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Ask Bearders #169

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Bill Frindall | 11:08 UK time, Tuesday, 29 April 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. Which is the earliest Test match where all the players who participated in it are still alive?
Alex, United Kingdom

Bearders' Answer: Thank you for a fascinating question, Alex. It's not easy to remember which players have been summoned by the Great Scorer. As at 26 April the answer is the first Test of the five-match series between Australia and West Indies at Brisbane in December 1968. The teams in batting order were: Australia - I.R.Redpath, W.M.Lawry (captain), I.M.Chappell, K.R.Stackpole, A.P.Sheahan, R.J.Inverarity, B.N.Jarman, G.D.McKenzie, A.A.Mallett, J.W.Gleeson and A.N.Connolly; West Indies - G.S.Camacho, M.C.Carew, R.B.Kanhai, S.M.Nurse, B.F.Butcher, G.St A.Sobers (captain), C.H.Lloyd, D.A.J.Holford, J.L.Hendriks, C.C.Griffith and L.R.Gibbs.

Q. In the first Test between India and South Africa 1,498 runs were scored. What is the highest runs aggregate for a Test that has ended in a result (not drawn)? Nick

Bearders' Answer: That record is 1,753 runs (for 40 wickets) and has stood since January 1921. Australia (354 and 582) beat England (447 and 370) by 119 runs at the Adelaide Oval in a timeless Test that ended on the sixth day. That aggregate, and Australia's second innings total, remain Ashes records.

Q. Do Southee's nine sixes in the recent Test match for New Zealand mean that he has already hit more in Tests than Bradman? Who has scored the most sixes in Tests? Matthew

Bearders' Answer: Yes, Tim Southee, who hit nine sixes in his 40-ball innings of 77 not out on debut in the Third Test at Napier, has exceeded Sir Donald Bradman's tally of eight sixes in 80 Test innings (see Ask Bearders 150).

Adam Gilchrist (100 sixes in 137 innings) hit most sixes in Test cricket, with Brian Lara (88 in 232 innings) runner up. The most for England is 77 by Andrew Flintoff (in 110 innings).

Q. What is the progress of lowest scores for the fall of each wicket? I've read about 0 runs for four wickets, so that progress starts 0, 0, 0 and 0. Has any side ever been 0 for 5, or 0 for 6, at Test match level? Pete B

Bearders' Answer: No. The lowest scores at the fall of each wicket from the fourth wicket onwards are:

4th: 0, India (165) v England, Leeds 1952
5th: 6, India (98) v England, The Oval 1952
6th: 7, Australia (70) v England, Manchester 1888
7th: 14, Australia (44) v England, The Oval 1896
8th: 19, Australia (44) v England, The Oval 1896
9th: 25, Australia (44) v England, The Oval 1896
10th: 26, New Zealand (26) v England, Auckland 1954-55

Q. Which Test batsman played the most innings after his debut before recording his first Test duck? Neel Kasbaker, USA

Bearders' Answer: That record belongs to P.A. (Aravinda) de Silva, who played 75 innings for Sri Lanka before being dismissed without scoring. In that ten-year period (23 Aug 1984 to 16 Oct 1994), he scored 2,779 runs at 38.59, including seven hundreds and 12 fifties.

Q. We are all now used to seeing players with the number on their shirts in Test matches indicating their chronological position. Who are the lowest numbered England players still alive? Andy

Bearders' Answer: Alec Bedser (No. 311), who will be 90 on 4 July, is England's oldest living Test debutant having gained his first cap against India at Lord's on 22 June 1946. Others still living (on 26 April 2008) with numbers below 350 (numbers and debut seasons in brackets) are John Dewes (337 -1948), Alan Watkins (338 - 1948), Reg Simpson (341 - 1948-49), Trevor Bailey (342 -1949), Brian Close (344 - 1949), Hubert Doggart (347 - 1950) and Doug Insole (349 - 1950).

Arthur McIntyre (352 - 1950-51) is the oldest living England Test cricketer; he will be 90 on 14 May.

