Ask Bearders #185
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. I've been doing my own research into this but have hit a bit of a brick wall. I'm trying to compile a list of players who have taken a Test wicket, made a Test stumping and scored a Test hundred, obviously not necessarily in the same match. So far, I have Mark Boucher, A.B. de Villiers and Javed Miandad, but I'd expect to find a couple more. Could you help at all on this?
Bearders' Answer: Intriguingly no Australian and only one Englishman has qualified for this eclectic club which has a dozen members: England - J.M.Parks (2 hundreds, 1 wicket, 11 stumpings); South Africa - M.V.Boucher (5, 1, 2), A.B.de Villiers (7, 2, 1); West Indies - R.J.Christiani (1, 3, 2), C.L.Walcott (15, 11, 11); New Zealand - J.R.Reid (6, 85, 1); India - S.M.H.Kirmani (2, 1, 38), V.L.Manjrekar (7, 1, 2); Pakistan - Aamer Malik (2, 1, 1), Javed Miandad (23, 17, 1), Taslim Arif (1, 1, 3); Zimbabwe - Tatenda Taibu (1, 1, 4). Clyde Walcott is alone in reaching double figures in all three categories.
Q. Has anybody apart from Andrew Strauss been on the losing side despite scoring a century in both innings of a Test match?
Bearders' Answer: Strauss is the eighth batsman to join this list:
H.Sutcliffe 176 127 E v A Melbourne Jan 1925
G.A.Headley 106 107 WI v E Lord's Jun 1939
V.S.Hazare 116 145 I v A Adelaide Jan 1948
C.L.Walcott 155 110 WI v A Kingston Jun 1955
S.M.Gavaskar 111 137 I v P Karachi Nov 1978
A.Flower 142 199* Z v SA Harare Sep 2001
B.C.Lara 221 130 WI v SL Colombo Nov 2001
A.J.Strauss 123 108 E v I Madras Dec 2008
Q. In Tests, what is the highest first innings total posted by a team batting first, only to go on to lose the match?
Bearders' Answer: Australia's 586 all out at Sydney in December 1894 remains the highest losing total for the opening innings of a Test match. England replied with 325 and, following on, scored 437 before the left-arm spin of Bobby Peel (6-67) and Johnny Briggs (3-25) snatched victory by ten runs on a 'sticky' pitch. The first Test to involve a sixth playing day, it was also the first to be won by a team following on. Spare a thought for George Giffen, Australia's champion all-rounder, who contributed 202 runs and eight wickets to a losing cause.
Q. Greetings from the US where we have one, real turf wicket! I was wondering (surprisingly hard to find) how many sides have won a Test series in Australia. If you subtract West Indies (1970-2000) and England (1877-1900), it must be only a handful?
Bearders' Answer: In fact it is two handfuls! Discounting the seasons you list, England have won eight series in Australia (1903-04, 1911-12, 1928-29, 1932-33, 1954-55, 1970-71, 1978-79, 1986-87), New Zealand one (1985-86) and now South Africa one (2008-09).
Presumably your turf wicket is on the Woodley Complex in Los Angeles where I had the privilege of playing for the MCC in 1991. Only last week I received an invitation from the Corinthians Cricket Club to speak at their 75th Anniversary Dinner in October and play for the Occasionals at Woodley the following day. I will look out for you at Cow Corner!
Q. I have a question about Greek Cricketers. Now I know that ex-Aussie fast bowler Jason Gillespie is half Greek and Hampshire's South African keeper, Nic Pothas, is also of Greek descent - but are these the only "Greeks" to have played international cricket? By the way, we have a new ground in Athens which, fingers crossed, will herald the rise of the Minotaurs on the world cricket scene.
Bearders' Answer: No Test cricketer was actually born in Greece. Zenophon Constantine Balaskas, a thickset leg-spinner and a lower-order batsman skilled enough to score two first-class double centuries, had Greek parents. Born in Johannesburg in 1910 and known as 'Bally' or 'Saxophone', he appeared for no fewer than five first-class provincial teams as well as in nine Tests. Notably, at Lord's in 1935, he contributed nine wickets to South Africa's first victory in England.
One Test cricketer, L.J. (Leonard) Moon, died in Greece. His 96 first-class matches, mainly for Cambridge University and Middlesex, included four Tests for England in South Africa in 1905-06. An aggressive opening batsman who scored 138 against the 1899 Australians, he could also keep wicket. As a 2nd Lieutenant with the Devon Regiment during the First World War, he died of wounds near Karasouli, Salonica, in 1916.
Congratulations on acquiring your new ground in Athens. As Patron of their Cricket Board, I will advise Germany to tour there.
