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Ask Bearders #182

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Bill Frindall | 12:32 UK time, Saturday, 22 November 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. In Australia's recent Fourth Test in India, Jason Krejza had figures of 8 for 215. From 0 to 10 wickets taken, what are the worst figures in terms of runs conceded by any bowler in Test matches?

Bearders' Answer: Krejza's analysis has established a new record for the most expensive eight-wicket haul. The full list that you requested includes a few surprises:-
0-259 Khan Mohammad P v WI Kingston 1957-58
1-298 L.O.Fleetwood-Smith A v E The Oval 1938
2-247 Fazal Mahmood P v WI Kingston 1957-58
3-237 Saqlain Mushtaq P v SA Cape Town 2002-03
4-201 B.Lee A v I Sydney 2003-04
5-266 O.C.Scott WI v E Kingston 1929-30
6-226 B.S.Bedi I v E Lord's 1974
7-220 Kapil Dev I v P Faisalabad 1982-83
8-215 J.J.Krejza A v I Nagpur 2008-09
9-121 A.A.Mailey A v E Melbourne 1920-21
10- 74 A.Kumble I v P Delhi 1998-99

Q. In the recent Fourth Test between India and Australia, Jason Krejza went for 358 runs in the match - this can't be far off being a record!

Bearders' Answer: Krejza's tally is the runner-up. Only West Indian leg-break bowler O.C. ('Tommy') Scott, with match figures of 9 for 374 at Kingston in 1929-30, has conceded more. The bulk of those runs were scored off him in the first innings when he returned the remarkable figures of 80.2 overs, 13 maidens, 266 runs and 5 wickets as England amassed 849 runs at the start of a timeless Test. Andy Sandham was chiefly responsible as he posted the first international triple century in what turned out to be his final Test.

Q. What is the lowest score made by a team winning a Test match by an innings - batting first and second?

Bearders' Answer: Both those lowest innings-winning totals were made on vicious 'sticky' pitches as they dried after heavy rain.
The lowest such first-innings score is 172 by England against Australia (81 and 70) at Manchester in 1888 when a record 18 (Australian) wickets fell before lunch on the second day in the shortest completed Test match in England - 6 hours 34 minutes. The tourists were compelled to follow on as the margin in 1888 was a mere 80 runs.
Australia's 153 against South Africa (36 and 45) at Melbourne in 1931-32 is the lowest to gain an innings victory batting second.

Q. I am sure that all three Chappell brothers played Test cricket for Australia together at some point. Has this feat been equalled or surpassed?

Bearders' Answer: Oh, no, they didn't! In fact Trevor did not appear in the same Test as either of his brothers. His three appearances, all against England in 1981, were made after Ian had retired and when Greg was unavailable.
The three Grace brethren, E.M., G.F. and W.G., are alone in appearing for the same side in a Test match. They all made their debuts against Australia at The Oval in 1880 in the first Test to be staged in England.
Three Hearne brothers appeared in the Cape Town Test of March 1892 when Alec and George made their debuts for England and Frank appeared for South Africa after playing twice for England. Their cousin, John Thomas, also made his debut in that match.

Q. When one says 'a batsman was out without troubling the scorers', how much trouble does the batsman really cause?
Aaron van Geordieland

Bearders' Answer: Frequently I have publicly threatened to throttle any commentator who uses that hackneyed and erroneous expression. The fall of a wicket produces pressure points in any scoring system. If wickets fall in swift succession that pressure is dramatically increased.
The linear method I have designed for TMS commentaries involves three A4 sheets: the Ball-by-Ball Record of Play, the Innings Scorecard and the Cumulative Bowling Analyses. Only the first two are immediately affected by the fall of a wicket. First I stop the watch recording the length of his innings and zero it for the new batsman.
Record of Play: I enter 'W' in the dismissed batsman's column to show which ball took his wicket and the time of his dismissal on the next line of the 'time' column. I complete all totals in the 'End-of-Over' section and the outgoing batsman's balls and boundaries columns. Then I rule off that batsman's section and his column in the 'Totals' section. The new batsman's name is then entered on the next line of the batting column.
Innings Scorecard: I enter details of that batsman's dismissal (time out, minutes batted, how out, runs, fall-of-wicket, fours, sixes and balls faced) and his partnership details (runs, minutes and balls). Finally I add the new batsman's name and enter the time he went in.
In Test matches there would normally be a two-minute hiatus before play is resumed but it is far shorter in limited-overs games and virtually non-existent in the 20-over format.

Q. Gordon Greenidge scored 134 out of 211 for West Indies v England in the Third Test at Old Trafford in 1976. I think he actually scored 134 out of 192 runs scored while he was at the wicket, as he was ninth man out, after opening. I'll leave Bearders to do the maths but does this come very close to Bannerman's highest percentage of runs by one batsman out of a team's overall total, before Slater's innings?

Bearders' Answer: Greenidge did indeed score 134 of his side's 211 runs in that innings - 63.5% of the total - and at the time only Charles Bannerman (67.35) had bettered it. Subsequently Michael Slater (66.6% in 1998-99) and V.V.S.Laxman (63.9% in 1999-2000) have demoted him to fourth place. Greenidge actually scored 134 out of 193-9 - 69.4%.

Q. In what year was the first Test match between Australia and England at Melbourne in March 1877 recognised as an official Test match? What would its designation have been until then?

