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Ask Bearders #174

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Bill Frindall | 15:27 UK time, Thursday, 24 July 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. The PCB has persuaded the ICC to change the result of the 2006 Oval Test from "forfeiture" to draw. Your comments as a highly respected scorer and statistician on this will highly be appreciated. I know this was the only "forfeited" Test in the history but are there any other instances when the other results of Tests have been changed after so many days or months? Bipin Dani (India)

Bearders' answer: There is no precedent for the result of a Test match being changed after the day of its completion and this latest in a lengthening list of contentious and politically motivated decisions by the ICC has set an extremely dangerous precedent.

"Match forfeited" was the correct result under Law 21 when Pakistan refused to take the field with the England batsmen ready to play. The tourists' action cannot be excused by any evidence regarding the ball-tampering offence. That was not the reason for the umpires award of a forfeiture to England. Pakistan should have taken the field, completed the match, and then appealed against the ball-tampering decision through administrative channels.

Law 21 (10) states that "Once the umpires have agreed with the scorers the correctness of the scores at the conclusion of the match the result cannot thereafter be changed". In my records and in those of many other statisticians this result will remain as a forfeited victory to England.

Q. A chap in our team is currently undergoing a miserable run of form. He has two consecutive golden ducks, and we were wondering who had the record for the most number of consecutive ducks in Test cricket? Blaggers12

Bearders' answer: The most ducks in successive Test innings is five, an unfortunate record shared by three bowlers. R.G. ('Bob') Holland of Australia was the first with consecutive pairs against England (1985) and New Zealand (1985-86). Then India's A.B. (Ajit) Agarkar, scorer of a Test hundred at Lord's, registered four successive noughts in two Tests against Australia (1999-2000). The most recent instance was inflicted upon Pakistan's Mohammad Asif in three separate series (2005-06 and 2006).

Q. My question concerns Test batsmen who have reached centuries via the hitting of a maximum (six runs). While I assume this is done more frequently these days than in the past, I have no idea whether this list contains four or 40 names. How many batsmen have performed this feat? Has anybody ever done it more than once? Eric Perez

Bearders' answer: The list of batsman completing a Test hundred with a six currently contains 84 instances. As some scorebooks have been lost or destroyed (there is a suspicious lack of entries between 1898 and 1922) this is unlikely to be a complete dossier. Ken Barrington and Sachin Tendulkar have achieved the feat four times. Aravinda de Silva and Brian Lara have done it on three occasions. Seven others have done it twice.

Q. When Gooch got his 333 runs, I seem to remember Robin Smith using Gooch's bat for a short time after breaking his own. How many balls did he do this for? Andyd2604

Bearders' answer: This occurred at 2.48pm on the second day of the 1990 Lord's Test against India. Smith borrowed Gooch's bat for precisely one ball - the fifth of Kapil Dev's 33rd over - and he didn't score off it.

Q. Can you please explain how net run-rates are calculated? Robin (Manchester)

Bearders' answer: A team's net run-rate is calculated by deducting from the average runs per over scored by that team, the average runs per over scored against it. In the event of a team being all out in fewer than its full quota of overs, the calculation of the net run-rate of both teams is based on the full quota of overs to which the batting team would have been entitled and not on the number of overs in which it was dismissed.

Only those matches where results are achieved count with regard to run-rate calculations. The latter are adjusted for results involving the Duckworth/Lewis Method.

Q. I was playing an online cricket game that allows you to name your own players the other day, and in a fit of boredom, decided to do just that, with names related to cricket (e.g. John Cricketer, Neville Hitsaball) It got me thinking, can you recall any particularly aptly named players? Alex Mount (Essex)

Bearders' answer: A brief search of England's Register of Test Cricketers has unearthed Batty, Bell, Dipper, Fielder, Pullar and Walker. Bail, Ball, Batt, Bowler and Gully have all appeared in first-class cricket. There must be dozens more.

Q. Apparently New Zealand's Chris Martin is one of the few Test cricketers who have taken more wickets than they have scored runs. Can you confirm this and tell me who the other members of this distinguished club may be? Mo (Canterbury, UK)

Bearders' answer: Chris Martin's tally of wickets certainly does exceed his batting aggregate. Given a qualification of ten Test matches and a minimum of ten wickets, he is the lone Kiwi in an unhappy band of 13. The full list by country is: England - W.E.Bowes (15 Tests, 28 runs, 68 wickets), K.Farnes (15, 58, 60), W.E.Hollies (13, 37, 44), I.J.Jones (15, 38, 44), J.D.F.Larter (10, 16, 37), R.Tattersall (16, 50, 58); Australia - H.Ironmonger (14, 42, 74), B.A.Reid (27, 93, 113), J.V.Saunders (14, 39, 79); South Africa - C.N.McCarthy (15, 28, 36); New Zealand - C.S.Martin (43, 74, 140); India - B.S.Chandrasekhar (58, 167, 242), N.D.Hirwani (17, 54, 66).

