class career with W.G Grace but could find no more information upon him. Is this true and, if so, what were his averages?

  • 30.
  • At 02:06 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Bill,

In terms of stats and averages, when is a batsman deemed to have actually batted? when a ball in bowled whilst he is in the middle? When he faces any ball? When he faces a legal ball?

In the 2nd ENG/NZ test last week, did Chris Martin technically "bat" in the final innings? He faced nothing at all, but he was there in the middle for at least 30 seconds while the match was in progress.

Thanks

Chris
Birmingham

  • 31.
  • At 02:12 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Bill,

In terms of stats and averages, when is a batsman deemed to have actually batted? when a ball in bowled whilst he is in the middle? When he faces any ball? When he faces a legal ball?

In the 2nd ENG/NZ test last week, did Chris Martin technically "bat" in the final innings? He faced nothing at all, but he was there in the middle for at least 30 seconds while the match was in progress.

Thanks

Chris
Birmingham

  • 32.
  • At 02:33 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • John Sherman wrote:

Whilst reasearching 18th centuary cricketers I discovered a player named John Sherman (whom I am lead to believe played for Surrey), which was of paticular intrest as this was also my name! I have discovered that he had the joint longest first class career with W.G Grace but could find no more information upon him. Is this true and, if so, what were his averages?

  • 33.
  • At 02:38 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen Gould wrote:

Bill says that "no-one has invented an alternative method" for calculating averages.

Then let me be the first. First, calculate the average for all completed innings. Then add that average to all uncompleted innings - the resultant scores being termed "expected scores". Then recalculate the average as if the uncompleted innings were completed with the total being the total of expected scores.

Example:

A batsman scores 50, 30, 20, 10 n.o. and 5 n.o. Traditional average is (50 + 30 + 20 + 10 + 5)/3 = 35. The Gould Average(tm!) is:

1. (50+30+20)/3 = 33.3 for completed innings.
2. (10 no. + 33.3) = 43.3 for "expected score" on the first n.o. innings and (5 n.o. + 33.3) = 38.3 for the second n.o. innings.
3 Gould average: (50 + 30 + 20 + 43.3 + 38.3)/5 = 36.3

When this is re-arranged, you get the more formal calculation:

((Sum of completed innings)/(no. of completed innings) x no. of incomplete innings + sum of all innings)/total no. of innings.

So: ((50+30+20)/3 x 2 + (50+30+20+10+5))/5 = 36.3

The idea is that when a batsman has an average of, say, 40 from a completed innings from a start of zero runs, when he scores 10 runs not out, it's reasonable to suppose he'll score 40 runs on top of that for a total of 50 runs...

It's not flawless but it does reduce the effect of not out innings on the average of batsmen who don't normally score much more before they're out. You don't get batsmen with averages somewhat higher than their actual highest score.

  • 34.
  • At 03:00 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

#2 - that average would be infinity; much sought after!

  • 35.
  • At 03:00 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Batsmen who have never been dismissed do not have a batting average. Most statistics produced for batting averages require batsmen to have been dismissed a given number of times before they can be included.

  • 36.
  • At 03:02 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Batsmen who have never been dismissed do not have a batting average. Most statistics produced for batting averages require batsmen to have been dismissed a given number of times before they can be included.

  • 37.
  • At 03:06 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Jambon wrote:

Response to 2:

Basically he would be shown on an averages sheet as not having an average. If you look at James Andersons current series average. He has had 2 innings 0 not out and 12 not out. He therfore does not have a series batting average.

If he goes through the next Test without getting out then so be it.
Or he could be out twice for 0 and his average will be 6.

  • 38.
  • At 03:09 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Colin, London wrote:

Statistically speaking, how important is a first innings lead? Obviously you'd expect to win more often than lose with a first-innings lead, but what is the split? The biggest deficit I can find where the match was subsequently won is India's 274 behind on first innings at Eden Gardens in 2001. (Beat Aus by 171 runs in the end).

  • 39.
  • At 03:10 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • dave wrote:

You don't get an average until you get out at least once.

  • 40.
  • At 03:13 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Pavel (Tromsø, Norway) wrote:

Re the last question, there has been in fact an alternative method proposed for batting averages quite recently, see for example this story in The Economist, and the method itself (PDF).

In that method, reasonably long not out innings (counted by number of balls faced) count as "out", so you don't get rabbits stranded at the non-striker's end getting a boost to the average. As the authors note, it is the lower middle order batsmen that "suffer" most, since they are likely to be not out yet face a large number of balls to "earn" an "out" innings. Still, it's an interesting idea.

Bloke (#2): I believe a player who has never been out has an infinite average.

  • 41.
  • At 03:16 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Ian, Cambridge wrote:

Off the top of my head I can think of at least two more left-arm bowlers who bat right handed, Ashley Giles and Zaheer Khan. Michael Clarke bats right handed and bowls left handed, as did Inzamam-Ul-Haq if I remember correctly.

  • 42.
  • At 03:17 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Pavel (Tromsø, Norway) wrote:

Re the last question, there has been in fact an alternative method proposed for batting averages quite recently, see for example this story in The Economist, and the method itself (PDF).

In that method, reasonably long not out innings (counted by number of balls faced) count as "out", so you don't get rabbits stranded at the non-striker's end getting a boost to the average. As the authors note, it is the lower middle order batsmen that "suffer" most, since they are likely to be not out yet face a large number of balls to "earn" an "out" innings. Still, it's an interesting idea.

Bloke (#2): I believe a player who has never been out has an infinite average.

  • 43.
  • At 03:17 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

"Ever since batting averages were introduced, ‘not out’ innings have been disregarded in the calculations. I agree that it is not logical but it has been established over two centuries."

I'd just like to register my disagreement. To me (at least), it seems perfectly logical that a batsman's average should be the aggregate of his runs divided by the number of times he has been dismissed. If a batsman is 'not out', then his innings has not been ended. It's the same reason why not-out batsmen have the asterisk after their scores.

It's "runs-per-wicket", exactly as a bowler's average is calculated.

Yes, this does mean that batsmen who have never been dismissed do not have averages. This is also, in my opinion, completely in keeping with the practice of honest statistics.

  • 44.
  • At 03:22 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen Gould wrote:

There is another way to calculate averages - call it the Gould Average (tm).

Calculate the average for completed innings. Add that number to each not out innings, and then calculate the resultant average as if the not out innings were completed but with the adjusted score.

Example: you score 50, 30, and 10 n.o. Average: (50+30+10)/2 = 45.

Average of completed innings: (50+30)/2 = 40.

Adjusted score on n.o. innings: 10 + 40 = 50.

Gould average: (50 + 30 + 50)/3 = 43.3

This method biases against batsmen who don't score many runs before being out, but who have lots of low scoring n.o.'s.

More formally:

((total runs of completed innings)/(no. of completed innings) x no. of not out innings + total runs)/total innings.

Further example:

Batsman A: 100, 40, 10 n.o. 5 n.o., 5 n.o. - classical average: 80.

Batsman B: 40, 10 no., 10 n.o., 10n.o., 10 n.o. - classical average also 80.

Using my method:

A: ((100 + 40)/2 x 3 + 160)/5 = 77
B: (40/1 x 4 + 80)/5 = 48

Doesn't this more accurately reflect the two batsmen's performance?

  • 45.
  • At 03:23 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

Dear Bill,
A ball is bowled and hits the batsman's pad in front of the wicket and carries through to the keeper. The umpire isn't sure whether the batsman got an edge first or not, but knows that he's either LBW or caught behind.

Should the batsman get the benefit of the doubt re both possible dismissals, or should the umpire give him out but leave it uncertain as to why?

Thanks,
Ian

  • 46.
  • At 03:27 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Chin Ratnayake wrote:

I believe Andrew Symonds is the only member of the current Australian team to born outside Australia (Birmingham, West Midlands). Who is the last person to represent Australia (other than Symonds) who was born outside Australia?

  • 47.
  • At 03:33 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

Dear Bill,
A ball is bowled and hits the batsman's pad in front of the wicket and carries through to the keeper. The umpire isn't sure whether the batsman got an edge first or not, but knows that he's either LBW or caught behind.

Should the batsman get the benefit of the doubt re both possible dismissals, or should the umpire give him out but leave it uncertain as to why?

Thanks,
Ian

  • 48.
  • At 03:37 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

Counting 'not-out' innings as part of an average is very unfair to the players who are actually measured by their average - the batsmen! If a wicket falls with 4 runs needed to win, then whichever batsman comes out is going to spoil his average just by leading his team to victory.

Any sensible list of highest-averaging batsmen has a 'minimum xxx runs' filter, precisely to stop lucky tailenders from disrupting the list.

  • 49.
  • At 03:38 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Has there every been any instances in cricket where a team has declared on 666/6? or 666 all out?

  • 50.
  • At 03:41 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Josh wrote:

Re: Overthrow runs
What's the technical difference between batting the ball into the ropes while trying to save the ball, and throwing it over the ropes for 4+ whatever the batsmen run. What's the record for most runs scored off of one delivery?

  • 51.
  • At 04:12 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • A.Ramsden wrote:

Cricket averages - I suggest you count the number of times a batsman is at the crease but discount his highest score from the runs total and number of innings.This would give a more reliable average. Often their highest score totally distorts their batting performance.

  • 52.
  • At 04:13 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • nas wrote:

i have answers (i hope) to three of the questions posed to bill.

lilia aird - if the batsmen are both stranded (but level) at one end of the wicket it would depend on which end the stumps were broken.

tom hicks - no runs are awarded if a catch is taken (unless it was from a no ball).

chris of birmingham - chris martin's innings started the moment he entered the field of play.

  • 53.
  • At 04:28 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • nas wrote:

as i have recently completed a basic umpires course i know the answers to some of the questions posed to bill...so here goes:

ian: with regards to ct behind or lbw. i think the umpire has to be sure when he makes the decision whether it's lbw or caught behind. if however he detects the edge, he should signal to the scorer that it was ought caught...even if it was plumb lbw.

lilia aird: no, it depends at whose end the stumps are broken.

tom hicks: no runs are awarded when a batsman is out caught (unless it were off a no ball)

chris from brum: martin's innings would've started the moment he entered the field of play.

  • 54.
  • At 04:34 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

Hi Bill - in the last test in NZ England had 6 left handed batters (Cook, Strauss, Broad, Sidebottom, Monty and Anderson). Have we ever had more lefties in test team?

  • 55.
  • At 04:35 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 22 - jwilkinson

this is identical to a question asked 2 or 3 blogs ago, this was the answer then

the first part of your question, no, Eng have never lost a home series with Flintoff playing at least one match

he has taken part in 11 series at home since South Africa (won) in 98 (he then missed a couple of seasons) and has since played and won against Zim (2000), WI (2000), SL (2002) NZ (2004) WI (2004) Bang (2005) Aus (2005) and drawn against India (2002) SA (2003) and SL (2006)

as to the second part, hmmmm...

certainly Eng at home never had such a good run as the series up to 2006, and nobody could have played consecutively in more series without loss (but then again flintoff didn't play consecutively), so i don't know is my answer, but i doubt it (maybe someone with a more searchable database or more time than me will discover the answer)

REGARDING bw's answer about the one legged game...he didn't need his records if he'd read the previous blog he'd see all the info he needs about the two games he mentioned

REGARDING averages....no-one is suggesting the method used at the moment is the BEST method, it is simply the method used for the past 120+ years and strikes a balance between ease and fairness. and as to the question of a player who is never out, you're right he has NO average, anyone who can play lets say a career of 100 games and never get out deserves, in my opinion, an infinte average! (no this has never happened, but some players have had short careers and never been out, which is why averages for batting take a minimum amount of innings, although i don't actually know what is the maximum number of innings not out before being out...suggestions anyone?)