Q. Anil Kumble recently took his 600th Test wicket, having already joined four other bowlers in the '500 Club'. How do his figures compare with the others in terms of bowling average, matches played, five wicket in an innings and ten wickets in a match? Phil Fenerty

Bearders' Answer: Their figures, in international Test matches, are (as at 26 April 2008):

Tests Wkts Avge 5wI 10wM

M.Muralitharan 119 730 21.89 63 20

S.K.Warne 144 702 25.53 37 10

A.Kumble 127 608 29.06 35 8

G.D.McGrath 123 560 21.68 29 3

C.A.Walsh 132 519 24.44 22 3

Q. If an umpire loses count, and only five balls are bowled, does this still count as an over for statistical purposes? David Coleman, England

Bearders' Answer: Yes, whatever number of legitimate balls are bowled before 'over' is called, that tally will constitute the over. I have frequently scored five and seven-ball overs in Test cricket. In the first Test between New Zealand and England at Auckland's Eden Park in February 1963, umpire R.W.R. ('Dick') Shortt allowed off-spinner John Sparling to bowl an 11-ball over (excluding no balls and wides). The actual number of balls bowled in a rogue over should be recorded in the innings tallies of the batsman and the team.

Q. In the first Test against South Africa, India scored 627 in their only innings. In the second Test they were all out for just 76, a difference of 551 runs. Is this a record for the difference between two consecutive innings scores by the same team? Simon Chambers

Bearders' Answer: No, the record is 780 by England in the 1938 Ashes series. Having been dismissed for 123 in their second innings at Headingley, they amassed the then record Test total of 903-7 dec at The Oval. India's recent difference of 551 ranks equal eighth on the list:

780: England 123/903-7d v Australia, 1938
657: West Indies 94/751-5d v England, 2003-04
620: Sri Lanka 952-6d/332 v India, 1997-98
616: Sri Lanka 713-3d v Zim/97 v Aus, 2003-04/2004
610: Australia 758-8d v WI/148 v Eng, 1954-55/1956
581: West Indies 166/747 v South Africa, 2004-05
577: England 849/272-9d v West Indies, 1929-30
551: Pakistan 106/657-8d v West Indies, 1957-58
551: India 627/76 v South Africa, 2007-08

Q. I have just bought my cricket-mad son, Sam, a new Wisden and he has just emailed me a selection of his favourite stats. One that he was particularly impressed with was that Sangakkara scored 968 runs @ 138.28 in 2007. What is the highest ever Test batting average for a calendar year? Chris Ziesler

Bearders' Answer: Had Kumar Sangakkara scored another 32 runs he would have qualified for the list of those who have scored 1,000 runs in a calendar year and would have been only the fourth to do so while averaging three figures. The three he would have joined are Sir Garfield Sobers (1,193 @ 132.55 in 1958), Sir Donald Bradman (1,025 @ 113.88 in 1948), and Ricky Ponting (1,503 @ 100.20 in 2003).

Q. When was the last time that extras were the highest contributor in a Test innings total? Max

Bearders' Answer: That was in March 2004, when England scored 339 in their first innings with Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain top-scoring with 58 each. West Indies conceded 60 extras (7 byes, 28 leg byes, 7 wides and 18 no balls). There had been 12 previous instances of extras posting the major contribution.

Q. There was an international match between Ireland and West Indies at Sion Mills in which West Indies were bowled out for an incredibly low score. Can you tell me that score and who played for the touring team? John Herron, South Africa

Bearders' Answer: Ireland dismissed the tourists for 25 on 2 July 1969 and won by nine wickets. The West Indies team was G.S.Camacho, M.C.Carew, M.L.C.Foster, B.F.Butcher (captain), C.H.Lloyd, C.L.Walcott, J.N.Shepherd, T.M.Findlay, P.Roberts, G.C.Shillingford and P.D.Blair. Clyde Walcott, manager of that team, was called upon to play his final game of cricket because of injuries.


  • Comment number 1.

    Dear Bearders,

    I am interested in the phenomenon of bowlers running out the non-striker while he's backing up. I think it is called "Mankading". How many times has this happened in first-class cricket? Does the ball count as having been bowled? Is there some reason that this practice is considered poor form?


  • Comment number 2.

    Talking of Don Bradman, I'm interested to know whether he ever bowled in first class/test cricket and if so, what were his stats. Also what was his catching record. Clive, London.

  • Comment number 3.

    In relation to the question about most Test innings until being out for a duck, I heard it was Geraint Jones. Or was this just the record for an English player?

  • Comment number 4.

    Hello Bill

    I'm thrilled to have finally thought of a question to ask my hero!

    What is the longest over on record - both for time and for balls? I'm not counting timeless tests in this question, by the way.

    Long may your broadcasting career continue!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Ey Up Bill

    Im interested to the know the advantage or disadvantage of choosing to bat first upon winning the toss

    Throughout Test history, whats been the average score of a team batting first, as opposed to the team batting second?

    Loving your work, by the way, loving it.



