April 4, 2017

Two six-fors in an ODI, and follow-on heroics

And who managed to get a World Cup winner's medal without ever having played an international match?
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Times two: Rashid Khan's six-for against Ireland recently made it the second such bowling performance in the match © Peter Della Penna/ESPNcricinfo Ltd

KL Rahul made six fifties - but no hundreds - in the series against Australia. Was this a record? asked Praful Mehra from India
Against Australia in the series which has just ended, KL Rahul became only the fifth batsman to make six scores between 50 and 99 in the same Test series without converting any into a century. The first to do it was the West Indian opener Conrad Hunte, in the five-match home series against Australia in 1964-65. He was followed by Allan Border in 1989, and Mike Atherton in 1993, both in six-Test Ashes series in England. The most recent addition to the list before Rahul - and the only other man to achieve it in a four-match series - was the Australian opener Chris Rogers, in the last Border-Gavaskar Trophy battle, in Australia in 2014-15. If you include centuries, there have been 26 further cases of a batsman reaching 50 on six occasions during a Test series, and nine cases of seven - the most meritorious probably by England's Patsy Hendren, who made two hundreds (including a double) and five fifties* from eight innings in the series in the West Indies in 1929-30 (his other innings was an unbeaten 36), and Sunil Gavaskar, whose debut series for India in the West Indies in 1970-71 saw him pass 50 in seven of his eight innings, with four centuries, one of them also a double (his only failure being a knock of 1).

Two bowlers took six-fors in a recent match between Afghanistan and Ireland. How many times has this happened in ODIs? asked Connor O'Brien from Ireland
Those hauls by Paul Stirling (who took 6 for 55) and 18-year-old Rashid Khan (6 for 43) in the second match of the recent series between Ireland and Afghanistan in Greater Noida marked the first time in 3851 one-day internationals that two bowlers had taken six wickets in the same match. There are only ten other cases of two five-fors, including one instance by two bowlers on the same side - Greg Chappell (5 for 20) and Gary Cosier (5 for 18) for Australia against England at Edgbaston in 1977.

Hanif Mohammad: no problem a triple-century can't solve © PA Photos

Was VVS Laxman's amazing 281 at Eden Gardens the highest individual score in a follow-on? asked Varun Singh from India
VVS Laxman's memorable 281 against Australia in Kolkata in 2000-01 was indeed a remarkable innings - but it wasn't quite the Test record for a follow-on. That is still held by Hanif Mohammad, with his match-saving 337 for Pakistan against West Indies in Bridgetown in 1957-58. There have been five other double-centuries in follow-ons: 275 by Gary Kirsten for South Africa against England in Durban in 1999-2000, 237 by Salim Malik for Pakistan against Australia in Rawalpindi in 1994-95, 232 not out by Andy Flower for Zimbabwe against India in Nagpur in 2000-01, 218 by Darren Bravo for West Indies against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2013-14, and 200 by Dilip Sardesai for India against New Zealand in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1964-65.

How often has a team been bowled out for the same score in both innings of a Test? asked Michael Broughton from England
There have been eight Tests in which one side returned identical all-out totals. The highest score involved is a pair of 306s, by Sri Lanka against South Africa in Cape Town in 1997-98, although India did make 407 and 407 for 9 declared against Pakistan in Kolkata in 2004-05. Of the other doubles, the highest two were by New Zealand, who made 279 twice against India in Hamilton in 2008-09, and twin 208s v West Indies in Wellington in 1955-56. Then come the following repeats: 201 twice by India against Australia in Sydney in 1980-81, 172 and 172 by New Zealand against South Africa in Wellington in 1952-53, twin 161s by New Zealand against Australia in Hobart in 1993-94, 148 and 148 by Bangladesh against Pakistan in Chittagong in 2001-02, and two 136s by India against Australia in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1956-57.