  • 56.
  • At 04:40 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • nas wrote:

as i have recently completed a basic umpires course i know the answers to some of the questions posed to bill...so here goes:

ian: with regards to ct behind or lbw. i think the umpire has to be sure when he makes the decision whether it's lbw or caught behind. if however he detects the edge, he should signal to the scorer that it was ought caught...even if it was plumb lbw.

lilia aird: no, it depends at whose end the stumps are broken.

tom hicks: no runs are awarded when a batsman is out caught (unless it were off a no ball)

chris from brum: martin's innings would've started the moment he entered the field of play.

  • 57.
  • At 04:42 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Geoff Halford wrote:

Re Not Outs in batting averages. My older brother,Keith (66), STILL brings up at EVERY opportunity the time he was second in our club batting averages batting at No11, with an average of 28.00. His total runs for that seaon, 28, highest score 6 Not Out. I still think the averages should be both the traditional (with not outs not included in the divisor) and 'Runs Per Innings', for a decent batsman the difference should not be too significant.

  • 58.
  • At 04:43 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Colin McCosh wrote:

Donald Bradman retired with a batting average in Tests of 99.96. He was out as is well known for 0 when all he needed was 4 runs to have an average of 100. He therefore clearly had, on walking to the crease, an average over a 100.

What say after 10 completed test innings was his highest test match average and was that figure the highest ever for persons having completed 10 test match innings?

Thank you

Colin McCosh

  • 59.
  • At 04:48 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

Hi,

One of my favourite cricketers of all time is Mike Atherton. A friend of mine once told me he averaged over 50 for a period in the mid 90's, but as his career average was under 40 and he had a good last few years of his career I have always wondered if this is true.

Thanks
Rob

  • 60.
  • At 04:55 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Geoff Halford wrote:

Re Not Outs in batting averages. My older brother,Keith (66), STILL brings up at EVERY opportunity the time he was second in our club batting averages batting at No11, with an average of 28.00. His total runs for that seaon, 28, highest score 6 Not Out. I still think the averages should be both the traditional (with not outs not included in the divisor) and 'Runs Per Innings', for a decent batsman the difference should not be too significant.

  • 61.
  • At 04:56 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

Hi,

One of my favourite cricketers of all time is Mike Atherton. A friend of mine once told me he averaged over 50 for a period in the mid 90's, but as his career average was under 40 and he had a good last few years of his career I have always wondered if this is true.

Thanks
Rob

  • 62.
  • At 04:57 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 22 - jwilkinson

this is identical to a question asked 2 or 3 blogs ago, this was the answer then

the first part of your question, no, Eng have never lost a home series with Flintoff playing at least one match

he has taken part in 11 series at home since South Africa (won) in 98 (he then missed a couple of seasons) and has since played and won against Zim (2000), WI (2000), SL (2002) NZ (2004) WI (2004) Bang (2005) Aus (2005) and drawn against India (2002) SA (2003) and SL (2006)

as to the second part, hmmmm...

certainly Eng at home never had such a good run as the series up to 2006, and nobody could have played consecutively in more series without loss (but then again flintoff didn't play consecutively), so i don't know is my answer, but i doubt it (maybe someone with a more searchable database or more time than me will discover the answer)

REGARDING bw's answer about the one legged game...he didn't need his records if he'd read the previous blog he'd see all the info he needs about the two games he mentioned

REGARDING averages....no-one is suggesting the method used at the moment is the BEST method, it is simply the method used for the past 120+ years and strikes a balance between ease and fairness. and as to the question of a player who is never out, you're right he has NO average, anyone who can play lets say a career of 100 games and never get out deserves, in my opinion, an infinte average! (no this has never happened, but some players have had short careers and never been out, which is why averages for batting take a minimum amount of innings, although i don't actually know what is the maximum number of innings not out before being out...suggestions anyone?)

  • 63.
  • At 04:59 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • nas wrote:

chin

i can think of brendon julian. he was born in new zealand.

  • 64.
  • At 04:59 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Abid Shah Pakistan wrote:

Dear Bill
In the recent test series against NewZealand English opeer cook hit his first ever test sixer.Is it a record that he hit it after making almost 2000 test runs?If yes then who was record holder before him,with how may scores and in how much innings?

  • 65.
  • At 05:06 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Boony wrote:

How could you forget Ashley Giles?! A left-arm spinner who batted right handed, and left a massive hole at number 8 when he lost his place in the England test team...

All of the examples in your list appear to be spinners. Are there any left arm pace bowlers who batted right handed? The first that comes to mind is Alan Mullally, although "batting" is perhaps a bit kind to his efforts with the willow.

  • 66.
  • At 05:13 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Abid Shah Pakistan wrote:

Dear Bill
In the recent test series against NewZealand English opeer cook hit his first ever test sixer.Is it a record that he hit it after making almost 2000 test runs?If yes then who was record holder before him,with how may scores and in how much innings?

  • 67.
  • At 05:15 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Boony wrote:

How could you forget Ashley Giles?! A left-arm spinner who batted right handed, and left a massive hole at number 8 when he lost his place in the England test team...

All of the examples in your list appear to be spinners. Are there any left arm pace bowlers who batted right handed? The first that comes to mind is Alan Mullally, although "batting" is perhaps a bit kind to his efforts with the willow.

  • 68.
  • At 05:16 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Finbar wrote:

Ray Bright, Australian Test spinner of the late 70s, was another left-arm bowler and right-handed batsman.

  • 69.
  • At 05:17 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

WRT batting averages... at the risk (well, certainty) of making things more complicated than they already are (but then isn't that the *point* of cricket stats??) surely an average on it's own means very little anyway. In general statistics an average should surely be accompanied by a standard deviation / variance / margin of error, which in this scenario would represent how far from the average a batsman normally is... a "consistency" factor. 5 ducks and 5 tons would give you an average of 50 with "consistency" of 50, whilst 10 50's would also be an average of 50 but a "consistency" of 0. wholly fudged maths there of course, and it'd need to be to make it tangible to others as opposed to real var or stdev figures...

To me it'd be genuinely useful to get an idea of how likely it actually is that the batsman will get something close to his average or not.

But what's an average here anyway, how often did Bradman leave the field having actually scored 99.94 runs!?! :-) doesn't sound very average to me.

  • 70.
  • At 05:19 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Murray wrote:

Hello Bill

Great column as always.

I was wondering what rules (if any) govern the eligibility of substitute fielders. Does one have to qualify to play for the nation in question in order to take to the field in tests or ODIs as a replacement?

Andrew

  • 71.
  • At 05:21 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Marc, Manchester wrote:

Hi Bill. Regarding the questions about average scores for batsmen. What's the highest average score anyone has had at one point in ODIs and Test matches? I remember a few years ago when Bell just joined the England team and played test matches against Bangladesh, he had an average score of well over 250 at one point. Thanks!

  • 72.
  • At 05:25 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Marc, Manchester wrote:

Hi Bill. Regarding the questions about average scores for batsmen. What's the highest average score anyone has had at one point in ODIs and Test matches? I remember a few years ago when Bell just joined the England team and played test matches against Bangladesh, he had an average score of well over 250 at one point. Thanks!

  • 73.
  • At 05:27 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Marc, Manchester wrote:

Hi Bill. Regarding the questions about average scores for batsmen. What's the highest average score anyone has had at one point in ODIs and Test matches? I remember a few years ago when Bell just joined the England team and played test matches against Bangladesh, he had an average score of well over 250 at one point. Thanks!

  • 74.
  • At 05:27 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Marc, Manchester wrote:

Hi Bill. Regarding the questions about average scores for batsmen. What's the highest average score anyone has had at one point in ODIs and Test matches? I remember a few years ago when Bell just joined the England team and played test matches against Bangladesh, he had an average score of well over 250 at one point. Thanks!

  • 75.
  • At 05:30 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Rutherford wrote:

#21 - in the situation with 1 required to win, the match cannot end until the ball has landed, and 1 run has been completed.

#30 - Provided the game is to continue immediately, a batsman's innings commences once he enters the field of play. For the opening batsmen, their innings starts on the call of "play"

#45 - The umpire should give the batsman out - an appeal is generic and not limited to one method of dismissal. He would then advise the scorers which method of dismissal should be recorded, but this is an essentially academic point.

#50 - If a fielder has given the ball fresh impetus intentionally, either through a throw, or (for example) deliberately kick the ball towards the boundary, then any additional runs are overthrows.

I haven't read all the posts on not outs and averages, but here are some thoughts. In essence, the rule means that big scores give an unfair advantage to the batsman not out, but in the absence of the rule low scoring not outs would be unfairly penalised. To explain:

1. If batsman A gets 200* it would seem unreasonable that his average is boosted significantly more than batsman B scoring 220 out. If they both score 0 next time round A finished with an average of 200 v B's 110, but you can hardly say he was nearly twice as influential over the match.

2. On the other hand, if A came in, was 0* without facing a ball, and the innings was declared, why should his average suffer to the same extent as B who was out first ball? Again, if they both score 50 next innings they will have the same average, but that seems harsh on A.

You could I suppose pick a score above which not outs were to be discounted, but wherever you put it, it would give unfair weight to one extra run.

The rule is imperfect, but I can't think of a better one. After all, how many of the top batsmen's stats have been distorted either way? Tendulkar's greater number of not outs put his average slightly above Gavaskar and Lara but not massively, and anyone interested in such things will be knowledgable enough to take account of the fact that Gavaskar had fewer not outs thanks to being the opener, etc.

  • 77.
  • At 05:43 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • nas wrote:

there's not been too many left arm english pace bowlers that bat right handed.

does anyone remember if mike smith of gloucs batted right handed? or paul taylor of leics?

  • 78.
  • At 06:17 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • James Darmon wrote:

Bill

I recall watching a one day match between Hampshire and Bucks at Shardeloes (Amersham) in about 1975. As I recall Hampshire won by a mile batting first, due to Richards and Greenidge facing a minor counties attack with small boundaries. Does this make sense, and were any records involved?

  • 79.
  • At 06:33 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Atkinson wrote:

Regarding batting averages, I agree that the way not-out innings are treated doesn't make perfect sense. However, I don't think that counting them as an "out" innings would be any better. For example, suppose a side needs 120 to win, the openers put on 118 and then one of them is out. There would not be a rush of volunteers to go in with just 2 needed to win, knowing that your innings will be counted as a "failure", whether out or not.

  • 80.
  • At 06:46 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • BagnallPro wrote:

ashley giles was also a notable example of LH bowler, RH bat

as am i for that matter, but not quite so notable!

  • 81.
  • At 07:01 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • BagnallPro wrote:

ashley giles was also a notable example of LH bowler, RH bat

as am i for that matter, but not quite so notable!

  • 82.
  • At 07:25 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Ashish wrote:

Which contemporary batsman has scored highest number of runs in One Day and Test Cricket against Austrailia?
Also can you please Tell Brian Lara and Inzamam Ul Haque's record against Austrailia?

  • 83.
  • At 07:28 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Will. Thornton wrote:

Hello Bill,

Can you tell me why, when a wicket falls in the last over before a scheduled break (Lunch/Tea/Close of play), and it is not the last ball, the new batsman is allowed to wait till the next session before coming out to bat? This is unfair to the bowling side.

Regards,

Will.

  • 84.
  • At 07:48 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Daniel Grey wrote:

Hello Bill,
When playing for my under 15's team in the final of a local cup last year, there was controversy. Our opening batsman was warned once by the umpire after being 'stumped' by the bowler on his run up. Later, our number 3 batsman suffered the same fate, but this time was not warned and was given straight out. He had also not been warned about it when he came to the crease. Was the umpire right, or do we have the right to feel aggrieved?
Thankyou in advance.