  • Comment number 6.

    question 2 - clive

    you asked this question 2 blogs ago, this was the answer then, i don't think it's changed since

    bradman bowled in 9 test innings bowling a total of 160 balls for 2 wkts and 72 runs giving an average of 36

    in 1st class he bowled 2114 balls picking up 36 wkts for 1367 runs (37.97 ave)

    he took 32 catches in his 52 tests and 131 in his 234 1st class games and rather surprisingly one stumping

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Bill,

    I was wondering who is currently the youngest person to have played first class cricket in England (and around the world)? Also who the youngest person to ever play first class cricket? Cheers Dan, Southampton

  • Comment number 8.

    Dear Bearders,

    I am an offspinner, a captain of a cricket team and a certified number eleven batsman. Whilst I know there are individuals that fit two of those qualities, my question to you is: have there been any offspinning rabbit-of-a-batsman captain in international or first class cricket, and if so, who are the most well known?

    Yours sincerely,


  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Bill,

    I believe there are a number of instances in Test Cricket where all 11 batsmen have scored double figues. Could you please tell me what the most runs scored is by the batsmen with the lowest score within the team. Hope you understand the question!

    John B
    High Wycombe.

  • Comment number 10.


    I was trying to work out the shortest "chain" of England test players between WG Grace and the present England captain Michael Vaughan. ie Grace played with X who played with Y etc

    The shortest I have found so far is 9: Grace, Hirst, Ames, Bill Edrich, Cowdrey, Knott, Gatting, Thorpe, Vaughan. Can you beat that?

    What about a similar list from Bradman to Ponting?

    Matthew, West Yorkshire

  • Comment number 11.

    Dear Bearders,

    My wife has recently become interested in cricket and, having a scientific mind, she likes to ask me probing questions I can't field myself! While watching a test last summer in which a runner was used, she asked whether there has ever been an occasion in an international match when both batsmen had a runner on at the same time?

    Simon, Kent.

  • Comment number 12.

    I heard the recently that average life span of test cricketer is about 77 years. is it correct

  • Comment number 13.

    question 9 - barrowboy

    there have been 11 cases of all 11 batsmen scoring double figures in a test innings, of these 8 also included extras scoring double figures

    the highest low score was 12 (!) by Nadkarni in India's 1st innings against NZ in 1968

    In this innings extras also "made" 16 and this total, 359, was the 2nd lowest score were all batsmen made 10+

    of the other 10 innings the split between 10s and 11s is exactly equal (5 of each)

  • Comment number 14.

    Hello Bearders,

    Andrew Strauss does not have many big tons to his name - his career saving innings in New Zealand being the exception.

    When he is not out over night, Strauss often seems to get out very early the next morning. Do you know his 'next day' average in test cricket - i.e. if he is not out overnight, how many runs he adds to his score before getting out? I suspect it may be very low. Although I am wrong at least 50% of the time.

    DC - London

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Bill, great blog again!

    I just just wondering what is the highest score in a 20/20 international, where the batsman has scored off every ball he has faced?


    Mark Jameson, Essex

  • Comment number 16.

    Mine is a question on Law 31 Timed Out

    In a league last weekend we had our No 11 batsman timed out. We had lost 3 wkts in 4 balls causing a panic in the dressing room hence our No 11 not being at the crease within the 3 minute rule (Umpires admitting getting wrong by thinking it was only 2 mins)

    Question Do the opposition have to appeal or can umpires be sole decision makers?.
    When asked no member of the oppostion admitted to appealing.

    West Mids

  • Comment number 17.

    My understanding is that "Mankading" is no longer possible once the bowler has begun his delivery stride. Can you clarify this please? The delivery stride is supposed to begin when the bowler's back foot lands in the process of delivering the ball, but if he "Mankad"'s the batsman (non-striker), surely he never delivers the ball?

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Bearders,

    Which Batsman holds the record of maximum number of inning scores in 90s or in other words maximum number of missed centuries in test or one-day?


  • Comment number 19.

    In answer to Raju (post 8), the one that comes to mind is the great Indian off-spinner of the 70s, Venkat (I'm not going to attempt his full name). Captain of India but a lousy bat.

