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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 April 2007, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Stump the Bearded Wonder No 144
Bill Frindall is waiting for your questions
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!

Fill in the form on the right-hand side of the page to stump the Bearded Wonder.

Ralph Brooker, Brian Gregg, Gareth Page, Andrew Schofield, Matthew Walters and Neil Welch

Can you please explain how the net run-rate in the current World Cup is calculated?

A team's net run-rate is calculated by deducting from the average runs per over scored by that team, the average runs per over scored against them in matches qualifying for the Super Eights stage (see next question). If a team is all out in fewer than its full quota of overs, the calculation is based on its full overs entitlement, not on the number of overs in which it was dismissed.

Simon, UK (also Alex Gibb, UK and Ian, England)

How does the results table of the Super Eights work when West Indies and Australia had only played one game yet they had two matches under their belts?

The confusion has been caused by the inclusion in this table of the preliminary (Group) matches between teams qualifying for the Super Eights stage (i.e. New Zealand beat England, Australia beat South Africa, Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh and West Indies beat Ireland). The run-rates from those four encounters have also been carried forward into the SE table.

Andrew Jarvis, UK
Mike from Kent asked a similar question.

During the recent World Cup match between England and Sri Lanka, Ian Bell was run out at the non-striker's end after Jayasuriya, the bowler, flicked the ball on to the stumps.

TV replays show that Bell had touched back into the crease before the ball hit the stumps but that the bat was subsequently in the air when the bails were dislodged. He was given Run Out. As he was not attempting a run and had already grounded his bat should he have been given Not Out?

Law 37 (Run Out) states that 'either batsman is out Run out if, at any time while the ball is in play, (1) he is out of his ground and (2) his wicket is fairly put down by the opposing side'.

The essential clause is 'while the ball is in play' and, in Bell's dismissal, the ball was not rendered dead simply because he had initially grounded his bat. Law 29 (Batsman Out Of His Ground) states that 'a batsman shall be considered to be out of his ground unless his bat or some part of his person is grounded behind the popping crease at that end'.

At the moment Jayasuriya's flick broke the wicket, Bell's bat was not grounded and the ball was in play. He was correctly given out.

Will Neales, England

If a bowler finishes his spell in a game with two wickets in consecutive balls and then gets a wicket with his first ball in their next game, does this count as a hat-trick? I don't think so but my mate Steve does.

Frank, UK

What is the definition of a hat trick? It can be completed in successive overs, but can it be done in successive innings (say the last two wickets in one innings and the first ball of the next innings? How about successive matches in a series?

Enjoy telling Steve that he is wrong, Will.

A hat-trick is achieved when a bowler takes three wickets with consecutive balls. They can involve more than one over but can only be achieved within one match. In a two-innings game (remember those?) they can span both innings.

John Everett, UK

The winner of the toss gets to choose whether to bat or field but who gets to choose which end to start the bowling from?

When the fielding team bats, does the bowling to them have to start from the same end? In a Test match, does the bowling in the second innings have to start from the other end?

At the start of each innings of a match the fielding captain decides from which end play will begin. He usually makes this choice in collaboration with his opening bowlers.

When they have decided their individual preference of ends, the captain then decides which bowler he wants to open with and that will determine his choice of end. The umpires will decide their own choice of ends, usually before going on to the field at the start of a game. They stay at their respective ends throughout both sides' first innings but change ends for the second innings.

Lionel Rajapakse, Sri Lanka (similar questions from Nandaa of India, Mark Dodds of Northern Ireland and James Darmon, Tom Morris and Jonathan Newton).

Following on from Lasith Malinga's recent World Cup feat of taking four wickets with four consecutive balls, has there been any previous instance of a bowler achieving this feat in limited-overs internationals, Tests or first-class matches in the past?

Malinga was the first to take four wickets in four balls in a limited-overs international. No one has achieved this feat in Test cricket. Maurice Allom, Chris Old and Wasim Akram have come closest with four in five balls.

Joseph Wells, a right-handed round-arm fast bowler, was the first to take four in four in a first-class match when he performed the feat for Kent v Sussex at Brighton in 1862. The most recent of 34 first-class instances was achieved by Fazal-e-Akbar for PIA v Habib Bank at Lahore in 2001-02. Gary Butcher, Surrey v Derbyshire at The Oval in 2000, was the last bowler to join this list in England.

Graeme Rutherford-Doak, England

Is Gabba (as in The Gabba) an acronym? I assume it is an acronym like other Aussie grounds - WACA, SCG and MCG. I once asked an Aussie what GABBA stood for and he didn't know (or wasn't letting on!)

No, it is an abbreviation of Woolloongabba, the suburb of Brisbane in which the ground is situated. The name is aboriginal, meaning either 'whirling waters' or a combination of woolloon ('fight talk') and gabba ('a place'). Mid-nineteenth century settlers called the area One Mile Swamp.

The Gabba staged its first cricket match in November 1897 when a combined New South Wales and Queensland team played A. E. Stoddart's English XI. It was also a venue for cycling, greyhound racing and trotting.

Matt Garside, England

In a current world cup match, the scores were level and the batsman hit a boundary but the final score only went up by one run. Does a four or one go on the players' stats?

A recent revision to Law 21, section 6 (Winning Hit or Extras), decrees that only if a boundary is scored before the batsmen have completed sufficient runs to win the match will the whole of the boundary allowance be credited to the side's total and, in the case of a hit by the bat, to the striker's score.

In the example you saw, just one run was added to the total and individual score because the winning run was scored before the ball reached the boundary.

Michelle, Kent

I score for my local league team and record balls received by the batsman. Am I right in thinking you don't mark a wide against the batsman as a ball received?

Absolutely correct, Michelle.

Wides do not count as balls received because batsmen cannot score from them and their addition would distort the tally of deliveries by which individual innings are measured. Their inclusion would also allow bowlers with hidden agendas deliberately to elongate a batsman's innings.

Steve Keen, UK

If a bowler comes on to bowl for the first time in an innings and with his first delivery bowls a wide to end the match (e.g. winning run or stumping for the final wicket), how would his figures be written down given that he hasn't actually bowled a ball?

As 0-0-1-0 (1 wide).

Mark Ryan, London

Have you got Tugba Okuslak's number? I've just been viewing your website and all I can say is that Women's Cricket is making a beautiful start in Germany.

Mark, I am sure that Tugba will be most pleased but I cannot give out personal details. The second season of German Women's Cricket opens on April 22 with the Reinickendorfer Foxes (Tugba's team) match against Schwerin. Check the link in my website for results.

Andrew Race, Isle of Man

Flintoff has three 'F's, Strauss has three 'S's, and Pietersen has three 'E's. Can you name the only English Test player with four of the same letter in his surname?

Are you a bored member of the Isle of Man Society of Chartered Accountants whom I will be addressing at a dinner next month?

Alan MULLALLY is alone among England's 634 Test cricketers to have four similar letters in his surname.

The Nawab of Pataudi, who played three Tests for England in the 1930s before captaining India against England in 1946, has four 'A's in his complete title but the family name (or surname) is Pataudi. 'Nawab' was the title given to Indian noblemen.

His full name was Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi. When the Indian government abolished the privy purse and all royal titles in 1971, his son, who captained Oxford University and India, became Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.

Finally, my thanks to Andrew Dawson, England for this footnote:

Further to James Stokoe's question in Stump the Bearded Wonder No 141 about Colonel Percy Fawcett. I can add that he was a member of the "South London Association of Gentlemen", a cricket and dining club which is still in existence today.

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Bill Frindall Q&A
25 May 06 |  Cricket


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