Q. I was wondering what is the highest number of bowled wickets achieved in a Test match. Mark (Southampton)

Bearders' answer: The match record of bowled dismissals is 23 and it has occurred twice - at Sydney in 1886-87 (Australia 14, England 9) and at Port Elizabeth in 1895-96 (South Africa 14, England 9). There has been no instance in excess of 17 such dismissals since 1954-55.

Q. I am trying to find details of the first Test match I went to. It was at The Oval in the mid-1950s, as I recall, and was against either Pakistan or India. I remember that England opened the batting with the Reverend David Sheppard and Colin Cowdrey (who made a century). The remaining batting line up I recall was Dexter, Graveney and Barrington. I do not think Peter May was playing. This is before your time as a statistician, but I have searched many websites with no luck. John Guyver

Bearders' answer: Colin Cowdrey's highest Test score at The Oval prior to 1960 was 25! Your debut was in 1962 when he scored 182, sharing an opening stand of 117 with Sheppard and a second-wicket one of 248 with Ted Dexter (172). England declared at 480-5 having scored 406-2 on the opening day. Ken Barrington scored 50 not out but Tom Graveney did not play. You will find the full score on the major cricket websites.

Q. Have you ever heard of a fielding position called a "stray dog"? A friend of mine recalls that stray dog originates from an old tea towel we had in our house when I was a kid. It described all the fielding positions on the cricket pitch e.g. silly mid-on. "Stray dog" was wandering around somewhere between wide third man and deep square cover!" Jo Morley (Secretary, Haslemere CC)

Bearders' answer: Jo, I think you have answered your own question. There is no such position! The stray dog was exactly that - a confused hound that had wandered on to the field when the artist was sketching the artwork for the teacloth. When I looked at your club's website, I was relieved to discover that not only did Jack Hobbs and Arthur Conan Doyle play for you but that you are indeed Hon Secretary, Fixture Secretary and Scorer. I had suspected "Bumble" Lloyd as being the originator of this question.

Q. Earlier this season there were no extras when Sussex scored 203 in the first innings of their County Championship match against Somerset at Taunton. What is the highest first-class or Test innings without an extra? Mark Sells (Taunton)

Bearders answer: The highest Test innings without an extra is 328 by Pakistan in the Third Test against India at Bagh-i-Jinnah, Lahore, on 29-30 January 1955. Philip Bailey has confirmed that the first-class record (and the only instance over 500) is nearly double that - 647 by Victoria v Tasmania at Melbourne on 5-6 February 1952.

Q. How many ways can a batsman be given out and what they are? John Everiss (Daventry, Northamptonshire)

Bearders' answer: If you include suicide (retired out), there are 11 ways of being out: bowled, caught, handled the ball, hit the ball twice, hit wicket, leg before wicket, obstructing the field, run out, stumped, timed out and retired out.


  • Comment number 1.

    Dear Bill

    My personal stance on the issue of the 2006 Oval match between England and Pakistan is that the Pakistan team were correct to not take the field. I am sure you are aware of the sportsmanship and fair play arguments so I shan’t bore you with repetition. However England was awarded 5 penalty runs. What if Pakistan in reply to England (assuming England made Pakistan bat again) fell 5-1 runs short? When the Pakistan team appealed through the proper administrative channels and were found not guilty of ball tampering, would it then be fair to do away with the penalty runs and award Pakistan the match? I think that it is fair to call the match a draw because of the farce that Darrel Hair created.


    Michael Best

  • Comment number 2.

    mikesnot12 raises an interesting question. If the laws state that the result is final once it has been agreed between the umpires and the scorers, then continuing to play could have produced that problem.

    But Pakistan's behaviour was disgraceful. Cricket is a sport, but it is also entertainment for the thousands of people who have paid for admission to the ground. Everything should have been done by all parties to allow the game to proceed.

    The umpire is always right, even when he is wrong. Every time he turns down an appeal for a very low catch, or gives out a batsman who has edged but not walked, he could be interpreted as accusing someone of cheating, but teams don't routinely refuse to continue with the match.

    But I would be interested in Bearders' response to this alternative scenario: the match had continued, with the 5 points deduction in place. Pakistan lost by fewer than 5 runs. Then on appeal it was shown that the ball ahd not been tampered with and the 5 penalty runs should not have been deducted.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'd like to thank Mr Frindall for his predictable (after his comments on the Supertest farrago) principled stand.

    Regardless of the merits of Pakistan vs Hair the laws are clear on the result of the match and the attempts of the ICC to change the result after the fact are meaningless and should be ignored.

    I hope that other statisticians take the same view as Mr Frindall.

  • Comment number 4.

    Re post #1.

    Mr Best, you are obviously no cricket fan.