  • Comment number 20.

    question 18 - juk007

    both Dravid (ind) and Slater (aus) have been out 9 times in the 90s, but Dravid also has one not out making 10 scores of 90+ without making 100

    s waugh (aus) also 10 scores of 90, 8 out and 2 not out

    these are the leaders in the 90s

    in the 190s (a question you didn't ask)

    Azharuddin (ind) I Chapell (aus) Gibbs (sa) Lara (wi) Ponting (aus) Tendulkar (ind) Trscothick (eng) Vaughan (eng) weekes (wi) Worrell (wi) and Younis Khan (pak) have all managed it twice

    BUT Mohammad Yousuf holds the record with 3 scores in the 190s without going on to 200 (although all these except the first 2 and vaughan have made 200 in different innings)

    and before it is asked three players have scored in the 290s
    Bradman (299 NO) but he managed 2 300s
    Crowe (299) never got 300
    IVA Richards (291) never got 300

  • Comment number 21.

    hi bill
    can you tell me the test match innings both with the fewest form of dismissal (ie all bowled all caught etc) and the innings with the most..
    best wishes
    cristoff lancy fan

  • Comment number 22.

    I was just wondering what is the longest time that a Test team has played without a century being scored against them?
    Thanks, Rael

  • Comment number 23.

    #5 Paul

    The average test team first innings score is 322, and the average second innings score is 312. When "normalised" for the number of wickets lost before declaration etc, the first innings average is 337 and the second innings 327.

    Not much difference, but what you REALLY want to know is the averages for when the winner of the toss actually chose to bat, and when they chose to bowl. I haven't got that info, but I'm sure Bill can help.


  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Bill,

    I was playing in a recent amateur league match up here in Edinburgh when an unusual situation arose. Very strong winds meant that the bails kept on being blown off. Having no heavy bails, a decision was made to play on without bails at all. The opposition 9th batsman was subsequently given out when the ball looped up off his pad and trickled onto the stumps at a speed almost certainly too gentle to have dislodge the bails. Was this decision correct? Also what would happen in 1st class or test cricket were the use of bails impossible? Would play stop?

    John Logan


  • Comment number 25.

    Re: Question 24


    This is covered by Law 28.4.(a)

    "....the wicket has been put down if the umpire concerned is satisfied that the wicket has been struck by the ball...."

    The law states that the umpire does not have to judge as to whether the ball would have dislodged the bails or bail, simply that it struck the wicket. Therefore the decision in your game was perfectly correct.

    As for the senior levels of the game, unless playing conditions stated otherwise, the Laws would apply and the game would continue.

    Hope that helps.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hello Bill
    Is it true that you used to score for Reigate Grammar School at their old St Alban's Road Ground in Reigate? This year is the Silver Jubilee of the Nutley Hall CC playing at St Albans Road, and we delight in telling the opposition that you were there as a lad. Many thanks, Bill Benton (England)

  • Comment number 27.

    Bill, would you be able to tell me how many times a university team has beaten a first class county team in a two innings match?

    Would also be interested in knowing how many times full test playing nations touring teams have been beaten by county teams in two innings matches. I know Worcestershire beat Austrailia inside two days in 1989, it was a shame England couldnt match that!

  • Comment number 28.

    question 21 - nicechrisoff

    the first part of the question is easy

    there have been 52 cases of all batsmen caught in an innings, the last being 3rd test SA vs Pak in 2006/07

    it has actually happened twice in the same match 3 times, the last being the 5th test Aus vs Ind 1992, both first innings

    the other records are

    bowled 9 (twice)
    lbw 7 (twice)
    run out 4 (twice)
    stumped 5 (once)

    there are of course 10 (11) ways to be out, the above 5 and handled ball, hit wkt, obstructed field, timed out, hit ball twice (and retired out as explained in blog 168 posts 34 and 35),

    HOWEVER 2 of these (timed out and hit ball twice) have never been given in tests, so the maximim would be 9,

    BUT the only cases of retired out and obs field were in innings with 3 and 4 modes of dismissal,

    SO that would leave us with 7, BUT the few cases of HANDLED BALL have NEVER occured in an innings with hit wkt, which means

    SIX modes of dismissal is the most in one innings, this happened AT LEAST once; in the match between WI and Ind in 1983 when in the WI first innings batsmen were given out BOWLED, HAND BALL, LBW, STUMPED, CAUGHT and RUN OUT (also notice there was a caught and bowled)

    it is possible that it has happened other times with HIT WKT replacing HAND BALL, however you'd have to look through all the matches with a hit wkt dismissal....good luck

  • Comment number 29.

    Re: Q16 Timed Out

    Hi Mac,

    There are two Laws that answer your question here. Firstly, Law 31 - Timed Out - 31.1.(a) you correctly summise, 3 mins to enter the field of play and be ready to take guard.

