Ask Bearders #177
Welcome to Ask Bearders, where Test Match Special statistician Bill "The Bearded Wonder" Frindall answers your questions on all things cricket.
Below are Bill's responses to some of your questions posed at the end of his last column and if you have a question for Bill, leave it at the end of this blog entry. Please do include your country of residence - Bill loves to hear where all his correspondents are posting from.
Bill isn't able to answer all of your questions, however. BBC Sport staff will choose a selection of them and send them to Bearders for him to answer.
Q. In the last Test between England and South Africa I noticed all five front-line bowlers took at least one wicket in each innings. Has this happened before? 6andOut
Bearders' Answer: Well done for spotting that Harmison, Anderson, Flintoff, Broad and Panesar all took at least one wicket in each innings in the fourth Test against South Africa at The Oval last month. I don't think it is a well-documented record and will have occurred to very few. It is necessary only to check the scores of the first 56 Test matches played to find a similar instance. Australia's first five bowlers (Howell, Trott, Noble, Trumper and Jones) were the first to achieve this feat - against England at Melbourne in 1897-98.
Q. Is 229 still the lowest score never achieved by a batsman in Test cricket? I note it was 228 up until Gibbs scored 228. What's the lowest in limited-overs internationals? No More Sweeping PUH-LEASE!
Bearders' Answer: Yes, 229 is the lowest absentee individual Test score.
The counterpart in internationals is 155.
Q. Do you record a player's weight? If so, who (at their heaviest) was the heaviest person to play for England? Some contenders I can think of: Colin Milburn, Andrew Flintoff, Devon Malcolm, Robin Smith, Ian Botham, Graham Gooch and of course Mike Gatting. RobM1974
Bearders' Answer: Pity you've hidden your identity behind a code - is this yet another bizarre newfangled fashion that has passed me by? I'm sure that the last six names on your list would enjoy meeting you on a dark night!
No, I don't keep a record of players' weights because they tend to vary season by season. W.G.Grace and Alfred Mynn must be near the top of England's list of heavyweights. One of the heaviest Test cricketers was Australia's Warwick Armstrong whose shirt used to occupy most of a wall of the museum at the MCG. Known as 'The Big Ship' he weighed 22 stone at the end of his first-class playing career in February 1922.
Q. A rather unusual incident occurred whilst playing a league game a few Sundays ago. We were playing on a little village green in Benenden with very short straight boundaries and our fast bowler was on. On one occasion he bowled a ball with a bit of extra pace and it flew past the batsman and burst through the keeper's gloves, hitting him on the head and going for six byes! I was wondering if there is any other instance of six byes being given in first-class cricket or any other form of cricket you have records for. Dan, Kent
Bearders' Answer: Thank you Dan for revealing both your name and county - very refreshing!
It should have been signalled as four byes. You cannot score six of anything except for hits off the bat - see Law 19 (4.b).
My XI used to play an annual match at Benenden. Their sightscreens used to be stored in the adjacent vicarage during the winter months until a new incumbent, unfamiliar with cricket, grew his runner beans up them.
Q. What value of English banknote featured a cricket match? Anthony Robinson, London
Bearders' Answer: That was a £10 note (Series E) issued in 1992. It depicted Charles Dickens and a scene from All-Muggleton's home match against Dingley Dell in chapter seven of his first novel, 'The Pickwick Papers'.
Q. I note that Lord's will be staging archery at the London Olympics in 2012. I know that The Oval hosted some early FA Cup finals but have these two cricket grounds been used for any other sports over the years? David Gunner
Bearders' Answer: Lord's has staged international hockey, as well as bowls, tennis (there is a permanent real tennis court) and archery. Rugby and soccer have not been played there. During the First World War a baseball game between Canadian and American teams to raise money for Canadian widows and orphans attracted a crowd of 10,000 people.
As you point out, Kennington Oval staged 20 of the first 21 FA Cup Finals (1872 and 1874-92). Besides hosting England's first home soccer international, it has also been the venue for a rugby union international as well as for hockey and Australian rules football.
