Ask Bearders #174
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. The PCB has persuaded the ICC to change the result of the 2006 Oval Test from "forfeiture" to draw. Your comments as a highly respected scorer and statistician on this will highly be appreciated. I know this was the only "forfeited" Test in the history but are there any other instances when the other results of Tests have been changed after so many days or months? Bipin Dani (India)
Bearders' answer: There is no precedent for the result of a Test match being changed after the day of its completion and this latest in a lengthening list of contentious and politically motivated decisions by the ICC has set an extremely dangerous precedent.
"Match forfeited" was the correct result under Law 21 when Pakistan refused to take the field with the England batsmen ready to play. The tourists' action cannot be excused by any evidence regarding the ball-tampering offence. That was not the reason for the umpires award of a forfeiture to England. Pakistan should have taken the field, completed the match, and then appealed against the ball-tampering decision through administrative channels.
Law 21 (10) states that "Once the umpires have agreed with the scorers the correctness of the scores at the conclusion of the match the result cannot thereafter be changed". In my records and in those of many other statisticians this result will remain as a forfeited victory to England.
Q. A chap in our team is currently undergoing a miserable run of form. He has two consecutive golden ducks, and we were wondering who had the record for the most number of consecutive ducks in Test cricket? Blaggers12
Bearders' answer: The most ducks in successive Test innings is five, an unfortunate record shared by three bowlers. R.G. ('Bob') Holland of Australia was the first with consecutive pairs against England (1985) and New Zealand (1985-86). Then India's A.B. (Ajit) Agarkar, scorer of a Test hundred at Lord's, registered four successive noughts in two Tests against Australia (1999-2000). The most recent instance was inflicted upon Pakistan's Mohammad Asif in three separate series (2005-06 and 2006).
Q. My question concerns Test batsmen who have reached centuries via the hitting of a maximum (six runs). While I assume this is done more frequently these days than in the past, I have no idea whether this list contains four or 40 names. How many batsmen have performed this feat? Has anybody ever done it more than once? Eric Perez
Bearders' answer: The list of batsman completing a Test hundred with a six currently contains 84 instances. As some scorebooks have been lost or destroyed (there is a suspicious lack of entries between 1898 and 1922) this is unlikely to be a complete dossier. Ken Barrington and Sachin Tendulkar have achieved the feat four times. Aravinda de Silva and Brian Lara have done it on three occasions. Seven others have done it twice.
Q. When Gooch got his 333 runs, I seem to remember Robin Smith using Gooch's bat for a short time after breaking his own. How many balls did he do this for? Andyd2604
Bearders' answer: This occurred at 2.48pm on the second day of the 1990 Lord's Test against India. Smith borrowed Gooch's bat for precisely one ball - the fifth of Kapil Dev's 33rd over - and he didn't score off it.
Q. Can you please explain how net run-rates are calculated? Robin (Manchester)
Bearders' answer: A team's net run-rate is calculated by deducting from the average runs per over scored by that team, the average runs per over scored against it. In the event of a team being all out in fewer than its full quota of overs, the calculation of the net run-rate of both teams is based on the full quota of overs to which the batting team would have been entitled and not on the number of overs in which it was dismissed.
Only those matches where results are achieved count with regard to run-rate calculations. The latter are adjusted for results involving the Duckworth/Lewis Method.
Q. I was playing an online cricket game that allows you to name your own players the other day, and in a fit of boredom, decided to do just that, with names related to cricket (e.g. John Cricketer, Neville Hitsaball) It got me thinking, can you recall any particularly aptly named players? Alex Mount (Essex)
Bearders' answer: A brief search of England's Register of Test Cricketers has unearthed Batty, Bell, Dipper, Fielder, Pullar and Walker. Bail, Ball, Batt, Bowler and Gully have all appeared in first-class cricket. There must be dozens more.
Q. Apparently New Zealand's Chris Martin is one of the few Test cricketers who have taken more wickets than they have scored runs. Can you confirm this and tell me who the other members of this distinguished club may be? Mo (Canterbury, UK)
Bearders' answer: Chris Martin's tally of wickets certainly does exceed his batting aggregate. Given a qualification of ten Test matches and a minimum of ten wickets, he is the lone Kiwi in an unhappy band of 13. The full list by country is: England - W.E.Bowes (15 Tests, 28 runs, 68 wickets), K.Farnes (15, 58, 60), W.E.Hollies (13, 37, 44), I.J.Jones (15, 38, 44), J.D.F.Larter (10, 16, 37), R.Tattersall (16, 50, 58); Australia - H.Ironmonger (14, 42, 74), B.A.Reid (27, 93, 113), J.V.Saunders (14, 39, 79); South Africa - C.N.McCarthy (15, 28, 36); New Zealand - C.S.Martin (43, 74, 140); India - B.S.Chandrasekhar (58, 167, 242), N.D.Hirwani (17, 54, 66).
Q. I was wondering what is the highest number of bowled wickets achieved in a Test match. Mark (Southampton)
Bearders' answer: The match record of bowled dismissals is 23 and it has occurred twice - at Sydney in 1886-87 (Australia 14, England 9) and at Port Elizabeth in 1895-96 (South Africa 14, England 9). There has been no instance in excess of 17 such dismissals since 1954-55.
Q. I am trying to find details of the first Test match I went to. It was at The Oval in the mid-1950s, as I recall, and was against either Pakistan or India. I remember that England opened the batting with the Reverend David Sheppard and Colin Cowdrey (who made a century). The remaining batting line up I recall was Dexter, Graveney and Barrington. I do not think Peter May was playing. This is before your time as a statistician, but I have searched many websites with no luck. John Guyver
Bearders' answer: Colin Cowdrey's highest Test score at The Oval prior to 1960 was 25! Your debut was in 1962 when he scored 182, sharing an opening stand of 117 with Sheppard and a second-wicket one of 248 with Ted Dexter (172). England declared at 480-5 having scored 406-2 on the opening day. Ken Barrington scored 50 not out but Tom Graveney did not play. You will find the full score on the major cricket websites.
Q. Have you ever heard of a fielding position called a "stray dog"? A friend of mine recalls that stray dog originates from an old tea towel we had in our house when I was a kid. It described all the fielding positions on the cricket pitch e.g. silly mid-on. "Stray dog" was wandering around somewhere between wide third man and deep square cover!" Jo Morley (Secretary, Haslemere CC)
Bearders' answer: Jo, I think you have answered your own question. There is no such position! The stray dog was exactly that - a confused hound that had wandered on to the field when the artist was sketching the artwork for the teacloth. When I looked at your club's website, I was relieved to discover that not only did Jack Hobbs and Arthur Conan Doyle play for you but that you are indeed Hon Secretary, Fixture Secretary and Scorer. I had suspected "Bumble" Lloyd as being the originator of this question.
Q. Earlier this season there were no extras when Sussex scored 203 in the first innings of their County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton. What is the highest first-class or Test innings without an extra? Mark Sells (Taunton)
Bearders answer: The highest Test innings without an extra is 328 by Pakistan in the Third Test against India at Bagh-i-Jinnah, Lahore, on 29-30 January 1955. Philip Bailey has confirmed that the first-class record (and the only instance over 500) is nearly double that - 647 by Victoria v Tasmania at Melbourne on 5-6 February 1952.
Q. How many ways can a batsman be given out and what they are? John Everiss (Daventry, Northamptonshire)
Bearders' answer: If you include suicide (retired out), there are 11 ways of being out: bowled, caught, handled the ball, hit the ball twice, hit wicket, leg before wicket, obstructing the field, run out, stumped, timed out and retired out.