    Then Law 27.2.(a) "A batsman is dismissed if....he is given out by an umpire, on appeal."

    So logically one would assume that an appeal would have needed to be made to the umpires for the incoming batsman to be given "timed out".

    Here's the rub and why I think this is a fascinating scenario. Because you stated that he was number 11, the umpires would have a duty to find out why he hadn't come onto the field of play, as they could not give him out until he did. If he didn't come out to bat at all then law 21.3.(a).(ii) applies - forfeiture of match.

    Hope that helps!

  • Comment number 30.

    Re: Question 17. Non Striker Run Out.

    Please indulge me here because I think this is a fascinating Law, known by few and certainly used by fewer!

    This is what the law states about the bowler attempting to run out the non-striker.

    Firstly , the ball ceases to be dead when; Law 23.4. ".......when the bowler starts his run up or, if he has no run up, his bowling action."

    So then. Law 42.15 can apply.

    "The bowler is permitted, before entering his delivery stride, to attempt to run out the non-striker. The ball shall not count in the over. The umpire shall call and signal Dead Ball as soon as possible if the bowler fails in the attempt to run out the non-striker"

    So fairly simple so far. It gets more interesting when the bowler attempts to run out the striker before delivery!

    A bowler can attempt to run out the striker, believe it or not. This is covered in Law 24.4.

    If the bowler throws the ball toward the striker, before his delivery stride then the umpire must call and signal No Ball. The laws state that the batsman is quite within his rights to treat the ball as a legitimate delivery and can therefore attempt to hit it. However if he misses it and it hits the wickets then he is Run Out.

    Hope that helps

  • Comment number 31.

    Matthew #10 - nice one, I've found a different way, still 9 though:

    Grace, Rhodes, Ames, Hutton, Cowdrey, Knott, Emburey, Thorpe, Vaughan.

    Can't see anyway of getting it shorter! 9 players spanning almost 100 years is pretty good! working on bradman-pointing


  • Comment number 32.

    Ok Bradman to Ponting....

    Bradman, Harvey, Simpson, Wood, S. Waugh, Ponting.

    6....beat it!


  • Comment number 33.


    Following Marcus Trescothick's recent retirement from Test and ODI cricket, it got me thinking "was he englands best batsman of the modern era". This prompted my question for you Bill, "who hs scored the most runs for England since the turn of the century?"

    J Entwistle, Sheffield

  • Comment number 34.


    Most runs scored for England in tests since 1 Jan 2000 = 5825 by Marcus Trescothick in 143 innings. Second is Vaughan, 5391 in 134 innings. Third is Strauss, a long way back.

    Most runs scored for England in ODIs since 1 Jan 2000 = 4335 by Marcus Trescothick in 122 innings. Second is Collingwood, 3526 in 129 innings.

  • Comment number 35.

    Re #31, 32 and 10

    Thanks for that Duncan

    I've tried various other options - long-serving players such as Hobbs, Hammond, Bedser, Close and Gooch. I thought the problem would be the War but it is not it is 1975/1976. Brian Close played in 1976 after Gooch's debut but they did not play together otherwise it could be done in 8. But even more irritatingly Cowdrey and Gooch only missed each other by one match in 1975.

    Actually there is not much difference between England and Australia in terms of the result (from Hammond to Vaughan in 6 is equivalent to Bradman to Ponting). But in Australia's case it appears to have been due to a smooth hand-over of power rather than the sentimental recall of old men.

    I watched Goochie on the beach cricket that was on TV a week or two ago. Amazing to think that you can get from WG (first class debut 1865) to televised beach cricket in 7 players.


  • Comment number 36.


    Still trying ... Grace, Rhodes, Voce actually gets you into the late 1940s, but I can't find the next steps!

  • Comment number 37.


    Another on similar lines. Who was the last person playing first class cricket who could say " I played with a bloke who played with WG Grace?"

    Re # 36,35,32,31,10

    Yes - thanks Nick

    Rhodes/Voce/Bedser might be the key since it covers nearly 60 yrs of test cricket


  • Comment number 38.

    #37, Matthew

    Hammond works just as well as Voce, but the longest surviving player who I can find who played with them is Godfrey Evans. This doesn't help, as you still only get to Cowdrey or Close for your 5th link - no improvement on your original.


  • Comment number 39.

    #10, 31, 32, ...

    OK I'm exhausted. I don't think you can do better than nine.

