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Ask Bearders #178

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Bill Frindall | 15:01 UK time, Monday, 22 September 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. How many runs (approx.) have been scored over the history of first-class and Test cricket? It must be in the millions. Likewise wickets - must be many thousands. I'm fascinated by the potential scale of the aggregates.

Bearders' Answer: The Test match aggregates, courtesy of Ric Finlay, are currently (20 September 2008) 1,833,354 runs and 57,672 wickets.
Alas, unlike Test cricket's 15 March 1877, there is no specific date upon which first-class cricket can be said to have begun. The term 'first-class' was not introduced until the 1840s, Although the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians has published a First-Class Match List starting with the 1801 season, it recognises that matches played prior to 1864 should be termed 'Important' or 'Great'. Philip Bailey has revealed that the first-class aggregates from 1864 until after play on 20 September 2008 are 39,211,720 runs and 1,462,286 wickets from 49,709 matches. If you start with the 1801 season (50,725 matches) you have 39,637,638 runs and 1,497,951 wickets. The Test match tallies are included in those figures.

Q. When Middlesex play England in the Stanford Twenty20 on 26 October 2008, will this be the first time England have played against a first-class English county team?

Bearders' Answer: It will certainly be the first time that an official England team has played against a major county overseas, albeit in just a truncated limited-overs thrash. Before the advent of Test cricket in 1877, unofficial England Elevens played against many of the counties, particularly Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and Sussex.

Q. Lancashire's first innings total against Kent in the County Championship at Liverpool this week was 107, top scorer being Extras (32). Just how unusual is this phenomenon in first-class cricket, and what, please, is the highest innings total in which no batsman managed to outscore Extras?
Chris, Cambridge

Bearders' Answer: It is reasonably rare, Chris. I don't have access to a full list of instances in all first-class matches. In Test cricket, extras have been the highest contributor on 13 occasions in 6,812 innings; i.e. 0.19%. The most recent instance occurred in England's first innings against West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica, in March 2004. England's total (339), the number of extras (60) and the highest individual score (58) are each the highest tallies when extras have top scored in Tests.

Q. Did P.G.Wodehouse name Bertie Wooster's valet, Jeeves, after a county cricketer?
Harry Webb (New York)

Bearders' Answer: Yes, Wodehouse named him after Percy Jeeves whom he saw playing for Warwickshire in 1913, two years before he introduced him to the public in 'Extricating Young Gussie'. Born in Dewsbury, Jeeves played 50 first-class matches for Warwickshire (1912-14), scoring 1,204 runs (average 16.05), the highest of his four fifties being 86 not out, and taking 199 wickets (average 20.03), including one 10-wicket haul and 12 five-wicket ones with his right-arm medium-fast bowling. He was killed in France in 1916 at the age of 28.

Q. I used to play at Chalkwell Park for Westcliff and, subsequently, for Leigh-on-Sea. I remember that the Australians were rumoured to have played there and scored a record amount of runs in one day. I have tried to use Google but to no avail. Could you confirm if this myth is true? If so, is it still the record for the most runs scored by a team in one day?

Bearders' Answer: The 1948 Australians did score a record 721 runs off 129 overs against Essex on 15 May 1948. Bill Brown (153), Don Bradman (187), Sam Loxton (120) and Ron Saggers (104) were the main contributors before the last five wickets fell for 57 runs. With Trevor Bailey injured and unable to bat, Essex were dismissed for 83 and 187 on the second day to lose by an innings and 451 runs.
However, that match was not played at Westcliff. It took place a five-minute drive along the coast in Southchurch Park at Southend-on-Sea.
The Australians' 721 does indeed remain the highest score by one team in a single day of first-class cricket.

Q. I recently watched highlights of the England v South Africa world cup game in 1992 where, under the rain rule, South Africa's winning target was modified from 22 off 13 balls to 21 off 1 ball. What would the target have been under the Duckworth/Lewis rule?

Bearders' Answer: In that World Cup day/night semi-final at Sydney on 22 March, England scored 252-6 in an innings reduced from 50 to 45 overs because of South Africa's tardy bowling rate. The D/L Method would have set Kepler Wessels' team a revised target of 273 off 45 overs but the current rules let them off with 20 runs fewer. Having reached 231-6 after 42.5 overs, South Africa's reply was interrupted by 12 minutes of heavy rain. Under the 'rain rule' governing this tournament they initially needed 22 off seven balls but this was adjusted to 21 off one.
Using the current version of the D/L Method and ignoring the five overs lost to slow bowling, South Africa were 22 short of their initial target of 253 when the break came and were just three runs behind par. If two overs had been deducted under the D/L Method, Brian McMillan would have needed to score five runs off that final ball.

Q. Which was the 17th first-class county that Durham beat in Championship matches?
Ross Deere (Queensland)

Bearders' Answer: That distinction went to Lancashire (at the 11th attempt, in May 2005 - a month after Leicestershire had been defeated at the 14th attempt!).

Q. Is it possible to get two batsmen out in one ball (e.g. a catch, then a run out)?
James, Middlesex

Bearders' Answer: No. Under Law 23 (iii) the ball becomes dead when a batsman is dismissed. The fielding side can dismiss only one batsman from any one delivery.

Q. I've been trying to explain the idiosyncrasies of cricket to my girlfriend who seems to think they are proof that anyone who plays cricket is completely potty. I pointed out that although a Test match can last five days, it could be very short indeed. Ignoring declarations, forfeitures, retirements and absences, the shortest two innings game would be 31 balls: ten balls for each first innings, ten balls for the first side's second innings and a final ball for their opposition to score the winning run. What is the shortest ever Test match ever played?
Gareth (Kent)

Bearders' Answer: A 31-ball four-innings match would be a scorer's nightmare and involve writing with both hands. In terms of both time (5 hours 53 minutes) and balls (656), the shortest Test match took place on a vicious Melbourne 'sticky' in February 1932. South Africa, who won the toss and batted, scored 36 and 45 in 89 and 105 minutes respectively. Australia, minus Bradman who severely twisted his ankle when his studs caught in the coir matting of the dressing room as he was going out to field at the start, scored 153 in 159 minutes and won by an innings and 72 runs. South Africa's aggregate of 81 by a side losing all 20 wickets and the match aggregate of 234 remain records for Test cricket.

