Ask Bearders #172
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. (TMS on fourth morning at Lord's when Ryan Sidebottom came within a wicket of emulating James Anderson's seven wickets in the first innings)
Have two bowlers from the same side ever taken seven wickets in the same Test match?
Bearders' answer: Charlie Wat (Melbourne) emailed the answer shortly after we went off air on that truncated morning. So far it has occurred only once in 1877 Test matches, when Richie Benaud (7-72) and Ray Lindwall (7-43) bowled Australia to their first away victory against India by an innings and five runs at the Madras Corporation Stadium in October 1956.
Q. In the wake of the Second England v New Zealand Test, I was wondering where England's 179 ranks on the all-time list of first innings deficits by a team that has gone on to win, and what larger deficits have been successfully overturned? Paul, Oxford
Bearders' answer: England's victory at Old Trafford ranks eighth in the list of wins after large deficits:
Deficit; Series; Victors; Opponents; Win margin; Venue
291; 1992; Australia ; Sri Lanka; 16 runs; Colombo (SSC)
274; 2000-01; India; Australia; 171 runs; Calcutta
261; 1894-95; England; Australia; 10 runs; Sydney
248; 1999-00; England; South Africa; 2 wickets; Pretoria
236; 1949-50; Australia; South Africa; 5 wickets; Durban
227; 1981; England; Australia; 18 runs; Leeds
182; 1980-81; India; Australia; 59 runs; Melbourne
179; 2008; England; New Zealand; 6 wickets; Manchester
177; 1961; Australia ; England; 54 runs; Manchester
171; 1955; England; South Africa; 71 runs; Lord's
Q. On 14 August 1958, in arguably one of the most astonishing days in first-class cricket history, the second day of the match between Derbyshire and Hampshire at Burton upon Trent, no fewer than 39 wickets fell. Derbyshire, resuming at 8-1 in its first innings, were dismissed for 74, before skittling Hampshire for 23. The hosts reached 107 second time round, while the visitors managed only 55. Is this the record number of wickets in a single day in a first-class match? Bob Letham (Bridgend, Wales)
Bearders' answer: That instance equalled the record of 39 wickets set on 28 May 1880 when Oxford University (53 and 75) lost to the MCC (89 and 41 for 9) by one wicket in a single day.
Q. I seem to remember that in the distant past the Warwickshire spinner, Eric Hollies, once took all 10 wickets in a county match unassisted. Is my memory playing tricks? Swanwestx
Bearders' answer: Eric Hollies did indeed take all 10 (for 49 runs off 20.4 overs) against Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston on 24 July 1946 without the aid of fielders. He bowled seven of his victims and trapped the other three leg before. His feat could not prevent Nottinghamshire from gaining an eight-wicket victory in two days. Two years later Hollies bowled Don Bradman second ball in his final Test match innings to reduce the great man's career batting average to fractionally below 100.
Q. If a team includes a bowler who can bowl in more than one style (for example, Andrew Symonds for Australia), is that bowler permitted to use different bowling styles in the same over? Is there a law in cricket which dictates this, or would it be considered unsporting behaviour to follow a gentle leg-break with a 90 mph bouncer? S.G.Kenny (Nottingham, UK)
Bearders' answer: A bowler does not have to advise the batsman (via the umpire at his end) if he is about to change his mode of delivery unless it involves using his other arm or switching to the other side of the wicket (around instead of over or vice versa). Failure to notify the umpire of such a change in mode of delivery will result in him being no-balled (Law 24).
Q. In 2001 Pakistan followed on at Lords despite only being 188 behind England on their first innings score. I thought that the follow-on could only be enforced if the team batting second were more than 200 behind. Could you explain this?
By the by, I believe that you are a fellow Old Reigatian. I would be interested to hear of any cricketing feats whilst still at Reigate Grammar School. Dave
Bearders' answer: As rain prevented play on the first day in that Lord's Test (17 May 2001), the match became a four-day one for following-on purposes and the margin was therefore reduced to 150 runs.
Yes, I was at RGS (1950-57) and my minor cricketing feats there appear in my autobiography (see my website).
