Birthday bullies, ODI oldies and poultry-laden Tests
What is the highest score by someone on their birthday, in ODIs and T20s? asked Graham King from England
Sachin Tendulkar leads the way here: he hit 134 against Australia in Sharjah on April 24, 1998, the day he turned 25. There have been three other birthday tons in ODIs: Tendulkar's old schoolmate Vinod Kambli made 100 not out on his 21st birthday for India against England in Jaipur on January 18, 1993; Sanath Jayasuriya celebrated turning 39 by pummelling 130 for Sri Lanka against Bangladesh in Karachi on June 30, 2008; and Ross Taylor hit an unbeaten 131 for New Zealand against Pakistan in Pallekele during the 2011 World Cup, on his 27th birthday on March 8. That reminds me that I answered a similar question before, and rather spookily it was published - with three answers - on the day Taylor made it four! The only birthday half-century in T20 internationals so far was scored by Yuvraj Singh for India against Sri Lanka in Mohali on December 12, 2009, Yuvraj's 28th birthday - he finished with 60 not out from just 25 balls. Afghanistan's captain Asghar Stanikzai just missed out, making 49 against Hong Kong in Mirpur on his 29th birthday on February 22, 2016.
The oldest man to play a one-day international is apparently from Barbados, but I can't work out who it is. Can you help? asked Bevan Small from… Barbados
There's a pretty good reason why you can't place him: the man concerned, though born in Barbados, played his international cricket for Netherlands. Nolan Clarke was 47 when he opened for Netherlands in the 1996 World Cup. Although he wasn't a roaring success, he did make 32 against South Africa in Rawalpindi in what turned out to be his final ODI. Clarke might have played for West Indies rather earlier: he hit 159 for Barbados against Mike Denness' England tourists in Bridgetown back in 1973-74. The oldest man to play for West Indies in an ODI was Lance Gibbs, who was aged 40 years 251 days when he appeared against Sri Lanka at Old Trafford during the inaugural World Cup in 1975. Clive Lloyd (Gibbs' cousin) and Gordon Greenidge also played ODIs after their 40th birthdays, as have many others around the world.
What's the highest Test score by someone who opened the batting and the bowling in the same match? asked Peter Curtis from England
That's an intriguing question. After a bit of digging I discovered that there have been only ten instances of an opener who scored a century taking the new ball in the same match - and two of those were by Sunil Gavaskar, who was not a regular bowler but filled in from time to time as an emergency seamer. The man on top of the list is the versatile Frank Worrell, who opened the bowling against England at Trent Bridge in 1957 and then, after taking 1 for 79 in an innings of 619, carried his bat for 191 in 575 minutes as West Indies replied with 372. He couldn't quite keep it up, making only 16 in the follow-on, but still had enough puff to open the bowling when England batted again (they ran out of time to force victory). Pakistan's Mudassar Nazar achieved the feat twice, against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1984-85, and England in Lahore in 1987-88. The other openers to combine a century with opening the bowling in the same Test were Jack Hobbs (1909-10), Aubrey Faulkner (1912), ML Jaisimha (1961-62), Manoj Prabhakar (1994-95) and Mohammad Hafeez (2011-12). Of these, only Prabhakar and, arguably, Jaisimha were regular opening bowlers.
In the low-scoring 1931-32 Test mentioned in last week's column, there were ten ducks. Was this a record? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
That match on a "sticky dog" of a pitch in Melbourne is one of 15 Tests to feature ten ducks - the last one, rather surprisingly, being Australia's one-off match against the World XI in Sydney in 2005-06. But there are 11 Tests that have seen 11 batsmen get out without scoring. The first of those was the Ashes match at Old Trafford in 1888, while the most recent instance came when Sri Lanka beat England at Headingley in 2014. The last one of those came when James Anderson fell - for 0 after 81 minutes and 55 balls - to the penultimate delivery of the match.
Which player has made the highest score against India? asked Balu Mahendran from India
Four batsmen have made Test triple-centuries against India, most recently Brendon McCullum with 302 - New Zealand's first triple - in Wellington in 2013-14. The first was Graham Gooch, with 333 for England at Lord's in 1990, then came the highest, Sanath Jayasuriya's 340 for Sri Lanka in Colombo in 1997. Michael Clarke's unbeaten 329 for Australia in Sydney in 2011-12 completes the set. Jayasuriya is also second on the ODI list, with 189 against India in Sharjah in 2000-01; he fell just short of the Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar, who hit 194 in Chennai in May 1997. The highest against India in T20 internationals is Shane Watson's 124 not out in Sydney in 2015-16; the only other century was a round 100 by the West Indian opener Evin Lewis in Lauderhill, Florida, in August 2016.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes