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Saturday, 2 February, 2002, 16:32 GMT
Stump The Bearded Wonder No 20
Pose your cricket questions to Bearders
Bill Frindall, aka the Bearded Wonder, is poised to solve your cricket queries and teasers.

The Test Match Special statistician will be busy answering your questions throughout the English winter.


Here's a selection of the latest answers

Ethan Tucker, New Zealand

The mercurial Canterbury all-rounder Chris Harris has played 188 ODIs for New Zealand and is a reliable batsman at the death. Is his tally of 51 not outs in ODIs some sort of record?

After 11 matches of the current (endless) tournament in Australia, Harris has 55 not outs from 167 innings in 196 ODIs. He is second to Steve Waugh (58 from 287 innings).

The only other batsmen who have escaped dismissal on 50 or more occasions are: Mohammad Azharuddin (54 from 308 innings) and Michael Bevan (52 from 150).

Cecil Siriwardene, USA

Who recorded the song 'Cricket Lovely Cricket' commemorating the feat of Sonny Ramadin and Alf Valentine?

Entitled "Victory Test Match - Calypso - England v. West Indies, Lord's, 1950", ' Cricket, lovely cricket!' were its opening words. It was recorded by 'Lord Beginner' (alias Egbert Moore) accompanied by Calypso Rhythm Kings. 'Supervision' by Denis Preston. It was recorded on the 'Melodisc' (1133) label (MEL 20) and all its verses appear on page 232 of the First edition (1983) of my Guinness Book of Cricket Facts and Feats.

Ronald Nuttall, England

Please inform me as to who is the youngest and the oldest batsman to score 100 runs for England in a Test.

Hi Nutters (Blackpool's scorer and an invaluable checker of the individual bests in Playfair Cricket Annual). Thanks for a nice easy one!

Denis Compton is the youngest and Jack Hobbs the oldest to score a Test match century for England. 'Compo' was 20 years 19 days old when he completed his 102 against the 1938 Australians at Trent Bridge. It was his first Test against Australia, and his partnership of 206 in 138 minutes with Eddie Paynter remains the England record in Ashes Tests.

'The Master' had lived 46 years 82 days when he made 142 at Melbourne in March 1929 and that remains the record age for any batsman scoring a Test hundred. It was his 15th Test hundred and his 12th against Australia (still the England record).

George, Australia

Were the Aussies the first to introduce the practice of sledging their opponents?

According to most players I have spoken to in the last 30 years sledging began in the Packer era when players were encouraged to ham it up for the TV audience.

Prior to that there had always been banter, witticisms and subtle asides from one fielder to another intended for the batsmen to overhear and to upset his concentration. Not direct personal abuse though. Far be it for me to award an accolade for the instigator!

Chris Mountain, UK

In August 2001 we (Bedfordshire) played a Derbyshire Cricket Board XI in the first round of the 2002 C & G Trophy competition. The county scored 367 for 3 that day, with David Clarke scoring 176*.

The query is whether these are records for a Minor County side in the C&G or its previous formats?

According to my records - yes on both counts. The previous highest total by a minor team was 323-7 by Hertfordshire v Leicestershire Cricket Board at Radlett in 1999 and the highest individual score for such a team 138 by former Yorkshire batsman Ashley Metcalfe playing for Cumberland against Cornwall at Kendal the same season.

Eric Ingham, England

Bill, I used to have a complete list of Test Centuries on my computer that I religiously kept up to date. Unfortunately, the data file was "lost" at some upgrade or other.

So, I now have to ask you the question - what is the lowest score never to have been made by an individual batsman in Test cricket? I know at the time I had the info (1996) it was 228, but is this still so?

Yes, Eric. Nothing has changed in six years! No one has registered a score of 228 (or 229) in Test cricket.

Ross Gilham, Australia

We hear a lot of talk about 'heavy' rollers and 'light rollers' being used before an innings. I have two questions:

1. Are these standardised in any way? Or are 'heavy' and 'light' rollers merely a local matter (presumably determined by what the groundsman makes available)?

2. Does a captain have to order any roller at all? Could he choose not to roll the pitch if he wished?

This are fascinating questions concerning a subject about which I knew very little until I read the relevant laws. The laws do not refer to the weight or size of the roller, only to the times pitch-rolling may be carried out and for how long. If there is more than one roller available the captain of the batting side shall have the choice. He can choose not to roll the pitch.


Sudarshan, India

Sorry to bother you Bearders, but I am certain that SK Warne has only one score of 99 in Test cricket. And I believe that SR Waugh has two scores of 99 (including a not out) but I am less certain of that. Maybe you could clear that up.

Well spotted - I confused my Warnes and Waughs.

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