Q. I was playing in a match where the bowler, during his delivery stride, accidentally broke the wicket with his hand at the non-striker's end. The batsman was caught out off this delivery but the umpire signalled a no-ball because the stumps had been broken. Was this correct decision? And has ever such an incident been recorded in first-class cricket?

Bearders' Answer: Bowlers often accidentally break the non-striker's wicket with their hand or even foot as they are delivering the ball. It certainly is not a no-ball and the batsman in your match should have been given out. In exceptional circumstances an umpire can call 'dead ball'.

Q. I see that in the Twenty20 games there is a tendency for the boundaries to be brought in to encourage more fours and sixes. Are there any rules as to the minimum and maximum distances for boundaries in any form of the game?
John (Dudley)

Bearders' Answer: The ECB's Regulations and Playing Conditions covering all domestic competitions stipulate that "The Ground Authority shall aim to provide the largest playing area, subject to no boundary exceeding a distance of 90 yards from the centre of the pitch. No boundary shall be less than 50 yards".

Q. Who was the last person to hit a six over the Lord's pavilion?

Bearders' Answer: Albert Trott (Victoria, Middlesex, Australia and England) is the only batsman who has struck a ball over top of the Lord's pavilion. He achieved this unique feat on 31 July 1899 off the bowling of Monty Noble while batting for the MCC and Ground against the Australians.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Who has scored the most 1st class runs and never played test cricket? Also who has taken the most wickets and never played a test?
    Aaron, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

  • Comment number 2.

    Who has been the most successfull cricket captain of all time? from all countries.
    eirebilly, lost in Holland.

  • Comment number 3.

    Ron and Dean Headley, father and son, played Test cricket for two different countries. Have many other such close relations done the same?

  • Comment number 4.

    Dear Bill,

    In a club game this year (where we umpire ourselves and when a youth player happened to be umpiring at the non-striker's end), a batsman was caught at fine leg off a full toss that was over waist height. The umpire only (silently) signalled a no-ball after seeing the square leg umpire indicate that the ball was high. By this time, the batsman had already left his crease to walk off and the fielding side broke the wicket, claiming a run-out. A lot of discussion ensued! Should the batsman have been given out or not?

    Thanks very much,

  • Comment number 5.

    Are there any stats for dropped catches ?. I was wondering the other day how many catches were dropped off the bowling of Andy caddick and Darren Gough when they played in test matches for England ?. And that if the catches had been taken how that would have affected their final wicket tallies ?.

  • Comment number 6.


    You mention in your last answer above that Victor Trott played for "Victoria, Middlesex, Australia and England". Did he therefore play for both countries? Was this a regular occurrence during the Victorian era? When was the present regulations brought into place?

    Many thanks!

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    A match could be completed in 30 balls:

    1). The team batting first gets bowled out for 0 in 10 balls.
    2). The team batting second gets bowled out in 10 balls but one of the wickets is a runout going for a second run such that they are all out for a total of 1.
    3). The other team is all out for 0 of 10 balls again, giving their opponents a victory by an innings and one run.

    With some suicidal declarations it could be even shorter.

  • Comment number 9.

    Remember as a young boy readg about a cricket match where one side was made up entirely of players from one family - the Edrich's. Have mentioned this to a few people, and they think that I'm balmy.
    Can you uprovide any details please to confirm my sanity?

    Martin Morris
    Wraysbury, nr Windsor

  • Comment number 10.

    question 3 - Thoult

    Majid Khan captained Pakistan in the 70s, his son, Bazid Khan, has played 4 times for Pakistan, one test and 3 ODIs, starting in 2004

    the Nawab of Pataudi (Iftikhar Ali Khan) played for BOTH Eng and India, whilst his son (Mansoor) played "just" for India

    the Hearne family (3 brothers and the son of one) at the turn of the last century seemed to take it in turns playing for both England and South Africa

    there are also a few cousins who have played for different nations, and famously, Ed Joyce made his ODI debut for England against his brother, Dominick, for Ireland

  • Comment number 11.

    question 9 - Open Gates

    there are several books about the Edrich family and "their" team

    Runs in the family by John Edrich or The Cricketing Family Edrich by Ralph Barker

    and CricInfo has a useful page or two that mention the family XI, take this one for example

    there were several of these "family" teams esp. in the 1920 and 30s, several actually played each other, and occasionally there was a link between the 2 families as in the game between the Graces (WG and Dr EM included) and the Robinsons (Annie Robinson marrying DR EM Grace) in 1891, whose family included Crescens and Theodore, both 1st class cricketers

  • Comment number 12.

    Here is a question from Madrid in Spain:

    Mike Proctor was a stalwart at Bristol for many years as batsman (Walter Lawrence Trophy and, in the winter, 6 consecutive First Class centuries), fast bowler, captain, deadly catcher at slip and a lethal off-spinner when the mood took him.

    Famously though, he only played a handful of Tests, but his returns were such that many people feel that he was probably the greatest all-rounder of all time.

    So, the question is:

    If his wickets and runs from Rest of the World matches are included, do they back his credentials as potentially the greatest, or not?

  • Comment number 13.

    is it my reading of the Bearded Wonder's answers or is there a real mistake in there?

    in an answer related to extras he states:

    "England's total (339), the number of extras (60) and the highest individual score (58) are each the highest tallies when extras have top scored in Tests."

    these figures certainly include the highest team score when extras were highest scorer, but the 58 was equalled and the 60 beaten (65) in ZIM 1st innings against SL in 1994, shortened to 8 wkts before the game was drawn

    so did i read it wrong? or not?