  • 85.
  • At 07:55 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Daniel Grey wrote:

Hello Bill,
When playing for my under 15's team in the final of a local cup last year, there was controversy. Our opening batsman was warned once by the umpire after being 'stumped' by the bowler on his run up. Later, our number 3 batsman suffered the same fate, but this time was not warned and was given straight out. He had also not been warned about it when he came to the crease. Was the umpire right, or do we have the right to feel aggrieved?
Thankyou in advance.

  • 86.
  • At 08:04 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Savile wrote:

Hi Bill, I was wondering what the highest the score has even been on in an opening partnership with only one of the 2 openers having scored and runs (and including extras if necessary), in both Test Matches and ODIs. Thanks, Mark in Manchester.

  • 87.
  • At 08:25 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 10 - lilia

if both batsmen are level between the creases (ie in the middle of running) then the batsman out is the one who WAS closest to the put down wicket immediately before drawing level

law 29, 2 para C
"If there is no batsman in either ground, then each ground belongs to whichever of the batsmen is nearer to it, or, if the batsmen are level, to whichever was nearer to it immediately prior to their drawing level."

however if both are in the SAME crease but one has not run then the "latecomer" is out

law 29, 2 para A
"...(ii) it remains his ground even if he is later joined there by the other batsman."

but finally if both have run, left their ground and somehow ended up in the same ground then they can indeed choose which is to be run out by one leaving the ground/crease

law 29, 2 para B

"If both batsmen are in the same ground and one of them subsequently leaves it...."

in fact a great video of this confusion finally ending in the last result (and a killer scowl by the out batsman) can be seen here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36SLpqAymTE

if you listen the commentators are discussing whose ground it is as both batsmen left their ground

question 50 - josh

the most runs off one ball is a popular question, here's an answer from a while ago

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
http://content-www.cricinfo.com/slc/engine/match/63708.html
or here
http://www.pcboard.com.pk/Archive/Scorecards/61/61750.html

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

  • 88.
  • At 08:31 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • john sherman wrote:

When doing some reasearch the other day i discovered a player by the name of John Sherman I was able to find that he may have played for surrey and had the joint longest first class career with W.G Grace but that was the limit that my reasearch had so would you be able to enlighten me as to his ability with the bat and ball.

  • 89.
  • At 08:50 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Phil Britton wrote:

71 - Marc
Lawrence Rowe (WI) had an average of 314 after his debut match (214 & 100*)

  • 90.
  • At 09:21 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Henry Ashman wrote:

Hi Bill, following the test in Wellington between England and New Zealand, where England fielded 6 left handed batsmen, four of which were 8,9,10 and 11. Have there ever been instances of an all left hand bat test XI? or an all right hand bat for that matter?

  • 91.
  • At 10:56 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • Rob Young wrote:

85. When I was playing scholboy cricket my headmaster took the view that if the batsman at the bowlers end was out of his crease he should be given ne chance by the bowler but then he could be run out. We were told it was a little unsporting to run the batsman out without a warning but if this occurred the batsman would be given out and the the bowler given a lecture on sportsmanship(and also on disregarding the headmasters advice)

  • 92.
  • At 11:58 PM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • nas wrote:

ref #87

in addition i have an old vhs tape in which ian chappell is credited with an all run 5 without any overthrows at the oval in 1975. those were the days in which the boundaries were set right back to the maximum.

  • 93.
  • At 02:32 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • David Ward wrote:

Many, many years ago at primary school, my teacher, a Miss Hudson, used cricket averages to teach arithmetic to us eight and nine year olds. I gratefully record her name here as a 'thank you' for kindling my interest in cricket. What the girls made of it I don't know, but I guess it didn't do them any harm! She would never teach anything unfair, so our cricket averages are fair!!

Seriously though. Despite the fact that traditional averages have a few quirks (infinite averages when there are no 'outs' or indeterminate averages when there are only 0* scores) it seems unthinkable that they can ever be overturned notwithstanding the computing power we now have at our disposal. I look upon them as denoting the ratio of successes for the batsman (scoring a run) compared to a successes for the other side (getting him out). They seem completely fair to me!!

Stephen Gould's method would reduce the Don's 99.94 to 97.93. Doesn't quite have the same ring does it?

  • 94.
  • At 06:19 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • SANTONU BORPUZARI wrote:

Name some cricketers whose average is higher than their invidiual highest score in international matches

To Mr Ward at post 93:
You don't know what the girls made of cricket averages? It is the English men who should be looking closer at understanding averages rather than women, who have just retained the Ashes and beaten NZ away.
My daughter has just had a day with her state primary school class at Lords meeting and being coached by members of the victorious English women's team. Let's emulate the women!

  • 96.
  • At 08:52 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Tony Pope wrote:

Dear Bill
Re the left handed bowler/right handed batsman question, the most recent example was England's unsung hero of 2005, Ashley Giles.

  • 97.
  • At 08:59 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Tony Pope wrote:

Dear Bill
Re the left handed bowler/right handed batsman question, the most recent example was England's unsung hero of 2005, Ashley Giles.

  • 98.
  • At 09:02 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen wrote:

Hi Bill,

In regards to the Left arm Bowler Right arm Batsman question.... Weren't Simon Jones and Phil Tuffnell both of that mould, or does my memory decieve me?

  • 99.
  • At 10:06 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Rutherford wrote:

Re #83 - it would be a waste of time for a batsman to come in for only a couple of balls and then go off for lunch/tea. It isn't unfair, because the same rules apply to both sides throughout the match.

#84 - there is no requirement in the Laws to warn a batsman before running him out at the non-strikers end

  • 100.
  • At 10:20 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

Contrary to popular belief, division by zero does NOT give an answer of infinity: it is in fact undefined. Thus a batsman who has not been dismissed does not have an average.

To illustrate the arithmetic behind this:

If x divided by y = z, then
y times z = x (by definition).

So, if 34 divided by 0 = infinity, it would mean that 0 times infinity = 34, which is clearly nonsense.

  • 101.
  • At 10:36 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Euan wrote:

Hi Bill, I rember that before the '05 ashes Ian Bell had a huge average, and I was wondering how many players could have retired at some stage in there career and have a average (after the minimum number of tests for it to count) that would beat Bradman's?

  • 102.
  • At 11:05 AM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

The method of calculating the average is much fairer than dividing by the number of innings as if you put Bradman at number 11 he would probably average about 10 per innings as his partner would get out through no fault of his own.

  • 103.
  • At 12:25 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

Ref #70

I think I remember Geoff Howarth (future NZ captain) fielding for England vs Australia in a ODI when he was a youngster on the staff at the Oval.

  • 104.
  • At 12:38 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Mark, China wrote:

I'd love to see some statistics on batsmen who are able (and not able) to go on and convert, say, 50s into BIG scores.

Any chance of the table of Test batting averages where only innings of 50 or more are counted???

  • 105.
  • At 12:46 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Kevin, Hertfordshire wrote:

Hi Bearders, love reading your column.

Open question to anyone really, somewhat related to one of the questions answered in this entry:

How can I get my name and number printed on the back of the ODI shirt I'm looking to buy off the ECB site? Do they do printing themselves or will I have to find another company for this?

  • 106.
  • At 01:18 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

Ref #70

I think I remember Geoff Howarth (future NZ captain) fielding for England vs Australia in a ODI when he was a youngster on the staff at the Oval.

  • 107.
  • At 01:26 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Keith wrote:

re RH bat/LH Bowl combinations - I'm astonished that no-one has mentioned the great JK Lever!

  • 108.
  • At 01:28 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • William Wade wrote:

Stephen Gould (33 and 44) proposes a different method of calculating batting averages to deal better with the "not out" problem. I can see merit in part of what is proposed, namely producing a composite which makes use of the straightforward averages for "out" innings. However, adding the "not out" score to the "out" average to give a notional score which might have been achieved had play continued is questionable as a matter of statistics. If a batsman's "out" average is 40, and he is 10 not out, surely one cannot very well say the likelihood is that he would have gone on to score 10 + 40? We would need to look at what he went on to score, on average, in those previous innings in which he at any rate reached 10. (Something between 40 and 50, one might imagine, though it is not necessarily so.) Applying the Gould Average here might well tend to inflate the figures somewhat. But then what if his not out score exceeds his "out" average? (A contingency not addressed in the previous analysis.) Suppose his not out score is 60 - would we add 40 to that, in effect saying he'd probably have gone on to make a century? This too might seem inflationary. On the other hand if we simply leave it at 60, this would seem an error in the opposite direction. Again, ideally we would want to to look at what he averaged in those previous innings in which he at any rate reached 60. It may be there are none. It is a messy business; that much is certain.

  • 109.
  • At 01:54 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Mr T wrote:

Hi Bill,

Can you tell me if any players have taken a test "hat-trick" of wickets split between innings or tests either against the same or differing opponents? i.e. taken the last 2 wickets of one test innings then the first wicket in the following game!

Have any players managed this more than once?

Thanks

  • 110.
  • At 03:42 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • monsta wrote:

Re: Overthrow runs
What's the technical difference between batting the ball into the ropes while trying to save the ball, and throwing it over the ropes for 4+ whatever the batsmen run. What's the record for most runs scored off of one delivery?
--------------------------------------------------------------------
I know England conceded 7 runs from 1 ball. What happened is the batsman scored 3 however Geraint Jones missed the return throw and it went for 4 more runs. Flintoff was not amused!

  • 111.
  • At 05:18 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Jim McGrath wrote:

I love the way Mr Gould adjusted his example inning's when he realised that, in his first example, his method gave a higher average than the traditional method. Classic!

I have some questions relating to bowling feats from the 2nd test - namely Sidebottom's second consecutive 5-for, and 2 5-fors by different England bowlers in the same match. So:

Who was the last bowler before this match to get 5-fors for England in consecutive tests;
who holds the record for the most number of consecutive test 5-fors;
when did 2 different England bowlers last take a 5-for in the same match;
and what is the highest number of bowlers (either side) to take 5-fors in the same match (theoretically this must be 8, but I suspect the actual figure is much lower).

  • 112.
  • At 05:43 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • David Ward wrote:

James, 95.

If I wasn't teetotal, I'd drink to that. Well done to all concerned!


  • 113.
  • At 06:44 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • George Jones wrote:

A great left-handed bowler and right-handed batsman was Denis Compton. For a part time bowler, I think you will find that his bowling averages for both test and county games were rather better than some of the current batch of English specialist bowlers.

  • 114.
  • At 07:30 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • George Jones wrote:

A great left-handed bowler and right-handed batsman was Denis Compton. For a part time bowler, I think you will find that his bowling averages for both test and county games were rather better than some of the current batch of English specialist bowlers.

  • 115.
  • At 10:30 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • JOHN PEPPER wrote:

I have a bet that a batsman playing against Kent ( for Nottinghamshire??)in a four day County Championship match scored a double century in each innings and was on the losing side .

  • 116.
  • At 11:01 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 109 - Mr T

did you read Bill's comments at the top of the page?

it is impossible to have a hattrick over two matches, and therefore against different opponents

in test matches only three players have managed a hattrick over two innings

C Walsh (WI)
M Hughes (AUS)
J Lawson (WI)

of these Hughes actually managed to spread his 3 wickets over 3 overs (the last ball of one, the first ball of the next to finish the innings and the first ball of the opening over in the second innings)

this must have happened several times in 1st class cricket

it is possible, however, to take 3 wickets consecutively in 2 (or even 3) games but this would NOT be a hattrick and so not recorded anywhere (except in the players mind!)

so the only way to find out would be to trawl through every test ever played, a feat i doubt many would undertake....if you fancy trying it here is a link to a searchable list of all tests ever played (and most first class games)

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/cgi-bin/ask_the_scorecard_oracle.cgi

  • 117.
  • At 11:36 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • VB wrote:

In the recent Test Match the commentators mentioned unconvincing appealing by the England fielders.