Q. When a batsman ducks and get hits on the helmet, the ball can sometimes go for runs, four say, and is signalled as leg byes. But when a batsman kicks the ball away, or offers no shot, and it runs away for four off his pads, it gets signalled as a dead ball and no runs are scored. In both instances no shot is offered so, surely when runs are scored off the helmet, they should be nullified by dead ball being signalled? Is there a distinction in the rules between the two instances? Adam
Bearders' answer: Yes, there is. Law 26 covers the awarding of leg byes. Note 2 (a) decrees that 'if a ball delivered by the bowler first strikes the person of the striker, runs shall be scored only if the umpire is satisfied that the striker has either (i) attempted to play the ball with his bat, or (ii) tried to avoid being hit by the ball'.
So, when a batsman ducks and the ball deflects from his helmet, unless he has deliberately headed the ball away, any leg byes that result will be allowed.
Q. I have heard of an instance in a club game where a fast bowler bowled a conventional bouncer which cleared the batsman, the wicket-keeper and the boundary without bouncing again. The umpire awarded four wides plus one run penalty. Is this correct, or should he have awarded six plus the penalty? Mark Holmes (Carnforth CC, Northern Premier League)
Bearders' answer: Four (five with the penalty) was correct and is the maximum for any mode of extra. Six runs can only be awarded 'if the ball having been struck by the bat pitches beyond the boundary' - Law 19, note 4 (b).
Q. I love the column. I was just wandering what is the most wickets to fall on the first day of a Test match. And on any day? Josh (London)
The most wickets to fall on any day of Test cricket is 27 on the second day at Lord's in 1888. Heavy overnight rain prevented the match from starting until 3pm on 16 July, Australia being dismissed for 116 before reducing England to 18-3 by stumps. Next day, on an uncovered pitch reduced to drying mud, England lost their last seven wickets for 35, bowled out Australia for 60 and were themselves routed for 62 to lose by 61 runs at 4.25pm. The aggregate of 291 remained the lowest in a completed Test match until 1931-32.
The second highest number of wickets to fall in a single day, and the record for any first day, is 25 by Australia (112 and 48-5) against England (61 - in 68 minutes) on rain-affected pitch at Melbourne on 1 January 1902.
Q. Has Simon Jones retired from international cricket? I wondered why the selectors haven't considered him. Anne (Glasgow)
Bearders' answer: No, Anne, Simon Jones has been recovering from a succession of injuries since he contributed 18 wickets at 21 runs apiece to England's 2005 Ashes victory. He is currently making great progress with his new county, Worcestershire, and has this season so far taken 19 first-class wickets at just 11.73 runs each. Providing his body stands the strain of fast bowling, he will remain very much in the selector's minds for this winter's tours of India and West Indies prior to next summer's battle for the Ashes.
Q. The Second Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Port-of-Spain in April produced innings scores of 278, 294, 268 and 254 for 4. Would this be the narrowest range of innings scores in a completed match (i.e. 40 runs between the highest and lowest innings scores within the game)? Barry
Bearders' answer: No, it certainly is not. The smallest range is just 10 runs. That occurred in a match when all 40 wickets fell (and which I was fortunate enough to be scoring for the BBC), on 26-30 December 1982: England 284 and 294; Australia 287 and 288. This Test, the 250th between Australia and England, provided the first instance of sides being all out at close of play on three consecutive days.
Q. I was interested to hear (on TMS at Lord's) you immediately inform the commentator on demand that Jamie How was dropped on 42 (I believe). Was this an act of memory, a separate note or is it officially included within the scoring notes? Peter (Norfolk)
Bearders' answer: My vertical linear scoring system, has a notes column for each over. In this I can record many happenings, including dropped catches. A symbol in Jamie How's column against the sixth ball of Stuart Broad's fifth over refers to a note reading 'Dropped 1st slip (Strauss) - head-high'. From the other columns I can reveal that the chance occurred at 12.17pm on the fifth day and that How had then scored 46 of New Zealand's 75 for 2 after 30 overs.