    The Pakistani team's refusal to take the field because they disagreed with the umpires decision was one of the least sporting decisions I have ever seen.

    It was utterly immature, disgraceful behaviour; being unable to accept the umpires decision is one of cricket's complete no-nos. Surely one of the main tenets of 'sportsmanship' and 'fair play' (your words, not mine) is being able to accept decisions without throwing the toys (or the match) out of the pram.

    You're a fool.

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    To clarify a point.

    I meant to say "Anyone who calls a person a fool for daring to suggest that protest against injustice IS JUSTTIFIED might as well turn back the clocks on issues such as human rights and personal freedoms."

    Sorry, it's getting late.

  • Comment number 7.

    Good lord, what's wrong with me?

    I can't even spell "justified". Nobody should take any of my points seriously.

  • Comment number 8.

    I find it difficult to get my head around one or two points raised by you, nowmorethanever.

    Firstly, how on earth can the deduction of 5 runs in a cricket match call into the question the integrity of a whole nation?

    Human rights? Personal freedoms? This is cricket, mate; not sure you have the right forum...especially when you compare Rosa Parks with the Pakistani cricket team. I do believe I have just been had by my first WUM!

    Integrity and (most) professional sports are uncomfortable bed fellows. However, all sportsmen, amateur and pro, will say that, without rules and laws, there simply is no point in playing.

    Rook (white and working class)

  • Comment number 9.

    Blimey nowmorethanever! A post on Bearders moderated. That just has to be a first! ;)

  • Comment number 10.

    The England selectors have over the years included a long list of players born or raised in another country, including Dexter, Greig, Lamb, Pietersen and the latest, Pattinson. Have other Test countries picked as many players born or raised beyond their shores, and which are the best known names?

  • Comment number 11.

    But vindicated in the end, Rook...

    The system works! Long live the moderator!

  • Comment number 12.

    A whole five posts before someone played the race card. And a bonus comparison of Ul Haq's trantrum about being subject to the rules of a game to Rosa Parks protest against a racist state.

    Still, all irrelevant to the current issue, the game was lost (according to the laws), you may feel that Pakistan were justified in forfeiting the game in protest, but you can't change the fact that forfeit it they did.

  • Comment number 13.

    Suicide?! Surely there are other less extreme ways a batsman could retire and be given out without taking his own life?

  • Comment number 14.

    Dear Bearders,
    Something that I have been thinking about for a very long time: we have all the technology to handle this and with the latest option of three referrals to the TV umpire, even more applicable :
    Why not use, like in tennis, a "bleeper" to signal a no ball when a bowler over steps the front line ? With fast bowlers bowling at 90 mph plus, this leaves very little time for the umpire to adjust his focus from where the bowlers front foot lands to the point of delivery. The umpire can then purely concentrate on what happens to the ball bowled and more than likely make fewer mistakes. Further more, there will be no uncertainty as to whether the ball was actually a no ball or not, the batsman will clearly hear the "bleeper" and take appropriate action.
    With the technology available, this cannot be such a problem.
    Looking forward to coments

  • Comment number 15.

    Mikesnotout, re your suggested scenario about falling 5 runs short and subsequently winning an appeal as to the issue the tampering charge. I would not have thought that this would mean they were awarded the game, simply cleared of ball tampering and thereby vindicated. Yes they would have lost the match as a result of a poor decision but the result, and no other result in my view, should not be altered retrospectively. If ten batsmen in one team are on the wrong end of 10 dreadful lbw decisions there is mechanism by which they can undo those bad decisions. It is a dangerous precedent to start altering results after the match is completed regardless of one's views as to the behaviour of Umpire Hair.

  • Comment number 16.

    Happy you were vindicated nowmorethanever! And glad also that after a good night's kip, you realise that the system sometimes works after all!

  • Comment number 17.

    A theoretical question for you Bill:

    Paul Collingwood was fined and banned for several matches recently due to a slow over rate against New Zealand.

    If he had been injured during the first over of New Zealand's innings and played no further part in the match, would the vice-captain have been punished or would it still have been the captain's responsibility?

    If the former, then what rules are in place if, for example, the captain is injured, say half- way through an innings?

  • Comment number 18.

    In the first test match v South Africa Monty Panesar bowled sixty over without a wicket. What is the "record" number of overs bowled in an innings without taking a wicket. What is the record number of deliveries bowled without a bowler taking a wicket (this could be over a number of games) both in tests and first class games would be interesting.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Bill,

    I have recently finished reading a dusty copy of Wally Hammond's 'Cricket - My World'. The book is full of anecdotes and tales from back in the day, though one story towards the end was beyond my comprehension. While discussing the workload placed on bowlers at all levels, Wally speaks of his concern about individuals being over bowled and injured as a result. So, nothing new there - however, he then gives the example of a chap referred to only as 'Shaw', who once bowled over 100 overs in a day - as a result of this he injured his foot and never played again. Now I don't want to accuse Wally of being liberal with the truth, but how is this possible?! Does any record exist of this incredible feat of bowling stamina? Unfortunately no first name or county team/fixture is given.

