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  Monday, 13 May, 2002, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Stump The Bearded Wonder No 27
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 summer.


Peter Hornby, USA

I was looking through the statistics recently, and was surprised to find that Sir Jack Hobbs is now credited with 199 centuries, rather than the 197 which I've always remembered as his total.

Is the revision official, and, if so, when did it happen, and where did the extra two centuries comes from?

There have never been official statistics for first-class cricket. Not until May 1947 was the term 'first-class match' officially defined. Subsequently, the Association of Cricket Statisticians classified all earlier first-class matches in a series of national guides.

They included the 1930-31 visit to Ceylon by the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram's team for which Jack Hobbs (2) and Herbert Sutcliffe (1) scored hundreds. Hobbs himself was adamant that those matches should not qualify for his list of first-class hundreds:

'Don't include those,' he told the late John Arlott.'They were exhibition matches. Vizzy wanted to list our hundreds on the walls of his pavilion. We knew we'd got to score hundreds - so did the bowling side. They were not first-class in any sense.'

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and any publication with which I am involved will continue to ignore them and to show the traditional tally of 197 hundreds.

Trevor Warne, Surrey, England

I notice that Rahul Dravid has only been dismissed twice for a duck in his Test career, which seems a very low ratio. Which recent or current Test batsman with, say, 40 Test innings, has the lowest ratio of ducks?

Dealing exclusively in Test careers involving 40 or more matches, only two players, Australians JW (Jim) Burke (44 innings) and RA (Reggie) Duff (40) have avoided being out for a duck.

Sixteen players have made just one duck in a career of that length, CL (Clyde) Walcott playing most innings (73). Dravid, after exactly 100 innings (to the end of the Third Test of the current series in the Caribbean), has the best innings ratio of the two-duck club.

Steven Priscott, England

Could you please detail the instances of a batsman being out "obstructing the field"? When was the most recent occurrence?

There has been only one instance in Test cricket - by Len Hutton for England against South Africa at The Oval in 1951. A ball from Athol Rowan ballooned up from a top edge and Hutton, in fending it away from his stumps, prevented wicket-keeper Russell Endean from making a catch.

In all first-class cricket there have been 18 instances, ten of them on the Indian sub-continent, the last of which was in 1994-95. The most recent occurrence in England was in 1963 by Warwickshire's 'Billy' Ibadulla (whom I met a few weeks ago in Dunedin where he now resides and coaches) against Hampshire at Coventry.

Peter Clifford, UK

Have there ever been occasions in Test matches where all players in an innings were dismissed by the same method, i.e. all caught, all bowled, all LBW, all run out?

Yes, there have been 46 instances of all ten wickets falling to catches. The records for other forms of dismissals in an innings are: bowled - 9; lbw - 6; stumped - 5; run out - 4.

Adam Norris, UK

What is the highest score on debut for both county and country?

County Championship: DJG (David) Sales scored 0 and 210 not out for Northamptonshire v Worcestershire at Kidderminster in 1996 - at 18 years 237 days he is the youngest to score a double hundred in the Championship. Test Matches: 287 by RE ('Tip') Foster for England v Australia at Sydney in 1903-04.

Michael Davis, England

With regard to the highest number of players provided by a county to an England side, what is the record for Essex?

The Essex record is four, set by GA Gooch, DR Pringle, NA Foster and JH Childs v West Indies at The Oval in 1988. It was twice equalled v Australia in 1993 (Gooch, N Hussain, MC Ilott and PM Such).

Viraj Nadkarni, India

Has there been any instance of a different player captaining a side in every Test match of a series?

In 1929-30 four players (ELG Hoad, N Betancourt, MP Fernandes and RK Nunes) skippered West Indies in a four-match home rubber against England.

It has never happened in a five-match series (the most is four by India v West Indies in 1958-59, by Australia v England in 1884-85, and by England v West Indies in 1988).

Rob Turpin, UK

Who was the last player to be out "timed out" in a Test match?

No batsman has been dismissed 'Timed Out' in Test cricket.

Prerak Bhatt, USA

Have cricket bats ever been made out of any other type of wood other than willow? Here in America, the majority of baseball bats are made from ash but maple is gaining in popularity.

Wonderful! A fascinating bat question from a Bhatt! I expect other woods have been experimented with and there is nothing in the laws to prevent it.

Only after Dennis Lillee's infamous use of an aluminium bat in the 1979-80 Perth Test against England did the Laws (6.1) even stipulate that 'the blade of the bat shall be made solely of wood.'

After Parr's Tree at Trent Bridge was felled during a storm in 1976, Nottinghamshire produced a limited edition of miniature bats from the elm's wood.

Matt, England

Has a batsman batting at number eleven in a Test match ever made a hundred? What is the highest tenth-wicket partnership in Test history?

The highest tenth-wicket partnerships are 151 by BF (Brian) Hastings and RO (Richard) Collinge for New Zealand v Pakistan at Auckland in 1972-3 and 151 by Azhar Mahmood and Mushtaq Ahmed for Pakistan v South Africa at Rawalpindi in 1997-98. Collinge's 68 not out in the first of those record stands remains the highest score by a number 11 in Test cricket.

Jayakumar Gilbert, USA

During the 1982 Madras Test match between India and England, on the last day as the match was heading towards a draw, almost all the England players bowled an over or two. I remember that even Bob Taylor bowled an over while Graham Gooch kept wicket. Is there a Test innings where all the eleven players bowled at least an over?

In that Madras Test match only the absence through injury of Paul Allott prevented a third instance of all eleven bowling in a Test innings.

The two occasions when it has happened involved England v Australia (551) at The Oval in 1884 and Australia v Pakistan (383-2) at Faisalabad in 1979-80.

Dilip Ray, USA

Is the present 18-year-old wicket-keeper of Zimbabwe the youngest to debut in a Test match as a wicket-keeper?

No, Dilip. Tatenda Taibu was 18 years and 66 days on debut. Hanif Mohammed holds the record. He was 17 years 300 days old when he kept wicket in Pakistan's inaugural Test match - v India at Delhi on October 1952.

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