Ask Bearders #169
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.