    Many thanks

  • Comment number 20.

    Question -

    at the recent Essex v Yorks FPT final a shot to long on hit the sponsor's 'triangle' that was placed over the boundary rope.

    I always thought that to be a six a ball has the clear the boundary rope, not hit it, (except if the boundary is a fence not a rope then hitting it is a six).

    In this case the 3rd umpire ruled it a six, is this correct?



  • Comment number 21.

    Hi Bill. In this summer's Twenty20 match between England and New Zealand, Ravi Bopara was making his debut in this form of the game and neither batted nor was he called upon to bowl. Have there been any other players that have had a similarly inactive international career, in any form of the game? I recall mention of a poor chap some years ago who was called up for his debut test, only for rain to intervene. The match finished without him either bowling or batting and he was never called up again, can you shed any light on who this might be?



  • Comment number 22.

    I'm sure you will have been asked this before Bill, but how many instances are there of the first ball of a match, or at least of an innings, being hit for 6?

    Mike - Merseyside

  • Comment number 23.

    Dear Bill

    Who is the fattest man ever to play international cricket? I think it's Bermuda's Dwayne Leverock, but my aussie mate says there was an enormously fat man who captained Australia back in the 1920s.


  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Bill. I am a freelance journalist in Durban ,South Africa . I am currently doing a series of articles in a local newspaper on cricketers who played here during the apartheid era. I am doing some research on a cricketer who played league cricket in England from 1972-1975. He played for Hampstead CC in London and West Bromwich Dartmouth in Midlands.
    How can i get some info about him ito stats etc. His name is MM Khan (Mustupha)
    Feroz Shaik,Durban ,South Africa.

  • Comment number 25.

    question 23 - Larry Teabag

    Taken from Wikipedia

    Known as 'Sluggo' and living above a curry house in Bermuda, Leverock is a policeman and also drives a prison van, and at the 2007 Cricket World Cup he was the largest player to grace the pitch, weighing in at 20 stone. However, he is not the heaviest man to ever play international cricket, as Warwick Armstrong is believed to have weighed approximately 22 stone.

    question 18 - Friar Mere 111

    in a test innings the most overs wicketless would be 72 by Akinson for WI vs Eng in 1957

  • Comment number 26.

    During the first test of the England vs South Africa series at Lords in the final session of the first day Kevin Pietersen scored 91 runs. I was wondering how many people there are who have scored 100 in a session and also if any batsman has made a hundred before lunch on the first day of a test match?

    Tom B

  • Comment number 27.


    In One Day Internationals, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has batted in every position from 1 to 10.

    Can any other player match this, or has anyone even batted in all 11 positions in ODIs?

    Many thanks,

  • Comment number 28.

    26. Don't know how many have managed 100, but it was stated in an earlier Bearders column that Ian Blackwell scored 204 runs in a session for Somerset v Derbyshire at Taunton in 2003 - possibly a record, said the Hairy One.

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Bill, could you please provide details of Paul Collingwood's One Day International batting average and strike rate + his bowling average and runs per over conceded for both before he was captain and since being made 'skipper'.

    It is my thinking that his statistics have improved since being made captain.

    With thanks, AndyWilts

  • Comment number 30.

    question 26 - Up the Addicks 7297

    four batsmen have managed 100 in the first session of a Test

    103* VT Trumper Aus v Eng 1902
    112*CG Macartney Aus v Eng 1926
    105*DG Bradman Aus v Eng 1930
    108*Majid Khan Pak v NZ 1976-77

    the 3 highest Test scoring in one session were

    173 (73* to 246*) DCS Compton Eng v Pak 1954 (lunch-tea)

    150 (152* to 302*) WR Hammond Eng v NZ 1932-33 (lunch-tea)

    140 (29* to 169*) IDS Smith NZ v Ind 1989-90 (tea-close)

  • Comment number 31.

    question 29 - Andy Wilts

    Since taking the captaincy Collingwood has managed 709 runs in 23 innings (4 not out), giving a batting average of 37.32

    Before he scored 2966 runs in 110 innings (25 not out) averaging 34.89

    In bowling he has taken 19 wkts from 147.5 overs for 748 runs since becoming the captain, giving him an average of 39.37 runs per wkt, 47 balls per wkt and 5.06 runs per over

    As a player but not captain he managed 64 wkts from 485.3 overs for 2426 runs, equalling 37.91 r/w, 46 b/w and exactly 5 r/o

    so in all areas for bowling he is mildly worse, but much better in his batting

  • Comment number 32.

    When a bowler suffers an injury mid-over another player is called upon to finish off the remaining deliveries.

    Has this happened more than once in a single over? If so, what's the greatest number of bowlers who have been used in a single over?

