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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Stump The Bearded Wonder No 73
Bill Frindall is waiting for your questions
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.

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

Fads, UK

Can you give details of who "owned" the individual Test batting record from the very first Test match until Lara's latest epic knock?

Here is the complete evolution, starting with the Kent-born Australian who faced the first ball in Test cricket, scored the first run and was the first to retire hurt. Intriguingly, it remained his only hundred in first-class cricket.

C. Bannerman 165*, Australia v England, Melbourne, March 1877
W.L. Murdoch 211, Australia v England, The Oval, August 1884
R.E. Foster 287, England v Australia, Sydney, December 1903
A. Sandham 325, England v West Indies, Kingston, April 1930
D.G. Bradman 334, Australia v England, Leeds, July 1930
W.R. Hammond 336*, England v New Zealand, Auckland, March/April 1933
L. Hutton 364, England v Australia, The Oval, August 1938
G.St A. Sobers 365*, West Indies v Pakistan, Kingston, February/March 1958
B.C. Lara 375, West Indies v England, St John's, April 1994
M.L. Hayden 380, Australia v Zimbabwe, Perth, October 2003
B.C. Lara 400*, West Indies v England, St John's, April 2004

Stuart Clarke, England

After breaking the Test match world record, is Brian Lara the first person to score a first-class 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500?

Yes. He is the only batsman to score 500 in first-class cricket. Four other batsmen have scored 100, 200, 300 and 400 at first-class level: D.G. Bradman, Hanif Mohammed, G.A.Hick and W.H. Ponsford.

Abel Guerrero, UK

I suspect that as a quick scorer, Brian Lara's 400 is not actually the longest time at the crease - can you confirm?

By my stop watches Lara batted for 778 minutes, which makes his innings the fifth-longest in Test cricket behind Hanif Mohammed (337 runs in 970 minutes), G. Kirsten (275 in 876), S.T. Jayasuriya (340 in 799), and L. Hutton (364 in 797). Lara's 375 took 768 minutes.

Richard, Herts

Will you be doing a Lara limited edition radial chart for the 400* as you did with the 375?

Yes, Richard. I have produced a limited edition of 400 copies in full colour of the A4 chart published in a national broadsheet shortly after his latest epic. The 215 lines (4 sixes, 1 five, 43 fours, 4 threes, 24 twos and 139 singles) are coloured to represent the damage inflicted upon the seven bowlers. Contact me as usual using the post form on the right hand side of the page.

Sri, US

Rahul Dravid is the first Indian to score five double centuries in Tests. Who is the record-holder for double tons and where does Dravid rank on the list?

Dravid's tally of five double hundreds in 134 Test innings places him equal fifth with Marvan Atapattu (123 innings). Ahead of them are Don Bradman (12 in 80 innings), Wally Hammond (7 in 140), Brian Lara (7 in 187) and Javed Miandad (6 in 189).

James Snow, UK

In light of the Zimbabwe player boycott, have there been any previous instances in international cricket where almost an entire side has stepped down for whatever reason?

Yes, James. In January 1885, Australia's team for the Second Test against England at Melbourne was totally different from the one which had lost the First Test at Adelaide a fortnight earlier.

The Adelaide XI had been chosen from the team that had toured England in 1884. When they demanded half the gate money from the Melbourne Test, the Victorian Cricket Association refused and the entire team resigned.

They were replaced with a side including nine debutants, five of whom were never selected again.

The Packer schism resulted in 12 Australians who had appeared against England in 1977 defecting to World Series cricket. Against India that December, Bob Simpson was recalled after an 11-year interlude to lead a side containing six debutants.

Three months later, a dispute over team selection between the West Indies Board of Control and their captain, Clive Lloyd, resulted in all their WSC players withdrawing from the team for the Third Test against Australia and a team containing six newcomers being fielded.

Reg Primer, Australia

Who was the last white West Indian Test player?

Intriguing question, Reg. I am fairly certain that the most recent one was Geoffrey Alan Greenidge who played the last of his five Tests in April 1973.

A right-handed opening batsman and occasional leg-break and googly bowler, Geoff was born at Fontabelle, Barbados, in 1948 and appeared in 152 first-class matches for Sussex between 1968 and 1975.

His highest score was 205 for Barbados v Jamaica at Bridgetown in 1966-67.

Rajiv Radhakrishnan, UK

When was the last limited-overs international played in whites?

The last one in England was the third Texaco Trophy match between the hosts and South Africa played at Headingley on 24 May 1998. This ended Texaco's 15-year sponsorship of home internationals.

Five months later the Emirates Triangular Tournament featured coloured gear and a white ball.

David Brown, England

Who was the last player to score a century before lunch on the first day of a county championship match? And who was the last player to score 1,000 runs before the end of May?

R.A. (Rob) White, then a 22-year-old student at Loughborough University, was the most recent. He scored 107 before lunch on the opening day (11 September 2002) of Northamptonshire's match against Gloucestershire at Northampton.

He converted it into the monumental score of 277 from 325 balls to register the highest maiden first-class hundred in the UK.

Graeme Hick was the last to score 1,000 runs before June. Between 16 April and 29 May 1988 he amassed 1,019 runs, average 101.90, in 11 innings: 61, 37, 212, 86, 14, 405*, 8, 11, 6, 7 and 172.

Akram Khaira, Singapore

How many runs, if any, did Sachin Tendulkar score off the first ball ever bowled to him in international cricket?

Tendulkar made his international debut at Karachi in the opening Test of India's five-match series in 1989-90. On the second day (16 November) he batted at number six and was bowled by Waqar Younis for 15.

None of the match reports I have consulted mentions the first ball he received. Rajneesh Gupta, one of India's premier statisticians, carried out copious research for me, and writes: "Amazingly none of my newspaper clippings mention anything about Sachin's debut ball.

"I have also gone through all the books on Sachin and various articles published in various newspapers and magazines, but to no avail. I have even contacted a lot of newspaper correspondents, but none even had a clue.

"Even Ajit Tendulkar, Sachin's brother, does not remember anything about this. But one of his close friends claims it was a dot ball."

Had you asked about his first ball in limited-overs cricket, against Pakistan at Gujranwala a month later, the answer would have involved little research. He was caught off Waqar for a duck second ball.

Milind Phadnis, Alabama, USA

Can you list the oldest Test cricketers currently alive, please? It would be very interesting to read this list!

As at 17 April 2004, the oldest living Test cricketers were: E.W.T.Tindill (NZ) 93y 121d; J.L.Kerr (NZ) 93y 111d; N.Gordon (SA) 92y 255d; W.A.Brown (Aus) 91y 261d; N.S.Mitchell-Innes (Eng) 89y 223d; D.W.Begbie (SA) 89y 127d; Mushtaq Ali (Ind) 89y 122d; V.S.Hazare (Ind) 89y 37d.

The oldest living West Indies player is E.S.M.Kentish (87y 148d) and the oldest Pakistan cricketer is Mohammad Aslam (84y 103d).

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