Ask Bearders #180
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. Looking at the line up of the last England team to be whitewashed in Australia, I noticed that Bert Strudwick was a number 11 wicket-keeper. With the exception of Tom Campbell of South Africa, have there been any other number 11 wicket-keepers in Test cricket?
Rupert (Barnes, London)
Bearders' Answer: As a bowler, captain or selector who would always pick the most reliable gloveman and leave the specialist batsman to accept their responsibility for scoring runs, I was sufficiently intrigued by your question, Rupert, to devote several hours to combing the scores of 1,888 international Test matches to compile a detailed survey - and by a distance the longest answer I have given to any question in this series.
Although virtually unheard of in modern times, it was not an uncommon policy in the Victorian era, particularly with regard to England teams. Joe Hunter (Yorkshire), against Australia at Adelaide in 1884-85 (the 17th Test match), was the first wicket-keeper to bat at number 11 in Test cricket. His international career was confined to that five-match series and he batted last in each of his seven innings.
A search of those early scores reveals that Richard Pilling (Lancashire) batted last in the final four of his 13 Test innings (1886-88), Mordecai Sherwin (Nottinghamshire), at just under 17 stone probably the heaviest Test wicket-keeper of all time, batted last in each of his six innings in 1886-87 and 1888, Harry Wood (Surrey) batted next to the roller in the first of his four innings, also in 1888, and Harry Butt (Sussex) was at 11 for three of his four innings in South Africa in 1895-96. In the same period two Australian keepers went in last: Fred Burton (twice in 1886-87) and Jack Blackham (11 times between 1891-92 and 1893).
From the turn of the century until the 1914-18 War, seven wicket-keepers batted last, including three in the 1912 Triangular Tournament: Dick Lilley (England; 1 - 1903-04); James Kelly (Australia; 4 - 1902-05); Percy Sherwell (South Africa; 3 - 1905-06); 'Sammy' Carter (Australia; 4 - 1909 to 1911-12); Tom Campbell (South Africa; 4 - 1909-10 to 1912); Tommy Ward (South Africa; 10 - 1912); William Carkeek (Australia; 3 - 1912).
Bert Strudwick, who was Surrey's scorer when I began my TMS career, was number 11 in 25 (the record by a distance) of his 42 innings between 1909-10 and 1926. George Duckworth (Lancashire; 11 - 1928-29 to 1930-31), Errol Hunte (West Indies; 2 in 1929-30), and Ken James (New Zealand; 3 - 1931 and 1931-32) provided the only other instances between the wars.
Since 1945, eighteen keepers have batted at 11 in Test cricket: Dattaram Hindlekar (India; 3 in 1946); 'Jenni' Irani (India; 3 in 1947-48); Probir Sen (India; 1 in 1951-52); Gil Langley (Australia; 6 - 1953 to 1956-57); Ian Colquhoun (New Zealand; 2 in 1954-55); Godfrey Evans (England; 2 in 1955 and 1958-59, the last England keeper to bat that low and only because he had fractured a finger); Trevor McMahon (New Zealand; 3 in 1955-56); Len Maddocks (Australia; 1 in 1956); Wally Grout (Australia; 5 in 1960-61 to 1963-64); Budhi Kunderan (India; 2 in 1961-62); Barry Jarman (Australia; 3 in 1962-63); John Ward (New Zealand; 4 in 1964-65 and 1965); Roy Harford (New Zealand: 5 in 1967-68); Barry Milburn (New Zealand; 3 in 1968-69); Wasim Bari (Pakistan; 4 in 1976-77); Syed Kirmani (India; 2 in 1983-84); Guy de Alwis (Sri Lanka; 1 in 1986-87); Nayan Mongia (India; 1 in 1999-2000).
As the last two instances involved keepers being demoted from higher first innings batting positions, it is 25 years (30 October 1983) and 923 matches since a wicket-keeper (Kirmani) batted at number 11 in the first innings of a Test. The last keeper to bat even as low as number 10 in Test cricket was Thami Tsolekile for South Africa v India at Calcutta in November/December 2004.
