March 14, 2017

Four six-fors in a Test, and the highest last-wicket stand in ODIs

Also: who missed the largest number of Tests over the course of a career?
51

Ashwin: on track to be the fastest to 300 © AFP

Four bowlers took six-fors in the Bengaluru Test. Is it true that this was a record? asked Christopher Jackson from Australia
Each innings of the recent match in Bengaluru featured a six-for by a different bowler, which had never happened before in a Test match. Nathan Lyon started with 8 for 50 for Australia, Ravindra Jadeja replied with 6 for 63 for India, Josh Hazlewood added 6 for 67, and R Ashwin wrapped things up with 6 for 41. There had been two previous instances of four six-fors in the same Test, but not by four different bowlers: at The Oval in 1896, Hugh Trumble took 6 for 59 and 6 for 30 for Australia, while Jack Hearne took 6 for 41 and Bobby Peel 6 for 23 for England; then in Melbourne in 1901-02, Sydney Barnes took 6 for 42 and 7 for 121 for England, and Monty Noble took 7 for 17 and 6 for 60 for Australia. There are 32 other Tests which featured four separate five-fors - and one that had five: in the solitary Test played at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, in 1902, Noble took 6 for 51 and 5 for 52 and Jack Saunders 5 for 50 for Australia, while Barnes collected 6 for 49 and Wilfred Rhodes 5 for 63 for England. At The Oval in 1997, three different bowlers - Glenn McGrath, Phil Tufnell and Michael Kasprowicz - uniquely took seven wickets in an innings.

R Ashwin has 269 wickets after 47 Tests. What's the record for a player's first 50 matches? asked L Balakrishnan from India
Ashwin could take no wickets at all in his next three matches and still be top of this list: the most wickets by anyone after their first 50 Tests is Dennis Lillee's 262, just ahead of Dale Steyn with 260. Allan Donald took 251, and Muttiah Muralitharan 245. The next milestone for Ashwin to aim for is being the fastest to 300 wickets in terms of Tests: Lillee did it in 56 matches, Muralitharan in 58, and Steyn, Richard Hadlee and Malcolm Marshall in 61. Donald and Shane Warne each needed 63 Tests to reach 300. The most wickets after 60 Tests is Lillee's 321, and then Muralitharan takes over: he had 382 after 70 matches (ahead of Steyn 356, Hadlee and Lillee 355), 450 after 80 (Hadlee 403, Steyn 402), 527 after 90 (Anil Kumble 434, Hadlee 431 in 86 matches), and 593 after 100 Tests (Kumble 485, Glenn McGrath 451, Shane Warne 444).

During a 27-year Test career, Brian Close was more out of the side than in it © Getty Images

Dean Elgar just missed twin centuries at Dunedin. Has anyone done this for South Africa in a Test? asked Keith Harrison from South Africa
Dean Elgar followed 140 in the first innings in Dunedin with 89 in the second. Had he managed 11 more runs second time round he would have become the sixth man to score two centuries in the same Test for South Africa, following Alan Melville and Bruce Mitchell (both in England in 1947), Gary Kirsten (against India in Kolkata in 1996-97), Jacques Kallis (who did it twice - against Pakistan in Karachi in 2007-08, and v India in Cape Town in 2010-11), and Hashim Amla (v India in Kolkata in 2009-10).

England played 170 Tests between Gareth Batty's debut and his (presumably) final match last winter. Was this a record? asked Kevin Burns from England
Gareth Batty played in only nine of England's 170 Tests between his debut, against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2003-04, and his latest cap, against India in Mohali in November 2016. It's a difficult one to check, but I think the only player to miss more Tests during his career than Batty's 161 is Brian Close: England played 244 Tests between Close's debut in 1949 and his swansong in 1976, and he played in only 22 of them - he therefore missed 222 matches that he might have played in. Pat Pocock, another Surrey offspinner, missed 145 of the 170 Tests during his Test career, which stretched from 1967-68 to 1984-85, while Fred Titmus missed 132 of England's 185 Tests between 1955 and 1974-75. The first non-Englishman is Brad Hogg: Australia played 136 Tests between his debut in 1996-97 and his last appearance in 2007-08, and he played in only seven of them. Next is someone who may yet climb the list: Parthiv Patel has played only 23 of India's 150 Test matches since his debut in 2002 and his recall at the end of last year.