Bearders' Answer: Arranged at short notice following successful odds matches between James Lillywhite's team of English professionals and sides representing New South Wales and Victoria, the inaugural Test match was billed as 'A Grand Combined Melbourne and Sydney Eleven v James Lillywhite's Professional Touring Team'. It was the first match played on level terms (the same number of players on each side) by an English team abroad.
It's anointment as the first 'Test' match came initially at the hands of contemporary cricket historians/statisticians. In 1894 Melbourne's Clarence Percival Moody produced a 98-page publication entitled 'Australian Cricket and Cricketers 1856-1893/4'. It listed, with brief résumés, averages, records and curiosities, Australia's earliest intercolonial and international matches. Then, in 1895, John Nix Pentelow's 'England v. Australia - The Story of Test Matches' was published as Vol LXIV of Arrowsmith's Bristol Library. It included the full scores of the first 43 Anglo-Australian Tests (1877-95), together with match reports and a brief records section with full names and birthdates for most of players involved.

Q. When Ireland played England in Belfast in June 2006, brothers Dominic and Ed Joyce played against each other. Both were also making their limited-overs international debuts. Surely these are both firsts?

Bearders' Answer: Probably the only comparable instance occurred at Cape Town in March 1892 when Alec and George Hearne made their debuts for England and their brother, Frank, appeared for the opposing South Africa team after playing twice for England.

Q. Sid Barnes and Don Bradman both scored 234 in the same innings for Australia against England at Sydney in 1946-47. Is this the joint highest score made by two batsmen in Tests? What about in all first-class cricket?

Bearders' Answer: Their score of 234 is the highest jointly recorded in any first-class innings. Bradman dropped himself down the order because of a leg injury and gastric problems, joining Barnes, who had opened the batting, when he had scored 71 out of 159-4 in 244 minutes. Their partnership of 405 in 393 minutes remained the Test record for any wicket until 1990-91. Bradman was trapped lbw immediately after scoring 16 off an over from Denis Compton. Four minutes later, Barnes, after batting for 642 minutes, the longest innings for Australia until R.B.Simpson scored 311 in 762 minutes in 1964, gave a tame catch to mid-on at the same total (564). Later Barnes confessed to having thrown away his wicket so that he would finish with the same score as his captain.

Q. When was the option of taking the new ball after 80 overs introduced in Tests? What is the largest number of overs that a side has continued with the old ball?
Marcus (UK)

Bearders' Answer: Playing conditions governing the availability of a new ball have varied considerably even since the Second World War. The Ashes series of 1948 was played under an experimental law that allowed a new ball after only 55 overs. The limit had risen to 85 overs when I began my stint with Test Match Special in 1966. A lengthy trawl of my scoresheets has revealed that the 80-over edict was introduced in 1996.
The highest recorded number of overs for which the original ball has been retained in Test cricket is 177. Bereft of the services of two of his key bowlers (Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding) and hampered by one of Wellington's notorious northerly winds in February 1987, West Indies captain Viv Richards countered with this tactic throughout New Zealand's second innings as they amassed 386 for five.

Q. If a batsman is stumped off a wide, how do you score it and how do you enter it in the book?
Mr J. Morrall

Bearders' Answer: I use my own A4 loose-leaf sheet scoring system. In the dismissed batsmen's space for that over, on the main scoresheet, I would enter a plus sign with a dot in the top left sector to denote the wide. Above that I would put a red 'W' denoting the fall of his wicket. On the innings scorecard I would record 'stumped off a wide' in the Notes on Dismissal section.

Q. What is the record for the most consecutive innings victories by a Test team?

Bearders' Answer: An intriguing question with a messy answer - scant reward for much research. The answer is three and there have been 13 instances shared by seven countries: Australia (4 times); England, South Africa and India (twice); New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (once). The most successive innings defeats is five and no prize for guessing that the victims have been Bangladesh (twice) and Zimbabwe (once).


  • Comment number 1.


    good stuff as usual...

    Andrew Symonds scored 8 from1 ball in the current test vs NZ (an all-run 4 and then 4 overthrows). Is this the record for the number of runs from a legitimate delivery in a test?

    Also, can you get any more than 4 overthrows?


  • Comment number 2.

    Adam Gilchrist used to wear a squash ball in his batting gloves. Is that legal?

  • Comment number 3.

    In the early years of test cricket I believe sixes were declared only if the ball was hit out of the ground and balls falling just over the ropes were declared as "5", How were the sixes measured?

  • Comment number 4.

    I am an Englishman currently plying cricket in Australia, and I was shocked last week when a local came up and told me I was filling in my scorebook incorrectly.

    I am told that Australians mark a wicket with a x, and wides with a W - whereas I was always taught the other way round in England.

    What is the 'accepted' international convention - and why has/when did this difference arise?

  • Comment number 5.

    Zimbabwe fell from the respectable position of 124 for 3 to lose their last 7 wickets for 3 runs in their ODI against Sri Lanka this week, and their last six batsmen all made ducks! Surely both of these are records or close to it. What are the biggest collapses and/or most consecutive ducks made in ODIs (or limited overs internationals, as I know you prefer to call them - why is that, btw?) Hope that's enough questions!

    Charles Lane
    Fairfax, VA, USA

  • Comment number 6.