Q. The first seven Sri Lanka A batsman scored 50 or more during their innings of 749-5 declared against South Africa A in the recent first unofficial Test at Potchefstroom. What is the record for most players scoring fifties in a single innings? Is this a record for the most consecutive players in the batting order registering one? Alex, UK via Brisbane
Bearders' Answer: The most fifties in a first-class innings is eight by the 1893 Australians against Oxford & Cambridge Past & Present at Portsmouth but they were not scored by the first eight batsmen.
The Test record is seven and there have been three instances: England v Australia at Manchester in 1934; Pakistan v India at Karachi in 2005-06; and Sri Lanka v England at Lord's in 2006. The second instance, involving Pakistan, was achieved by the first seven batsmen. So the recent Sri Lanka A performance was one short of the first-class record but equalled the one involving consecutive batsmen.
Q. Ben Smith of Worcestershire has scored 1,000 first-class runs this season yet so far he has failed to notch up a century. Is it a normal occurrence for a batsman to reach 1000 runs in a season without registering a ton along the way? Dean, Leeds
Bearders' Answer: It is very unusual but not unique. For the record (as at 9 September), Ben Smith had scored 1,020 runs at an average of 46.36 from 23 innings in 15 first-class matches. The highest of his ten fifties was 99 and he had also made a 93.
The record number of runs in an English first-class season without a century, and the only instance involving an aggregate of 2,000 runs, was achieved by D.M. (David) Green of Oxford University, Lancashire and Gloucestershire. In 1965 he played in 35 matches for Lancashire, MCC and T.N.Pearce's XI, scoring 2,037 runs at an average of 32.85 in 63 innings. The highest of his 14 half-centuries was only 85.
Q. Mark Ramprakash has just scored 490 runs across consecutive innings in multiple matches before losing his wicket. Who and what are the records for this in Tests and first-class cricket? Is over 500 commonplace or as exceptional as I'd imagine? Iain
Bearders' Answer: No batsman has scored 500 runs between dismissals in Test match cricket and only eight have managed 400 or more. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record with 497 for India in four innings in 2003-04: 241* and 60* v Australia (Sydney), 194* v Pakistan (Multan) and 2 v Pakistan (Lahore).
The first-class record is 709 (218*, 36*, 234*, 77* and 144) by K.C.Ibrahim for Bombay in 1947-48. Three others (G.A.Hick 645, V.M.Merchant 634 and E.H.Hendren 630) have enjoyed an unbroken runs sequence of 600 or more.
In 1994, J.D.Carr (Middlesex) ended the season by scoring 854 runs for once out: 78*, 171*, 136, 106*, 40*, 62* and 261*.
Q. Who has hit the most centuries before lunch in Test cricket? Has anyone ever hit a century in each of the three sessions of a day of Test cricket? westcotoby
Bearders' Answer: Four batsmen have scored a hundred before lunch on the first day of a Test. Fourteen others have either added 100 runs to an overnight score or scored a fresh century on other days - Brian Lara is unique in having twice scored/added a pre-lunch century.
Sir Donald Bradman came closest to scoring a hundred in each session when he made 309 runs for Australia against England on the first day at Leeds in 1930 - 105 before lunch, 115 between lunch and tea, and 89 in the final session.
Q. In a recent limited-overs Sunday friendly match I played in, our third-change bowler was forced to abort an over after two deliveries having sustained an injury. A team-mate who had not previously bowled in the match completed the over. Had it been an international or domestic cup tie, would a bowler who had already completed his allocation of overs been allowed to complete his injured team-mate's over? Mike, Cheshire
Bearders' Answer: No, Mike. The over would have had to have been completed by someone who had not already exhausted his allocation. Whatever number of balls needed to complete the aborted over (four in your example) would count as a full over for the entitlement of the bowler who deputised.
Q. Who scored the 1,000th century in Test cricket? Ross Deere, Queensland
Bearders' Answer: That was Ian Chappell against West Indies in Australia's first innings of the second Test at Melbourne on 27 December 1968. He just pipped Bill Lawry who recorded the 1,001st later in the same (final) session of the second day. By coincidence Chappell was dismissed for 165, the same score on which Charles Bannerman was compelled to retire hurt having completed the very first hundred in the inaugural Test on the same ground in March 1877.