Surely, with over-appealing being a offence, merely turning to the Umpire and politely, quietly, asking "How's that?" should be treated in exactly the same manner as everyone yelling at the top of their voice and waving arms in the air??

If over-appealing is frowned upon, and Cricket is the last gentlemans game, then polite queries should carry equal weight. Is this the case or not?

  • 118.
  • At 12:22 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • peeweeel wrote:

Can anyone explain why some messages appear several times in each thread?

Is it a glitch in the system?

  • 119.
  • At 12:44 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Patrick wrote:

re: averages

It is absolutely mathematically correct that 'not out' innings do not count towards the divisor of batting averages.

This gives absolutely no advantage to the tail-enders. It is indeed the case that a number 11 who scores 1 n.o. 99 times and is then dismissed for 1 in the next will average 100, but that's well and good - his feat would be just as impressive as the opener who scores a century in singles.

So well batted Bill Johnston.

  • 120.
  • At 12:50 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Mark, China wrote:

Here's an alternative way to calculate a batsman's average:

1. Work out his average the usual way (total runs divided by total dismissals).

2. Next remove all not out innings where the number of runs is less than that average (calculated in 1).

3. Now recalculate the average (total number of runs not including those lower-than-average not outs) divided by total number of dismissals.

4. Now calculate the innings average (total runs divided by total innings).

5. Finally, take the max value of the value from 4 and the value from 5.

So, a batsmen with one dismissal of, say, 12 and nine not outs all in single digits, would average 12 instead of about 80!

Also, a batsman with one dismissal of 0 and nine not outs all in single digits, would average about 5 instead of about 70!

  • 121.
  • At 02:21 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Barber wrote:

Ian Smith, commentating for Sky during the second test last week, spent some time bragging about his 'uniquue hat-trick' of two sixes and a catch in three consecuetive balls (two sixes hit to finish a declared innings followed by a caught behind first ball in the opposing innings)

I was wondering Bill if you might be able to share with us any other amusing and/or unique 'alternative hat-tricks'?!

*Disclaimer: I am aware that a 'hat-trick' is of course actually 3 wickets with consecutive balls within one match - please no-one pull me up on my incorrect use of the term in the above question, you get what I'm really asking (I hope)!

  • 122.
  • At 02:41 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Mark, China wrote:

Re: 119

Ok, I just realised that if a player then gets a not out score this could result in a decrease in his average!

I've had a rethink and it looks like an iterative process is in order. The idea is to only include a subset of the batsman's innings - excluding those low not out innings which dont really tell us anything useful.

1. Include all the batsman's innings as "countable innings". So, the number of "countable runs" is the total number of runs in the countable innings. The number of "countable dismissals" is the total number of dismissals in the countable innings. And so on...

2. Calculate the "countable innings average" (countable runs divided by number of countable innings).

3. Remove (from countable innings) all not out countable innings where the score is less than the value of step 2.

4. If something was removed in step 3 then jump back to step 2 and repeat.

5. The final average is then the countable runs divided by the number of countable dismissals.

So, if a batsman has scores of 0, 1*, 2*, 3*, 4*

The steps would be something like:

1. 0, 1*, 2*, 3*, 4*
2. =2
3. 0, 2*, 3*, 4*
4. something removed
2. =2.25
3. 0, 3*, 4*
4. something removed
2. =2.33
3. 0, 3*, 4*
4. nothing removed
5. =7

So, that player would average 7 instead of 10!

Now suppose, he gets a 0 not out. That score would quickly get excluded from the countable innings.

Instead suppose he gets 10 not out:

1. 0, 1*, 2*, 3*, 4*, 10*
2. =3.3333
3. 0, 4*, 10*
4. something removed
2. =4.6666
3. 0, 10*
4. something removed
2. =5
3. 0, 10*
4. nothing removed
5. =10

So his new average is 10 instead of 20.

  • 123.
  • At 07:21 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Pelham Barton, UK wrote:

The "countable innings average" reached at the end of the iterative process described by Mark from China can be shown to be the minimal batting average which satisfies a range of desirable properties. (I prefer an iterative method which starts from the list of completed innings and introduces not-outs from the top down, but the stopping point is the same.)

His first example shows that his final average can exceed the highest score. This "final average" can also violate a more subtle property which I call convexity. An example:

Suppose a batsman scores 0 and 18 in his first match, and then 3 and 6* in his second match. The final average would be 9 for each match separately, but the 6* would be removed in the overall calculation to give a final average of 7 for the two matches together.

The minimal average can be shown to satisfy the convexity property. Another advantage that it has is as follows:

The conventional average goes up every time the batsman scores runs but down every time he is out and thus can go up then down as a result of a single innings. The minimal average remains constant while a batsman is not out at a score below the average. If he is out for a score below his average, this will go down. If he passes his starting average during an innings, the minimal average will start to increase, but will not go back down when he is out.

  • 124.
  • At 10:30 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Daniel wrote:

To add to batsmen who bowl with the opposite hand, in the current Australian team Michael Hussey bats left handed and bowls with his right, and Nathan Bracken bowls left handed and bats with his right.

  • 125.
  • At 12:48 PM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Phil Britton wrote:

115 - John Pepper
Sorry John, you lose your bet. The only person to score two double centuries in a match was Arthur Fagg for Kent v Essex in 1938. The match was drawn.

  • 126.
  • At 01:05 PM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • John K wrote:

#118

Yes it is a glitch in the system and affects many BBC website forms and blogs.

The problem is that the site tells you your message has not been received when actually is has. You then resend it and it comes through twice.

Either the software needs rewriting (preferable) or someone needs to moderate the blog so the duplicate messages are taken off. But that would affect the numbering of the responses and those commenting on earlier posts would be confused...

Sort this out BBC!

  • 127.
  • At 04:26 PM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Golledge wrote:

Please could you ask Simon Taufel where he gets his umpiring hats from. I am an umpire at local league level and would like a hat just like his but cannot find one.

I would like to know if Ray Lindwall a member of the Australian 1948 ashes team is still alive.

  • 129.
  • At 10:51 PM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Barky wrote:

Hey Bill,
Watching the Third test unravel online (England are currently 4-3) made me think - what's the shortest amount of time a supposedly 5-day test has been decided in? I'm curious to know if a test has ever been decided within a day.
Thanks
Mark in Seattle, USA

  • 130.
  • At 10:29 AM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • Nige B wrote:

Bill

After Tim Southee's annoyingly successful bowling spell to kick-start his debut test, i wonder if you could shed any light on the most successful debut bowling spells.

Hirwani took 8 wickets in an innings on debut, but were they all in one spell?

Thanks

Nige (Manchester)

  • 131.
  • At 12:23 PM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • Ian Payne wrote:

Has a test team batting first, recovered from 4 for 3 to win the match???

p.s Long time no see!!
p.p.s jools sends her love

  • 132.
  • At 01:45 PM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • Dom wrote:

Regarding averages - usually they will 'come out in the wash' - over the course of a career I doubt there are many, if any, tailenders with a decent batting average due to their prowess at not getting out.

In my experience where it can work against batsmen is where a team has a successfull season and rarely loses more than 4-5 wickets. This means that the middle order can get a lot of not-outs and possibly a solid number of runs ( several 20+ not outs etc. ) and fail to accrue enough outs to qualify for any end of season awards.

  • 133.
  • At 03:53 PM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • Jón wrote:

Regards left-arm bowlers batting right-handed: Phil Tufnell was another one.

  • 134.
  • At 04:29 PM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • John F wrote:

In the Second and Third Tests v New Zealand, England's left-handed batters (Cook, Strauss, Broad, Sidebottom, Panesar, Randall) have outnumbered the right-handed batters (Vaughan, Pietersen, Bell, Collingwood, Ambrose). Has this happened before for England?

  • 135.
  • At 04:38 PM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • Bob Hayes wrote:

A multi part question on test cricket:
1) Who holds the record for batting with a runner the most often?
2) Who holds the record for being the runner most often?
3) How many runners have been run out?
4) What is the record partnership for each wicket with a runner?

Can you extend this to County Cricket?

  • 136.
  • At 04:39 PM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Jones wrote:

I keep getting error messages when I try to post, let's try yet again...

131. Ian - yes: in fact Pakistan, against India at Karachi in 2006, went one better - they were 0/3 after Irfan Pathan became the first and thus far only player to take a hat trick in the first over of a Test, then 39/6 before Kamran Akmal made a century to lift them to 245. After gaining a first innings lead of 7, the top order did rather better in the second innings - providing the only instance in Tests of the first seven batsman in the order all reaching 50, as they declared at 599/7 and won by the small matter of 341 runs.

129. Mark - no Test has ever been decided on the first day; 19 have been done and dusted by the end of the second. Probably the shortest in terms of actual playing time was South Africa (36 & 45) vs Australia (153) at Melbourne in 1932 - it was over by lunch on the second day of actual play, although since one had been rained off that was the third scheduled day.

128. Peter - no, Ray Lindwall died in Brisbane in 1996, aged 74. After the death of Bill Brown last week, the only surviving members of the 1948 "Invincibles" squad are Arthur Morris, Sam Loxton, Neil Harvey and Ron Hamence.

121. Tim - numerous players have hit a "hat trick" of sixes, and in the case of Garry Sobers, Ravi Shastri, Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh, double hat tricks. No wicket-keeper or fielder has taken a Test hat trick, but a few have done so in first-class cricket, notably William Brain (the only keeper to take a hat trick of stumpings) and Jack Russell (the only hat trick of catches to be taken across two overs - one from the last ball of Courtney Walsh's over and two more from the first two of David Lawrence's). Dunno about your "mixed" hat tricks - after Kapil Dev hit Eddie Hemmings for four consecutive sixes at Lord's in 1990, he then opened the bowling in England's second innings, but didn't take a wicket in the innings, never mind with the first ball.

117. VB - yes, according to the Laws an umpire is obliged to give exactly the same consideration to a quiet enquiry from one member of the fielding side as to the whole team dancing and yelling, but the players appear to think this is not the case in practice. In some instances they may be right, such as one infamous incident when Rob Bailey was "caught" behind off his thigh pad and the umpire appeared to have decided that it wasn't out until Viv Richards went off on a war dance to persuade him to change his mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SNT53tLziM

111. Jim - the most consecutive Test 5 wicket hauls is six, by Charles "Terror" Turner against England in 1888. The last time two England bowlers took 5 in an innings in the same match was against West Indies at Chester-le-Street last summer (Sidebottom 5/88 in the first innings, Panesar 5/46 in the second), and the last to take 5 in consecutive matches was Panesar, with 6/137 at Old Trafford in the preceding match. The most bowlers I can find taking 5fors in the same match is four, in the Ashes match at the Oval in 1997 (Glenn McGrath 7/76 and Phil Tufnell 7/66 in the first innings, Mike Kasprowicz 7/36 and Andy Caddick 5/42 in the second). I suspect that this is probably the record as it's very rare for two bowlers to take five each in the same innings.

  • 137.
  • At 11:22 PM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Jones wrote:

9. Keith - Tim Ambrose has just become the 150th player to score a Test century for England. The 100th was Peter Sharpe, when he made his first and only Test century against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in 1969.


71. Marc/101. Euan - as Phil (89) mentions, Lawrence Rowe made 214 and 100* on Test debut; he followed that with 22 in his next innings, so immediately before being dismissed for the second time his average was 336, which remains the highest average recorded at any stage of a Test career; Ian Bell started his Test career with innings of 70, 65*, 162* and 6, and thus had an average of 303 before his second dismissal. The only player to finish his career with a higher average than Bradman's was Andy Ganteaume, who scored 112 in his only Test innings.