  • Comment number 14.

    4 - If the umpire is satisfied that the batsman left his wicket under a misapprehension that he had been dismissed, which sounds like the case here, the batsman should be recalled, and not dismissed run out. Off a no-ball, a batsman can only be run out if he is in the act of running.

    5 - There are no official stats for dropped catches, and no universal standard for when a catch "should" have been taken

    13 - I think implicit in Bill's answer was that the innings in question had been completed - the innings you refer to was terminated prematurely.

  • Comment number 15.

    For aarongeordie. I think John Langridge of Sussex scored the most runs without playing Test cricket. James Langridge his brother represented England however.

  • Comment number 16.

    What is the record victory by a side that has been enforced to follow-on in all first class cricket?

    And (maybe related) what is the biggest difference between a team's first and second innings totals?

    buzz1989, Cambs, England

  • Comment number 17.

    My thirst for bizarre cricketing stats needs to be quenched so I have another question

    As not all cricketers play for the country where they are born I would like to know what is the highest individual test innings by a batsman playing against his country of birth?

    buzz1989, Cambs, England

  • Comment number 18.

    I realise it's not possible for two batsmen to be dismissed off the same ball, but say a tailender was batting with a frontline batsman and spooned a return catch to the bowler, who noticed the frontline batsman was out of his ground and ran him out. Could the fielding team appeal for the run out and not the catch? What if the tailender walked?

  • Comment number 19.

    My Father in law, John Jameson, I know to be the first person to be run out in each innings, in the same test match.
    He also recently recently informed me that he was actually run out in three successive test innings as he was also run out in his previous test innings.

    Has anyone else managed this feat of being run out in 3 successive test innings?

    Many Thanks,

    Paul Tregellas, Solihull.

  • Comment number 20.

    Am I right in thinking that the players with most runs and most wickets not to have played test cricket were both Glamorgan players? I know that Alan Jones is the one with most runs (his 1 'test' having been disqualified as it was against the Rest of the World). I have half a thought that the leading wicket taker not to have played test cricket was Don Shepherd?

  • Comment number 21.

    9- Re the Edrich Team

    I recently played a game at Ingham CC in Norfolk, in their pavilion is a picture of the Edrich XI. I believe Ingham was their local club

  • Comment number 22.

    Saintlymark and captainschoice. Thanks for your replies. I thought it might have been someone like Clive Rice who played County cricket and SA domestic but was never allowed to compete internationally. Let's see what TBW says...

  • Comment number 23.

    question 18 - No More Sweeping Puh-lease

    if the catch was a "fair" one then the batsman is out and the ball is dead, anything that happens after that is irrelevent (it doesn't matter that the appeal comes after the run out, the catch happened first)

    a more interesting situation, that has happened, is that both batsmen end up in the same crease and the run out is effected at the other end....the out batsman should be the last to have left (or entered) the crease, sometimes difficult to call


  • Comment number 24.

    question 16 - Buzz 1989

    the biggest win after following on was IND vs AUS in 2001 when they won by 171 runs

    this is also the 3rd highest difference between 1st and 2nd innings, the highest is PAK vs WI in 1958 when then scored 106 in their first knock and 657 for 8 dec in the 2nd, a difference of 551

  • Comment number 25.

    question 1 - Aaron Geordie

    Saintly Mark is correct:

    DJ Shepherd took 2218 wkts in 668 matches for GLAM without ever playing a test

    A Jones scored 36049 runs in 645 matches for GLAM, NATAL, N TRANS, and W.AUS also without playing a test

    (for the record CEB Rice "only" scored 26331 runs and took 930 wkts in his 482 1st class matches)

  • Comment number 26.

    question 19 - Trigpa

    i'm afraid i don't know if he has the most consecutive run outs but i do know that JHB Waite finished his career (of 50 matches) in 1965 with two consecutive run outs (albeit across 2 tests)

    not much help, i know, but interesting

  • Comment number 27.

    In re. Percy Jeeves; he is commemorated at the Thiepval memorial in France. His photograph has been used as part of the display in the visitors centre.

    I think he may also have been mentioned in a recent book on sportsmen in The Great War.

    Pip pip,

    Tim Godden Esq.

  • Comment number 28.

    I would like to know when the England Test Team was last made up of eleven players from eleven different counties. Is this a regular occurrence?

  • Comment number 29.

    I can think of several innings played by one-handed batsmen (due to injury) - Marshall, Cowdrey, Terry etc
    But who has scored the most runs in a test match batting one-handed?

  • Comment number 30.

    I would like to know the highest number of runs scored off a single ball.

    I was in the unfortunate position of being involved in eight runs from a single ball, in a friendly match I believe, one of your colleagues, Jonathan Ledger was involved in for Wealdstone Corinthians. The square was placed extremely close to one boundary, whilst the other boundary was about 3 times further away, and slightly uphill. The batsmen hit a hard shot which would normally have registered four runs, but in this case pulled up just short of the boundary. The ball had to be ferried in, by which time the batsmen had run four and were in the process of running a fifth, at which point I hurled the ball towards the wicketkeeper, unfortunately 5 feet over his head, and crossing the short boundary. Major hilarity all round!

  • Comment number 31.


    Re: The Aussies 1948

    If I'm not mistaken the same pitch also has the lowest first class score 33? essex v Windies in the 60's

  • Comment number 32.

    Question/Answer 14 point 4

    Tom, you say "Off a no-ball, a batsman can only be run out if he is in the act of running."

    This is not entirely correct, because Law 38 Run Out says that a batsman can be run out if at any time while the ball is in play he is out of his ground and the wicket is fairly put down by the opposing side. This shall apply whether or not a No ball has been called and whether or not a run is being attempted.

    However, Law 38 does clarify that if the wicket is broken by the wicket-keeper, without the intervention of another member of the fielding side, then a batsman cannot be "run out" from a No ball unless he is attempting a run.

