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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
Stump The Bearded Wonder No 84
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 autumn action.

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


Andy Reynolds, UK

Which bowler in Test history has bowled the most overs?

Not surprisingly the list is headed by Test cricket's two highest wicket-takers, both spinners and still playing. Australia's Shane Warne is about to add to his tally of 31,489 balls from 112 Tests while Sri Lanka's Muthiah Muralitharan will be hoping that recent surgery to his shoulder will enable him to add to his 31,125 balls in 91 Tests.

The only other bowler to reach the 30,000 mark is Courtney Walsh who sent down 30, 019 balls for West Indies in 132 matches. These totals are exclusive of no-balls and wides.


Richard Goff, Scotland

Having watched Steve Harmison given out lbw while playing a reverse sweep, I wondered whether he should have been not out, as technically he played a left-handed shot and the ball pitched outside a left-handers leg stump. Can you help with the rules on this?

A member of the ICC's Elite Umpires panel has confirmed that if a batsman takes his guard right-handed then he is regarded as being right-handed throughout his innings unless he formally changes it. Reversed strokes are ignored in assessing lbw decisions.


Stuart Harvey, England

Two years ago I was keeping for my local side, Southwater, and the batsman edged the ball on to the bails. I was standing up and caught the ball immediately after it clipped the bail and before the bail touched the floor. I appealed. The umpire raised his finger and, in the confusion, the scorer put down the dismissal as bowled.

I was wondering if I could have claimed it as caught behind. That catch would have taken my tally to 20 for the season!

Sorry, Stuart. Law 30 (section 2) confirms that bowled takes precedence: 'The striker is out Bowled if his wicket is put down - even though a decision against him for any other method of dismissal would be justified'.


Charles, Australia

Did left-handed bowlers Meckiff and Davidson ever open in a Test against Watson and Subba Row, both left-handed batsmen?

No, because Ian Meckiff and Raman Subba Row never played against each other. Meckiff appeared in only four Tests against England, in 1958-59, and Subba Row did not tour Australia.

Meckiff did open the bowling with Alan Davidson in the first three Tests of the 1958-59 rubber and it would have been an entirely cack-handed confrontation had Willie Watson opened with Peter Richardson. They did open in the second innings at Adelaide but against the right-handed pairing of Ray Lindwall and Gordon Rorke.


Steve Rodeman, USA

This is more historical than statistical, but the movie "Master and Commander" has a brief scene of British sailors playing cricket whilst on shore leave. The movie is set in 1805, and the bowler bowls overhand. Putting aside the fictional element, wouldn't that have been against the rules as overhand bowling wasn't permitted until later in the century?

I welcome historical questions, Steve, and I can confirm that not until 1835 did a revision of the Laws permit bowlers to raise their delivery hand to shoulder height. Even round-arm bowling (hand level with the elbow) was illegal before 1828, although it had been experimented with the previous season. This method had been introduced by John Willes for Kent v MCC at Lord's on 15 July 1822 and resulted in him becoming the first bowler to be no-balled for throwing.


Robban Bobban, UK

Is there any cricketer who has been given out for all of the methods of dismissal from the modern cricketing laws? If not, who has been given out in the most possible ways? Go Bill, you superstar!

There are ten ways of being given out: bowled, caught, leg before wicket, stumped, run out, hit wicket, handled the ball, hit the ball twice, obstruction of the field and timed out. A batsman can also retire out (when bored) and this counts as a dismissal in the scorebook and in his career record.

The first five ways are standard; hit wicket slightly less so. In Test cricket (to which I must restrict this survey), seven batsmen (W.R.Endean, A.M.J.Hilditch, Mohsin Khan, D.L.Haynes, G.A.Gooch, S.R.Waugh and M.P.Vaughan) have been out for handling the ball, and one (L.Hutton) for obstruction of the field. None has so far hit the ball twice or been timed out.