94. Santonu - here are some for you, all one Test wonders: Frank Penn (23 and 27*, average 50), Alfred Archer (7 and 24*, average 31), George Glover (18* and 3, average 21), Arthur Seccull (6 and 17*, average 23), Leslie Walcott (24 and 16*, average 40), Eddie McLeod (16 and 2*, average 18), Charles Passailague (44 and 2*, average 46), MJ Gopalan (11* and 7, average 18), John Watkins (3* and 36, average 39), Jeff Moss (22 and 38*, average 60), Naveed Nawaz (78* and 21, average 99), Iqbal Siddiqui (24 and 5*, average 29) and a bunch of others with fewer runs. A few have managed to retain such a record over a career of more than one Test, the most being Maurice Allom (five matches, three innings, one dismissal, HS 8*, average 14).

90. Henry - I'd imagine all right-handed Test teams are fairly common. I don't think there's ever been an all left-handed team, although West Indies in the late 1990s and early 2000s must have come close sometimes, often including five left-handers in their top six.

84. Daniel - it's perfectly legal to run the batsman out thus without warning, although Rob Young's headmaster isn't the only one to have considered it unsporting - it's caused some controversy on several occasions when it occurred in international matches, and being dismissed in such a way is still known in Australia as being "Mankaded", after Vinoo Mankad did it to Bill Brown in a Test. Mankad hadn't warned Brown in that innings, but had done so when he backed up too far in a warm-up game earlier in the tour. Don Bradman, Australia's captain at the time, commented "For the life of me, I can't understand why [the press] questioned his sportsmanship. The laws of cricket make it quite clear that the nonstriker must keep within his ground until the ball has been delivered. If not, why is the provision there which enables the bowler to run him out? By backing up too far or too early, the nonstriker is very obviously gaining an unfair advantage.".

82. Ashish - the most runs by any batsman in Tests against Australia is 3636, by Jack Hobbs; the most by a current player is Sachin Tendulkar's 2352. Brian Lara scored 2856 in 31 Tests against Australia at an average of 51.00 (HS 277, 9 centuries, 11 fifties); Inzamam 785 in 14 matches at 31.40 (HS 118, 1 century, 6 fifties). In ODIs Tendulkar leads the way with 2730; Lara scored 1858 in 51 matches at 39.53 (HS 139, 3 centuries, 15 fifties), Inzamam 991 in 34 matches at 31.96 (HS 91*, no centuries, 9 fifties).

78. James - the match you're thinking of took place at Shardeloes on 28th April 1973, between Minor Counties South and Hampshire in the group stage of the Benson and Hedges Cup. Richards made only 18 but Greenidge and David Turner batted out the rest of the innings, finishing on 173* and 123* respectively, and adding 285* as Hampshire totalled 321/1 (off 55 overs); in reply MCS were bowled out for 193. At the time Greenidge's score was the highest in domestic one day cricket in England, and the second highest in any List A match, but it has since been beaten many more times (including twice by Greenidge himself). The partnership is not a record now, but probably was at the time - I don't have the records to confirm this though (Bill probably does!). I thought that the might hold the record for fewest wickets lost in a full one day innings, but a delve into the archives reveals a domestic match in Pakistan in which the openers batted through the entire 50 overs undefeated (setting a List A record opening partnership of 326* in the process).

  • 138.
  • At 11:37 PM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • Daniel Kirk wrote:

Hi Bill,

Many thanks for a great column.

Both Ambrose and Warnapura recently completed their third test inninings with their stats reading 1 1 1: a century, a fifty and a duck. Has this happened often before?

Cheers

Daniel (Chile)

  • 139.
  • At 07:02 AM on 23 Mar 2008,
  • Jim Grundy wrote:

Bill


Earlier in the tour, during one of the 20-20 matches, three Nottinghamshire bowlers, Broad, Sidebottom and Swan, took wickets for England. Now two of those bowlers, Broad & Sidebottom, have taken all ten wickets in a test match innings. Have either of these Nottinghamshire-related achievements been precedented?

Have asked several Nottinghamshire members about the former but none can remember anything like it happening before. But do you know better?!


Jim

  • 140.
  • At 12:30 PM on 23 Mar 2008,
  • Mahendra wrote:

Warnapura made maidon Century for Sri Lanka. Ist it a MC for himself or is it MC on his very 1st Test appearence? How can it be differenciated?
And one Question to Mr. B. Frindall.
How many made Maidon Century on their very first appearence and can you please show a list of all?
I remember Abbas Ali Baig and Surav Ganguli achieved this feat.
Thanks in advance
Mahendra

  • 141.
  • At 05:08 PM on 23 Mar 2008,
  • Sean Gallagher wrote:

Re. Jim's question (number 139).

Checking back through the records the nearest I can find is the First Test of the 1932-33 'Bodyline' series when Larwood and Voce took nine wickets between them in the first innings (and sixteen overall in the match).

Indeed, it's surprising just how few Notts pace bowlers have actually been capped by England. Wasn't Ryan Sidebottom the first since Bill Voce, not counting Paul Franks in his one ODI?

Slán,

Seán

  • 142.
  • At 08:12 PM on 23 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

Bill

Since Alan Knott last played for England in 1981 how many wicketkeepers have been selected for the country (Test, ODIs and 20:20)? Were any of them (other than Marcus Trescothick and sometimes Alec Stewart) not the regular keeper for their county? Have there been any other stand-in England keepers in this period - perhaps to cover for an injury or indisposition during a game - I'm sure I saw D I Gower keep for Leicestershire once did he ever keep for England?

Matthew
West Yorkshire

  • 143.
  • At 08:35 PM on 23 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

Bill

Since Alan Knott last played for England in 1981 how many wicketkeepers have been selected for the country (Test, ODIs and 20:20)? Were any of them (other than Marcus Trescothick and sometimes Alec Stewart) not the regular keeper for their county? Have there been any other stand-in England keepers in this period - perhaps to cover for an injury or indisposition during a game - I'm sure I saw D I Gower keep for Leicestershire once did he ever keep for England?

Matthew
West Yorkshire

  • 144.
  • At 08:51 PM on 23 Mar 2008,
  • John Ngo wrote:

Hi Bill,

I always enjoy your answers to odd cricket questions. I noticed during the New Zealand vs England second test that the last four England batsmen were all left-handed. Has there been many occurances of this in test history, or have there been more left-handers making up the tail of the batting?

Thanks,
John, UK

  • 145.
  • At 12:43 AM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Jeremy Hinds wrote:

Other than the last 2 tests with Broad,sidebottom,panasar,anderson when was the last time England have had 4 left handed batsmen batting one after another in the batting line up?

cheers

  • 146.
  • At 02:38 AM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Will wrote:

Hi Bill,

I suspect someone has asked this before, but has anyone ever scored a Test century without hitting a boundary in his innings?

Will, Hong Kong

  • 147.
  • At 09:06 AM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • paul rosser wrote:

Hi there is it possible to take 10 wickets in a 6 ball over if you get at least 5 run outs and plus 5 stumped of wides is this legaly possible i am not sure if you can but you might know this conundrum thanks Mr Paul Rosser

  • 148.
  • At 10:28 AM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Steve, Hailsham wrote:

Q. In the 3rd test match v NZ England fielded 6 Left-Handed batsman. This strikes me as quite a high ratio. I am also aware of a much higher number of LH batters in the game generally. When I was growing up in the seventies LH batsman were the exception.

So my question is this - what is the highest number of Left-Handed batsman to take the field in a test match or 1st class game?

A supplementary question is - do the statistics bear out my notion that there is a much higher ratio of LH batsman these days?

  • 149.
  • At 11:32 AM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

Hello Bill,

I hope this finds you well and that you had an agreeable time in NZ.

Many, many years ago I read or heard about a fielder who displayed his prowess during an interval with a demonstration whereby he fielded three balls in succession and threw down each stump in turn. Any idea whom this was?

On a more stats related matter the current tour has been a bit of mixed bag. Are you able to calculate an average for England's Top 6 batting line-up? How does this compare with other overseas tours. I imagine one of the worst was one of the 'Collapso Cricket' tours of the Windies in the 80s. What was the best?

Tom, Sweden

  • 150.
  • At 12:19 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Bailey wrote:

Hi Bill,
In the first test of the current series, Ryan Sidebottom took a hat trick but was still on the losing side. I wondered if this has happened previously in tests and if so how many times.

Thanks
Mark

  • 151.
  • At 12:39 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Ian Payne wrote:

How many times has a test team batting first gone from less than 10 runs for three wickets on the first morning to winning the test?

ps long time no see!
pps Jools sends her love

  • 152.
  • At 03:42 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Derek Clifford wrote:

Hello Bill in the current test match England v N.Zealand all englands bowlers bat left handed .Has this ever occured in world cricket before???

  • 153.
  • At 04:48 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 150 - mark

there have been 37 hattricks in test cricket, which break down as

22 on winning side
5 drawn
10 on losing side

the 10 on the losing side were

Briggs (Eng vs Aus)
Griffen (SA vs Eng)
Petherick (NZ vs Pak)
Hughes (Aus vs WI) this is the one across 3 overs
Gough (Eng vs Aus)
sami (pak vs SL)
Lawson (WI vs Aus)
Kapali (Ban vs Pak)
Pathan (Ind vs Pak)
Sidebottom (Eng vs NZ)

i noticed 15 have happened in the last ten years (therefore 1.5 a year) compared to 17 in the first 100 years (0.17 a year), almost 10 times more common!

  • 154.
  • At 04:59 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • James Manning wrote:

Has a team ever declared on '0', giving them time to bowl the opposition out for a second time?

  • 155.
  • At 05:51 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Cottam wrote:

Barring the emergence of Broad, Englands tail appears to have contributed very little with the bat since Giles was injured and subsequently retired. What has been the average number of runs scored by Englands tail since Giles and how has that compared to the other test playing nations ?

  • 156.
  • At 06:00 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Michael Jones wrote:

151. Ian - as I mentioned when you posted a similar query earlier, Pakistan did so after being 0/3. I can't offhand think of any other instances.

150. Mark - Ryan Sidebottom's hat trick was the 37th in Test cricket; of the previous 36, nine finished on the losing side: Johnny Briggs (E v A, Sydney 1892), Geoff Griffin (SA v E, Lord's 1960), Peter Petherick (NZ v P, Lahore 1976), Merv Hughes (A v WI, Perth 1988), Darren Gough (E v A, Sydney 1999), Mohammad Sami (P v SL, Lahore 2002), Jermaine Lawson (WI v A, Bridgetown 2003), Alok Kapali (B v P, Peshawar 2003) and Irfan Pathan (I v P, Karachi 2006).

149. Tom - the fielder you're thinking of was Colin Bland.

147. Paul - yes, in theory it is actually possible for all ten wickets to fall without a delivery - even a wide or no ball - being bowled: if the first batsman is run out as non-striker for backing up too far, and the remainder of the team are timed out.

146. Will - this has been "achieved", if that's the word, twice in first-class cricket but never in a Test.

142. Matthew - there have been 22 players since Knott who have started a match for England as keeper (Bob Taylor, Bruce French, Ian Gould, Graeme Fowler, Paul Downton, David Bairstow, Jack Richards, Jack Russell, Alec Stewart, Richard Blakey, Steve Rhodes, Warren Hegg, John Crawley, Marcus Trescothick, Chris Read, James Foster, Geraint Jones, Paul Nixon, Vikram Solanki, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard and Tim Ambrose). As well as Stewart and Trescothick, Fowler, Crawley and Solanki were not the regular keeper for their county at the time. I can't recall anyone keeping for England as a reserve who didn't sometime do so as first choice, but I might have missed one or two.

141. Sean - not quite. Chris Lewis made his England debut while playing for Leicestershire but later played internationals while under contract to Nottinghamshire, and Harold Butler played two Tests with reasonable success (12 wickets at an average of 17.91) in the late 1940s.