  • Comment number 33.

    question 31 - extra

    i forgot, the batting strike rates

    as captain 88.40

    before captaincy 73.79

  • Comment number 34.


    We are all familiar with the occasional employment of the "joke bowler" in dead or near defeat situations. I had not realised how ubiquitous the practise was. Myself and a few other lunatics have been trying to find instances of non bowlers who never bowled a ball in first class cricket. We needed some minimum criteria and "reasonable career" seemed abit vague so settled on anyone who had played at least 1 Test or otherwise played at least 10 years in 1st class cricket. We excluded keepers to start with. So far we haven't found one instance. We checked keepers and even then it was remarkably few, 2 so far from at least 30 checked. There must be some but can you point out any exceptional examples.

  • Comment number 35.

    PS to my earlier post. You are absolutely right about the Pakistan Oval Test incident, whatever the rights and wrongs of what went on that day the result (forfeit - England win) must stand. The ICC are a joke.

    Tom O'G, Cork, Eire

  • Comment number 36.

    question 32 - Bowls a Beamer

    well i don't know if this is the record but for tests it must be very unusual,

    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

  • Comment number 37.


    I notice that we have yet to have anybody reach the 1000 run mark in first class cricket - Ravi Bopara is top with 930. Given the fixture lists - it looks as though nobody can reach 1000 before the 30th July.

    I remember the fuss about "1000 by the end of May" - but what's the latest date for the first to reach 1000 in a season?

    On a related topic, if Bopara or Shah don't play in a test this season, and Ian Bell has a loss of form, we could have a season where no England batsman scores a thousand first class runs. Has this ever happened?


  • Comment number 38.

    Re #29/31/33

    More on Collingwood's batting performance as non-captain and captain in ODIs.

    PortoIan's figures are right but don't tell the full story. Although his batting average for his 23 innings as captain is considerably above that of his 110 innings as non-captain, if you exclude his first 20 innings in his career, then the average are very similar. If you only look at the 23 innings immediately before he was made captain, then his average (44.33) is considerably above his 23 innnings as captain (37.32).

    Where he has definitely improved is strike rate. Throughout his career as non-captain, his rate was low-70s as opposed to 89 as captain.


  • Comment number 39.

    Re 21

    I think the unlucky guy was Kabir Ali (Worcs) and that the match was at Headingley?

    Possibly an ODI rather than a Test?

  • Comment number 40.

    Thank you to Porto Ian and Nick for those stats re. Collingwood.

  • Comment number 41.

    The ICC are at the moment an embarrasment. The overturning of the test result is the latest in a lamentably long list of politically motivated decisions.

    Never mind the rights and wrongs of the ball tampering allegations, the Pakistanis refused to take the field of play and the result was correctly given as a forfeture. If Pakistan wanted to regard that as a principled decision as a protest at the unfaior allegations, I think they could have gotten a good amount of support. But in the end what they did was step outside the parameters of the law, therefore losing its protection.

  • Comment number 42.

    What is the highest second-innings score score recorded by a test team which has followed on?

    Barrie Street

  • Comment number 43.

    Dear Bill Your answer about the forfeited Oval test is incorrect. Law 21.3(b) states.."they(both umpires) shall inform the captain of the side. If he persists in action then they will award the match. Both Inzamam and late Bob woolmer are on record that only Hair went to their dressing room and spoke to Inzamam. Inzamam never persisted and simply asked a question but Hair naver wanted to listen to him because of his enimity towards Pakistan. In that whole episode Doctrove was just a puppet. Law was wrongly implemented because only Hair spoke to Inzamam and Inzamam never persisted. In Kanpur Test in Feb. 1980 England vs India, umpire changed his decision when he called Bob Taylor back after declaring him out only because Wishwanath wanted it like that. Here you and some other biased people are not agreeing to a decision taken by a panel of ICC members. Probably because it was England then and it is Pakistan now.
    I regret that there is not enough space to go into details of both incidents.

    Best regards

    Akhtar Hassan

  • Comment number 44.

    test cricket is whack!

  • Comment number 45.

    RE 39:

    No, Kabir has played several ODIs and one test, scoring runs and taking wickets in each form. The one-off player from many years ago that I was talking about was many years ago.

  • Comment number 46.

    question 45 - Sir William 99

    the player you are probably thinking of is Jack MacBryan, he played for CambUni and Somerset in 1920s, scoring 10,000+ runs

    He was called up for the Old Trafford test against SA in 1924 but rain stopped him batting or bowling, although he did field during the curtailed 1st SA innings

    Fred Grace (brother of WG) played in one test for Eng vs Aus 1880 but was out for 0 twice and didn't bowl. At least he caught someone out unlike...