Q. How many times has a Test side scored 400+ runs and lost all 10 wickets in one day? I think it happened in 2005 between England and Australia. sleepingkerrps
Bearders' Answer: Your instance was in that epic match at Edgbaston when Ricky Ponting ignored the loss of key bowler Glenn McGrath through a freak training accident shortly before the start, put England in and bowled them out for 407 in 79.2 overs just before stumps. England eventually scraped to victory by two runs - the narrowest runs margin in Ashes Tests.
I have found five other instances (match day in brackets):-
South Africa 451 (2nd) v New Zealand Christchurch 1931-32
Australia 450 (1st) v South Africa Johannesburg 1921-22
Australia 448 (1st) v South Africa Manchester 1912
England 428 (1st) v South Africa Lord's 1907
Australia 407 (1st) v England Leeds 1921
Q. I notice that you often refer to the method or location of death of cricketers. Is this an interest? What is the most unusual method of death for a first-class cricketer?
Bearders' Answer: When I compiled my Index of Test Cricketers for 'The Wisden Book of Test Cricket' series, I included their places of birth and, where appropriate, death. In researching my 'England Test Cricketers' I found that fate had dealt a surprising number with bizarre and unusual ends. My favourites include: crushed by a crane loading sugar aboard the SS Muriel (Charlie Absolom); in a mud hut after falling off a cart and being interred in a coffin made from whisky cases (Monty Bowden); as he was putting on his boots to go to work (Johnny Tyldesley); from pneumonia contracted while watching Yorkshire play at Sheffield (George Ulyett); from septicaemia after falling on a dance floor ('Dodger' Whysall).
Q. I think England win more Tests when Hoggard plays and lose more Tests when Anderson plays. How many of Hoggard's 67 Tests have England won? How many of Anderson's 31 Tests have England lost?
Bearders' Answer: Only because Matthew Hoggard has played more than double the number of Tests enjoyed by James Anderson your statement is basically correct! Expressed as a percentage the difference is a mere 1.11%. England have won 31 (46.27%), lost 18 and drawn 18 of Hoggard's 67 Tests. Anderson's 31 appearances have resulted in 14 wins (45.16%), 11 defeats and six draws. Their nine joint appearances began with a sequence of six wins but ended with three defeats.
Q. Bangladesh recently scored 413 in the fourth innings in their attempt to score 521 to beat Sri Lanka. Aside from the fact that this shows they can make a big score, what is the highest ever fourth innings score in Test and first-class cricket?
Bearders' Answer: The record fourth innings score in all first-class matches is the 654-5 amassed by England in the timeless Test at Durban in March 1939. Beginning on the day I was born, it was abandoned as a draw 11 days later (when rain ended play at tea with England just 42 runs short of victory), because the tourists had to begin a two-day train journey to catch their ship in Cape Town.
Q. During a recent Australia v South Africa Test match I noticed that four leg-byes were scored in an over yet no other runs. When they showed the bowling stats later, that over was considered a maiden. Why don't leg-byes count towards a bowler's stats?
Bearders' Answer: Simply because neither byes nor leg-byes result from bowling errors whereas no-balls and wides do. Not until 1983-84 were penalties and runs scored off no-balls and wides debited to a bowler's analysis. Before that season, maiden overs could include no-balls and wides.
Q. Recently you have been referring to ODI's as "internationals", where you used to call them LOI's. Is there any reason for this? Do you include 20-20 games in this classification?
Bearders' Answer: I have always referred to them by the correct nomenclature of Limited-Overs Internationals. That was their original title and it was the only one used when, in the mid-Eighties, the then ICC Secretary Jack Bailey commissioned me to compile a list of all such internationals commencing with their accidental conception at Melbourne in January 1971. They are not 'One-Day Internationals' because a substantial number have involved more than a single day's play. In these blogs I use the term 'internationals' in deference to BBC Online's instruction to avoid the abbreviation 'LOI'. Twenty-over matches are Very Limited-Overs Internationals. Their statistics are a separate entity and do not qualify for inclusion in List A records
Q. Which England players have scored a hundred in both innings of a Test on tour apart from Strauss and Compton in Adelaide in 1947?
Paul Hawkins (Dubai)
Bearders' Answer: Thank you for your question, 'Hawkeye'. I hope to see you when I am over there with the Lord's Taverners later this week.
Five others have scored hundreds in both innings for England overseas: C.A.G. 'Jack' Russell (Durban 1922-23); Herbert Sutcliffe (Melbourne 1924-25); Wally Hammond (Adelaide 1928-29); Eddie Paynter (Johannesburg 1938-39); and Alec Stewart (Bridgetown 1993-94).