140. Mahendra - Malinda Warnapura has indeed just made his maiden Test century, but in his third match. 81 players - including, as you say, Abbas Ali Baig and Sourav Ganguly - have scored at least one century on their Test debut (Lawrence Rowe and Yasir Hameed scored one in each innings). Here's the full list:

http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/content/records/239555.html

139. Jim - there has been one previous instance of three Nottinghamshire players taking wickets in an innings for England, but it's not surprising that no-one you spoke to could remember it - the successful bowlers were Wilf Flowers (2/46), William Attewell (2/54) and Billy Barnes (3/50), and the occasion was the second Ashes Test at Melbourne in 1885! There were numerous instances of two or three Nottinghamshire bowlers in the same team during the 1880s and early 1890s (when there were fewer first-class counties), but they never took all ten between them.

138. Daniel - I can't find any other instances (but can't guarantee that there haven't been any). Andrew Hudson came close, with 163 and 0 on debut then 14 and 55 in his second match.

77. Nas - Mike Smith batted right-handed, but Paul Taylor was a leftie with both implements.

69. Chris - Cricinfo did indeed do some analysis a while back using average minus standard deviation as a measure of batting ability (obviously standard deviation by itself is useless as a measure of how good a batsman is, since he might just score 0 in every innings), and came to the conclusion that, by this measure, Jacques Kallis is the best Test batsman ever. If you define the "average" as the score with which a batsman most often leaves the field (ie the mode), then Bradman's "average" would be 0, which he scored 7 times in his 80 innings (for the record, the only other score he made more than twice was 13 - three times - so maybe there's something in the superstition after all).

  • 157.
  • At 06:45 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Milind Phadnis wrote:

Hi Bill,
In the 1986-87 ODI between India and Srilanka played at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, Azharuddin scored 108 as India amassed 299/4 in 40 overs. Even though Srilanka lost the match (they made 289) Roshan Mahanama was declared the Man of the Match for his 98. Are there any instances of a player from the losing side being awarded Man of the Match even though he scored LESS than a player from the winning side??

  • 158.
  • At 09:14 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • Tom, Sweden wrote:

Thanks Michael.

Seems to have been a lot of chat in this series about the "Last Chance Saloon" for some players, not least Aggers on Strauss today. The Independent today also discuss Martin Waugh who was kept in the side even when others like Lehmann maybe deserved their chance. Tricky one to prove with stats but is there a way of showing players who have played the most consecutive Tests despite a falling batting average after each Test.

  • 159.
  • At 09:37 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • matt exley wrote:

Andrew Strauss is about to head into bat to build upon his 170 overnight score. As it turns out, he doesn't really need to pile on the runs and I bet they declare as soon as the first wicket falls or if he reaches 200.

Anyway, i'm always struck but how frequenly a high scoring Englishman fail to add to their overnight score. Which English test cricketers have scored lots more runs on their second day of batting and which players consistenly failed? Which other test batsmen from other countries buck the trend?

  • 160.
  • At 01:32 AM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Jhonti Bird wrote:

Dear Bill,
I would be delighted if you could see your way to answering this question for me.
Andrew Strauss in his second innings went on to make his highest test match century having made a duck in his first innings.
Could you please tell me how many times has this happened before? and who has scored the highest score personal top score having received a duck first innings.

  • 161.
  • At 06:32 AM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Hemant Kapre wrote:

Some more examples of left handed bowlers who bat/tted right handed : Bishan Bedi, Mike Whitney, Ray Bright, Vinoo Mankad, Phil Tufnell, Alan Mullaly, John Lever, Venkatapathy Raju, Richard Illingworth, R.G.Nadkarni, Ashley Giles and Nick Cook from the ranks of earlier cricketers and Michael "Pup" Clarke, Nathan Bracken, Zaheer Khan, R.P.Singh, Ryan Sidebottom, Claude Henderson, Ashish Nehra and Inzamam-ul-Haq (the last mentioned didn't bowl but threw left handed).

  • 162.
  • At 10:23 AM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Alan Jones wrote:

Centuries - do they matter? Not 'arff!
Sir, I was wondering if any test match player has ever equalled Sir Ian Botham and Sir Donald Bradman's achievement of a 100% conversion rate of turning 90s into 100s.
Also what is the highest aggregate and average achieved by players not scoring test match centuries?
Yours
Alan Jones
Nottingham

  • 163.
  • At 11:21 AM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

ref #70

It always used to be the practice to choose the best young English fielder on the staff of the county where the test match was being held to act as 12th man. In 1985 Nottinghamshire's Basharat Hassan acted as 12th for England in the Trent Bridge Ashes Test although he didn't meet at least two of the criteria. He wasn't young (at 41) or English (he is Keynan and had represented East Africa) but was still perhaps the best fielder at the county.

  • 164.
  • At 11:47 AM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • tom H wrote:

If a runner is needed at any point during a match, is it common, or even legal for him to communicate with the batsman he is running for regarding the decision run or not? I'm guessing that both the injured player and the runner can be stumped if out of their ground, but who decides whether to run or not?

  • 165.
  • At 12:39 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • andy wrote:

Bill,

we are all now used to seeing players with the number on their shirts in test matches indicating their chronological position.

My question is who are the lowest numbered players still alive?

  • 166.
  • At 12:40 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • PM wrote:

Who named Sachin Tendulkar, the "Little Master"?

Can you please advise who baptized Sachin Tendulkar as the “Little Master”.

If it was a commentator, then please also advise which match, where, year, opposition and outcome of the game and Sachin’s score.

  • 167.
  • At 04:15 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • joe wrote:

Re #105: how to get one's name on an England shirt? One way is to get picked for England. Of course it means becoming a good (well, all right, a mediocre) player.

  • 168.
  • At 04:39 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Brendan wrote:

I would guess that Strauss's position may still be in jeopardy, given Flintoff's impending return and the fact that his footwork still looked quite poor even though he did make 177.

My question is, what is the highest score a player has made while being dropped in the next Test Match (not due to injury)? If Strauss was dropped, would his 177 be the highest score?

  • 169.
  • At 05:21 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Brendan wrote:

I would guess that Strauss's position may still be in jeopardy, given Flintoff's impending return and the fact that his footwork still looked quite poor even though he did make 177.

My question is, what is the highest score a player has made while being dropped in the next Test Match (not due to injury)? If Strauss was dropped, would his 177 be the highest score?

Thank you.

  • 170.
  • At 06:37 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Sean Gallagher wrote:

Re. comment 156.

I had meant to write that Ryan S. was the first left-arm Notts pace-bowler to be capped by England since Bill Voce. I hadn't forgotten either Butler or Lewis.

Dear Mr Beaders

Is James Anderson the most expensive runs per over bowler in International one day cricket that has ever walked the Earth (minimum overs bowled 100) ?

I think he's more leaky than Thames Water!

He is the Northern Rock of Economy bowling

Discuss

  • 172.
  • At 06:57 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • martin dunton wrote:

Please help to settle an argument with my 21 year old son who requires some persuassion about the likelihood of wickets falling on a nelson / Double etc.

This has raised its head again because of the overnight Black caps score which led me to the bold claim that a wicket would fall without further score.

Statistically have wickets been taken more frequently on 111/222 etc and presumably this all links to Nelson's bad luck in losing an eye.

Thanks.

Martin.

  • 173.
  • At 10:16 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Joe wrote:

Hi Bill, was wondering if you could confirm the following.

I seem to remember that during the last England tour of New Zealand, in two separate innings England were reduced to 0-2, after Marcus Trescothick was dismissed after two deliveries, followed by Mark Butcher lasting three balls.

Also, I believe it was two different bowlers... I'm tempted to say Chris Cairns and Darryl Tuffey?

Thanks, Joe

  • 174.
  • At 11:52 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Ian wrote:

Does anyone know the %age winning ratio if you bat first in a test match?

  • 175.
  • At 02:25 AM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Lee wrote:

With New Zealand's 431 all out not enough to win the 3rd Test in Napier - what are the highest 4th innings totals made in vain?

  • 176.
  • At 10:17 AM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 175 - nick

NZ 431 total is the 4th highest 4th innings loss in Tests, the three higher were (2 of them Eng vs NZ)

2001/02 NZ 451 lost to Eng by 98
1977/78 India 445 lost to Aus by 47
1973 NZ 440 lost to Eng by 38

seems either NZ are good but not good enough in their 4th innings, or Eng are terrible at wrapping up a match

in fact there has only been one 4th innings total higherthan any of these, 654 for 5 by Eng to draw the timeless test in SA

question 173 - Joe

you are indeed correct

the last time Eng toured NZ (2001/02) in the first test (batting first) and the third (batting 2nd) Eng lost both Trescothick and Butcher with the scores on 0

the bowler in the first test was Cairns and in the 3rd test was Tuffey

Eng won the first by 98 runs and NZ the 3rd by 78 (as the middle test was drwan so was the series)

the scorecards are here

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/74/74293.html

and

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/74/74413.html

question 171 - mark

no, not by a long chalk

James Anderson's ecom rate in ODIs is 4.93

the worst 5 (bowling 1000 or more balls) are

Chigumbura (Zim) 6.14 (270 overs)
Nkala (Zim) 5.95 (263 overs)
Mahmood (Eng) 5.85 (192 overs)
Plunkett (Eng) 5.85 (215 overs)
Hossain (Bang) 5.83 (229 overs)

other current Eng players worse than Anderson are

Hoggard 5.29
Broad 5.09
Harmison 5.05
Collingwood 5.02

so Anderson is Eng's best choice ECONOMY wise at the moment! ('cept for Monty-4.49)

question 172 - Martin

this is lifted straight from Wikipedia

"Nelson is a piece of cricket slang terminology and superstition.

The name, applied to team or individual scores of 111, 222 etc, is thought to refer to Lord Nelson's lost eye, arm and leg (Nelson actually had both of his legs intact, the third missing body part is mythical). Also, some consider that '111' represents the three stumps without the bails, which symbolizes being out.

It is thought by the superstitious that bad things happen on that score, although an investigation by the magazine The Cricketer in the 1990s found that wickets are no more likely to fall on Nelson and indeed, the score at which most wickets fall is 0."

i remember seeing the statisics on scores where wickets fall on the 'net, but can't for the life of me find them now...help anyone?

  • 177.
  • At 10:52 AM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew wrote:

Bill

Does Southee's 9 sixes in the recent test match for NZ mean that he has already hit more in tests than Bradman? FS Trueman's record of 25 (which has always looked a good total for a bowler) will be beaten soon at this rate.

Who has scored the most sixes in test matches?

Who has the best ratio of runs scored from sixes? (other than Southee who I suspect is currently in front)

Are more sixes scored nowadays and is this due to 20:20 or shorter boundaries or better pitches or poorer bowling or ... ? A discussion point for bloggers perhaps?

PS: If Bradman had been asked why he didn't score more sixes he might have paraphrased SF Barnes explaining why he (Barnes) never bowled a googly - "because I didn't need to".

  • 178.
  • At 12:01 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

Hi Bill.

What is the highest number of runs scored in a fourth innings in a losing cause? Vaughan's decision to bat on for 30 mins on day 4 was vindicated after Southee's belligerence.

  • 179.
  • At 01:29 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Rachel Braybrook wrote:

Hi Bill
Who has/had the distinction of being the first person to be out in five
different ways in his first five innings’ in test match cricket?

  • 180.
  • At 01:31 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • andrew wrote:

can u have 2 run outs at one time?
(an example of this is shown in a youtube video i think)

  • 181.
  • At 01:42 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Rachel Braybrook wrote:

Hi Bill
Who has/had the distinction of being the first person to be out in five
different ways in his first five innings’ in test match cricket?