  • Comment number 33.

    Declarations are tricky things to get right, so I would like to know what is the highest run rate in a victorious fourth innings of a test match where the third innings was declared. (does that make sense?)

    buzz1989, Cambs, England

  • Comment number 34.

    Hi Bill,

    In a half follow up to HawaiianExpress' question above, has anyone been given out by the bowler stumping the batsman on the non-strikers' end?
    I mean by the bowler seeing the batsman out of his crease trying to sneak a quick single at the end of the over, and hitting the bails off with his hand, or throwing it backwards and hitting the stumps during,after he bowls the ball?

  • Comment number 35.

    question 30 - Neil N 12

    theoretically a batsman could score any amount of runs off one ball, by the fielding team constantly throwing the ball past the 'keeper but never to the boundary, and the batsman just keep running, however....

    in first class cricket the record is 10 by SHWood of Derbyshire from Burnup, MCC in 1900, but this is a special case as it was under a trial law having the boundary marked with a net, allowing the batsman to score a boundary and still run...

    to be added to all this there are the "NOT lost" ball stories (it should be pointed out that if the ball is lost then the runs are limited to when the fielders call "lost ball", see law 20) which range from 63 runs to 286 runs when a ball is stuck in a tree, or in a tiger's paws, inside the boundary, but plainly visible and therefore not lost (the tree story would need that the two teams had not decided on a "penalty" boundary for hitting the tree beforehand) in all cases the stories end "until a fielder fetched a gun" and either shot the ball out of the tree or just shot the tiger.....these stories never have any evidence (which is not to say they are not true) and are not First Class matches

  • Comment number 36.

    Thanks Porto and Saintly. I'm going to modify my question to TBW.
    Which South African has scored the most 1st class runs and never played test cricket? And who has taken the most wickets and never played a test?

  • Comment number 37.

    # 19 /26

    Paul - I regret to inform you that 16 people have been run out in each innings of the same test, and five of them did it before your father-in-law John Jameson. The first was Charles Kelleway, for Australia vs South Africa in 1911. Two players - Mark Tayor and Ian Healy - have managed the feat twice.

    However, I haven't managed to find anyone other than Jameson who has been out run out in three successive innings. If there has been another occurrence, it would have to be three innings across three separate tests.


  • Comment number 38.


    Buzz, I'm not sure whether this helps you, but the highest run-rate for a successful chase after a declaration was when England scored 174/7 off 23.7 8-ball overs at Port Elizabeth in March 1949 - equivalent to 5.47 runs per 6-ball over.

    But, believe it or not, there have only been 10 instances of successful run chases in tests after a third innings declaration - so not a big sample to work with!


  • Comment number 39.

    Re: 30. I saw an eight once. Young quickie bowling with eight round bat and aging off-spinner at cover. Ball driven past said aging off-spinner who ambled after it. Other fielders (shamefully) watch. Young quickie eventually decides to run after it himself. Young quickie overtakes aging off-spinner and picks ball up inches from boundary. Batsmen turn for fourth. Young quickie angry. Young quicky launches ball at high velocity. Leg Gulley retreats to '45' to back up. Ball clears keeper comfortably. Ball bounces on hard ground. Ball clears backing up fielder. Ball crosses boundary at long leg. Ball lost in undergrowth. Much laughter. Even angrier young quickie.

  • Comment number 40.

    #29: I believe that in the '20s there was a score of 63 in a Test by a player batting one-handed. Maybe Bearders can confirm (or deny) this.

  • Comment number 41.

    question 31

    the lowest innings was 12 both in 1877 by Ox Uni vs MCC and Northants vs Glos 1907

    there are at least 25 other recorded innings of less than 20

    in 1963 at southend the home team scored 56 against the West Indies, with only one batsman on the home team making double that the match you were thinking of?

  • Comment number 42.

    question 34 - Middle and Off

    famously Vinoo Mankad did this (ran out a backing up non-striker) in a test against AUS in 1947/8

    this gained so much notoriety that the act of running out a non striker by the bowler became called "to Mankad" or "mankaded"

    see both the 4th paragraph here

    and the part titled "mankaded" here

  • Comment number 43.

    question 10 - me!

    i've just re-read that post and realised that i omitted Jahangir Khan, who is the point of the post!

    he was the father of Majid Khan (the PAK capt) and grandfather of Bazid.

    Jahangir Khan played for test cricket for IND

    so like the Headley's 3 generations of test cricketers and two countries

  • Comment number 44.

    No 19 (trigpa)

    Being run out in both innings of a tests has happened many times, but John Jameson rather surprisingly remains the only England player to have suffered the misfortune and it is still the only instance to have occurred in England. The complete list is:
    PA McAlister (10,15), A-E, Melbourne, 1907-08
    C Kelleway, (59,18), A-SA, Melbourne, 1910-11
    J Ryder (5,6), A-E, Sydney, 1920-21
    J Trim (0,0), WI-A, Melbourne, 1951-52
    JB Stollmeyer (0.28), WI-E, Bridgetown, 1953-54
    I Meckiff (4,2), A-WI, Brisbane, 1960-61
    JS Solomon (45,36), WI-A, Melbourne, 1960-61
    SN McGregor (3,11), NZ-SA, Dunedin, 1963-64
    CH Lloyd (15,57), WI-I, Kingston, 1970-71
    JA Jameson (82,16), E-I, The Oval, 1971
    Zaheer Abbas (51,25), P-A, Melbourne, 1972-73
    AR Border (7,1), A-P, Melbourne, 1981-82
    MA Taylor (3,36), A-WI, Adelaide, 1988-89
    Wasim Akram (4,0), P-WI, Faisalabad, 1990-91
    MA Taylor (5,4), A-E, Adelaide, 1990-91
    IA Healy (53,47), A-WI, Georgetown, 1990-91
    AH Jones (81,26), NZ-P, Christchurch, 1993-94
    J Angel (11,0), A-E, Perth, 1994-95
    AC Parore (25,2), NZ-SK, Hamilton, 1996-97
    WJ Cronje (21,24), SA-WI, Port Elizabeth, 1998-99
    IA Healy (6,10), A-WI, Kingston, 1998-99
    MS Atapattu (6,37), P-Z, Harare, 1999-00
    SP Fleming (22,55), NZ-Z, Wellington, 2000-01

    I am fairly certain that three in a row is unique but four other players succumbed three times in a series but not consecutive innings, namely:
    Shujauddin, P-I, 1954-55 in P
    NJ Contractor, I-WI, 1958-59 in I
    WM Lawry, A-E, 1964 in E
    CH Lloyd, WI-I, 1970-71 in WI

  • Comment number 45.