Nine down? Take it home, Viv © PA Photos

What is the highest last-wicket partnership in ODIs? asked Nilanjan Banerjee from India
The highest tenth-wicket stand in one-day internationals involved a famous innings quite a while ago: at Old Trafford in 1984, West Indies were in trouble at 166 for 9 against England when Michael Holding walked out to join Viv Richards. But Viv seemed unconcerned, and blasted his way to 189 not out - the highest ODI score at the time - and put on 106 with Holding, who managed 12 not out. Said Wisden: "In 14 overs they added 106, Richards's share being 93. He batted with daring and immense power, giving only one technical chance, a leg-side stumping off Miller when he was 44." It proved more than enough: England were shot out for 168. The only other century stand for the last wicket in ODIs was 103, by Mohammad Amir and Saeed Ajmal against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi in 2009-10, a partnership which nearly stole victory after Pakistan had been 101 for 9, chasing 212.

Is it true that the same man was involved in Test cricket's first obstructing the field and handled the ball dismissals? asked Jeremy Attenborough from Scotland
Remarkably, it is true: the one and only obstructing the field dismissal in Tests happened at The Oval in 1951, when the England opener Len Hutton tried to flick away a ball which had run up his arm after he gloved a lifter from Athol Rowan. Although Hutton didn't make any further contact, the South Africans appealed, as they believed he had prevented their wicketkeeper from taking a catch - and Hutton was given out. The wicketkeeper concerned was Russell Endean, who was making his Test debut. A few years later, in 1956-57, Endean was batting in Cape Town when a ball from Jim Laker hit his pad and ballooned up in the air. As Wisden reported: "The ball rose high and might well have fallen on to the stumps had not Endean thrown up a hand and diverted it. On appeal the umpire had no option but to give him out." Some wondered whether Endean's background in hockey - he had also represented South Africa in that - might have led to this temporary brain-fade. There have been six further handled-ball dismissals in Tests, but it seems unlikely there will be any more, as this method of dismissal is being removed from the Laws shortly (handling the ball twice will still be illegal, but anyone doing it will be given out obstructing the field instead).

Post your questions in the comments below

Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan8832438734 on March 23, 2017, 8:05 GMT

    Virat Kohli and Angelo Mathews both posted the same ODI scores in a same ODI as captains(139*) each.Mathews scored 139 runs in a quick time when compared to Kohli.Is this the only instance that two captains got identical ODI scores in a single ODI?

  • MartinBriggs on March 21, 2017, 13:50 GMT

    @CRICFAN4080372922 - The most wickets taken bowled by one bowler in a Test innings is 8 by Johnny Briggs (no relation to me I don't think) for England v South Africa at Cape Town in 1888-89. The next best best is 7 on two occasions, both by George Lohmann...

  • cricfan81381852 on March 20, 2017, 7:05 GMT

    I note that there are 6 New South Wales cricketers in the team playing in the 3rd test in India. Overall,what percentage of Australia's test cricketers have played for NSW? How does this compare with provinces/counties/ states or (in the case of W.I) countries with other test playing nations?

  • cricfan4080372922 on March 20, 2017, 5:51 GMT

    What is the record for the most "out bowled" wickets for one bowler in an innings?

  • SukiSon on March 20, 2017, 4:55 GMT

    Hi Steven, Steven O'Keefe sent down 17 maidens from his 77 overs during India's first innings of the ongoing test match against Australia.

    Which got me curious as to who holds the record for the most maidens bowled in Tests, ODIs and T20s, respectively. Also, from the list of bowlers with the most maidens bowled, who has the lowest strike rate?

  • MartinBriggs on March 19, 2017, 23:10 GMT

    @CARIBBEANPOWER - It's extremely unlikely that 71 will be the lowest score, with which a side gained a first innings lead, bearing in mind the low scores that were prevalent in the 19th century. There is also an enormous list of innings with six ducks in them, including two this winter (one even in the West Indies) and six last winter. There have been 6 cases of 8 ducks and 33 instances of 7 ducks in a first-class innings.

  •   hgoyal on March 19, 2017, 16:55 GMT

    How many Tests has Ravindra Jadeja taken more wickets in, than R Ashwin when playing together?

  • CaribbeanPower on March 19, 2017, 16:25 GMT

    In the current West Indies Regional First Class competition going on, Leeward Islands just got bowled out for 71 but still gained a lead of 17 by bowling out Jamaica for 54. Is that the lowest ever score to gain a lead from? Also, in Leewards' innings, 6 batsmen failed to score. Is that a record?

  • cricfan2248860934 on March 18, 2017, 11:28 GMT

    This home season Cheteshwar Pujara scored four centuries at as many venues making their Test debut (Indore, Rajkot, Vizag

  • Kunal.thedevil on March 17, 2017, 11:04 GMT

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/211579.html In the above mentioned match, all 10 wickets in the BAN innings were taken between 2 bowlers (Collingwood & Tremlett). How often has that happened in ODIs & Tests?

  • No featured comments at the moment.