    Gavin Hamilton, more recently, scored 0 twice with the bat whilst bowling 15 overs for 0 wkts (1st Test vs SA in Jo'berg in 1999)

    Jonnie Clay played once for Eng vs SA (again) in 1935 never batting and bowling 32 overs for no wkts

    of all the other 34 (i think) one test players for Eng they have all scored runs and/or taken wkts

    (Kabir Ali scored 10 runs and took 5 wkts in his only Test)

  • Comment number 47.

    A player at my club, Shepley CC, recently took a hat trick where all three batsmen were out caught and bowled. How unusual is this? We can find no other instance in the usual record books.

  • Comment number 48.

    Relating to a previous question about the number of ways that a batsman may be dismissed, is there a cricket equivalent to football's "Red Card"?

  • Comment number 49.

    Bill, I noticed that Darren Pattinson was England's 639th test player, whilst Andrew Flintoff sports number 591. Presumably, injuries notwithstanding, Flintoff has played alongside most of the 48 players to have debuted after him, as well as his ten teammates when he made his debut. My question is, who holds the world record for playing test cricket with the highest number of different teammates? Is Flintoff England's record holder?

    Many thanks,

    Mike Smart

  • Comment number 50.

    Bill, a batsman hits the ball towards the boundary. Two fielders converge on the ball, one of whom successfully prevents the ball reaching the rope. However, although he was not in contact with the rope when he touched the ball, he was in contact with his teammate who was, in turn, in contact with the rope. Has the boundary been legitimately prevented?

    Many thanks,

    Mike Smart.

  • Comment number 51.

    This is one that has had the whole pub stumped for weeks Bill so i hope you can help. Which was the last one day international where both teams wore the traditional whites ?


    Neil Holloway

  • Comment number 52.

    question 49 - Bring Back Athers

    well giving Flintoff's span as 58 (48 after and 10 others in his 1st test) it certainly isn't the biggest

    Gooch as number 461 debuted in July 1975 and played his last test in Feb 1995, by which time England were up to 570 (Joey Benjamin), so including the 10 he played the 1st test with that makes 119, almost double Flintoff's

    (okay i realize that Gooch maybe didn't play with all the 119 players but neither are "we" sure Flintoff did)

    i'm not sure Gooch is the record holder, but Flintoff certainly isn't (Thorpe, Stewart, Boycott, Evans and Hutton have more than Flintoff, just to name a few)

    question 50 - Athers again

    yes it's a boundary, the fielder with the ball isn't in contact with the ground over the boundary but he is in contact with something (in this case someone) who is

    from law 19 boundaries (my CAPS)

    3. Scoring a boundary
    (a) A boundary shall be scored...
    (ii) a fielder, with some part of his person in contact with the ball, TOUCHES THE BOUNDARY or has some part of his person grounded beyond the boundary.
    (b) The phrases ‘TOUCHES THE BOUNDARY’ and ‘touching the boundary’ shall mean contact with
    either (i) ...
    or (ii) any PERSON or obstacle within the field of play (that is over the rope or designated a boundary)...

    a good example of how this is meant is Fielder A stands on the shoulders (i know) of Fielder B, who is outside the boundary, Fielder A holding the ball is a 6 and NOT a catch, yours is just a mild example (and more realistic) than this

  • Comment number 53.

    In response to the question regarding all of the forms of dismissal.

    What constitutes as "hitting the ball twice" In a game I played in last season, a batsman played a short ball that then began rolling back towards his stumps, he then proceeded to hit the ball away from the stumps, which we thought meant he had hit the ball twice and should have been dismissed. The umpire (one of their players), said that the batsman was not out.

    Was this the correct decision and if it was, what then constitutes as hitting the ball twice?

    Bhav, London

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Bill
    Regarding the number ways that a batsman can be out, you didn't mention Absent. I recall poor Abdul Aziz being "retired hurt" in the first innings of a match, and "Absent Dead 0" in the second. If a batsman was Absent I would record it as such in the scorebook, or would that now be classed as Timed Out? Bill Benton (Nutley Hall CC, Surrey)

  • Comment number 55.

    question 53 - Bhavyt

    the striker was not out as he was guarding his wkt, you are out hit ball twice if you "wilfully" hit the ball a second time (or even first time if previously it struck your body, legs, pads, etc..) in an action other than defending the wkt

    note the word "wilfully", if the ball strikes your pads and you hit the ball in continuation of a stroke started before the ball hit you that would not be wilfull. But you couldn't stop the ball with your foot, for example, then take aim and hit the ball

    from law 34
    1. Out Hit the ball twice
    (a) The striker is out Hit the ball twice if, ..., it strikes any part of his person or is struck by his bat and, ..., he wilfully strikes it again with his bat or person, other than a hand not holding the bat, except for the sole purpose of guarding his wicket

    the law then goes on to reiterate the defense of wkt part

    3. Ball lawfully struck more than once
    Solely in order to guard his wicket..., the striker may lawfully strike the ball more than once with his bat or with any part of his person other than a hand not holding the bat.
    Notwithstanding this provision, the striker may not prevent the ball from being caught by making more than one stroke in defence of his wicket.