    Re 1,20,25

    Glamorgan does include take top spot in both lists, but Sussex is also up there too!

    Most runs but no tests:
    A Jones (Glamorgan, etc) 36049 @ 32.89
    JG Langridge (Sussex, etc) 34378 @ 37.44
    GL Berry (Leicestershire, etc) 30225 @ 30.25
    KG Suttle (Sussex, etc) 30225 @ 31.09
    Most wkts but no tests:
    DJ Shepherd (Glamorgan, etc) 2218 @ 21.32
    EG Dennett (Gloucestershire, etc) 2151 @ 19.82
    JA Newman (Hampshire, etc) 2054 @ 25.02
    GR Cox (Sussex, etc) 1843 @ 22.86

    Among South Africans, Ken McEwan just pips Clive Rice - 26628 runs to 26331.

  • Comment number 46.

    What is the difference between a run out and a stumping. In a recent match the batsman missed the ball and the keeper was standing back. The batsman went out of his crease and the keeper threw the ball and hit the stumps. Was this a run out or a stumping? The bowler wants to know if it is his wicket (stumping) or just a run out.

  • Comment number 47.

    @ 18 and 23.

    I believe that the fielding team could choose to take the run out dismissal instead of the catch. Certainly, once the caught player has been given out, the ball is dead and so no other dismissal can happen, BUT the caught player can only be given out if the fielding team appeal for it.

    Without an appeal, the umpire cannot give a player out, and so the ball would not be dead. The fielding team could then appeal for the run out. They simply have to appeal 'How's that for run out' to specify the mode of dismissal to make it clear that they are not appealing for the catch and there should be no problem.

  • Comment number 48.

    The test between England and Pakistan at The Oval in 2006 ended on the fourth day following Pakistan's refusal to continue play. Therefore, officially, the match ended in four days. At least, it did, then.

    With the setting aside of the (correct) umpire-determined result and the decision to count the match as a draw, is the official length of the match now five days with no play on the 5th or does it remain at four days? Whatever - the events after play actually ceased are unsatisfactory however viewed.

  • Comment number 49.

    46 - assuming the 'keeper put the wicket down without assistance from any other fielder, the question of stumped / run out depends on whether the batsmas was attempting a run. If he was attempting a run, then the dismissal is run out, if not, then the batsman was stumped.

    47 - the batsman can leave his wicket (ie walk) without an appeal, and he will be deemed to be out, even without an appeal. In any case, an appeal covers all forms of dismissal, and the Laws of the game clearly state that Caught takes precedence over everything but bowled.

    48 - a match scheduled for 5 days(or 4, or whatever number) is always listed as that, even if play finishes a day early for whatever reason.

  • Comment number 50.

    question 47 - bluesboy 776

    an appeal covers all forms of dismissal, the fielding side cannot chose which to appeal for

    it is for the umpire to decide if "any" batsman is out after "any" appeal, and in the case of the catch vs run out the timing of the appeal is irrelevant as the umpire judges the catch first

    this actually occured in a first class match where the bowler appealed and the batsman thinking it was for LBW said, quite clearly, "i hit it!", to which the umpire replied "thanks, OUT caught" - the batsman (and bowler incidently) not noticing the 'keeper had then cleanly taken the ball, and the umpire not being sure if the batsman had hit it!

    see point two of law 32 for more clarification on the run out,58,AR.html

  • Comment number 51.

    With all this talk of run outs I was wondering which batsman had been run out on 99 the most?

    buzz1989, Cambs, England

  • Comment number 52.

    Dear Bill

    I have been watching with interest the final county championship games and a rather bizarre situation occured to me.

    What if it was the final ball in the Sussex-Yorkshire game and results elsewhere had meant that although a draw would be enough to see Sussex safe, Yorkshire would be relegated by 1 point (or vice-versa).

    The match situation stands that the side needing the win are batting in the 4th innings, 9 wickets down and need 3 to win.

    The batsman gets a good strike on the ball and they have just completed the second run when the ball is returned to the wicketkeeper (hence the match is about to end as a draw).

    However a thought occurs to the batsman and he sets of out of his crease for the third run. The wicketkeeper, seeing this, whips off the bails and runs him out. This means the match ands as a tie and hence both sides get 7 points plus bonuses instead of 4 which is enough to see both teams safe.

    1) Is this situation possible according to the rules?

    2) Would the batsman be accused of failing to play in the spirit of the game? Even though he could argue that he felt forced to attempt the third, albeit suicidal, run as his side needed to win.

    3) Have there been any similar, controvertial situations where a match result has been forced due to the points situation in a table?

    Paul, Hull

  • Comment number 53.

