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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David, England (and others)
Shiv Chanderpaul has just passed 1,000 minutes of uninterrupted batting in the current series. I believe he also holds the world record for this feat, when he batted for 1,500 uninterrupted minutes back in 2002. Is this true?
Yes, Chanderpaul holds the Test record for the longest time between dismissals with 1513 minutes (25 hours, 13 minutes) during West Indies' home series against India in April/May 2002. He is alone in batting for 1,000 minutes without being out in Tests on more than one occasion. Besides the 1,074 minutes he endured against England in the recent series, he batted for 1,031 minutes against Bangladesh (Kingston) and England (Lord's and Birmingham) in 2004.
David Ford, Co Meath, Ireland
How many times has the first ball of a Test match taken a wicket as Ryan Sidebottom did at the Riverside? I was there on that Saturday and, having sat through all the rain delays, I'm interested to know just how unusual that first ball dismissal was.
The instance you witnessed was the 26th in 1,836 Test matches. Daren Ganga was the 23rd batsman to be dismissed by the first ball of a Test, Hannan Sarkar (Bangladesh) having suffered that fate on three occasions, while Sunil Gavaskar did so twice.
Sidebottom is only the third England bowler to achieve this feat, after Maurice Tate (v Australia at Leeds in 1926) and Geoff Arnold (v India at Birmingham in 1974 and v New Zealand at Christchurch in 1974-75).
Neil Bayley, England
Matt Prior scored 324 runs in the recent Test series. Over a four-Test rubber, is this the highest tally from an England keeper? What is the highest number of runs scored by an England keeper in any series?
No, the four-match record belongs to Les Ames of Kent who scored 417 runs against West Indies in 1929-30.
Surrey's Alec Stewart (465 runs against South Africa in 1998) holds the record for the highest aggregate by an England wicket-keeper in any series.
David, Andy and James, England
On the subject of Test player's numbers, you mentioned that Steve Harmison was No. 611. How would the first England team's numbers be decided? Eleven number 1's?
The numbering of Test cricketers by order of appearance is a very recent idea. When more than one player makes his debut in the same match, the numbers are allocated alphabetically.
Compilers of England's numbers began with the inaugural Test (against Australia at Melbourne in March 1877). Thomas Armitage was given number 1. George Ulyett ended the alphabetical list for that team and became number 11.
Jack Locke, West Glamorgan
Please could you tell me when eight-ball overs were last used in Test cricket?
Eight-ball overs were last used at Test level in 1978-79 in Australia and New Zealand.
Australia employed eight-ball overs in 1924-25 and from 1936-37 to 1978-79 inclusive, South Africa from 1938-39 to 1957-58, New Zealand from 1968-69 to 1978-79, and Pakistan from 1974-75 to 1977-78. England used them in 1939 as part of a two-year experiment ended by the War. West Indies, India, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have used only six-ball overs in home Tests.
Carey Clements, New Zealand
Is Doris (Dot) Bailey the oldest current living women's Test cricketer? She was born on 6 December 1916 in Wellington, NZ. She played her only Test against England at Eden Park in 1949. If she is, then that would give Wellington and NZ a unique double as Eric Tindill is the current oldest-living Test cricketer at 96 not out.
Sadly, I cannot confirm that your 'Dot' Bailey is the oldest surviving female Test cricketer. Incidentally, WCA records list her as Doreen Bailey (nee Hatcher). Records of some of the early players are a little sketchy as can be seen from the Register in Volume III of the 2000 edition of my Wisden Book of Test Cricket. There are three England and four Australian players who were born prior to December 1916 and who may still be with us.
I can confirm that Eric Tindill (96), born in Nelson on 18 December 1910, is the oldest living male Test cricketer.
Jake Emmerson (age 10), England
My dad has taught me to score like you do and I have already been promoted to scorer for my local 1st team who play in the Cheshire County League (but I have to use a standard scorebook). Could you tell me what entry I make if a bowler bowls a no-ball which goes for two byes (or leg-byes)? Is it recorded as, say, three no-balls, or one no-ball and two byes? And is the bowler then debited with bowling three no-balls, or just one?
Well done, Jake. I began my scoring career at your age. At last I have a successor!
No-balls and wides take precedence over both sorts of byes. Byes and leg-byes scored off no-balls all count as no-balls and all are debited to the bowler's analysis.
Adam White, England
Did Mike Gatting once have bowling figures of 4-2-2-4 (four overs with two maidens and four wickets for two runs)? I'm sure he did in the late '80s or early '90s but my mate says not, there is £5 riding on the outcome.
You win the fiver, Adam, although you have the overs and maidens wrong.
Against Kent at Lord's in 1990, Gatting returned the remarkable analysis of 2-1-2-4, reducing their second innings from 265-6 to 265 all out. He bowled S.A.Marsh and C.Penn, had T.A.Merrick caught and trapped R.P.Davis lbw. He also contributed 58 and 87 not out to an eight-wicket victory.
Ian Richardson, England
Has a cricket match ever been won after a side has been forced to follow on?
It has happened three times in Test matches and nearly 100 times in first-class cricket.
Introduced in 1835, the first follow-on law compelled a side 100 or more runs in arrears on first innings to follow its innings on. The margin was reduced to 80 runs in 1854 and raised to 120 in 1895. MCC established the current law in 1900, making enforcement optional and decreeing the following margins: five or more days - 200 runs; three or four days - 150; two days - 100; one day - 75.
The first two Test match instances involved England beating Australia, by 10 runs at Sydney in 1894-95 and by 12 runs at Leeds in 1981. The most recent occurred at Calcutta in 2000-01 when India (171 and 657-7 dec) beat Australia (445 and 212) by 171 runs.
The most recent first-class instance happened at Hobart in 2005-06 when Victoria (167 and 394) beat Tasmania (347 and 105) by 109 runs.
Graeme Hick recently became the 16th player to score over 40,000 first class runs. Who are the other 15 and how many first-class runs did they each score?
In descending aggregate order they are: J.B.Hobbs 61,237; F.E.Woolley 58,969; E.H.Hendren 57,611; C.P.Mead 55,061; W.G.Grace 54,896; W.R.Hammond 50,551; H.Sutcliffe 50,138; G.Boycott 48,426; T.W.Graveney 47,793; G.A.Gooch 44,846; T.W.Hayward 43,551; D.L.Amiss 43,423; M.C.Cowdrey 42,719; A.Sandham 41,284; L.Hutton 40,140 and G.A.Hick 40,000 (up to July 2007).
Big Pete, Australia
In the 1979-80 Pakistan v Australia series, 2nd Test in Faisalabad, all 11 Australian players, including wicket-keeper Rod Marsh, bowled in Pakistan's only innings. Is there any other instance of this occurring in Test cricket?
That was the second of four instances of an entire eleven bowling in a Test innings. England, led by Lord Harris, provided the first instance, against Australia at The Oval in 1884. The most recent two occurred against West Indies at St John's, Antigua, and featured India (May 2002) and South Africa (May 2005).
Which English cricketer has scored the most runs in a single innings for his country?
Sir Leonard Hutton has held that record for almost 69 years with the 364 he scored against Australia at Kennington Oval on 20, 22, 23 August 1938. He batted for 797 minutes (13 hours, 17 minutes), faced 844 balls and hit 35 fours. England scored 903 for 7 declared and won the match by an innings and 579 runs.