Cricketing Odd Spots: Meeting Odd Questions

Steven Lynch in ESPNcricinfo, ….

Was Kuldeep Yadav’s 6 for 25 the other day the best figures by a left-arm wristspinner in an ODI? asked Sudip Chauhan from India
That mesmerising 6 for 25 by Kuldeep Yadav against England at Trent Bridgelast week weren’t just the best figures by a left-arm wristspinner in a one-day international – they were the best figures by a slow left-armer of any sort. The previous record was held by another Indian, the more orthodox Murali Kartik, who took 6 for 27 against Australia in Mumbai in 2007. Sanath Jayasuriya, with 6 for 29 for Sri Lanka against England in Moratuwa in 1992-93, is the only other slow left-armer to take six wickets in an ODI. The previous-best by a left-arm wristspinner was Brad Hogg’s 5 for 32 for Australia against West Indies in Melbourne in 2004-05.

Before Kuldeep Yadav’s 6 for 25, the best figures ODI by a left-arm spinner were 6 for 27 by Murali Kartik, against Australia in Mumbai in 2007 AFP

Both South African openers were stumped in the second innings at Galle. How often has this happened in a Test? asked Praveen from Australia
Niroshan Dickwella’s double stumping of Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram as South Africa slid to defeain Galle on the weekend was only the sixth time that both openers had been stumped in the same Test innings. The first instance was back in 1881-82, when Dick Barlow and George Ulyett of England were stumped by Australia’s Jack Blackham in Melbourne.

It happened again to England at Old Trafford in 1896 – WG Grace and Drewy Stoddart both stumped by James Kelly off Harry Trott – and then not again until 1950, when Clyde Walcott accounted for Len Hutton and Cyril Washbrook to start a collapse in West Indies’ famous maiden victory over England away, at Lord’s.

The next instance was not until 1998-99, in the Ashes Test in Sydney, where Mark Butcher and Alec Stewart fell to deft glovework by Ian Healy. And in Fatullah in 2015, Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes were both stumped by Wriddhiman Saha as Bangladesh went down to India.

Which umpire has stood in the most Tests in one country, and who has umpired in the most different countries? asked Michael Jarvis from England
Dickie Bird stood in 54 Tests in England, most of them before the globe-trotting international umpires’ panel was set up: in all, he stood in 66 matches. Frank Chester officiated in 48 Tests between 1924 and 1955, all of them in England.

Steve Bucknor officiated in more Tests than anyone else – 128 – and stood in 11 different countries (counting West Indies as one for the purposes of this answer). Bucknor officiated in all the Test countries that were active during his career (1989-2009), and also umpired two matches in Sharjah.

Daryl HarperBilly Bowden and Asoka de Silva also stood in 11 different countries (including West Indies), and were recently joined by Ian Gould, who was one of the umpires for the first Test in Ireland, the 11th country in which he has officiated. It’s currently difficult for an umpire to stand in a Test in his own country, which is why some recent officials have been unable to complete a full set (Rod Tucker, for example, has stood in 61 Tests but none in Australia).

Kent’s last pair added 100 recently, of which Ivan Thomas’ share was 1. Have there been any century stands in first-class cricket where one batsman has made 0? asked Tony Pope from England
The stand you’re talking about was between Grant Stewart, who zoomed to a maiden hundred, and Ivan Thomas, who contributed just a single as Kent’s last wicket added 100 against Middlesex in Canterbury. Stewart had just taken a career-best 6 for 22 as Middlesex were shot out for 56; his previous-highest score in first-class cricket was 38, in the first innings of the same match.

There aren’t any hundred partnerships in first-class cricket which ended with one of the batsmen making no contribution at all. But there is another in which the junior partner managed just one: for Sri Lanka against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2004-05, Dilhara Fernando contributed a single to a ninth-wicket stand of 101 as Sanath Jayasuriya motored to 253.

Playing for MCC against Yorkshire in Scarborough in 1946, the Middlesex pair of Walter Robins and Jack Young shared a last-wicket stand of 75. Robins scored all of them, before being stumped for 116.

I know Lawrence Rowe holds the record for most runs on debut in Tests, but who holds the record for most wickets? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
Lawrence Rowe marked his Test debut, for West Indies against New Zealand in Kingston in 1971-72, with 214 in the first innings and 100 not out in the second. The only other man to score more than 300 runs on his Test debut was Reginald “Tip” Foster, with 306 – innings of 287 and 19 – for England against Australia in Sydney in 1903-04. Rowe’s record came under threat a few years ago when Yasir Hameed scored 170 and 105 in his first Test for Pakistan, against Bangladesh in Karachi in August 2003.

The bowling equivalent is shared by two men who claimed 16 wickets in their first match (no one else has managed more than 12). In the Ashes Test at Lord’s in 1972, Bob Massie marked his debut with figures of 16 for 137 – 8 for 84 and 8 for 53 – in an astonishing display of swing bowling. The Indian legspinner Narendra Hirwani narrowly bettered this with 16 for 136 – 8 for 61 and 8 for 75 – in his first match, against West Indies in Madras(now Chennai in 1987-88. In all, 15 bowlers have taken ten or more wickets on their Test debut.

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