June 20, 2017

Eliminating extras, and the funniest sledge

And which players have scored most runs and taken most wickets in the history of the Champions Trophy?
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Frequently hostile, always legal: Michael Holding didn't waste time with wides and no-balls © Getty Images

I've heard Michael Holding say more than once that he never bowled a wide or a no-ball in a one-day international. Is that true, and does he hold the record if it is? asked Liam Clayton from Australia
Michael Holding sent down 5473 deliveries in one-day internationals, and he's right that none of them was a wide or a no-ball. His long-time team-mate Joel Garner bowled 5330 deliveries without a wide (or a no-ball), and Lance Cairns 4021. Without wishing to play down Holding's feat, we should probably recognise that the calling of wides has become much more rigorous over the years since his heyday. Mohammad Hafeez has so far sent down 7076 deliveries in ODIs without a no-ball (but 85 wides), while Ravi Shastri bowled 6613 without a no-ball (but one wide). In Tests, the West Indian offspinner Lance Gibbs bowled 27,115 balls in 79 matches, without a single wide or no-ball. Richard Hadlee sent down 21,918 deliveries without conceding a wide, but did have 22 no-balls, while Derek Underwood (21,862 balls in 86 Tests) and Garry Sobers (21,599 in 93) never bowled a wide or a no-ball. (It's just possible that some of these players delivered no-balls which were scored from, which would not have counted against them at the time so might have escaped notice; the practice of debiting no-balls and wides against the bowlers' analyses started in the early 1980s.)

Has Shikhar Dhawan now scored more runs in the Champions Trophy than anyone else? asked Ajmal Bharat from India
Shikhar Dhawan finished this year's tournament with 701 runs overall in the Champions Trophy (363 in 2013 and 338 in 2017; he was the leading scorer in the competition both times). That leaves him third on the overall list, behind Chris Gayle (791 Champions Trophy runs) and Mahela Jayawardene (742). He passed Kumar Sangakkara (683) during the final at The Oval. Those three all played more innings: Dhawan's average of 77.88 from ten matches is the best of anyone who scored more than 530 runs (Virat Kohli has 529 at 88.16). Lasith Malinga finished this tournament with 25 wickets overall in the Champions Trophy, leaving New Zealand's Kyle Mills as the overall leader with 28.

The Merv method: let the ball do the talking, then chip in with your mouth © Getty Images

Bangladesh did not concede an extra in India's innings of 265 in the Champions Trophy semi-final - was this a record? asked Shivam Ahuja and several others on Facebook
India's 265 for 1 in the Champions Trophy semi-final at Edgbaston was indeed the highest total in one-day internationals not to include a single extra. The previous-highest was Scotland's 229 for 3 against UAE in Edinburgh in August 2016, while South Africa's 178 for 5 against New Zealand in Faisalabad during the 1996 World Cup didn't include any extras either. The Test record is Pakistan's 328 against India in Lahore in 1954-55, while South Africa totalled 251 without any extras against England in Durban in 1930-31.

I seem to remember a bowler from Afghanistan doing well in county cricket in the 1990s, but I can't remember his name. Who was it? asked Robin Burton from England
I think the bowler you're referring to is the left-arm seamer Alamgir Sheriyar, who took more than 500 first-class wickets in a career that started and finished with Leicestershire, and also took in spells with Worcestershire and Kent. He had most success during his time at New Road: in 1999, he was the leading wicket-taker in the country with 92, when his career-best 7 for 130 for Worcestershire against Hampshire in Southampton comprised the first seven wickets to fall. The following winter - 1999-2000 - Sheriyar toured Bangladesh and New Zealand with England A (now the Lions). He was of Afghan descent, but was actually born in Birmingham.

What's the funniest sledge you've ever heard? asked Ken Harrison from England
That's a tough one - people have written whole books on this subject! The other problem is that rather a lot of them are unprintable. But I suppose one of my favourites involves, almost inevitably, that Australian arch-sledger Merv Hughes. The story goes that in 1989-90, Pakistan's Javed Miandad reacted to a bit of bluster from Merv by informing him he was too fat to play cricket and that he should be a bus conductor instead. Not long afterwards, Hughes had Javed caught in the gully off a rearing bouncer and, as he chugged through to celebrate, put out his hand towards Javed and chirped "Tickets please!"

Leave 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

  • Swapnil on June 26, 2017, 13:50 GMT

    While going through records of Highest Debutante Score in T20 game, i found Highest Debutante Score against India is just 34. Is the lowest one?

  • Parashu on June 26, 2017, 6:31 GMT

    @HMALISYE ON JUNE 26, 2017, 3:26 GMT: 1. First 400+ ODI inns score in Women's ODIs was scored on 29th January 1997 at Christchurch by NZ Women --455/5 v PAK women. First 400+ in Men's ODIs had to wait until March 2006 when AUS scored a record 434/4 v SA--the record stood for ~ 4 Hrs though!