    However, using opposing players, I can get from the first ever test to the most recent in only eight players:

    George Ulyett played in the first test in 1877, and in 1890 he played against Syd Gregory, who in 1912 played against Wilfrid Rhodes, who in 1930 played against George Headly, who in 1954 played against Tom Graveney, who in 1969 played against Clive Lloyd, who in 1985 played against Wasin Akram, who in 1999 played against Sourav Ganguly, who played in the last test last month.


  • Comment number 40.


    What is a boundary?

    I've always thought that a boundary was either a “Four” (crossing the rope having been on, or bounced, on the ground within the playing area first) or a "Six" (clearing the rope without touching the ground first). But recently some commentators (Indians especially like Sunil Gavaskar) seem to be referring to a four as a "boundary" and a six as a "six". Example “X scored 85 - an innings which included nine boundaries and three sixes". Is this just a language thing (like when Aussies call “Extras” “Sundries”) or are they, as I believe, just wrong?

  • Comment number 41.


    These interrelated question came up today after our game, any chance you could help.

    1. What is the longest time a batsmen has spent at the crease with out facing a ball?

    2. What is the longest time a batsman has spent at the crease and not scored?

    3. What is the record for the longest golden duck?

    4. What is the record for the longest duck?

  • Comment number 42.

    Hey Bearders

    Two questions

    Can a bowler also change hands for each bowl or does the bowler have to wait till the next over? Or can the bowler bowl three balls right handed and then three balls lefthanded?

    Also has there ever been a bowler (or bowlers) who have use both their hands. If there has been on (or more) can you tell what his name was and which country he played.

  • Comment number 43.

    wallhamond @ #42 - The bowler can change hands as long as he informs the umpire that his action is changing.

  • Comment number 44.

    Keep up the good work Bearers!

  • Comment number 45.

    Dear Bearded One, 2 questions
    What is the highest number of runs awarded in a single delivery - ever?

    I ask because in a club game I played an outfielder on the boundary inflicted a terrible leg injury on himself while attempting to field the ball. Being an australian match, the batsmen eagerly ran 5 amid his agonising screams as the ball lay by his side. With one eye on the game, the fielder then through the ball the remaining 2 metres to the boundary thinking he'd just give a boundary away to stop the batsmen running. The umpire awarded 4 overthrows making 9. I'm not sure if the bowler broke his other leg for him or not.

    If he threw it out on the full, is that 6 overthrows?

  • Comment number 46.

    #42 - a change from right to left arm bowling, or vice versa is handled in the same way as a change from over to round the wicket - perfectly legal, providing the umpire, and through him the batsman is informed. It can't be used as a surprise tactic.

    Graham Gooch had a party piece towards the end of dead matches in which he would imitate the bowling styles of others. On a tour of India, this extended to left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi, meaning that Gooch has bowled with both right and left arms.

    #45 - There is no such thing as 6 overthrows. Only if the ball comes directly off the bat can 6 be awarded.

    While the umpire was correct to treat the intentional act as overthrows, there may have been a case for him to call Dead Ball earlier, under Law 23.3 (b) (ii), for the serious injury to a player.

  • Comment number 47.

    bill, i wonder if you clarify for me the issue with the wicketkeepers gloves.A couple of years ago it seemed the law had been tightened up to say that a strap between thumb and glove was allowed as long as not webbed? but im sure recently more and more keepers have reverted back to illegal glove. Am i mistaken or are laws different in different forms of game? paul in canterbury,kent

  • Comment number 48.

    i have question about the bowlers runup. when a bowler comes to bowl can he take a step backwards and then take a step two three forward and then step backwards and then take a step forward and bowl.
    When a bowlers bowls and he is into his runup he just cannot take a step back. will it be legal.
    I would really apperciate if u could answer this question. we have a dilema in our cricket league. We have a guy who bowls like this.

  • Comment number 49.

    I am sure you may have been asked this in the past, but I would like to know how many batsman have brought up their maiden century in first class cricket with a six?
    And, do you know of any batsmen who have ended their careers with a six with the last ball ever faced at the highest level?

    The famous baseball player, Ted Williams, hit a home run in his last at bat in 1960. I was just wondering if there is an equivalent in cricket.

  • Comment number 50.

    I have been wondering about this question for ages and spent time looking through cricket records and even texted an answering service to no avail!

    What is the lowest 1 day score that has been succesfully defended in a complete 50 overs game. So not including any games that were shortened by DWL!

    Thanks Matt

  • Comment number 51.

    #50 Matt,

    Lowest score successfully defended in ODI where both teams had 50 overs available was 125 by India (bowled out in 42.4 overs) in Sharjah in 1985. They then bowled out Pakistan for 87 in 32.5 overs.