    #52 - if a County championship match ends in a draw with the scores level, as would be the case in you scenario, the side batting gets 7 result points, rather than just 4 for the draw

  • Comment number 54.

    question 51 - Buzz 1989

    there have been 13 players run out on 99 in tests, none more than once:

    Bill Brown AUS 1948
    AR Morris AUS 1953
    JEF Beck NZ 1954
    RB Kanhai WI 1959
    ML Jaisimha IND 1960
    MJK Smith ENG 1961
    Mushtaq Mohammad PAK 1973
    G Gooch ENG1980
    DN Patel NZ 1992
    M Atherton ENG 1993
    J Kallis SA 2001
    DPMD Jayawardene SL 2001
    N McKenzie SA 2002

    and there have been 5 in ODIs, again none twice:

    GE Smith SA 2002
    AC Gilchrist AUS 2003
    ST Jayasurya SL 2003
    EJG Morgan IRE 2006
    SR Tendulkar IND 2007

  • Comment number 55.

    question 52 - Pey Pey

    point 3 - the one that immediately jumps to mind is in the B and H competition in 1979 when in the last "group" game Somerset would be assured of progressing if they maintained their run rate, a heavy loss would mean a run rate loss

    in order to achieve this the Somerset captain, Rose, declared his only innings (a limited over comp) closed on 1 after 1 over, the Worcs openers scoring the 2 required in 1 and a bit overs, thereby losing but maintaining his run rate

    all of this was in fact for nothing as the other team with a chance of progressing, Glam, had their game rained off and so didn't have a chance of winning

    a week later the TCCB (as it was then) disqualified Somerset from the competition

    it is now "illegal" to declare in a limited over game, although previously Gavaskar gave a good impression of a batsman waiting without scoring for a declaration in the ODI world cup against ENG in 1975

    a couple of other matches have had "odd", to say the least, bowling, or "iffy" declarations, in order to force a result

  • Comment number 56.

    #8 - Technically a match could be completed in 0.0 overs as a wide does not count as a ball faced or bowled.

    So all 10 batsmen are stumped off 10 consecutive wides at the start of each of the first three innings.

    But in the fourth innings one quick footed soul manages to get a toe behind the line before the 'keeper can whip the bails off, thus ensuring his side's victory upon the 11th wide being bowled.

  • Comment number 57.

    With all the talk of the end of the 'fab four' era, I was wondering how many bowlers have dismissed Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman in the same innings?

  • Comment number 58.

    Andrew Flintoff I believe scored his maiden test match century in New Zealand in fairly quick style. I am wondering how this innings compairs with other maiden test match 100's as far as number of balls and time.

    Warrington England

  • Comment number 59.

    Re 57

    Four times, the bowlers being:
    FA Rose (WI), Kingston, 1996-97
    SM Pollock (SA), Port Elizabeth, 2001-02
    PJ Wiseman (NZ), Ahmedabad, 2003-04
    M Muralitharan (SL), Delhi, 2005-06

  • Comment number 60.

    question 58 - BC Campbell 11

    Flintoff's maiden test hundred, in his 13th test, was 137 in 163 balls at a strike rate of 77.40 against NZ in 2002

    i can't compare that against everybody's maiden hundreds, but i can compare it against players who scored a 100 in their debut test:

    last year Matt Prior scored 126 not out in 128 balls giving a s/r of 98.44

    in 2004 DR Smith scored 105 in 105 balls, a s/r of 100

    both of which compare very favourably with flintoff, and as they are debut matches i imagine there must be faster maiden 100s just not in debut tests

    as a bench mark a couple of quick scorers:

    Pietersen's (whose runs come at a strike rate of 63.39) maiden 100, coming in his 5th test, was 158 in 187 balls, which gives a s/r of 71.34

    and MS Dhoni (s/r 63.02) managed in his 5th test 148 in 153 balls, giving a s/r of 96.37

    and finally the fastest scoring batsman is S Afridi (s/r 86.13) but his maiden ton in his 2nd test (141 in 191 balls) only came at a s/r of 69.72

  • Comment number 61.

    Can Anyone help with this please?

    I have always wondered when a bowler runs into bowl and the batsman at his end is walking about 5 yards down the crease, why the bowler doesnt stop and and turn round and stump the batsman who is wondering at his end out, is this allowed? has it ever been done?


    Brett (Netherton)

  • Comment number 62.

    question 61 - Wolves FC no.1 fan

    look up .... post 42

    (the answers are yes and yes by the way)

  • Comment number 63.

    re. 52 I have another interesting "last ball of the match" scenario, where the batting side has a very strong interest in achieving a draw rather than a defeat . The 9th wicket falls on the penultimate ball of the last over, and a previous batsman had retired hurt.
    Famously Colin Cowdrey went out to bat with a broken arm in plaster... but where is the logical conclusion? If the player was severely injured, or (if you will excuse my bad taste) dead - could he be carried to the wicket and propped up, in the hope that the bowler cannot bowl the final ball straight, thereby achieving the draw?
    Law 2(9) states that a batsman who previously retired injured is "entitled" to resume his innings at the fall of another wicket, it does not stipulate whether he has to be able to reach the wicket unaided, or indeed able to stand up.

  • Comment number 64.

    I should have mentioned that, if a retired hurt batsman does not resume his innings, the side is effectively All Out and in that scenario would lose the match. On the last match of the season that could mean the championship changing hands.

  • Comment number 65.

    Dear Bill,

    Playing with 10 men and blocking out for a draw we lost our 8th wicket at the start of the final over. Our number 10 (who was actually our final batsman) came to the crease and managed to survive the over; but just in case we had lost a wicket on the final ball (and thereby the match) the captain inserted the name of his six-week-old son (present at the match but asleep in his pram) in the scorebook as our 11th batsman. Had we lost a wicket on the last ball, would the 'availability' of a suitably dressed infant have been sufficient to prevent the loss of the match? And, if so, would he have been the youngest ever person to have played a match-saving innings?

    Dave Weston, Walton-on-Thames

  • Comment number 66.

    The current match between Leicestershire and Derbyshire is a close run contest - Derbyshire scoring 194 and 203, Leicestershire got 208 in their first innings and so need 189 to win. Should Leicestershire chase successfully, the difference in the innings totals will be no more than 25, possibly only 20. Has there ever been an occasion where the first innings scores of both teams and the second innings score of the team that batted first were the same, or anything close to this?