Q. I imagine you are not fond of all the new innovations in modern limited-overs cricket. One of those I only heard of recently, is the "free hit". When did it first appear? How do you show it in your scoring system?
Aaron (Newcastle upon Tyne - ex-Johannesburg)
Bearders' Answer: Yes, I have always favoured old innovations! The 'free hit' awarded in addition to a runs penalty for over-stepping no-balls has been with us for ten English seasons. It was introduced by the ECB in 1999 and was restricted to games in the CGU National Cricket League when the 'Sunday League' was re-invented as a 45-over two-division competition. I note it on my linear scoring system with a dagger against the runs scored off the free-hit ball and a corresponding 'FH' in notes column alongside.
Q. Has anybody played both major league baseball in the US and first-class cricket in England?
Bearders' Answer: Probably only Ed Smith who has represented Cambridge University, British Universities, Kent, Middlesex and England at first-class cricket. In 2001 he appeared for the New York Mets, primarily to research a book he was writing.
Ian Chappell represented Australia at both sports. Although he played first-class cricket in England, he never appeared in US league baseball.
Q. My partner's great-grandfather was Kent and England player Arthur Fielder. Can you tell me if any of his achievements still stand please?
Bearders' Answer: Arthur Fielder was an exceptionally strong right-arm fast bowler who spearheaded the Kent attack from 1900 until the Great War. Capable of sustaining his pace and accuracy over long spells, he played a major role in Kent's first four Championships (1906-09-10-13). In 287 first-class matches he took 1,277 wickets at 21.02 runs apiece, claiming five or more wickets in an innings 98 times and ten in a match on 28 occasions. He took all 10 for 90 (the second-best analysis in those fixtures) for the Players against the Gentlemen at Lord's in 1906.
A tail-end batsman who averaged 11.31, he featured in an epic one-wicket victory in the fourth of his six Tests, all in Australia. He played the innings of his life against Worcestershire at Stourbridge in July 1909. Joining Frank Woolley at 320-9, with Kent still 40 runs in arrears, he contributed an undefeated 112, his only century, to a (then) world record last-wicket stand of 235 which paved the way for an innings victory. That partnership remains the Kent tenth-wicket record and is currently the third-highest in all first-class cricket.
Q. How many times has the same county won both the County Championship and the Second XI Championship in the same season?
Ray Grace (Haltwhistle)
Bearders' Answer: Since the Second XI Championship was inaugurated in 1959, four counties have won both titles: Kent (1970), Middlesex (1993), Sussex (2007) and Durham (2008).
Q. Last season I was out for a duck six times. Most of these were quick first-ballers, but some were longer (my longest duck this year was about seven balls). Therefore, I was wondering how long a batsman has been out in the middle and still gone for 0 (in balls and/or minutes) in a Test match? I would imagine the record is an hour, or 40 balls. Also how many ducks have been recorded in Test cricket, and who has "scored" the most?
Bearders' Answer: Geoff Allott seized the record for the longest duck in Test cricket when he batted 101 minutes and faced 77 balls for New Zealand v South Africa at Auckland on 2 March 1999. His last wicket partnership with Chris Harris added 32 runs.
As of 23 October 2008, there have been 7,157 ducks in 66,439 innings played in 1,888 international Test matches. Courtney Walsh (West Indies) acquired most (43), with Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne runners-up with 34 ducks apiece for Australia.
Q. My question comes from the fact that my team has often had low totals where "extras" has been the highest scorer. What is the highest score in a Test innings where extras have outscored the batsmen? I doubt we'd ever beat it, but it would be interesting to know as a target!
Bearders' Answer: Your target to beat is 58, Andy. Extras have been the highest contributor to a Test match innings on 13 occasions, the most recent being in England's first innings against West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica, in March 2004. England's total (339), the number of extras (60) and the highest individual score (58) are each the highest tallies when extras have top scored.
