Dealing in sixes, and in shattered stumps
In a recent IPL match, Sanju Samson hit seven sixes but no fours - was this a record? asked Parteek Khunger from India
Sanju Samson's achievement, for Delhi Daredevils against Gujarat Lions in Delhi on May 4, was the fourth occasion that someone had hit seven sixes but no fours in a senior T20 innings. It was the second instance at this year's IPL - Nitish Rana also did it, for Mumbai Indians against Kings XI Punjab in Indore a fortnight before. The other instances were by the Australian pair of Andrew Symonds, for Surrey against one of his former counties, Kent, at The Oval in 2010, and Andrew McDonald, for Melbourne Renegades against Sydney Sixers at the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne in 2011-12.
Which batsman was out bowled most often in Tests? asked Khalid Maroof from Pakistan
The answer here is a slight surprise: it's Rahul Dravid, India's supposedly impregnable "Wall", who had his stumps rattled 55 times in all in Tests. That's one more than Sachin Tendulkar, and two more than Allan Border. Jacques Kallis comes next with 46. This sort of table, of course, is likely to be dominated by people who played a lot of Tests (Dravid played 164, Tendulkar 200, Border 156 and Kallis 166). But next on the list is the New Zealander John Reid, who played only 58 Tests and was bowled in 44 of his 108 innings. He was thus out this way in 40.7% of his innings - a record for anyone who batted at least 50 times. The England offspinner Sam Staples had five Test innings (in South Africa in 1927-28) and was bowled in all five of them.
What is the fewest runs scored in a Test that produced a positive result? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
The lowest number of runs in a completed Test match is 234, on a spiteful pitch in Melbourne in 1931-32. Australia, who had managed only 153, completed a 5-0 whitewash over South Africa by bowling them out for 36 and 45. Left-arm spinner Bert Ironmonger, who was 49, took full advantage of the helpful conditions, claiming 5 for 6 in the first innings - which lasted just 90 minutes - and 6 for 18 in the second. The lowest in a Test in which all 40 wickets went down comes next in the list - 291 runs in all on another rain-affected pitch, at Lord's this time: Australia (116 and 60) beat England (53 and 62) by 61 runs in 1888.
Mithali Raj just scored her sixth consecutive fifty in ODIs - is this a record? asked Sankar Anand from India
Mithali Raj's unbeaten 62 against South Africa in the final of the recent quadrangular series in Potchefstroom was indeed her sixth score of 50 or more in a row in one-day internationals - and she could obviously add to that in her next innings. She has already equalled the record of six successive half-centuries in women's ODIs, which was established by Australia's Lindsay Reeler in 1988, and equalled by Charlotte Edwards in 2013 and Ellyse Perry in 2015. The men's record is nine successive scores of 50 or more, by Javed Miandad between March and October 1987; five others have made six in a row.
Regarding last week's question about the bowlers who took 16 wickets in their first Test, is there anyone who played more Tests than Bob Massie but failed to match the number of wickets he took on debut? asked Brian King from England
As mentioned last time, Australia's Bob Massie took 16 for 137 on his debut - against England at Lord's in 1972 - but only 15 wickets in the other five Tests of his career. I was just wondering how to work this query out, when the assiduous Aslam Siddiqui answered it for me on Facebook! It turns out there are two bowlers who did better (or perhaps worse) than Massie, in terms of matches played. Alfred Shaw bowled the first ball in Test cricket, in Melbourne in 1876-77. He took eight wickets in that inaugural match, but only four more in six further appearances. Even he was trumped by the South African legspinner Ian Smith, who collected seven wickets on debut - against England at Trent Bridge in 1947 - but only five more in eight further Tests. Further down the list is the Pakistan seamer Mohammad Zahid, who took 11 wickets on his debut, against New Zealand in Rawalpindi in 1996-97, but managed only four other wickets in four further Tests.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes