Bill Frindall, aka the Bearded Wonder, answers your latest batch of queries.
Remember, the Test Match Special statistician is always on hand to help you out with your questions. And if you think you can catch him out, have a go!
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What is the highest total of runs that a batsman has made in Test cricket between having his wicket taken? For example, if he scored 128* and then 142 before getting out he'd have scored 270 between wickets. I'm guessing it is Brian Lara with his 400.
The highest tally of runs between dismissals is 497 by Sachin Tendulkar of India in 2003-04. Having scored 241* and 60* against Australia at Sydney, he made 194* and 2 against Pakistan in his next two Tests at Multan and Lahore.
Lara scored 53 against Bangladesh in the innings following his 400* against England in 2003-04 and is one of only five batsmen to have enjoyed a sequence of 450 runs or more between dismissals. The other three are Gary Sobers (490 for West Indies in 1957-58), Rahul Dravid (473 for India in 2000-01, and Jacques Kallis (456 for South Africa in 2001-02).
Bob Molton, UK
Has there been an occasion in first-class cricket where each of the four opening partnerships scored a hundred? I have a feeling that Tony Lewis, the former England captain, was involved in one whilst at Cambridge but have been unable to find the details.
You are absolutely right, Bob. It happened when Somerset hosted Cambridge University on a bland batting pitch at Taunton in 1960 (29 June-1 July). The match, which produced seven hundreds and three declarations, resulted in a six-wicket win for Cambridge. Graham Atkinson and Roy Virgin shared opening stands of 172 and 112 for Somerset, with the University's openers, Roger Prideaux and Tony Lewis, responding with partnerships of 198 and 137.
Recently I've been reading a lot about Victor Trumper but cannot get his full Test stats - where can I find them?
Victor Thomas Trumper (1877-1915) represented Australia in 48 Tests between June 1899 and March 1912. In 89 innings, 52 as an opener, he scored 3163 runs at 39.05 with eight hundreds and 15 fifties. A right-hander famous for the sheer artistry and magic of his stroke play, his highest score was an undefeated 214 in 242 minutes against South Africa at Adelaide in 1910-11. To increase his grip on the bat he seldom wore batting gloves and would remove the rubber grip from the handle. His occasionally used slow-medium bowling accounted for eight wickets at 39.63, with a best return of 3 for 60. A magnificent fielder with a powerful throw, he held 31 catches.
Stephen Lawson, England
Has any player ever scored 2,000 runs in an England domestic season without scoring a century?
Only one, Stephen. This extraordinary record fell to Lancashire's opener, David Green, when he scored 2037 runs, average 32.85, in 1965. The highest of his 14 fifties in 63 innings during 35 first-class matches was 85 against Warwickshire at Blackpool.
Lesley Rossouw, Australia
Who was the first Englishman to score a Test century in Australia?
I can spot a tricky Aussie when I read one! That distinction fell to Charles Bannerman who faced Test cricket's first ball (from Alfred Shaw), scored the first run (second ball) and became the first batsman to retire hurt when he had amassed 165. Although he achieved all this for Australia, Bannerman had been born in Woolwich 25 years earlier.
W.G.Grace scored the first century for England, his 152 on debut at The Oval in 1880 coming in the fourth match now recognised as an official Test and the first to be staged in England.
Nick Lyon, UK
Which player has played in the most Tests between England and Australia and who has scored the most runs and taken the most wickets in those matches?
Syd Gregory (52) holds the record for most appearances in Anglo-Australian Tests. A diminutive right-handed batsman and outstanding cover-point, he toured England no fewer than eight times between 1890 and 1912. Allan Border (47) and Steve Waugh (46) occupy the next two places in that appearance list. Colin Cowdrey (43) played most Tests for England against Australia.
Don Bradman (5028 runs, average 89.78, including 19 hundreds in 37 Tests) holds most of the major batting records for this series. Jack Hobbs (3636 runs, average 54.26, including 12 hundreds in 41 Tests) produced England's highest aggregates.