Q. At the start of one of our matches this season, our tall opening bowler ran in and bowled a fairly standard delivery. Immediately, the umpire ruled a no-ball, as our bowler had not stated his action to the umpire. This struck all of us as being incredibly petty, as we felt it was the role of the umpire to enquire as to the bowler's action. Having looked at Law 24 for a no-ball, it seems an umpire can give a no-ball if the bowler changes arm or side without informing the umpire, but states nothing about his first delivery.
Is it the role of the umpire or bowler to raise the issue, and therefore were we right to feel hard done by?
Bearders' Answer: A fascinating question, Paul. As a bowler I cannot recall not being asked what I was going to bowl. My answers have varied from right-arm over to right-arm low stealth via right-arm filth. I did take a wicket bowling slow-left arm in the Australian outback but I did warn the umpire, who was on his tenth tinnie at the time. In fact, the notes to Law 16 on page 119 of Tom Smith's 'New Cricket Umpiring and Scoring' include under 'Duties of Umpires Leading to Play Being Called': 'the bowler's end umpire should collect any items of clothing from the bowler and at the same time enquire as to his intended action'.
This is evidence that it is the umpire's duty to ascertain the bowler's action at the start of play and inform the batsman. Certainly a no-ball should not have been called.
Q. In their Fourth Test of the 1970-71 series (Sunil Gavaskar's debut series) against India at Bridgetown, West Indies employed ten bowlers in the second innings. Has there been an instance where everyone including the wicketkeeper has bowled? How often have ten or more bowlers bowled in a Test innings?
Bearders' Answer: There have been four instances of all eleven bowling in a Test match and 14 of ten bowlers being called upon - including seven since the one you mention.
The four involving the entire team were: England v Australia (551), The Oval, 1884; Australia v Pakistan (382-2), Faisalabad, 1979-80; India v West Indies (629-9 dec), St John's, 2001-02; and South Africa v West Indies (747), St John's, 2004-05.
Q. Am I correct in thinking Jason Gillespie has not played a Test since his 201* against Bangladesh? If so are there any other instances of batsmen signing off from Test cricket with a double hundred?
Bearders' Answer: Yes, that was Gillespie's final match and innings. Two others, Seymour Nurse (258 for West Indies v New Zealand at Christchurch in 1968-89) and Aravinda de Silva (206 for Sri Lanka v Bangladesh at Colombo in 2002-03) scored double hundreds in their final Test innings. Andrew Sandham (325 and 50 for England v West Indies at Kingston in 1929-30) and Bill Ponsford (266 and 22 for Australia v England at The Oval in 1934) scored double centuries in their final Test match but had a second knock.
Q. With all this talk of run outs I was wondering which batsman had been run out on 99 most times in Test cricket?
buzz1989 (Cambs, England)
Bearders' Answer: Thirteen batsmen have been run out for 99 in Test cricket but none has suffered the fate twice.
Q. What is the difference between a run out and a stumping? In a recent match the batsman missed the ball and the keeper was standing back. The batsman went out of his crease and the keeper threw the ball and hit the stumps. Was this a run out or a stumping? The bowler wants to know if it is his wicket (stumping) or just a run out.
Bearders' Answer: Law 39 stipulates that only the wicket-keeper can stump a batsman. If the dismissal occurs after the ball has made contact with another member of the fielding side the dismissal is classed as run out. As the keeper can kick or throw the ball on to the stumps, or rebound it off his body or pads, the dismissal you describe was a stumping and should be credited to the bowler.
Q. When a reports states that Malinda Warnapura 'made a maiden century for Sri Lanka', is it an MC for his career or is it an MC on his very first Test appearance? How many batsmen have scored a century on their very first appearance? I remember Abbas Ali Baig and Sourav Ganguly achieving this feat.
Mahendra (Sri Lanka)
Bearders' Answer: That report would have meant that B.S.M. (Malinda) Warnapura had scored the first hundred of his Test career. It came in his third innings in Test cricket and he added another century four innings later.
A total of 81 batsmen have scored a hundred on Test debut, with Lawrence Rowe (West Indies) and Yasir Hamid (Pakistan) scoring hundreds in both innings. Six batsmen have scored their maiden hundred in first-class cricket in their first Test match.