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Friday, 21 December, 2001, 13:58 GMT
Stump The Bearded Wonder No 17
Pose your cricket questions to Bearders
Bill Frindall, aka the Bearded Wonder, is poised to answer you cricket queries and teasers.

As England toil in the Indian heat, Test Match Special's resident cricket guru has opted for the comfort of his own home.

Fill in the form to stump The Bearded Wonder.


Here's a selection of the latest answers

Neil Dutton, England

Is Matthew Elliott the only player ever to be out for 199 in Test cricket, and does Mike Atherton hold the record for the most Test 99s?

Four batsmen have been dismissed for 199 in official Tests: Mudassar Nazar, P v I, Faisalabad 1984-85; M Azharuddin, I v SL, Kanpur 1986-87; MTG Elliott, A v E, Leeds 1997; SR Waugh, A v WI, Bridgetown 1998-99.

Seven players share the record for scoring the most 99s in Tests (with two): MA Atherton, G Boycott (one was not out) and MJK Smith for England, SK Warne (Australia), JG Wright (New Zealand), Salim Malik (Pakistan) and RB Richardson (West Indies).

Philip Lewis, England

I can remember Alex Tudor and, now, Shane Warne, but how many others have a top Test score of 99?

Eight players have registered a highest score of 99 in Test cricket. Alex Tudor is alone in making a top score of 99 not out. The full list is: MD Moxon, A J Tudor and NWD Yardley (England), SK Warne (Australia), RF Surti (India), JEF Beck and DN Patel (New Zealand), and Maqsood Ahmed (Pakistan).

Tony Roberts, West Sussex

Brian Lara has just become only the sixth batsman to score a double and single century in the same Test match. Remarkably, he was on the losing side. Has this happened before?

No. Lara became the first when he contributed 221 and 130 to West Indies' ten-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka in Colombo. The other batsmen to achieve this particular double, but not in a losing cause, are KD Walters (242 and 103 for Australia in 1968-69), SM Gavaskar (124 and 220 for India in 1970-71), LG Rowe (214 and 100 not out for West Indies in 1971-72), GS Chappell (247 and 133 for Australia in 1973-74) and GA Gooch (333 and 123 for England in 1990).

Mike Farley, UK

Bearders! Quite a simple one for you, but it has been bugging me for a couple of days - who was the last English batsman to get 200 or more in a Test match innings? Was it Gooch at Lords with the 333?

No. There has been one England double hundred since the Gooch triple. Nasser Hussain scored 207 against the 1997 Australians at Edgbaston.

Simon, USA

Why are 'Test' matches so named? Why the word 'Test'?

The phrase 'test match' was coined in 1861-62 during the very first cricket tour of Australia. The contests between HH Stephenson's English team and each of the Australian colonies were described as 'test matches'.

Why 'test'? Probably because they provided the first opportunity to test the relative skills of English and Australian cricketers. They could easily have been described as 'trials'.

Buzz Rockport, England

This is probably an easy one for you, but how many First Class hundreds has the mighty Tendulkar hit? I know about the 27 Test hundreds and the 30 limited-overs international tons.

Before the final Test against England at Bangalore (starting on 19 December), Sachin Tendulkar had scored 50 hundreds in all first-class matches, including his 27 in Test cricket. His full first-class batting record at that date was: 176 matches, 274 innings, 29 not outs, 15,182 runs, average 61.96, 50 hundreds and 71 other scores between 50 and 99 inclusive. To date (18 Dec 2001) he has scored a record 31 hundreds in his 272 LOIs.

Hugh Whitworth, England

Who are the five most successful English batsmen on Indian soil?

Hugh, do you mean in terms of career, series, match or innings? Here are the England in India records for each of those categories: Most Runs in a Career: 862 (avge 50.70) by MW Gatting in 1981-82, 1984-85 and 1992-93; Most Runs in a Series: 594 (avge 99.00) by KF Barrington in 1961-62; Most Runs in a Match: 225 (178 and 47) by GA Hick at Bombay in 1992-93; Highest Score: 207 MW Gatting at Madras in 1984-85.

Peter Miles, England

When was the last time in a Test match (before Ahmedabad) that England's last five wickets produced more runs than their first five?

Interesting question Peter. Whereas the lower order has frequently out-scored the higher in recent Tests for Australia and South Africa, that has certainly not been a feature of England scorecards.

Surprisingly, you have only to go back to last August when, in their second innings of the Fifth Test at The Oval, England converted 55-5 to 184 all out. The last time they achieved such a recovery in the first innings was at Lahore in November 2000 when, again led by Craig White (93), they progressed from 225-5 to 480-8 declared.

Mike Lodge, England

Bill, I have a question about the Laws.

I noticed that Foster, the England wicketkeeper, was taking up a position outside the leg stump when Giles was bowling over the wicket in the Second Test. Is he not in danger of being the third fielder behind square on the leg side in this instance?

My reading of the Law (assuming "The Cricketer" site is up to date) does not distinguish between fieldsmen and wicketkeeper in Law 41.2. I think I noticed Giles bowling with a deep square leg and a "man at 45" when Foster took up this position?

Law 41.5 (2000 code) is quite specific: 'At the instant of the bowler's delivery there shall not be more than two fielders, other than the wicket-keeper, behind the popping crease on the on side.' There is no territorial restriction on wicket-keepers, provided that they don't shift position dramatically during the bowler's approach or take the ball in front of the stumps.

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