  • 182.
  • At 06:15 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 180 - andrew

i assume this is the video you mean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_HoQL5ub1c

but sorry no, you can only have one wicket per ball, as the ball becomes dead, and the game completely stops, as soon as a wicket falls

from law 23

1. Ball is dead
(a) The ball becomes dead when...(iii) a batsman is dismissed...

in your example the batsman closest to the first wicket broken is out, the other is not

from law 28

3. Which batsman is out
The batsman out ... is the one whose ground is at the end where the wicket is put down.

i suspect the 'keeper threw to the other end after breaking the stumps in the video because he thought that either a) he hadn't correctly broken the stumps at his end or b) the batsman was in his end but the other wasn't (or maybe both of these)

however the umpires DIDN'T (and couldn't) give both out, the video stops before any finger is raised but the batsman at the 'keepers end should be out

question 178 - rob

look at the post two above yours!

  • 183.
  • At 06:30 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • John Walter wrote:

I expect this is a purely theoretical question - but still:

A bowler can concede four wides or no-balls if the ball goes over the boundary - so could six wides or no-balls be conceded if a particularly wild ball went over the boundary without touching the ground? And has this ever happened?

  • 184.
  • At 06:55 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 183 - john

nope this is impossible as the ball must come off the bat to be a six

Law 19 (Boundaries)

....
(b) ... the allowances for boundaries shall be 6 runs if the ball having been STRUCK BY THE BAT pitches beyond the boundary, but otherwise 4 runs.

so this has never happened, nor never can

  • 185.
  • At 10:44 AM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • Bob Hayes wrote:

My multi part question refers to test matches first
1) Who batted most often with a Runner?
2) Who has acted as the runner for an injured batsmen the most times?
3) How many times has a runner been run out?
4)What are the record partnerships for each wicket involving a runner?

Can you cover county cricket as well?

  • 186.
  • At 07:21 PM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • Hannah Collins wrote:

When was the last time a debutant took five wickets and scored a 50? How old were they? Is Tim Southee the youngest?

  • 187.
  • At 07:25 PM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • Hannah Collins wrote:

When was the last time a debutant took five wickets and scored a 50? How old were they? Is Tim Southee the youngest?

  • 188.
  • At 09:36 PM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 187 - Hannah

the last 5 for and 50 in a test debut was

Dodemaide for Aus vs NZ in Dec 1987
he scored 50 in the 1st innings exactly then took 6-58 in NZs second

but he was 24 at the time, a lot older than southee

the best bowling return with a fifty on debut was

Lever for Eng vs Ind in Dec 76
he scored 53 in Engs 1st innings and took 7 for 46 in Inds reply

however there are 128 people who took 5 fors on debut and i don't have an easy way to search for ages, so i don't know if he's the youngest

if you want to look for yourself

http://www.howstat.com/cricket/Statistics/Bowling/BowlingOutstandingDebut.asp?Stat=1

certainly there are players who on debut were younger and took 5 wkts, afradi for example, but i can't find one that also scored 50+

  • 189.
  • At 11:03 PM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • Alex Dunn wrote:

Question for Bill. Obvious question really, but when was the last time two test matches finished on the same day with the same result? I see Sri Lanka and England both won by 121 runs on the 22 of March. I suppose draws are most likely so how about decisive result!!

Alex

  • 190.
  • At 12:20 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • David Ward wrote:

Eight men have scored 50s and taken a 5-for on debut. Tim Southee has taken over from fellow countryman Bruce Taylor as the youngest:

AE Trott 72* 8-43 Australia v England, Adelaide, 1894-95 21y 339d
LC Braund 58 5-61 England v Australia, Sydney, 1901-02 26y 56d
FR Foster 56 5-92 England v Australia, Sydney, 1911-12 22y 318d
WR Hammond 51 5-36 England v South Africa, Johannesburg, 1927-28 24y 118d
BR Taylor 105 5-86 New Zealand v India, Kolkata, 1964-65 21y 236d
JK Lever 53 7-46 England v India, Delhi, 1976-77 27y 297d
AIC Dodemaide 50 6-58 Australia v New Zealand, Melbourne, 1987-88 24y 82d
TG Southee 77* 5-55 England v New Zealand, Napier, 2007-08 19y 102d

  • 191.
  • At 10:27 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Shears wrote:

Hello Bill.
I am in the process of watching Virender Sehwag's innings against South Africa, and I was wondering two things. First of all, is this the highest ever first class inning with a strike rate above 100 and secondly, what's the record for the most 4's ever struck in a single innings.

  • 192.
  • At 11:01 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • David Richerby wrote:

I've just noticed that, in the current first Test between India and South Africa, all twenty-two players have bowled in Tests (including the two 'keepers!) and all but three of them have taken a Test wicket (Dhoni, Amla and McKenzie being the exceptions). Is this a record?

  • 193.
  • At 11:50 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • David Richerby wrote:

I've just noticed that, in the current first Test between India and South Africa, all twenty-two players have bowled in Tests (including the two 'keepers!) and all but three of them have taken a Test wicket (Dhoni, Amla and McKenzie being the exceptions). Is this a record?

(Apologies for possible multiple copies of this post; the BBC webserver is taking an age to respond so I gave up.)

  • 194.
  • At 01:33 PM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • David Richerby wrote:

I've just noticed that, in the current first Test between India and South Africa, all twenty-two players have bowled in Tests (including the two 'keepers!) and all but three of them have taken a Test wicket (Dhoni, Amla and McKenzie being the exceptions). Is this a record?

(Apologies for possible multiple copies of this post; the BBC webserver is taking an age to respond so I gave up.)

  • 195.
  • At 01:47 PM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • David Richerby wrote:

Re post 191: Brian Lara's 501no was scored in only 427 balls so Sehwag has quite a way to go for the highest first-class innings with a strike rate over 100. ;-)

  • 196.
  • At 01:53 PM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Worrall wrote:

Can you tell me please if the last two years have seen the England test team bowled out for less than 200 more times than any other 2 year period in their test history?

Also, small test nations aside, which test team has been bowled out for 200 the most times in their entire history?

  • 197.
  • At 02:24 PM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Stu wrote:

154 - Hi James, I don't think a team has ever declared an innings closed on 0 as it would mean they loose time in the turn-around. However South Africa forfitted their second innings at Centurion. At the time is was taken to be a sporting act to liven up a dead series, but later on turned out to be more sinister.

  • 198.
  • At 04:45 PM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Sharp wrote:

Was a test match stopped because of snow. I remember something about this but nobody I know remembers this Am I nuts ? Although I have found out that June 1975, Essex v Kent at Castle Park in Colchester was stopped due to snow.

  • 199.
  • At 05:43 PM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 191 - Peter

in TESTS the most 4s in an innings is 52 by Edich in his innings of 310 NO

sehwag is already second on this list with 47 in a knock of 254 in 2006

his 41 4s (as i type this) in his 309 NO puts him in 11th place, but moving up (if he gets to 44 he'll get to 5th place)

his triple hundred at more than a run a ball is the fastest triple in test history but as noted above Lara beats this scoring in his 500 in 1st class matches

also although the balls faced are not available for earlier records the minutes at crease are

so far sehwag has been there for 292 minutes BUT....

compton managed 300 exactly in 181 mins, scoring 42 fours, for the MCC vs NE Transvaal

wolley 300 in 219 mins (305 in 229) scoring 43 fours again for the MCC vs Tasmania

bradman scored 300 in 213 mins for south aus vs tasmania, going on to 369 in 253 mins with 46 fours

i imagine from the times all these were quicker in balls than sehwag's but we'll never know for sure

(NOTE cricinfo have sehwag on 41 fours but the BBC have him on 42)

  • 200.
  • At 11:25 AM on 29 Mar 2008,
  • John K wrote:

Paul Harris of South Africa has just returned figures of 3-203 in the Test with India. What's the most runs conceded by an individual bowler in an innings a Test Match? Most in a match? And most without a wicket?

  • 201.
  • At 02:36 PM on 29 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 200 - John

the most runs without a wkt in an innings is 259

K.Mohammad returned figures of 54-5-259-0 for Pak against WI in 1958

with a wkt the record is 298

Fleetwood-Smith for Aus vs Eng 1938 conceded in an innings 87-11-298-1

in a match K.Mohammad hold the record without a wkt even though he only bowled in the one innings, but with wkts it is 374

O Scott for WI vs Eng in 1930 had match figures of 105.2- 13-374-9 (80.2-13-266-5 & 25-0-108-4)

  • 202.
  • At 02:42 PM on 29 Mar 2008,
  • John McKinlay wrote:

Dear Sir I would like to see cricket on bbc tv. From 2010. it would be good for the game. sky seem to have evrey thing. More plopoe would watch it.

  • 203.
  • At 08:32 PM on 29 Mar 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 200 - John

the most runs without a wkt in an innings is 259

K.Mohammad returned figures of 54-5-259-0 for Pak against WI in 1958

with a wkt the record is 298

Fleetwood-Smith for Aus vs Eng 1938 conceded in an innings 87-11-298-1

in a match K.Mohammad hold the record without a wkt even though he only bowled in the one innings, but with wkts it is 374

O Scott for WI vs Eng in 1930 had match figures of 105.2- 13-374-9 (80.2-13-266-5 & 25-0-108-4)

  • 204.
  • At 10:56 PM on 30 Mar 2008,
  • Pelham Barton, UK wrote:

(Repeat attempt after 502 error. Moderator please allow only one copy through.)

Declaring on 0:

There are plenty of instances of teams declaring on 0, before the laws allowed forfeiture of the first innings. Most of these also involved declarations by the other side. One notable exception was Middlesex v Surrey at Lord's in 1977.

After no play on the first day and only five overs on the second day of a three day match, Middlesex bowled Surrey out for 49, declared after one ball, bowled Surrey out again for 89 this time, and scored 142 for 1 to win the match.

  • 205.
  • At 10:36 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tony Giles wrote:

Currently Englands top 6 (Cook,Vaughan,Strauss,Pietersen,Bell,Collingwood)are all in top 50 test runs for England.If Flintoff returns he is there as was Trescothick.Have we ever had a time when all top 6 were in top 50 or better.Gower Gooch Boycott Botham etc but had they all reached top 50 runs in Tests maybe Stewart Atherton Thorpe Hussain Hick Butcher but again had they made top 50 and all been in team at same time.Best of luck
Regards
Tony Giles

  • 206.
  • At 10:40 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • Tony Giles wrote:

Currently Englands top 6 (Cook,Vaughan,Strauss,Pietersen,Bell,Collingwood)are all in top 50 Test runs for England.Have we ever ahd a time when top 6 order in same team are in top 50 runs? Maybe Stewart,Atherton,Hick,Hussain,Butcher,Thorpe Had they reached top 50 and all been in same team.
Regards
Tony Giles

  • 207.
  • At 10:54 PM on 31 Mar 2008,
  • David Hakin wrote:

I know there have been a few test matches were a team enforcing the follow on has lost (if memory serves me correctly three tests with Australia being on the losing side on each occasion). Have there ever been any tests were a team chose not to enforce the follow on and lost?

  • 208.
  • At 02:21 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

Tony (comment 205/206)

At the start of the second test at the MCG in 1877, the England first six for the first innings (Jupp, Shaw, Greenwood, Charlwood, Selby, Ulyett) were respectively the 1st, 8th, 11th, 2nd, 3rd and 5th highest test run scorers for England.

  • 209.
  • At 04:43 PM on 01 Apr 2008,
  • Michael Jones wrote:

207. David - you're correct that there have been three instances in Tests of a team enforcing the follow-on and going on to lose. As far as I can find there has only been one occasion when a team led by over 200, chose not to enforce the follow-on and lost: at Durban in 1950 South Africa made 311 in their first innings before bowling Australia out for 75 (in fact, since it was a four day match, a lead of 150 would have been sufficient to give them the option of enforcing the follow-on). They chose to bat again and were all out for 99; at 95/4 chasing 336 Australia looked down and out, but then Neil Harvey scored 151* to give them a five wicket victory.