  • Comment number 67.

    question 66 - Jimmy Ton

    in the 4th test between AUS and ENG in 1982 ENG scored 284 in their first innings, slightly bettered by AUS 287, the ENG second innings was 294 which won them the match as AUS were all out for 288

    all the 4 innings were all out, and all were within 10 of each other, and the result was a win by 3 runs (the 3rd closest by runs) so a fraction closer than the possible LEIC vs DERBY match

  • Comment number 68.

    Re 47,49,50. Does the precedence rule not just apply to the one batsman who may have been out several ways from the same ball? i.e. if a ball was bowled that hit a batsman plumb on the pad, hit his bat, the stumps, went through clean to the keeper who caught it and stumped him, the precedence rules tell us that the batsman is out bowled, rather than caught, lbw, or stumped. So this does not apply in the case in question - it merely tells us what is to be recorded in the scorebook rather than who is out.

    I think the answer becomes clear when you take the example to its margin. Say I am captain and I am convinced that the return catch to the bowler was a bump ball: even if the umpire disagrees, he has no place to give it out caught if I revoke the appeal for caught. However I see that the non-striker was clearly run out so I allow that appeal to stand and the non-striker is out.

    The timing of the 'dismissals' is also irrelevant. The batsman isn't out if there is no appeal so the ball doesn't go dead when the catch is taken. Additionally if timing were a factor, then in the example I gave at the start of my comment the batsman would be out lbw. But the laws tell us he is not out lbw, he is out bowled.

    If the batsman on strike 'walks' believing he is caught, it behoves the umpire to recall him upon the revoking of the appeal against him (see Batsman leaving his wicket under a misapprehension). If he still leaves the pitch, it appears to me he has clearly retired not hurt (equivalent to out). Which is surely deemed to be after the ball is dead.

    I believe the only way it could be deemed that the catch must take precedence is if the umpire gives the catch out and clearly calls dead ball for that reason before the run out, and that is the reason the non-striker did not return to his crease.

    Any more comments or do we need to refer to the wise Bearded Wonder?

  • Comment number 69.

    I've just read law 32(2) which I should have done before.

    Yes I see now that the catch precedence is different from the bowled precedence.

    So I guess it then turns on questions of fair play and conscience: if it is an obviously clean catch, it is out caught and any argument to the contrary is sharp practice; but if the catch is in any genuine doubt, it must surely be run out - the umpires are there to be referred to but how can the captain be the guardian of fair play if he cannot follow his conscience?

    I'm just glad that at my club the catch would probably have been dropped anyway...

  • Comment number 70.

    It's possible to have a completed game with no deliveries at all made.

    All batsmen in the first three innings are run out backing up at the non-striker's end.

    Then, in the fourth innings, the opening bat is twice distracted or obstructed by a fielder while awaiting his first ball. The umpire calls two dead balls before each undelivered ball, and the second time (under Law 42.4) he awards five penalty runs to the batting side, who win the game.

    Perhaps a bit unlikely, I suppose.

  • Comment number 71.

    Re 63 - 65 and the last ball of the match scenario: assume the side batting last are 8 wickets down, out of range of a win, and have an injured batsman in hospital who clearly cannot resume his innings. If the ninth wicket falls to a no-ball or wide, the batting side have lost. If it falls to a legitimate delivery, is the match drawn? The batting side have one wicket left, even though the "last man" could not possibly come to the wicket.

  • Comment number 72.

    Re: 47, 49, 68, 69!!

    I think #49 nailed it when he said "In any case, an appeal covers all forms of dismissal" . I think mentioning the 'precedence' rule has just confused things.

    When I appeal I don't specify "How'zat...caught", "How'zat...ran out".

    If I make an appeal it is up to the umpire to decide if a dismissal has taken place at any point in play - not to decide which mode of dismissal I am appealing for.

    If he judges that the catch was good then there's no more to consider as the ball became dead at that instant.

    It doesn't matter if the appeal came after more action had taken place (i.e. the 'run-out' of the non-striker).

  • Comment number 73.

    Re 71 - this question's been answered before. The umpire's can't assume (and may not know) whether an injured batsman is available to come to the crease or not - all that matters is that as the last ball of the match has been bowled, and the batting side is not all out, the result is a draw.

  • Comment number 74.

    RE #67

    This is a very interesting match not just because of the very close run totals

    Border and Thomson declined over 20 singles and then failed to reach their target and on each of the first three days the close of play co-incided with the end of an innings.

    I think a good question for Bill would be which are the most interesting test matches from a scorer's point of view (ie record and co-incidence-filled)?


  • Comment number 75.

    Re: 65

    The laws of cricket specify that the captain of each team must nominate his players in writing to one of the umpires before the toss.

    Therefore, unless your captain's 6 week old son was a nominated player before the toss, I am afraid his plan would not have worked.

  • Comment number 76.

    Marlow_Plucky, I've probably played around 1500 cricket matches in my time, and in only a small handful of these have the names of the players ever been establised prior to the toss of the coin.

    Your rationale of not allowing players to bat who are not on the list, whilst accurate according to the laws, is not practical under such circumstances.

  • Comment number 77.

    In football a 'perfect hat-trick' is one scored with the right foot, one with the left and a header. I have decided that cricket's equivalent of the 'perfect' hat-trick is an all-bowled one. Firstly, do you agree, and secondly has anyone ever achieved the "Meteor Hat-trick" in a test match?
    Julian Meteor, Plymouth

  • Comment number 78.

    question 77 - Julian Meteor

    surely a "perfect" hat-trick, like football, should include one dismissal of each of the "big" 3, bwl, ct and lbw

    i say this as there have been 0 cases (out of 37 test hat-tricks) of all bowled and only one case of all 3 in one type of dismissal (if we count ct and bwl as different from ct)

    in 2000 vs WI McGrath took a hat-trick where all the victims were caught, albeit by different fielders

    but there are 2 cases of one each, ct, bwl and lbw

    Briggs ENG vs AUS 1892

    Pathan IND vs PAK 2006

  • Comment number 79.