Shane Warne leads the bowling aggregates with 172 wickets, average 22.30 in 31 Tests. Ian Botham's 148 wickets at 27.65 in 36 matches is the best return by an England bowler.
Harvey Green, England
Can you tell me who is the oldest cricketer to appear in Tests for England?
That was Yorkshire's Wilfred Rhodes who was 52 years and 165 days old when he finished his final Test, against West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica, on 12 April 1930. Rhodes, whose age established a world record that is not in remote danger of being beaten, also enjoyed the world's longest Test career of 30 years and 315 days.
Parimal Vandra, Brazil
I was looking at some cricket records the other day and I noticed that Australian bowler Jeff Thomson has a bowling average of 28.00. I checked this figure independently with a few other sources and it stated the same. However Thomson went for 5601 runs and took 200 wickets. This would give him an average of 28.005. Cricket records are listed to two decimal points. Surely Thomson's average should be 28.01?
The answer is a very simple one, Parimal. Cricket statisticians have never rounded up the second decimal place in their averages. They take the view that someone who averages 99.99 has not averaged 100 - and they have a point!
I'm told that my distant relative, Alf Gover, was so successful because as Surrey senior professional he bowled only to batsmen he knew he could easily dismiss. Is there anything in his record to support this allegation?
I had the pleasure of knowing Alf Gover well (we were born in the same Epsom hospital) and would dismiss any such allegation as arrant nonsense. He certainly would not have got away with it under the Surrey captaincies of Percy Fender, Douglas Jardine or Errol Holmes. His record of taking 100 wickets in a season eight times would suggest that he knew a lot of batsmen he could dismiss, notably in 1936 and 1937 when he took 200 wickets. He remains the only fast bowler to reach that milestone since his Surrey predecessor Tom Richardson in 1897.
Michael Nicholas, Lebach, Germany
In "Stump the Bearded Wonder no. 131", Andrew Murray (perhaps taking time out from his hectic tennis schedule) asked how many batsmen had been out in the 90s. My question is who have been unfortunate enough to be out the most times in the 190s? Tendulkar and Vaughan are two names that spring to mind.
Excluding not out scores, a total of 39 Test innings have ended in the 190s, including five on 199. Only five batsmen have suffered the fate twice: Mohammad Azharuddin (India), Ian Chappell (Australia), Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa), Michael Vaughan (England) and Everton Weekes (West Indies). Sachin Tendulkar has scored 193 and 194 not out.
Chris Wheeler, Wales
When was the last time that all eleven players in an England Test team where actually born in England?
That was back in July 1989 in the Third Ashes Test at Edgbaston when Allan Lamb and Robin Smith were unavailable through injury and Angus Fraser made his debut.
The full England side in batting order, with birthplaces in brackets, was: Graham Gooch (Leytonstone), Tim Curtis (Chislehurst), David Gower (Tunbridge Wells), Chris Tavaré (Orpington), Kim Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent), Ian Botham (Heswall), 'Jack' Russell (Stroud), John Emburey (Peckham), Angus Fraser (Billinge), Graham Dilley (Dartford), and Paul Jarvis (Redcar).
C. Pemberton, UK
Do you have any details about a cricket match in 1930s in Bexhill, Sussex, featuring top Australian and English players?
Bexhill-on-Sea has staged only one first-class match. That was at the Manor Ground on 30 and 31 July 1896 and it did feature the Australians. G.H.S.Trott's team suffered a four-wicket defeat at the hands of the Earl de Warr's XI which included six players who had or would represent England: Alec Hearne, J.T.Hearne, C.P.McGahey, T.C.O'Brien, A.D.Pougher and A.E.Stoddart. J.T.Hearne (13 for 97) and Pougher (7 for 113) bowled unchanged throughout both innings as the tourists were dismissed for 80 and 138.