205/206. Tony - lots of times I should imagine, due to the proliferation of Test cricket in the last few years the majority of top runscorers will be current or recently retired players.

202. John - so would I, but I'm not sure how much Bearders can do about it!

198. Chris - as far as I know snow has never stopped play in a Test, but it has on several occasions in County Championship matches - a few years ago (can't remember exactly) what was supposed to be the first day of the English season was snowed off.

196. Mark - again, any "most" record is likely to have been set recently simply because there have been more Tests played. England probably hold the latter record due to having played more Tests than any other country.

194. David - the nearest I can find is West Indies vs South Africa at St John's in 2005, which saw 19 players bowl in the match, although only nine of them took wickets. Of the three others, Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul bowled in other Tests but Courtney Browne didn't. Herschelle Gibbs, Boeta Dippenaar, Lara, Browne and Dwight Washington (playing his only Test) never took a Test wicket.

  • 210.
  • At 02:35 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Tim Vine wrote:

I would love to know the answer to this cricket question which is proving hard to answer. Who has/had the distinction of being the first person to be out in five different ways in his first five innings in Test Match cricket?

  • 211.
  • At 02:44 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Tim Vine wrote:

I would love to know the answer to this cricket question which is proving hard to answer. Who has/had the distinction of being the first person to be out in five different ways in his first five innings in Test Match cricket?

  • 212.
  • At 06:04 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

Comment 111/136

There are no instances of 5 five-fors in a test match. As Michael states, this would require 2 bowlers to each take five in the same innings. This has happened 50 times in test cricket, and in 13 of those cases TWO of the other three innings has seen a five-for (giving 4 five-fors for the match), but unfortunately never more than that.

Comment 194/209

In the match South Africa vs England, Capetown Jan 1965, 20 different bowlers were used - this is the maximum in test matches - and 13 of them took a wicket! There are 3 other instances of 13 different bowlers taking a wicket in the same test.

  • 213.
  • At 09:02 PM on 02 Apr 2008,
  • Dave Saffhill - Edinburgh wrote:

I followed Lancashire when I was knee high to a ferret and my idol was Neil Harvey Fairbrother. Have there been any other instances where a test cricketer has been so blatently named after another (non related) test cricketer?

  • 214.
  • At 09:30 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • David wrote:

On the first day of the 2nd India v South Africa Test( 3rd April 08 ) India were bowled out for 76 in 20 overs and South Africa had taken the lead in the 15th over ! This was 4 hours into the match. When was the last time this happened, if ever in a Test ?

  • 215.
  • At 11:08 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 214 - David

this is certainly the fastest complete 1st innings in terms of overs, BUT....

Aus were bowled out in 22.3 five ball overs by Eng in 1896 at Lords, this gives a total of 113 balls compared to india's 120 balls

Also I can find no records for over by over analysis of this game, but judging by the overall run rate of Aus (2.81 calcualted as 6 ball overs) and the run rate of their opening bowlers (2.95 and 4.38) it's a safe(ish) bet that England overhauled the score of 53 in around 15 overs (i realize that the run rates could have changed over the innings)

so the answer to your question is MAYBE 110 years ago... not much of an answer, sorry

  • 216.
  • At 12:40 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Martin Young wrote:

A question for Bill,

In the current series between India and South Africa, India scored 627a.o. in their only innings in the first test match followed by 76a.o. in their first innings of the second test match, a difference of 551 runs.

Surely this must be one of the biggest run differentials for successive completed innings between the same test teams. Can you check this out for me?

  • 217.
  • At 02:08 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • David Corbett wrote:

In the current Test, South Africa achieved a first-innings lead with ten wickets in hand. How many times has this now happened in Tests?

  • 218.
  • At 02:25 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Sean Roberts wrote:

Bill,

In the Indians first innings today in Ahmedabad only 57 runs were scored off the bat and of them 36 were scored off 4's. Are the remaining 21 runs then a record for runs that were "run" in a Test Match??

Seán

Dear Bill.

Our charity club are planning to hold a 24 hour cricket match. What is the world record for the longest continuous game of cricket with no stoppages in play?

  • 220.
  • At 04:01 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

Comment 216

Where the team was all out both times: West Indies scored 166 vs South Africa in their second innings in Bridgetown 2005. In their first innings of the next test at St John's they scored 747 - difference 581.

Where there was a declaration: in the Headingley test vs Australia in 1938, England scored 123 in their second innings. In their first (only) innings of the next test at the Oval, England scored 903/7 dec - difference 780.

Comment 218

West Indies' second innings vs England at Kingston 2004 - all out for 47 (Harmison 7-12 - good on ya Steve!). 5 extras and 6 boundaries - remaining runs 18.

  • 221.
  • At 05:17 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Sean Roberts wrote:

Bill,

In the Indians first innings today in Ahmedabad only 57 runs were scored off the bat and of them 36 were scored off 4's. Are the remaining 21 runs then a record for runs that were "run" in a Test Match??

Seán

  • 222.
  • At 08:16 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • paul rosser wrote:

Dear Bill two opening batsmen are at the crease one of them gets injured for him to need a runner as no wickets have not fallen would batsmen number 3 come out to do the running if it was batsmen 2 &3 the one who was out would come back to the crease can you help out here please

  • 223.
  • At 09:20 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Hi Bill,

has a cricket match every been decided on the final ball hitting the helmet behind the stumps awarding 5 runs?

  • 224.
  • At 10:04 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Nandhaa, USA wrote:

Bill,

What is the lowest test score for a completed innings with no batsmen dismissed for a duck?

  • 225.
  • At 11:28 PM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • Klong wrote:

Has Andrew Flintoff ever played in a Test series defeat at home? If he hasn't it an English record.

Thank you

  • 226.
  • At 06:15 AM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Elsworth Young wrote:

Hello Bill

Could you confirm that of the 26 test hundreds scored by the great Barbadian and West Indian allrounder Sir Garfield Sobers, the West Indies only lost a test match on one occasion, in Australia in 1968?

  • 227.
  • At 11:01 AM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Tom Rutherford wrote:

Re 154 - Technically, England's 1st innings against South Africa in 1999-2000 was declared at 0-0. The laws at that time didn't allow a 1st innings to be forfeited as they do now.

#164 - There are no laws about who may shout what when a runner is in play. You will normally see a conference between all 3 batsmen when a runner comes in to sort out who will do what - although this doesn't always prevent confusion.

#165 - As Zimbabwe and Bangladesh only played their first Tests in the 1990s, their #1 players in sequence are still alive.

#222 - The laws state that if possible, a runner should have already batted. If this is not possible (opening batsman needs a runner, first batsman dismissed has an injury, etc) the practice is to have a player from low down the order as a runner. It wouldn't be fair to allow a batsman who was next in to act as runner, as this would allow him to become used to the conditions, bowling, light etc.

  • 228.
  • At 11:11 AM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Mark Jinks wrote:

In a hypothetical situtaion that the only runs in a test match were extras, would the game be a no result or would the team with the highest runs still win?

  • 229.
  • At 03:48 PM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Mark Savile wrote:

Hi Bill, I was just wondering what is the highest score that an opening partenership has ever been on when only one of the batsmen has scored any runs (in both Tests and ODIs and including extras if necessary!).
Many thanks Bill and keep up the good work you do.

  • 230.
  • At 04:33 PM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

#153

On the preponderance of hat tricks in the last ten years vs the first 100 years of test cricket. The first 100 years saw only about 800 matches and had 17 hat tricks. The following 30 years had something like 1000 matches and 20 hat tricks. It's true that there has been many in the last 10 years, but the real contrast is with the 20 years before that (78-98) when there were only 5 hat tricks.

#224

In Jan 1950 vs South Africa at Durban, Australia were all out for 75 and all the batsmen got off the mark. I believe that was the lowest score you were looking for.

  • 231.
  • At 05:24 PM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Alex Davis wrote:

Has muttiah muralitharan ever played in a test where he has not bowled a ball? is there also a case in ODI's?

  • 232.
  • At 06:48 PM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Steve UK wrote:

Hi Bill

I was recently in Wellington for the 2nd test against New Zealand. England's fielding in the second innings there has been described as one of the worst fielding performances from an England side.

I was wondering if you keep stats on the fielding and if so what statistically is the worst effort from England in terms of dropped catches, misfields, missed stumpings and overthrows.

If not, I would be interested in hearing what you consider from memory to be the worst England fielding performance and/or worst fielders.

  • 233.
  • At 10:30 PM on 04 Apr 2008,
  • Jason Cubbon wrote:

In the first test of the current series between india and south africa, india scored over 627 runs. In the second test they scored a mere 76. Does this difference of 551 runs represent the biggest difference in runs scored in consecutive innings?

  • 234.
  • At 02:01 AM on 05 Apr 2008,
  • Geoff Tolley wrote:

Hi Bill,

My recollection of many England test series in the 90s is that we did a lot better once we'd lost the rubber. Which team has the best record in tests of a series they've already lost?

Geoff Tolley
Mountain View, California

  • 235.
  • At 09:42 PM on 05 Apr 2008,
  • Jack Taylor wrote:

In the last test against New Zealand Sidebottom took seven wickets in the first innings. He then only took one or two (my memory isn't that good) wickets in the second innings. I was wondering what the most number of wickets taken in one innings is without taking ten wickets in the match though bowling atleast ten overs in each innings.

  • 236.
  • At 10:23 PM on 05 Apr 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 233 - jason

LOOK UP

post 220 answers this

to which i'd like to add that Pakistan maanged a difference of 551 exactly in ONE match against the West Indies in 1958, they scored 106 in the first innings and 657 for 8 dec in the second for a draw


also the next blog, 167, has started (secretly again)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tms/2008/04/ask_bearders_167.shtml

  • 237.
  • At 12:04 AM on 06 Apr 2008,
  • Porto Ian wrote:

question 233 - jason

LOOK UP

post 220 answers this

to which i'd like to add that Pakistan maanged a difference of 551 exactly in ONE match against the West Indies in 1958, they scored 106 in the first innings and 657 for 8 dec in the second for a draw


also the next blog, 167, has started (secretly again)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tms/2008/04/ask_bearders_167.shtml

  • 238.
  • At 03:57 PM on 09 Apr 2008,
  • Phil Mann wrote:

Hi Bill,

A couple of questions regarding laws and spirit of the game which happened during last season.

1) Imagine the situation, a hard hitting batsman scoring heavily at one end, a stodger the other. The stodger hits one in the air and runs, the fielder takes the catch (does not appeal)has the presence of mind to run out the hard hitting batsman. Who is out? Technically, should the catcher ground the ball before running him out.

2) I am aware that if a no ball is called (above waist high) and is caught, he is not out, nor if there is confusion(ie walking back to pavillion) cannot be run out (umpires discretion). How about if the non striking batsman is run out, does that count.


Hope you can help,
Thanks
Phil

  • 239.
  • At 04:07 PM on 09 Apr 2008,
  • Phil Mann wrote:

Hi Bill,

A couple of questions regarding laws and spirit of the game which happened during last season.

1) Imagine the situation, a hard hitting batsman scoring heavily at one end, a stodger the other. The stodger hits one in the air and runs, the fielder takes the catch (does not appeal)has the presence of mind to run out the hard hitting batsman. Who is out? Technically, should the catcher ground the ball before running him out.

2) I am aware that if a no ball is called (above waist high) and is caught, he is not out, nor if there is confusion(ie walking back to pavillion) cannot be run out (umpires discretion). How about if the non striking batsman is run out, does that count.


Hope you can help,
Thanks
Phil

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