Top-scoring No. 11s and non-scoring debutants

Fri, 26 Nov 07:45:07 2010

Has the No.

11 batsman ever top-scored in a Test innings, or even in an ODI?

This has happened seven times in Tests now, most recently by Steve Harmison for England against South Africa in Cape Town in 2004-05, when he made 42, one more than Robert Key at No.


The highest score involved was Bert Vogler's 62 not out for South Africa v England, also in Cape Town, in 1905-06.

For a full list, click here.

There have been five instances of this in one-day internationals, the most recent - and the one involving the highest individual score - coming when Shoaib Akhtar made 43 for Pakistan against England in the 2003 World Cup - again at Cape Town.

Marvan Atapattu bagged a pair in his first Test.

How many people have had this misfortune?

As I write 37 men have bagged a pair on their Test debut, the most recent being the New Zealander Mark Gillespie, against South Africa in Centurion in November 2007 (he did take a five-for when he bowled, which presumably cheered him up a little).

Atapattu bagged his pair against India in Chandigarh in November 1990: it was part of a nightmare start to his Test career in which he made only one run in his first six innings.

He didn't do too badly after that, though, finishing with 5502 Test runs in 90 matches.

Other notable batsmen who started their Test careers with a pair include Graham Gooch, Saeed Anwar and Ken Rutherford.

The most spectacular debut pair was the one acquired by the South African wicketkeeper Tommy Ward against Australia at Old Trafford in 1912: he was dismissed first ball in both innings, each time being the third victim in legspinner Jimmy Matthews's unique haul of two hat-tricks in the same Test match.

Who has made the most ducks in one-day internationals?

There's rather a surprising name on top of this list: it's Sanath Jayasuriya, who has been dismissed for 0 on 34 occasions in one-day internationals now.

He took the record from Wasim Akram of Pakistan (28).

There are four men bracketed together with 25 ducks, three of them Sri Lankans: Chaminda Vaas, Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan.

Shahid Afridi also has 25 one-day zeroes to his name.

In Tests the leader remains Courtney Walsh, with 43, some way ahead of Glenn McGrath (35) and Shane Warne (34).

Chris Martin of New Zealand is coming up on the rails with 28 so far.

Who is the oldest man to make his first century, in Tests and ODIs? And what about the oldest bowler to take five wickets in an innings?

The oldest man to make his first Test century was Dave Nourse of South Africa, who was 42 when he scored 111 against Australia in Johannesburg in 1921-22, more than 19 years after his Test debut.

The oldest to take five wickets in an innings in a Test was the Australian Bert Ironmonger, who was 49 when he took 11 for 24 in the match against South Africa in Melbourne in 1931-32.

The previous season Ironmonger had become the oldest to take a maiden five-for, against West Indies, when he was 48.

The oldest player to make his maiden one-day international hundred was Geoff Boycott, who was 51 days past his 39th birthday when he scored his one and only ODI century, 105 against Australia in Sydney in December 1979.

Boycott was the oldest ODI centurion overall until Sanath Jayasuriya made 107 against India in Dambulla in January 2009 when he was 39 years 212 days old.

The oldest bowler to take a five-for (it was also his first one) was Sunil Dhaniram of Canada, 39 years 256 days old when he took 5 for 32 against Bermuda in King City in June 2008.

The oldest to do so for a Test side in an ODI was Viv Richards, who was 37 when he took 6 for 41 for West Indies v India in Delhi in 1989-90.

Has any regular bowler got a worse Test average than Mohammad Sami?

I suppose the answer depends on your interpretation of what constitutes a "regular" bowler.

Nobody else has taken as many wickets as Mohammad Sami with an average over 50 - he currently has 84 at 50.73.

Carl Hooper is nearest, with 114 at 49.42.

But many bowlers do have an average over 50 - if you confine it to those with 20 or more wickets then there are 22, the worst average among them belonging to Ian Salisbury (20 wickets at 76.95).

And if you don't impose any qualification at all then the worst Test bowling average is 294.00, by the left-arm spinner Roger Wijesuriya, who took just one wicket in his four Tests for Sri Lanka in the 1980s.

I noticed a player for Wellington in New Zealand called "Sven Eru Tipene Friday".

Is there any other player whose name includes the name of a day?

The only one I can come up with apart from the Wellington fast bowler Tipene Friday is actually an international player: Friday Kasteni, a left-hand batsman, played three ODIs for Zimbabwe in 2007.


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