    Bearder's Answer to 3 brothers question

    To quote "Oh no they weren't"

    The 3 Grace's have company playing for the same side in a test match

    in Oct 1969 NZ were touring PAK and in the 1st test the PAK side included Hanif, Sadiq and Mushtaq Mohammed, who are all brothers - this was Hanif's last test of 55 whilst being Sadiq's first of 41, it being more or less in the middle of Mushtaq's 57 (a fourth brother, Wasim, also played test cricket but in the 1950s)

    other sets of three brothers, notably the Handlees have played ODIs together, but that wasn't the question

  • Comment number 7.

    question 5 - Aus Born Brit

    there have been 3 other cases of 6 ducks in a ODI (PAK vs ENG 1987, PAK vs WI 1993 and SA vs AUS 2002) but never before 6 consecutive zeros

    there have been 4 other cases of losing 7 or 8 wkts for 10 runs or less

    SL vs WI 1986 - 8 wkts for 10 (3rd-10th)

    ENG vs IND 1993 - 7 wkts for 10 (4rd-10th)

    WI vs ZIM 2001 - 7 wkts for 9 (1st-7th)

    ZIM vs SL 2004 - 7 for 10 (2nd-8th)

    this last being the lowest ODI score ever, 35, with nobody scoring double figures, extras with 7 being joint highest scorer which doesn't happen often in ODIs (36 times actually...including in the ZIM match that you asked about with 6 ducks)

  • Comment number 8.

    Seeing that Jason Krejza was dropped after his test debut, albeit tactically, I was wondering if he never plays again for Australia would he have the best 'single test' figures ever?
    Stuart, West Brom

  • Comment number 9.

    question 8 - Debussy

    of the nearly 400 players who have only played one Test in their career only 2 have more than 5 wkts in an innings or 10 in a match

    Gobo Ashley took 7 for 95 for South Africa in the first (and only) England innings of his single Test in 1889 - also his first class debut

    Charles Marriott recorded match figures of 11 for 96 (5/37 and 6/59) vs West Indies in his only match for England in 1933 - he also took more first class wkts, 711, than he scored runs, 574, which is going some in 159 matches

    so Krejza would "beat" both of these in terms of wkts taken (8 in one innings and 12 all told)

    interestingly of the 15 players to take 10 fors on debut 8 didn't go on to play in more than 10 matches

  • Comment number 10.

    Q. If a batsman is stumped off a wide, how do you score it and how do you enter it in the book?
    Mr J. Morrall

    Bearders' Answer: I use my own A4 loose-leaf sheet scoring system. In the dismissed batsmen's space for that over, on the main scoresheet, I would enter a plus sign with a dot in the top left sector to denote the wide. Above that I would put a red 'W' denoting the fall of his wicket. On the innings scorecard I would record 'stumped off a wide' in the Notes on Dismissal section.


    The standard scoring that the majority of people seem to use in local leagues, etc. is to put the 'plus' (+) to indicate a wide, and a w in the top left corner. Add one to the 'wides' column in the extras scoring section, one to the total score and end the batsman's scoreline.

    Surely by putting a dot in the +, that normally indicates 2 (one for the wide and one bye which goes down as another wide), and what do you do if the wide crosses the boundary? In normal scoring, that would be indicated by a + with a dot in each corner, but with your method, you are one space short.

  • Comment number 11.

    Re: 2. slowerball wrote:
    Adam Gilchrist used to wear a squash ball in his batting gloves. Is that legal?

    Many years ago when wicketkeeping gloves were not what they are now, it is said that Bert Oldfield (Aus) used to strap his gloves with raw meat to protect his hands against J Gregory's(Aus) bowling.
    But the Law in question is Law 42 regarding Fair and Unfair Play. There is nothing in it to suggest Gilchrist was gaining any advantage, by using the squash ball unfairly-it was a means of keeping a grip. The said ball is classed as part of his equipment (batting gloves). If the squash ball inside gloves is against the rules then so would gloves themselves-they help you grip the ball better too.
    Personally I used to add socks inside my batting gloves-an habit I picked up as a child when I had to use adult gloves. The same rule could apply to sunglasses, which now enhance vision in light and dark.

  • Comment number 12.

    All the things you described you do when a batsmen gets out sounds like a lot of effort!

    Please tell us you don't do all that by hand?!

    Have you heard of computers?

  • Comment number 13.

    Re 181:112 (PotHunter19)

    I thought this question was too interesting to go unanswered and hope it is in order to resurrect it for this edition of Bearders.

    As I recall, the query concerned how good a batsman '"Extras" would be if 'he' could be given an average. Calculating an average for a 'normal' batsmen is easy, you just divide the number of dismissals into the number of runs, but how does one calculate the number of dismissals for the No 12? In presenting these figures I have assumed that for every one dismissal suffered by the batsmen the No 12 gets 1/10th of a dismissal, so that when all the batsmen are out, so is the No 12, i.e. when four batsman have been got out, Extras has been dismissed 0.4 times, and so. In other words, to calculate 'his' average, divide by 1/10th of the number of normal dismissals. So -

    Runs off the bat - 1732394
    Dismissals - 57890
    Extras - 108493
    Average off the bat - 29.92
    Average by Extras - 18.74
    % Extra Av / Batsmen Av - 62.62
    Career averages (min 10 innings): Extras 834th out of 1345

    Runs off the bat - 1065403
    Dismissals - 39184
    Extras - 85194
    Average off the bat - 27.18
    Average by Extras - 21.74
    % Extra Av / Batsmen Av - 79.96
    Career averages (min 10 innings): Extras 367th out of 815

    Int Twenty20
    Runs off the bat - 19146
    Dismissals - 1013
    Extras - 1436
    Average off the bat - 18.90
    Average by Extras - 14.17
    % Extra Av / Batsmen Av - 75.00
    Career averages (min 5 innings): Extras 70th out of 102

  • Comment number 14.

    When scoring, do you mark recent "innovations" such as powerplays?

    I wondered as during the third ODI, Swann's figures until the Indian powerplay were very respectable, but afterwards, a crude examination of his figures might imply he bowled badly during those overs. He was, obviously, quite unable to do anything to stop the "tap dripping".

    In future, when comparing the career of someone whose figures were compiled before such "improvements", (cough cough), and someone afterwards might be unfair.

  • Comment number 15.