The most different dismissals to which any batsmen could have fallen victim so far in Test cricket is therefore eight. The current record is seven and is shared by Len Hutton, Desmond Haynes and Steve Waugh.


Barry Kenneff, UK

What are the most runs scored by a batsmen in a Test match? I noticed Graham Gooch scored 333 and 123 in one Test; this must be quite high up. Has anyone ever scored over 500 in a Test match?

Gooch's tally of 456 (for England v India at Lord's in 1990) is the record individual Test match aggregate. Only two other batsmen have scored 400 runs in a Test. Mark Taylor made 426 (334 not out and 92) for Australia v Pakistan at Peshawar in 1998-99 and Brian Lara amassed that tally in a single undefeated innings for West Indies v England at St John's, Antigua, last April.

Incidentally, the three batsmen heading this list were each captaining their sides.


Dayanand Birju, Trinidad & Tobago

Is there a particular ball in an over that has proved to be the most likely to cause the fall of a wicket? I suspect that over the long history of the game, things have all evened out but still it would be interesting to know.

The short answer is no! Many moons ago Brian Johnston coerced me into investigating the wicket-taking balls of the over for an entire Ashes series. The exercise took ages, only to reveal that the resultant six totals fell within a very small range of each other!


Brian Phythian, England

Some years ago a Test match involving New Zealand had three batsmen in the game being dismissed on 99. When was this match, and has this ever happened before?

There is a hint of confusion in your first statement, Brian. The only Test in which three batsmen were dismissed for 99 was the last of Pakistan's three-match series against England in March 1973 when Majid Khan, Mushtaq Mohammed, and Dennis Amiss were the unlucky trio - all in the first innings.

You have probably confused that unique instance with the first of two subsequent occasions when two batsmen were out for 99 in the same Test. That fate first befell New Zealand's Dipak Patel and John Wright against England at Christchurch in January 1992.

The other brace of 99s was recorded by Mark Waugh and Michael Atherton in the Ashes Test at Lord's in 1993.


Ahmar Qureshi, USA

Does the USA have a Cricket Board like every other Test Nation and, if so, where are their headquarters based? The ICC website gives the following details for the USA, an associate ICC member (only full members are eligible for Test cricket): United States of America Cricket Association, c/o Gladstone Dainty, 5810 Riggs Road, Hyattsville, MD 20783. USA. Email: gadainty@aol.com Website: www.usaca.org

Although America has played internationals against Canada since 1844, 33 years before the first official Test match, they do not qualify for Test cricket and their first full limited-overs internationals were those played against Australia and New Zealand in September's ICC Champions Trophy.


Dave Chalmers, UK

I have an autographed bat annotated "Rest of the World XI 17th July 1990". Signatures I can read include Martin Crowe, Carl Hooper and Ezra Moseley. I can't find any record of the match. Any chance you might know of it? The bat was given to me by a non-cricketer in Abergavenny, around that time. We have long since lost touch but I guess he got it from that area, maybe a Sportsman's Dinner prize. I can't remember what he told me!

Must have been some dinner! Wisden gives the scores of two matches featuring England and Rest of the World Elevens staged in the Callers-Pegasus Festival at Jesmond on 2 and 3 August 1990. Martin Crowe appeared in both games. Ezra Moseley played for Michael Parkinson's World XI in the three-day first-class match (29-31 August) which concluded India's tour. Perhaps someone will read this and be able to throw light on your mystery match.


Thanks to Jerry Lodge, Surrey CCC's Librarian, I can confirm that Graham Roope was NOT the batting partner when John Edrich reached his 100th century (v Derbyshire in 1977) - see AB 82and 83. Jerry writes: To the eternal shame of the Oval authorities, all of Jack Hill's scorebooks have been destroyed.

I have spoken to David Baggett who holds all the Derbyshire scorebooks and he confirms that Geoff Howarth was batting when John Edrich completed his century.

This is also in line with the mounted scorecard that hangs in the corridor outside the Library at The Oval.





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