  • Comment number 56.

    question 54 - Frodo for Pres

    Absent is not a way of being out and it is not counted as such

    the Laws make no special mention of Absent, and in the case of poor Abdul Aziz he was recorded as Retired Hurt - 0 and Absent (no score given), the second not counting towards his average, at least that calculated in CricInfo

    his full 1st class batting reads

    which divided by 7 = 21.28 as his average

    note in this the absent hurt is NOT OUT for average purposes and the ABSENT just doesn't count

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi Bill,

    A friend and I were discussing hat-tricks, and we were discussing the likelihood of the same batsman being dismissed twice within the same hat-trick. Has this ever occured at first-class level?

    Andrew Bak, Bradford

  • Comment number 58.

    can you tell me how many times you need to be out to get an average

  • Comment number 59.

    question 57 - Andy 4226 UK

    i don't think this have ever happened at first class cricket, and certainly never in tests, but...

    in tests TJ Mathews took 2 hatricks, one in each innings, in a test for SA vs AUS in 1912, in both hatricks the final victim, TA Ward, was the same

    along similar lines in a 1st class game in 1968 between Derbys and Surrey, the Surrey bowler, Harman, took a hatrick in the 2nd innings, which concluded with HJ Rhodes, whom Harman had got for a golden duck in the 1st innings too

    it certainly wouldn't be impossible, but there doesn't appear to be an instance

  • Comment number 60.

    We thought we heard Michael Holding on commentary the other day mention that he'd only no-balled once in his entire Test career.

    Bill, is this true and if not, which bowler holds the record for the fewest no-balls in Test matches (with a suitable minimum qualification of matches/overs)?

    Paul D, Herts

  • Comment number 61.

    Hi Bill,

    Sorry to ask the question again, but I'm desperate to have it answered!

    I believe that only the wicket-keeper can effect a stumping, and if anyone else tries to it is deemed a run out. If this is true, is the following possible?:

    A spinner oversteps, and the umpire calls no ball, hearing the call the batsman's eyes light up, he charges down the wickets and swings (thinking it is virtually a free hit). He misses. 1st slip changes position with the 'keeper, takes the ball with no-one else having touched it and breaks the stumps with the batsman out of his ground. Is this out (as a run out) or not out (as a stumping on a no ball)? Alternatively, could the 'keeper take the ball, throw it quickly to 1st slip and then have him effect the run out?

    Keep up the good work!

    Duncan, Beijing.

  • Comment number 62.

    Don Bradman's batting figures in Tests are engrained on the memory of every cricket lover: 6996 runs, 99.94 average.

    The greatest batsman ever though lost at least 6 years of Tests while in his prime because of World War Two.

    What I'm wondering is if anyone has ever worked out what his Test figures could have been, had WWII not taken place?

    Based on previous tours abroad, and factoring in who might have come to Australia, how many more test matches might the Don have played? Extrapolating further from that, how many more centuries, double tons and even triples might he have scored, based on his previous knocks against other Test sides? Can anyone run a run-simulation programme to give an idea of just how many more than 6996 the Don might have ended with?

  • Comment number 63.

    In the Recent ODI between Ireland and Netherlands 28-07-2008 at Dublin

    3 of the dutch bowlers have figure of below is this common in ODI or domestic One Day where a bowler (or bowlers) go(es) for as many runs per over as overs bowled or is this a very unique event?. I assume that no first class or test match bowler has achieved this feat unless bowling a very small number of overs?.

    Bowler O M R W
    Schiferli 7.0 0 49 1
    Bukhari 4.0 0 16 1
    Mol 5.0 0 25 0

  • Comment number 64.

    Hi Bill,

    The other day I noticed that Robert Key's one and only test century was also converted into a double century. I just wondered if any other test cricketers can match this accolade?

  • Comment number 65.

    question 64 - philhopton

    yup several can

    there are 156 double centurians in test history of which 10 (ten) scored a double without a single ton

    they are (in order of total runs scored in tests)

    J Gillespie (1218@18.74) 201no
    D Atkinson (922@31.79) 219
    Bacchus (782@26.07) 250
    Key (775@31.00) 221
    R Foster (602@46.31) 287
    Donnelly (582@52.91) 206
    D Lloyd (552@42.46) 214no
    B Hodge (503@55.89) 203no
    T Arif (501@62.63) 210no
    Kuruppu (320@53.33) 201no

    of these both Key and Hodge are still playing and able to be selected for more tests

    R Foster and Kuruppu are probably the most unusual of these in that they scored their doubles in their very first innings then nothing more ( Foster scored one 50) in Foster's other 13 innings and Kuruppu's 6

  • Comment number 66.


    how many hat-tricks have there been in tests? Were any of them all by the same 'out' method?