    At the start of a match

    we, as the bowling side, waited to see which batsman was facing and then chose our bowler. The Batsmen then changed over so that the the other batsman was to face the first ball. So we changed our bowler. The impass was only resolved by our giving in and naming our opeing bowler before letting the opposition choose which of their opening batsmen faced first.

    Who really should choose first ?

  • Comment number 16.

    Charles Marriott's bowling average in his one Test was 8.72. Is this the best Test bowling average for a bowler who has taken more then 10 wickets ?

  • Comment number 17.

    #1 - even if a fielder was able to throw the ball over the ropes on the full, there's no such thing as "6 overthrows". However, there's no limit on teh number of overthrows possible if the fielding side keep pinging the ball from one side of the ground to the other.

    #2 - MCC specifically ruled that the use of a squash ball was legal

    #4 - The closest thing to an international standard is the system described in Tom Smith's Cricket Umpiring and Scoring, which reccomends the system you describe, with a plus sign (+) denoting wides, and a "W" for wickets.

    #12 - I've scored games with several county and international scorers, and they all keep a paper record of the game. Computer scoring works up to a point, but keeping a manual scoresheet is far more practical, particularly at club level.

    #14 - Most scorebooks / sheets nowadays have a "notes" column or similar where things like powerplay details can be recorded.

    There have been constant changes to the rules and playing standards throughout cricket, and player's figures have to be taken in the context of the time in which they played. Bowlers nowadays have to deal with powerplays, whereas in the 1970s, there were no fielding restrictions of any sort. Going back further, in the early part of the 20th century, the wicket was narrower than the current 9 inches. Proper context is helpful to appreciating the relative skills of any player, which can't really be done just on his overall career statistics.

  • Comment number 18.

    question 16 - Captain's Choice

    marriott's is indeed the best career bowling average over 10 wkts

    the leading five are:

    Marriott - 11wkts 96 runs - 8.72
    Martin - 14wkts 141runs - 10.07
    Lohmann - 112wkts 1205runs - 10.75
    Nash - 10wkts 126runs - 12.60
    Ferris - 61wkts 775runs - 12.70

    interestingly JJ Ferris played 8 tests for AUS (48 wkts for 648 runs - 14.25) and just 1 test for ENG (13 wkts 91 runs - 7.00) if his one test for ENG counted seperately he'd hold the record

    of those that didn't manage 10 wkts 3 players took a wkt without runs (Barber-only 2 balls, Hornby-28 balls and Murray 6 balls)

  • Comment number 19.

    Regarding the post about Adam Gilchrist I was led to believe that Rodney Marsh used to put a steak in each of his gloves to counter the pace of Jeff Thompson. Any truth in this?

    Excellent Column Thanks.

  • Comment number 20.

    In the 3rd innings of the just completed Aust vs NZ Test match Simon Katich carried his bat while his fellow opener Matt Hayden got a golden duck.

    Is this the only instance of such a contrasting performance by opening partners in the same innings?

  • Comment number 21.

    After watching the 4th one day match aganist India is it possible to explain duckworth/lewis and who they are,and surly there must be a better solution

  • Comment number 22.

    question 20- Gedoxx

    in all tests there have been 43 instances of an opener carrying his bat through a completed innings

    of these 10 are cases of one opener carrying his bat and the other being out for a duck

    2 were before ball counting was common but of the other 8 four were golden ducks

    60* by Lawry and 0 by I Chappell in 1971
    58* Boon and 0 Marsh in 1986
    68* Dekker and 0 Flower in 1993
    131* Katich 0 Hayden 2008

    you can see Katich's is by a long chalk the biggest difference

    only 3 other openers have scored 100 when their partners scored zero, but not first ballers

    159* Redpath 0 Shakpole 1974
    156* Flower 0 Viljoen 1998
    104* Arnold 0 Attapatu 1999

    however none of these are the biggest difference between openers when one carried his bat

    in the 1972 test between NZ and WI GM Turner scored 223 and carried his bat whilst fellow opener and captain GT Dowling scored 4 making a difference of 219

  • Comment number 23.

    can you please explain the duckworth/lewis method.

    It seems crazy to me that england scored more runs in 22 overs than india but lost!

  • Comment number 24.

    21 / 23 - The D/L system is based around the principle that each team has resources with which to make runs - their 10 wickets, and the 50 overs available in an uninterrupted innings. Where weather intervenes to the extent that the 2 teams have different levels of resources, the D/L system compensates by alloctaing a revised target.

    On Sunday, India started their innings thinking they would have all 50 overs to bat, and pacing themselves accordingly. D/L allows for the fact that the early overs of a 50 overs innings are generally much less high-scoring than the later overs, and therefore England, who knew that they would face only 22 overs would have had an unfair advantage if the total had not been revised.

    D/L is generally agreed worldwide to be the fairest way of recalculating targets in the event of rain - certainly better than run-rate where (for example) a score of 121-9 off 30 overs would beat 200 off 50. However, the D/L system doesn't take into account such features as powerplays, which came into play yesterday.

    More details of how Duckworth-Lewis calculations are performed are at

  • Comment number 25.

    What is the record for the most players born outside of England representing them in a single game?

  • Comment number 26.

    Following Yuvraj Singh's recent heroics against England, I was wondering what is the highest number of runs scored in an innings by a batsman while using a runner, either in Tests, ODIs or First Class generally?

  • Comment number 27.

    What is the biggest difference in average by an England batsmen playing at home and abroad?

    Both in absolute and relative measures

  • Comment number 28.