  • Comment number 52.

    #16 - Fiatstilo

    A player may only be given out by way of timed out when the opposition appeal for this, the umpire in this instance is not able to give the player out without the appeal.

    As 3 wickets fell in 4 balls, it could be deemed in the "Spirit of Cricket" not to appeal and allow the player to bat despite taking longer than 3 minutes to enter the field of play.

  • Comment number 53.

    #47 - mayersp

    Law 40.2 states:

    "If, as permitted under 1 above, the wicket-keeper wears gloves, they shall have no webbing between the fingers except joining index finger and thumb, where webbing may be inserted as a means of support. If used, the webbing shall be
    (a) a single piece of non-stretch material which, although it may have facing material attached, shall have no reinforcement or tucks.

    (b) such that the top edge of the webbing
    (i) does not protrude beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb.
    (ii) is taut when a hand wearing the glove has the thumb fully extended."

    Quoted from Marylebone Cricket Club Laws 2003

  • Comment number 54.

    Dear Bearders,

    It was the first game of the new season at my local club last weekend, and I took an unusual catch. The batsman crashed a long hop into short leg's head; fortunately the fielder was wearing a helmet, and it looped off his helmet to me at square leg. The ball had not been grounded so the wicket counted, but our opposition were grumbling that the ball was dead and the wicket should not be given. Who is right?

    Many thanks,

  • Comment number 55.

    Re # 54 - the batting side was correct. A catch cannot be taken after the ball has struck a protective helmet worn by a member of the fielding side. Law 32.3 (e) is the relevant one.

    Tom, Edinburgh

  • Comment number 56.

    Hi Bill,

    It's 7th May, and Lancashire have just been dismissed by Durham, with every wicket being "caught". This seemed to me to be an unusual occurence, so I was wondering if you were aware of any other instances in First Class or List A cricket of an entire team being caught out in one innings? Has this situation occurred with other types of dismissal as well?

  • Comment number 57.

    question 56 - scaryjim

    read my answer in post 28 for all caught in a test innings (and the other test records for dismissals)

    i'm afraid i don't know the caught records for all 1st class, sorry, but if its happened 52 times in tests i imagine a lot more in all 1st class

    as for bowling; all 10 bowled in a first class innings has happened a few times. One of the earliest instances came at Lord's in 1850, when John Wisden, the founder of the famous Almanack, took all ten wickets for the North against the South and all ten were bowled - a unique feat, one bowler one mode of dismissal

  • Comment number 58.

    #10, etc. etc.
    How about the shortest chain if you can include colleagues AND opponents - i.e. A who played in the same Test match as B, etc.?

  • Comment number 59.

    Re 54 and 55.

    I have asked this before, but not got an answer - why is the helmet treated differently from other protective equipment ??
    The batsman can be caught off the keeper's pads or off short-leg's boots or shinguards - why not off his helmet ?


  • Comment number 60.


    This is more of a cri de coeur than a question but why does the BBC website (and some newspapers) not show a player's initials when listing the score nowadays?

    It added a bit of poetry to the scores and there are certain players who had very evocative initials - IVA, JK, RDG, G st A and FS to name but a few (let alone WG).

    It is also irritating (since I don't follow county cricket that closely) to be uncertain whether the Jones or Taylor or Smith who scored a hundred last week is the same one who did it today.

    So is there a reason?

  • Comment number 61.

    Re #60

    Oops ... meant to type RGD

  • Comment number 62.

    #16, 29, 52

    Law 27.1 states "Neither umpire shall give a batsman out, even though he may be out under the Laws, unless appealed to by the fielding side". So one of the fielding side should have appealed before a batsman was out timed out.

    Interesting point about the match being forfeited though, if number 11 was timed out surely that concludes the innings, any further 'protracted delay' would then be the responsibility of the side batting second for not getting in and providing their opening batsmen. Doesn't that mean that DC's team could (in some theoretical way) have had the match forfeited to them by not getting their No11 to the middle on time!!!

  • Comment number 63.

    Re #58

    Bob Simpson could be key

  • Comment number 64.

    Re 59 - In contrast to baseball cricket has always had a policy that, with the lone exception of the wicket-keeper, a fielder should field the ball with just his body, which is extended to normally worn clothing.

    When helmets for fielders became commonplace, the law-makers decided that, while they would allow such helmets, they would disallow any advantage that might be gained by ruling out any catches of ricochets from the helmets.

  • Comment number 65.