    Thanks PortoIan. However, I STILL think that an all-bowled hat-trick would be a better (not to MENTION) purer feat.
    I am SURE Bearders will agree and I cannot WAIT for him to settle this BITTER argument.
    Julian Meteor, Plymouth

  • Comment number 80.

    Hello Bill,
    What is the longest time, in terms of balls faced, for an opening partnership to get off the mark (including extra's)?
    Daniel Grey

  • Comment number 81.

    Technically, a test match can end with no balls being bowled. A team can be bowled out for 10 without technically facing a ball if every batsman is stumped/run out off a wide.
    Second innings the same but say they get 25 wides and 10 batsmen stuped/run out off 10 of them, they also have technically not faced any balls.
    3rd innings team 0 all out, all stumped/run out off wides, team batting 2nd wins by an innings and 5 runs and no balls have been bowled in the match.

  • Comment number 82.

    3rd innings was meant to be 10 all out on my last comment

  • Comment number 83.

    Dear Bill

    How many times has the same county won both the County Championship and the Second XI Championship in the same season?

    Ray Grace

  • Comment number 84.

    When a batsman defends his wicket with his bat after he has played/padded the ball to prevent the ball hitting the stumps, what would happen if a close fielder caught the ball on the full?

    Would he be given out even if on his first 'hit' at the ball it had bounced on the pitch?



  • Comment number 85.

    question 84 - dave62

    he is out if the ball has not hit the ground after the first "strike" but not out if the ball bounces after the first hit

    see point 3 of law 32 - caught

    [a fair catch is one when...]

    (d) a fielder catches the ball after it has been lawfully struck more than once by the striker, but only if the ball has not touched the ground since first being struck.

  • Comment number 86.

    Is there any record for the run out from the longest distance?

  • Comment number 87.


    Please excuse me for recounting a personal recollection of a team mate of mine, Alastaire Fraser, younger brother of Angus, who had an enormous arm capable of propelling the ball over 140 yards.

    We were playing in Hertfordshire, can't quite remember where, but the pitch was shaped like an isocoles triangle with the result that the mid-wicket boundary was over 100 yards.

    A batsman struck the ball through leg side and Alastaire gave chase, picking the ball up near to the boundary as the batsmen turned for their third.

    Clearly the batsmen had no idea just how good Alastaire's arm was and started the third at a gentle trot. The throw came in like an exocet missile - a flat one from 100 yards. The running batsman's face was a picture. He tried to accellerate; but the ball came in about six inches over the top of the stumps, straight into the gloves of the keeper who completed the run-out. He was not much more than half way through the 22 yards at this point and never even got to the crease but pulled up short, turned around and trudged back to the pavillion muttering to himself.

  • Comment number 88.


    You forgot to answer my question.
    I NEED to know the answer.

    Julian Meteor, Plymouth

  • Comment number 89.

    Am I correct in thinking Jason Gillespie has not played a test since his 201* against Bangladesh?

    If so are there any other instances of batsmen signing off from test cricket with a double hundred?

  • Comment number 90.

    question 89 - Arthiur Fox Ache

    you are indeed correct that Gillespie scored a double ton (201 not out) in his last test, but he is not alone in this

    there have been 3 other cases of a double in the players last test

    PA da Silva SL scored 206 vs BANG in 2002
    SM Nurse WI scored 258 vs NZ in 1969
    WH Ponsford scored AUS 266 vs ENG 1934

    but beating all of these is the only triple hundred in a last test

    A Sandham ENG managed 325 vs WI in 1930

    this was Sandham's 14th test and the first triple in test history, all of this aged 40

  • Comment number 91.

    Hi Bill,

    I was wondering if it was possible for a batsman to have an incalcuable strike rate. Say the batsman’s first ball was a no-ball, which which he scored 1 or 3 runs. Then, at the non-strikers end, the same batsman gets run out (or impedes the fielders), hence having runs to his name but not having faced at ball. Would the strike rate for this batman be incalcuable (?) and has it actually ever happened that a batsman has scored runs without facing a legitimate ball??

    Tim, Bath

  • Comment number 92.

    Any news on my question?
    Julian Meteor, Plymouth

  • Comment number 93.

    #91 - a no-ball counts as a ball faced by the batsman, as it is an opportunity to score.

  • Comment number 94.

    What does the term Heavy Ball mean and how do slow and quick bowlers deliver it?

  • Comment number 95.


    Julian Meteor, Plymouth

  • Comment number 96.

    question 95 - Julian Meteor

    in a test, nobody has achieved an all bowled hat-trick

    look up to post 78 above

    repeating your question will not get it answered more quickly (if at all)

    Bill Frindall only answers some questions WHEN the blog is complete (whenever he decides that is) not in the middle of a blog

  • Comment number 97.

    Which player has scored the most runs in test matches but has never been out?

  • Comment number 98.


    Julian Meteor, Plymouth

  • Comment number 99.

    question 97 - Buzz 1989

    there are 60 odd players who have batted but never been dismissed in tests (there have also been around 20 players who have played a test, or 2, but never batted)

    the highest individual innings was 54* by SG Law, but this was the only time he batted in tests so the highest aggregate goes to:

    Afaq Hussain of PAK who batted 4 times in two matches (vs ENG in 1961 and vs AUS in 64) scoring 10*, 35*, 8* and 13* giving him a total of 66

    4 innings appears to be the highest, although T Yohannann of IND managed this across 3 matches, but never scoring double figures

  • Comment number 100.

    I have recently noticed the term "free hit" in cricket commentary. Is this the same as a no-ball? If not what is it?
    Aaron, Newcastle-upon-Tyne


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