    G'day there Bill,
    In the recently completed Sheffield match between Western Australia and Victoria at the WACA in Perth, Victorian bowler D.P Nannes was removed from the attack, under Law 42.
    The last instance I could find was in a T-20
    match this season by C.R Woakes of Warwicks v Kent (Qrtr final)
    Do you have information in relation to these types of incidents ? In f-c cricket.
    Best regards,
    Mark Brown (Perth, W.A)

  • Comment number 29.

    #28 - You might have to be more specific.

    A bowler can be removed from the attack under Law 42.3 - unfairly changing the condition of the ball; Law 42.7 - dangerous and unfair bowling; Law 42.8 - deliberate bowling of high, full pitched balls (aka beamers); Law 42.9 - Time wasting; or 42.12 - Bowler running on protected area.

  • Comment number 30.

    According to Cricinfo he was removed under 42.8, for bowling 3 successive high full tosses !

  • Comment number 31.


    Looking at the scorecard, it was even more eventful than it sounds. He bowled the second over of the match, starting with a high full-toss which took a wicket. He then bowled 2 more, both called no-ball, and was removed from the attack for the rest of the innings with figures of 0.1 - 0 - 2 - 1

  • Comment number 32.


    Looking even further, in the Victoria 1st innings, 2 bowlers bowled incomplete overs. Any ideas what happened there?
    P.S. LM Davis was also hit on the head by a bouncer from Siddle, so plenty fun and games there!

  • Comment number 33.

    re. #32

    Did the other bowler bowl x.5 overs?

    If so - perhaps he had to complete the over of the bowler who was taken off?

  • Comment number 34.

    Hi Bill,

    In a limited overs international that is curtailed by rain such that there is no result, do the runs scored/wickets taken and other details of play still count as part of a batsman's/bowler's/team's record in that format?

  • Comment number 35.

    Re 27 (sirianblog)

    Minimum 10 innings

    81.66 DR Jardine
    64.60 H Sutcliffe
    60.04 DCS Compton
    59.27 J Hardstaff jr
    57.79 L Hutton
    57.73 KP Pietersen
    57.30 PBH May
    53.76 DS Sheppard
    52.29 JB Hobbs
    51.41 M Leyland

    69.18 KF Barrington
    67.15 E Paynter
    66.32 WR Hammond
    59.91 JB Hobbs
    57.44 BC Broad
    57.20 GE Tyldesley
    56.31 H Sutcliffe
    55.29 L Hutton
    53.65 ER Dexter
    51.33 DL Amiss

    43.28 (81.66-38.38) DR Jardine
    27.49 (53.76-26.27) DS Sheppard
    25.80 (59.27-33.47) J Hardstaff jr
    23.16 (60.04-36.88) DCS Compton
    22.72 (43.72-21.00) RWT Key
    21.73 (57.30-35.57) PBH May
    20.41 (41.66-21.25) APF Chapman
    17.36 (57.73-40.37) KP Pietersen
    15.80 (46.95-31.15) PE Richardson
    14.85 (51.05-36.20) ME Trescothick
    2.884 GA Lohmann, 2.497 MJ Hoggard, 2.127 DR Jardine, 2.081 RWT Key, 2.046 DS Sheppard, 1.997 B Wood, 1.960 APF Chapman, 1.798 JT Murray, 1.785 TG Evans, 1.770 J Hardstaff jr

    31.32 (57.44-26.12) BC Broad
    21.51 (45.56-24.05) JM Parks
    18.47 (69.18-50.71) KF Barrington
    17.72 (32.53-14.81) W Barnes
    16.50 (43.45-26.95) RW Barber
    16.26 (66.32-50.06) WR Hammond
    15.96 (34.66-18.70) FR Brown
    15.86 (42.22-26.36) AC MacLaren
    15.85 (67.15-15.85) E Paynter
    15.55 (42.26-26.71) APE Knott
    2.706 PCR Tufnell, 2.451 PI Pocock, 2.199 BC Broad, 2.196 W Barnes, 2.188 SF Barnes, 1.894 JM Parks, 1.853 FR Brown, 1.837 G Ulyett, 1.774 J Briggs, 1.724 IDK Salisbury.

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Bill

    Can you tell me on what day were the most runs scored in test cricket? I know that 588 runs were scored on the second day of the 2nd test between England and India in 1936. But surely that would be beaten by other days when more than one test was going on anywhere in the world?

    And what about for ODIs?
    The answer for all first class cricket would be fascinating, but might be a bit of a struggle.

    Nick, London

  • Comment number 37.

    Read carefully...

  • Comment number 38.

    Hello Bearders,

    A couple of related questions:

    Last week when Zimbabwe capitulated against Sri Lanka in the first LOI, they succumbed from 124-3 to 127 all out, but the last six batsmen were all dismissed for a duck.

    1. Has there ever been an international match, Test or LOI, in which six consecutive batsmen all made ducks?

    2. Has it ever happened in a first-class match?

    Joe With Shoes
    London, England

  • Comment number 39.

    In the recent NZ v Bangladesh Test Match Danny Vettorri produced an amazing set of figures with bat and ball - even allowing for the fact that Bangladesh are not one of the major opposition teams.
    With the ball he managed 5 for 59 and 4 for 74.
    With the bat he scored 55 and 76.
    One more wicket in the second innings and he would have acvhaived two "five fors" and two half centuries.
    Has anybody ever managed this feat or is Vettorri the closest?

    Based in Cheshire but cricket learned at Drumpellier CC in Coatbridge, Scotland (WG Grace did play there once!)

  • Comment number 40.

    #34 - yes, all performances in a rained-out match count towards players career records.

  • Comment number 41.

    25 as the governing body is the England and Wales Cricket Board, the question should have been: What is the record for the most players born outside of England & Wales representing England in a single game?

