2:58 PM IST
Steven LynchEditor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes
- Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years
running before the then-editor said “I can’t let you win it again, but would
you like a job?” That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the
Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two
sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden
Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers’
Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly “Ask Steven”
question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to
I met Michael Kasprowicz recently, and he mentioned that when he took seven wickets in a Test innings, his best figures, there were two other seven-fors in the same match. Was this a record? asked Amit Gadkari from India
The Australian seamer Michael Kasprowicz took 7 for 36 for Australia against England at The Oval in 1997, and he’s right that there were two other seven-fors: Glenn McGrath had taken 7 for 76 in England’s first innings, and in between Phil Tufnell claimed 7 for 66.
This was the only occasion that there were three seven-fors in the same Test, although there was a statistically better return in Cape Town in 1889, in only the second Test ever played in South Africa: William “Gobo” Ashley took 7 for 95 in England’s total of 292, then Johnny Briggs collected 7 for 17 and 8 for 11 as South Africa were demolished for 47 and 43.
Rishabh Pant made two nineties against West Indies late in 2018. Has anyone made more in one series? asked Keersi Raj from India
India’s Rishabh Pant batted twice in that 2018-19 Test series against West Indies – and scored 92 each time. That was the 39th instance of a batsman making two nineties in a Test series, but he was the first to have only two innings – the previous lowest was three, by Jeremy Coney for New Zealand against Australia in 1985-86, when he scored 98 in Christchurch and 93 in Auckland, having started the series with 101 not out in Wellington.
But the clear winner is the old Australian left-hander Clem Hill. In successive innings in the 1901-02 Ashes, Hill was dismissed for 99 in Melbourne, then 98 and 97 on his home ground in Adelaide. He had another near-miss – out for 87 – in the final Test in Melbourne.
What is the highest number of overs bowled by an individual in a Test match? asked Muhammad Raafay from Pakistan
Technically there are two answers to this question. The most individual overs delivered by a bowler in a Test is 146.1 (including 102.1 in the first innings), by the England slow left-armer Bobby Peel, against Australia in Melbourne in 1885. But they were four-ball overs, so in all he sent down 585 deliveries, a number that has been exceeded several times in Tests with six and eight balls to the over.
The record for six-ball overs is 129, by the West Indian spinner Sonny Ramadhin against England at Edgbaston in 1957. Ramadhin delivered 774 balls in the match, the overall record – and his 98 overs (588 balls) in England’s second innings is also the highest.
The most eight-ball overs in one Test is 95.6 (766 balls), by the England spinner Hedley Verity in the timeless Test in Durban in 1939. South Africa’s Norman Gordon sent down 92.2 overs in that game (738 balls), the record for a pace bowler. For the full list, click here.
Who took more than 2000 wickets in first-class cricket without playing in a Test? asked Gordon Brine from New Zealand
In all, 33 bowlers have taken 2000 or more wickets in first-class cricket – and, given the general reduction in matches these days, it looks unlikely that anyone will ever join them. Courtney Walsh, who finished with 1807 first-class wickets, is the only bowler with more than 1500 who appeared in the current century – and even he retired in 2001.
The top 21 wicket-takers all appeared in Test cricket, but three of the others who finished up with more than 2000 wickets did not. Seamer Jack Newman took 2054, mainly for Hampshire, while the Gloucestershire slow left-armer George Dennett collected 2151. But the leading wicket-taker among non-Test players is the Glamorgan stalwart Don Shepherd, who took 2218 with his medium-paced cutters and spinners.
James Faulkner took six wickets in his only Test match for Australia, but without taking five in an innings. It got me wondering, what was the most wickets taken on Test debut without a five-for? asked Jack Nugee from England
I had thought that James Faulkner, whose only Test came at The Oval in 2013, might be quite high on this list – but actually there are no fewer than 81 bowlers who took six or more wickets on debut without the aid of a five-for in either innings.
Thirteen of them took the maximum of eight – four in each innings – most recently the South African offspinner Dane Piedt, with 4 for 90 and 4 for 62 on his debut, against Zimbabwe in Harare in August 2014. The best such debut figures are 8 for 99 (4 for 43 and 4 for 56) by the Australian fast bowler Laurie Mayne, against West Indies in Kingston in 1964-65.