    2. The highest team inns total in Men's ODIs, 444/3, ENG v PAK in Nottingham last year, is still below that in Women's ODIs--455 !

    3. The record for highest first wicket partnership in Women's ODIs is 320, by Deepti Sharma & Punam Raut of IND [vs IRE at Potchefstroom on 15th May 2017]. Compared to this, the Men's ODI record is 286 by Tharanga & Jayasuriya [v ENG at Headingley on 1 July 2006].

    4. Record for most dismissals by wicketkeeper in an inns: Women's ODI had twin records [6 dismissals] made on same day [29 July]in 1993 Women's ODI World Cup] by V Kalpana of IND and Sarah Illingworth of NZ. Men's record of 6 dismissals by Gilchrist in Apr 2000 v SA in Capetwon came nearly 7 years later!

  • HMAlisya on June 26, 2017, 3:26 GMT

    Hello Steven, I just saw that Belinda Clark hit a 229 back in 1997, and England had posted 412, a feat well before the men's side could reproduce. I realize that game was against Denmark and was a landslide, but what are other major records that were achieved first on the Women's side?

  • Martin on June 25, 2017, 20:53 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER - 24/06 9.14 - For Test teams with players having the same first name, the record is 5 'Williams' in four of the 1934 Australian Ashes Tests - Brown, Woodfull, Ponsford, O'Reilly and Oldfield. Mohammad may have matched it once or twice in one-day matches for Pakistan and/or Afghanistan, however readers from those countries may be better placed than I in advising on the protocol as to whether these are first or family surnames...

  • Martin on June 25, 2017, 20:41 GMT

    @UNBIASED_REFEREE 25/06 19.07 - I should be a little careful saying that certain people didn't ever bowl a wide or no ball from looking at a very small sample of Cricinfo and CricketArchive scorecards, particularly pre-1999. Holding and Garner certainly bowled a significant number in ODIs, 6 and 9 respectively in the 2nd Final of the 1984-85 Benson & Hedges World Series Cup alone. There are hundreds of matches, and thus thousands of team innings and many thousands of individual innings and bowling analyses on Ci and CA which do not detail balls faced, wides, no balls etc and for which data is unknown. There are some private databases which are far, far more extensively researched and are to be relied upon. Clarrie Grimmett is the best example of a Test career that never included either a wide or no ball.

  • Parashu on June 25, 2017, 19:07 GMT

    @BEDEKAR ON JUNE 25, 2017, 12:13 GMT: From available[scanty] online records of detailed Test-scorecards online, it does turn out that Nadkarni, Mankad, Bedi, Ramadhin, Titmus, Shastri and Iqbal Qasim never bowled a wide- or no-ball.

    In ODIs, Lillee, Garner, Holding, Hadlee, Maninder Singh, Abdul Qadir and Giles did not bowl a single wide- or no-ball. The list continues to several not so prolific active ODI bowlers such as Coulter-Nile and Santner; and retired ones such as Lehmann and Panesar.

    Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez have never sent a no-ball in T20Is; but have bowled more than two-dozen wides each.

  • Parashu on June 25, 2017, 18:50 GMT

    Curios Case of wide- and no-balls: For every 2000 runs scored with bat, wide+no balls contribute additional 45 in tests; 85 in ODIs and 70 in T20Is. This means 22 runs per Test, 19 runs per ODI and 9 runs per T20I. Historically, winning margins in several dozens of matches in each format being below these averages, makes a strong case for Cricket historians to examine detailed score sheets at all venues so these "gifted" runs can be placed where they belong. Cricinfo online database does not appear to have break-down(s) of these runs by bowlers until early 1990s--but not on regular basis. CricketArchive database has columns for these runs in bowlers' analyses in scorecards, but hasn't been populated except for few matches per year. Scripted search through CricketArchive Test scorecards reveals Sobers did bowl a no-ball in 1973 Lord's Test in ENG 1st Inns; and Hadlee bowled a wide in 1969 Test at same venue. Underwood sent as many as 34 no-balls-9 of them in 1975 Ashes Test at Lord's.

  • abhijeet_dongre on June 25, 2017, 13:31 GMT

    I just noticed that Jack Noriega has exact same strike rate in Test and First Class cricket, How many times has it happened and who has played highest Test/FC matches out of such players.

  • VIJAY on June 25, 2017, 12:13 GMT

    Dear Steven, Re Your answer on no balls/wide in 20th June column. Since no balls were not added to bowlers analysis before 80s ,is it possible more bowlers than Gibbs,Sobers, Underwood "bowled" no no-balls in tests? I feel,Indian left arm spinner,RG(Bapu) Nadkani also bowled no no balls or wide in Test cricket.

  • Geetha on June 24, 2017, 9:14 GMT

    Liam Dawson, Liam Livingstone and Liam Plunkett all featured in England's playing XI in their T20 game against South Africa on Friday, 24 June 2017. Have there been more first names in an international eleven before?

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