  • Comment number 42.

    #39, Graham

    To achieve the feat, a player would need to score 100 runs and take 10 wickets in the same match. This has only been done three times:

    AK Davidson, Aus v WI Dec 1960, 44, 80, 5/135, 6/87

    IT Botham, Eng v Ind Feb 1980, 114, DNB, 6/58, 7,48

    Imran Khan, Pak v Ind Jan 1983, 117, DNB, 6/98, 5/82

    So no winners, but Davidson's is at least as close as Vettori's.


  • Comment number 43.

    Has anyone ever scored a test match century that did not include any boundries?

  • Comment number 44.

    question 38 - joe without shoes

    for part 1 look up to post 7

    for part 2 in the 1983 match between Essex and Surrey, in their 1st innings (the 2nd of the game) Surrey made 14 all out, including ducks from wkt 2 to wkt 7 when the score moved on from 5 to 8, in fact Surrey lost their first 8 wkts for 8 runs, only a 4 from Monkhouse saw them get over double figures

    there have probably been other cases too

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi Bill,

    Sachin Tendulkar recently broke Brian Lara's aggregate record for test runs but a West Indian friend of mine said the vast majority of these were made at home, on India's flat batting tracks. His underlying assertion is that Lara's record was greater given that he scored more runs abroad (even though his 400 and 375 were made at home).

    Are there any stats for the number (and percentage) of runs made by the two respectively on home soil?


    James (Trinidad & Tobago)

  • Comment number 46.

    question 43 - Little Tel 1

    no, the highest test score without boundaries is by G Boycott but it wasn't a century, it was 79 vs Aus in 1978 (he did score a 4 but it was all ran)

    the only first class centuries without boundaries were:

    A. Hill (103) Orange Free State v Griqualand West at Bloemfontein in 1976-77
    P.A. Hibbert (100) Victoria v Indians at Melbourne in 1977-78

    in 1926 Bill Woodfull reached his century against Surrey at The Oval without hitting a four, but did hit one afterwards before he was out for 118

  • Comment number 47.

    Re question 43, Littletel1, I believe I heard that Javed Miandad once did this.

  • Comment number 48.

    Where both players at the crease reach a century, what is the largest "start" a batsman has given another batsman and still beaten him to three figures?

  • Comment number 49.

    question 45 - Moo Swipe

    Lara scored 11953 runs in 232 innings at 52.89, at home he scored 6217 in 111 innings at 58.65, and away he averaged 47.8 off his 121 innings

    Tendulkar has scored 12273 runs in 252 innings at 54.31, at home 5452 in 111 innings (yes the same number) at 55.07 and away 141 innings at 53.71

    so your friend was wrong on both counts, although i suspect it is the number of not outs, 26 vs 6, that give Tendulkar the edge in averages, brought on by WI needing Lara to bat throughout the innings but allowing India to declare more

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks PortoIan

  • Comment number 51.

    RE: 19.
    Regarding the post about Adam Gilchrist I was led to believe that Rodney Marsh used to put a steak in each of his gloves to counter the pace of Jeff Thompson. Any truth in this?

    It is indeed correct that Rodney Marsh used this technique-so too did Allan Knott. The earliest record of this is by the
    19th century wicket-keeper, Baberton Halliwell of South Africa.
    I have always wondered if this attracted the flies to the wicket-keeper but I find wicket-keepers generally attract more flies than any other player.

  • Comment number 52.

    37. Aaron Geordie

    erm .. I think my interpretation of events was correct.

    3 bowlers bowled incomplete overs - not 2 as you wrote ... so asking me to 'read carefully' is inappropriate. Perhaps you should 'write carefully'

    The reason 3 bowlers bowled incomplete overs was

    1. Nannes had a shocker
    2. Siddle completed Nannes' over (which is why he was the third bowler)
    3. DG Wright then took the last wicket off the fourth ball of his 30th over.

  • Comment number 53.


    Which begs the question - what is the most incomplete overs ever bowled in an innings?

  • Comment number 54.

    re. 53

    I would not want to be the archivist that looked that one up ... ;*) . Might take a while!

  • Comment number 55.

    questions 33 and 52 and 53 - Nick 6591

    i think you'll find aarongeordie was asking why 2 bowlers had partially complete overs in the SECOND innings, not the Western Aus innings where there were 3 partials, but the Victoria innings

    Victoria bowling

    Wright 29.4 11 51 3
    Nannes 0.1 0 2 1
    Siddle 24.5 4 71 2
    (and others)

    Western Australia bowling

    Crawford 11.5 2 45 1
    North 5.3 1 23 2
    (and others)

  • Comment number 56.

    POST 55 - sorry that should read "duck machine" not "Nick6591"

    also i thought of this

    the 4th over in the Sri Lankan innings vs WI in Nov 2001was started by Dillon, he felt unwell and left the field after 2 balls. Stuart was called up to finish the over but bowled 2 unintentional beamers in 3 balls, meaning the umpire, Hampshire, had no choice but to remove him (for the rest of the innings). Gayle finished the over, making 3 bowlers for one over

    if you want to see the text commentary on this it is here

    not the most incomplete overs in a match (i have no idea what that would be) but the most bowlers used in one over in tests

  • Comment number 57.

    Re the question about Gordon Greenidge's percentage of his side's runs in a test against England (#182). This may be the record for the percentage of a side's runs scored by one player in a Test, but wasn't the First Class record set by Glenn Turner, playing for Worcestershire, when he scored something like 140 runs out of a team total of around 180 ?

  • Comment number 58.