Shaun Tait: "...and I only had to play 35 ODIs" © CWC 2015

Who's the only bowler to take six wickets for no runs in a Test? asked James Martin from England
You would do well to get this right in a quiz: the answer is the Jamaican fast bowler Jermaine Lawson, in a remarkable spell for West Indies against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2002-03. Once Lawson got going, Bangladesh crashed from 80 for 3 to 87 all out. All his wickets came in the space of 15 balls, during which he didn't concede a run, leading to final figures of 6.5-4-3-6. Lawson played only 12 other Tests, finishing with 51 wickets, in a career clouded by doubts about his bowling action.

Shaun Tait recently retired from all cricket, having played only 35 ODIs, but these included a World Cup final. Has anyone with a World Cup winner's medal played in fewer matches? asked Danish Syed from the United States
The express fast bowler Shaun Tait was part of the Australian side which won the 2007 World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Bridgetown. Although he failed to strike in the final, he took 23 wickets in that tournament, behind only his team-mate Glenn McGrath (26). But Tait's career tally of 35 one-day caps is quite a few more than several of the West Indian players in 1975, a time when one-day internationals were few and far between. Rohan Kanhai played only seven ODIs - the last of them the first final, as West Indies beat Australia at Lord's - and Keith Boyce eight. Maurice Foster and Lance Gibbs, who were in that West Indian squad but didn't play in the final, appeared in only two and three ODIs respectively. But the unbeatable winner in this respect is the Delhi left-arm seamer Sunil Valson, who was part of the 14-man squad for the 1983 World Cup, but didn't get a game as India pulled off their upset victory in the final at Lord's. And indeed Valson never got on to the field for India in an international match… but he did get a World Cup winner's medal.

Post your questions in the comments below

08:10 GMT: *The answer to the first question was edited to correct an error in Hendren's numbers for the 1929-30 tour of the West Indies

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MarkPress on April 12, 2017, 1:18 GMT

    @Kayveekay Though in the second Jayasuriya innings that you have mentioned, it is 62 out of 76 in boundaries, and not 72.

  • MarkPress on April 12, 2017, 1:16 GMT

    @Kayveekay Thank you for the links.

  • H.Agrawal on April 9, 2017, 12:21 GMT

    Has there ever been a Test innings with more sixes than fours hit in it?

  • Pelham_Barton on April 8, 2017, 20:39 GMT

    JayantKr on April 7, 2017, 18:44 GMT: There is no claim that Rohan Kanhai is the answer to the question based on Shaun Tait. He is one of a number of names considered, before getting to the correct answer, which is clearly given as Sunil Valson. Gary Gilmour is not mentioned because he is not a contender for this record: he played in the World Cup semi-final and final in 1975, but was on the losing side in the final, so he does not have a World Cup Winner's medal.

  • MartinBriggs on April 8, 2017, 20:01 GMT

    @ZEESHAN.11 - You are effectivly trying to maximise two variables at the same time in your question, which creates a certain numerical contradiction. Probably a more effective measure would be the lowest percentage of the team score that the highest individual score has constituted. In this respect, it's 15 out of 110 by Nasser Hussain v South Africa at Lord's in June 1998. For a 40+ score, 304 by England at CapeTown in 2004-05 with a HS of 42 by Steve Harmison.

  • ZEESHAN.11 on April 8, 2017, 18:47 GMT

    Steve , What is the maximum team total in Tests ,Odis & T20s with minimal Top score by the batsmen. Its Zeeshan from Madinah Saudi arabia

  • JayantKr on April 7, 2017, 18:44 GMT

    Answer for the question based on Shaun Tait is wrong. It is not rohan Kanhai, it is Gary Gilmour as he has played only 5 ODIs in 1975.

  • MartinBriggs on April 7, 2017, 16:03 GMT

    @Andytrolley and Edwind - In addition to Ian Botham, Vinoo Mankad also scored a Test century and conceded 200+ in a Test innings (twice if the truth be known), if that was the crux of your question. Thus, neither Botham nor Mankad are unique...

  • SHAHKY on April 7, 2017, 6:21 GMT

    winning world cup with fewer matches..iqbal skinder of pakistan winning team..1992

  • andytrolley on April 7, 2017, 1:42 GMT

    Edwind: That would be I.T.Botham, whose highest Test score was 208 v. India at the Oval in 1982, and who took 3-217 against Pakistan, again at the Oval, five years later.

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