    Dear Bearders

    In a recent match between two of the best sides in our league, one of our bowlers bowled a long-hop which was smashed by the batsmen straight onto the helmet of the short leg fielder. The ball then popped up into the air and turned into an easy catch for the square leg fielder. Our team celebrated an important and unusual wicket, until the opposition scorer stated that the batsmen was not out and that five runs should be given to the batting side for hitting the fielder's equipment.

    Our side thought that the wicket counted, using the example when Chanderpaul caught a batsmen with his jumper, while they were convinced that the helmet was a special exception and therefore it should not have been out.

    In the end the wicket stood, and we won by the match. My question is was it a wicket or not?

    David Lawrence, UK.

  • Comment number 66.

    Just realised someone from my team has already posted this question and gotten an answer, ignore me.

  • Comment number 67.

    65-66 - you raised a slightly different point from your team-mate. There's no 5-run penalty for hitting a helmet that's being worn, only for a helmet that's not worn, and is on the ground behind the wicket-keeper. The ball remains in play after hitting a helmet being worn and, although no catch can be valid, the batsmen can continue to run, and are vulnerable to being run-out.

  • Comment number 68.


    As bonus points only count in the first 130 overs of the first innings, has there ever been a case of a county reaching 200 in their 1st innings, but not scoring any batting points?

  • Comment number 69.

    Dear Bearders,

    I was wondering what would happen if a ball (delivered by a bowler) brushes the stumps and runs away to the boundary, and the bails then come off. Would the ball be declared dead once it goes for a boundary, or would the batsman be given out?

    Similarly, what would happen when a fielder hits the stumps with the batsmen out of his ground, and the bails fall off after the ball had run away to the boundary for overthrows?

    Thank you!

  • Comment number 70.


    You've probably been asked this question many times. Do you have any abiding memories of or anecdotes about Warwickshire's great and famous scorer Chicko Austin, he of the abundant blond hair?

  • Comment number 71.

    Suppose a close game is coming to the end of the final day - the fielding team need 2 wickets to win but, earlier, one of the batting team had to retire hurt and is a) away from the ground having medical treatment.

    On the final ball of the match the 9th wicket falls. Is the result a draw (as there was 1 wicket still left to take) or a win for the bowling team (as there is no batsman to come in)?

    Clearly had the wicket fallen on the penultimate ball of the game then the fielding team would win but what happens in the case I have described?

    How would the result change if (a) changed to the retired batsman is having treament in a medical centre at the ground?

  • Comment number 72.

    Has there ever been a case in first class cricket of both batsmen having to retire hurt after the same ball (eg after a collision)?

  • Comment number 73.

    #71 - if the 9th wicket falls in the situation you describe, the game is a draw. It doesn't amtter whether the last man is in the dressing room ready to bat in plaster (as Colin Cowrdey once did to save a Test for England), or in hospital, or, as tragically happened once in the subcontinent, dead. As he's not required to bat, the game is drawn.

  • Comment number 74.

    Dear Bill,
    Can I ask your opinion about a cricketing dilemma which arose during my younger son's days as a prep school cricketer?
    He was once a member of a visiting Ist XI side which was chasing a total made by the home side when one of his fellow batsmen was hit on the nose and had to retire hurt. It was a limited overs match and the visitors later reached the last over with 8 wickets down (not counting the player retired hurt).
    The visitors therefore had to survive the over. On the fourth ball of the last over, one of the visitors was bowled. The batsman retired hurt was still sitting on the boundary but was deemed not well enough to return to bat. At this turn of events, the headmaster of the home side announced that he would not countenance any other result than a draw. It was an announcement entirely in keeping with the corinthian ideals of the game, but was he right? My later study of the Rules of Cricket has failed to provide any enlightenment and to this day I do not know the right answer to this question. Can you help?

  • Comment number 75.

    Dear Bearders,

    On Sunday 11 May 2008 Walmley U13 side played a side in the Warwickshire Youth Club U13 competition, organised by the Warwickshire Cricket Board. Walmley batted first and scored 187 for 1 in their 20 overs. The opposition were bowled out for 1 (one run) in 6.3 overs.

    Are there any records in any form of organised 11 a side cricket were a team has been bolwed out for less?

  • Comment number 76.

    Dear Bill,

    In the current county championship match between Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, English born players are outnumbered by 13 to 9. Is this a record?

    Derek Matthews

  • Comment number 77.

    Hi Bill,

    I would like to know how long the shortest completed Test match was (in terms of hours and minutes).


    James, London.


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