    Question 57 - Plough Lane Oldboy

    from Bearder's answers in the last blog (the last answer)

    "Glenn Turner holds the record for the highest percentage of an innings total with 83.4%, achieved against Glamorgan at Swansea in 1977 when he carried his bat for 141 in Worcestershire's innings of 169 all out"

    which lets me make my FORUM (rather than blog) plea again....imagine a searchable record of all posts and answers, organised into threads (tests-bowling-best-etc...)..imagine!

  • Comment number 59.

    Hi Bearders,

    Could you answer the following question that my colleagues and I have? We are wondering what the longest line ever on a test match scorecard has been, if such a statistic can be determined. We're pretty sure it will involve Sri Lanka, and would have to be a catch or stumping. One of the longest we think we've found so far is from the 2nd test in Colombo against England last December:

    RJ Sidebottom c DPMD Jayawardene b Muralitharan

    Tim, London

  • Comment number 60.

    Hello Bearders!

    Which player has spent the most time on a cricket field in his professional career? Would being a professional umpire also figure in this total?

    Good luck with this one!


  • Comment number 61.

    Re 59

    What about this from 1976?

    Kallicharran c Venkataraghavan b Chandrasekhar

  • Comment number 62.

    re 59

    GHT Simpson-Hayward and HDG Leveson Gower played in the same test match but unfortunately were not involved in the same dismissal

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi again,
    I believe AB de Villiers was out for a duck today for the first time in his 79th innings. (He made a silly charge down the wicket to his 2nd ball).
    Who now holds the record for no test ducks?
    Aaron on the Tyne

  • Comment number 64.

    question 63 - aarongeordie

    well he did, AB de Villers 78 innings before a duck is the best in tests, the top five are:

    de Villers - 78
    de Silva - 75
    C. Lloyd - 58
    Davidson - 51
    GO Jones - 51

    players who have yet to score a duck are:
    Yasir Hameed - 45 and JM Anderson - 41

    players with finished careers and more than 40 innings without a duck were:
    Burke - 44 and Duff - 40

    in ODIs KC Wessels went a remarkable 105 innings, his entire career without getting one, nobody else comes close, Dharmasena managed 72 before his first, the highest who has yet to get a duck is Rudolph on 39

  • Comment number 65.

    Re: # 59
    Whilst not in Tests, this match from Ranji Trophy in 1990-91 would be hard to top.

    Andhra v Kerala, 1990-91 (Ranji Trophy)

    V Chamundeswaranath c Balasubramaniam b Ananthapadamanathan 2



  • Comment number 66.

    #60 - There's no way to calculate from existing records how much time players have actually spent on the field.

    The record holder for the most time spent playing professional cricket is Wilfred Rhodes, who played 1,110 1st class matches between 1898 and 1930. Assuming an average match length of 3 days, this equates to 3,330 days, or just over 9 years playing 1st class cricket.

  • Comment number 67.


    Incomplete overs. I've managed to get an answer for test cricket.

    In South Africa's first innings in the test against Pakistan in Johannesburg in Jan 1995, Aamer Nazir broke down with cramp during his seventh over. (He had arrived at the airport at 9.30 that morning after a 24 hour trip from Lahore via London and had been told he was playing when he arrived at the ground!)

    He came back on to the field later and was able to bowl again ... for a while. After a very short spell during which he took two wickets in consecutive balls, he broke down again in mid over.

    His two partial overs were completed by Aaqib Javed and Kabir Khan. The innings was completed when Aamer Sohail had Alan Donald out on the second ball of his 15th over.

    That means there were 5 partial overs bowled in the innings by four bowlers.


  • Comment number 68.

    Who was the last person to bowl roundarm in a test match and in first class cricket?

  • Comment number 69.

    Having seen South Africa's total of 429, in the recent test against Bangladesh, containing 5 ducks, I wondered if that was the highest score with 5 or more ducks in the innings?

  • Comment number 70.

    question 69 - Elvis J Eel

    SA's 429 is in fact the highest Test total with 5 ducks, the others above 300 are:

    AUS 310 vs PAK 1979
    ENG 313 vs WI 1954
    SA 390 vs ENG 1938

    no team has managed more than 128 with 6 ducks (PAK vs WI 1980)

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    Iain O'Brien's 38 ball duck in a partnership of 50 in the recent 2nd Test in Adelaide must be some sort of superlative but may have been beaten, when and by whom?

  • Comment number 73.


    After watching Australia vs New Zealand I noticed that Chris Martin has shocking test match batting stats. Who has had the most amount of innings to reach 100 test match runs ?

  • Comment number 74.

    Ref: Q.72
    Geoff Allott (NZ) 101 minutes - 77 balls v SA (1998-99). Godfrey Evans was stuck on 0 for 97 minutes before scoring his first run against Australia at Adelaide in 1946-47.

  • Comment number 75.


    BD Chandrasekhar took 40 innings to reach 100 runs in test cricket. Other notables are AL Valentine (39 innings), PCR Tufnell (37) and NAT Adcock (36). Maninder Singh had 38 test innings and only got to 99 runs.

    Chris Martin has had 65 innings and is still nowhere near ...


  • Comment number 76.

    I have just noticed that Paul Wilsons (australia) test career started with an inglorious 0 not out (2 balls) in the first innings, then 0 not out (2 balls) in the second innings, split by a 0/50 off 12 overs. He was then dumped from the team and never played for australia again. Are these the most unfortunate test statistics?

  • Comment number 77.

    Re 73 74 75

    I thought it might be useful to do a comparison of Chris Martin with another famous number eleven (famous for getting a record 43 test ducks) Courtney Walsh.

    Walsh eventually scraped together a commendable 936 runs at an average of 7.54.

    What does Martin have to do to equal this record?