  • Comment number 67.

    In Question 43 Akhtar Hassan is not only misquoting the laws but has the audacity to question the oracle-of-oracles, our beloved Bearders. The insertion of, "(both umpires)", which does not appear in the laws, is an attempt to suggest that Hair was operating alone.

    Clearly, if either one of the umpires informs the captain of the side then it can be said that, "they have informed the captain". It does not take two people to communicate facts and this is just a shabby and poor attempt to get the Pakistan team off on a technicality.

    I would advise Akhtar Hassan, the ICC and the vocal minority of Pakistan Cricket fans that most of us are prepared to let things lie; but in digging up the past in an attempt to slur Hair or defend the Pakistan team all you do is remind us of their shameful behaviour that day.

  • Comment number 68.

    And another thing, Akhtar Hassan - to liken the immediate (sporting) withdrawal of an appeal in 1980 to the a committee decision taken two years after the event regarding the (unsporting) refusal of a team to take the field is ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous.

  • Comment number 69.

    question 66 - Paul Win

    there have been 37 hatricks in tests, by 34 bowlers

    at least one, Mcgrath in 2000, involved the same type of dismissal for each wkt. Campbell, Lara and Adams were all caught, albeit by differing fielders

    also Trumble in 1902 and Petherick in 1976 also had all caught hatricks, but in each case one of the catches was caught and bowled

    the others are all "mixed" dismissals

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi, I recall listening to cricket commentary and someone said that Michael Holding only delivered 1 illegal bowl in his test match career. Is this true ? If not, how many wides, no balls etc did he bowl.. thanks

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi Bill, There was a friendly between England U19 and Canada U19 in Loughborough in 2006 or 2007 - I am trying to find the scorecard for it but haven't has luck yet, please advise if you any details of that match. regards Baz.

  • Comment number 72.

    Hi Bill, Would it be possible for you to tell me how many players have come from each county and also how many caps from each county over the last 10 years or so? So for example in the current team Lancs would have 2 players and 95 caps (Fred 68 and Jimmy 27)

    Many Thanks

  • Comment number 73.

    Hi Bill

    Graham Smith spent quite a long time off the field today getting a massage on his dodgy back. He only returned for the last few minutes but I thought there was a rule that meant that if you spent time off then you had to wait a similar time before you could bat? Fortunately he started and played poorly to Flintoff but should he have been there?

  • Comment number 74.


    A good-humoured debate with an Australian colleague as to the most logical way to quote a cricket score (wickets first or runs first) has resulted in us 'agreeing to disagree'. Is it known how or why the difference came about?

    Matt, Croydon

  • Comment number 75.

    just musing on current form.. what do Vaughan and Pietersen average as a 3/4 partnership together? and highest partnership? Can't remember any stand of consequence...

  • Comment number 76.

    is this ask bearders or ask bearders and portoIan answers...........

  • Comment number 77.

    Hey Bearders...

    How many different players has Andrew Flintoff played alongside in test matches? I think the total may surprise some.

    His number is 591 and the most recent addition to the test match XI, Pattinson, is 640. So that's at least 49 ... but there would have been 10 others in the team when Flintoff was first chosen, so that's 59. And there may be more if earlier players were recalled to the England side during Flintoff's tenure.

    Whatever, around 60 sounds an extraordinarily high turnover in such a relatively short time. What do you think?

  • Comment number 78.


    I was wondering how you go about making you wagon wheel scoring diagrams. Do you begin one for every player and hope for the best, or have you another method?


  • Comment number 79.

    Re comment 48 - Red Card.

    Playing a club game several years ago, one of our side was messing around, chatting incessantly and generally being a pain in the backside. Having had the third easy catch of the day dropped, I took my cap from the umpire and moved off to my fielding position in no mood for levity.

    The young player in question made a disparaging remark and I suggested that he keep his mouth shut. He continued and, seeing that I was likely to take the matter further, the skipper told him. "For once in you life, do as you're told".

    Never one to actually listen to good advice, he carried on and, made a facetious remark, "I suppose you'd like me to go off, then?"

    I have never admired a man so much as when, after a moment's thought, the skipper replied "Yes, I would. P**s off".

    He left the pitch to the general amusement of all concerned and seeking sympathy (unsuccessfully) from all present.

  • Comment number 80.


    Is there a Stats site you can recommend that does not include the farcical ICC XI matches from 2005?

    Cricinfo insist on including these figures despite the ICC definition of Test matches not being met by the match in question.

    I'm not bothered about ODIs, preferring the Test match arena for my statistical interest.

  • Comment number 81.

    question 76 - Padraig C

    sorry, but the first blog in this series (this is the Bearded Wonder's 2nd attempt at blogging) invited readers to comment on others questions

    "So feel free - if you can provide an answer to a simple question posed by another poster - to jump in and help."

    i was just doing my best, again i'm sorry if you find it annoying


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