    At his current scoring rate he will reach this after another 91 years. Obviously if his form should drop off at any point this may slip beyond 2099 and into the next century by which time I estimate he will have played 555 tests.

    But he should think positively. Should he score an unbeaten 189 in his next test he will draw level with Courtney's average.

    He is a good bowler though. Perhaps we should focus more on that?

  • Comment number 78.


    Yes Chris Martin is a fine bowler, but the one thing that sets him apart from many other fine bowlers is his batting prowess. I think it is considerably less likely that he scores 189 in his next innings than Courtney making a comeback and scoring 189!

  • Comment number 79.

    question 76 - JimiFlan

    there are others who can match that

    LA Butterfield played once for NZ in 1946, he was OUT twice for 0 (unlike wilson) and then took 0 wkts from 13 overs

    R Guneratne played for SL getting 0 not out twice and bowling 17 overs for 84 runs without a wkt

    for ENG G Hamilton managed 0 in his only 2 innings and 15 wicketless overs for 63 runs

    as well as many others

  • Comment number 80.

    question 76 - Jimi Flan

    i should say that playing only once and not getting a bat and only bowing a few, or not bowling and getting 0 in your side's only innings is, in my opinion, worse:

    GG Hearne ENG scored 0 is his only innings in tests in 1892 and he never bowled (as SA were all out for 97 and 83 he probably fielded for less than 4 hours too, never taking a catch)

    others with only one innings and no bowling include Meuleman AUS 1946, RL Park AUS 1926 (1st ball!) and LA Roberts WI 1999

  • Comment number 81.

    post 80

    whoops, RL Park actually bowled, i overlooked him because he only bowled 1 over for 9 runs and no wkts

  • Comment number 82.


    I think I have identified 14 players who both batted and bowled in their only test without scoring a run or taking a wicket.

    However, TAP Sekhar (India) is unique in having played TWO tests without either scoring a run or taking a wicket. He played two tests against Pakistan in 1983, batting once for 0*, and bowling in two innings (0-86 and 0-43).

  • Comment number 83.

    I noticed that in the second test of the Australia v New Zealand Test series that Ian O'Brien managed to score a 38-ball duck in the second innings, therefore contributing nothing to a 50-run partnership with Brendon McCullum. Two questions come from this:

    1. What is the record for the most balls faced in scoring a duck?


    2. What is the record for a partnership where one batsman doesn't contribute a single run?

  • Comment number 84.

    Is there any record (even if only in part) of Don Bradman's batting strike rate in test matches?


    Bristol, England

  • Comment number 85.


    Have you ever created a statistically greatest test team of all time? (Come on - you must have!) If so what rationale did you use for selection?


    Bristol, England

  • Comment number 86.

    #84 - Some individual Test matches from Bradman's career have data regarding balls faced - for instance the entire Bodyline series of 1932-33, in which Bradman played the last 4 Tests has this information on record.

    However, and despite the efforts of some commentators to estimate from newspaper reports and the existing scorebooks, all it takes is one innings where the number of balls faced isn't known precisely to move the statistics that depend on this out of the realms of calculation, and into that of guesswork.

  • Comment number 87.

    As the Champions League has been moved back "a few months", if it is still the case that Ed Joyce is staying with Middlesex until after that but his Sussex contract starts from 1st January 2009, is he the first player, excluding loans, to be representing 2 counties at the same time?

  • Comment number 88.

    Re #25 (jsybaz)

    The late 80s, early 90s are the best stomping ground for answers to your question. For example, in test 1171, more than half of the England team were born overseas:

    Lamb and Smith RA (RSA)
    Hick (ZIM)
    DeFreitas and Malcolm (WI)
    Pringle (KEN)

    You might find more: Philippe Edmonds, Gladstone Small, Chris Smith, Dermot Reeve, Chris Lewis, Nasser Hussain were all born overseas...

  • Comment number 89.


    After Graeme Swan's excellent first over in test match cricket (2 wickets, 7 runs), I was wondering what the best figures for a first over in test (and ODI) cricket are, and if more wickets than 2 have ever been taken?



  • Comment number 90.

    question 89 - Bhavyt

    2 wkts in a test debut over is a record equalled by Richard Johnson ENG 2003

    Swann 1-0-7-2 vs IND
    Gahbir and Dravid both lbw

    Johnson 1-1-0-2 vs ZIM
    Vermeulen and Carlilse both lbw

    by the way the next blog has been going for more than a week

  • Comment number 91.

    In this article here it states that runs are that bowlers must bowl with a straight arm. This isn't my understanding of the rule at all. As I understand it, bowlers are not allowed to straighten their arm as the bowl. They can bowl with a crooked arm if the want to, as long as the angle of the elbow doesn't vary by more than 15 % during their action.

    Am I completely wrong?

  • Comment number 92.

    question 91 - Rivaluk

    which is exactly what it states:

    "Elbow extension in Razzak's bowling action exceeded the 15 degree level of tolerance," read an ICC statement.

    read all the article maybe?

    the actual laws read

    law 24 - no ball

    "3. Definition of fair delivery - the arm
    A ball is fairly delivered in respect of the arm if, once the bowler's arm has reached the level of the shoulder in the delivery swing, the elbow joint is not straightened partially or completely from that point until the ball has left the hand. This definition shall not debar a bowler from flexing or rotating the wrist in the delivery swing."

    oh and by the way, read the post above (90)....the new blog started 2 weeks ago!

  • Comment number 93.


    I did read all of the article. I just did so again. It still says

    'ICC rules insist bowlers release the ball with a straight arm'

    which was the part I was questioning.

    I realised a few minutes after posting that I'd done it in the wrong place. Never mind, you answered my question!


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