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 as the season gets underway.
Fill in the form on the right-hand side of the page to stump the Bearded Wonder.
How old was W.G.Grace when he played his last game of cricket and how did he fare?
The last game of cricket in which WG batted was for Eltham at Grove Park on 25 July 1914, a week after his 66th birthday. He contributed an undefeated 69 to a total of 155-6 declared, having begun his innings when they were 31-4. Grove Park made 99-8 in reply.
The Doctor had made his final first-class appearance on 20-22 April 1908 for the Gentlemen of England v Surrey at The Oval, where, opening the innings, he scored 15 and 25. That year, on 26 June, he scored his final century (111 not out for London County v Whitgift Wanderers, a match in which he also took seven wickets, including a hat-trick).
Nigel Edmonds, England
Following the success of Strauss and Shah in the recent Bombay Test, I wondered when was the last time in a Test match that two Middlesex players (a) shared a stand of over 100 and (b) scored over 200 runs between them in the same innings of a Test?
(a) England's last all-Middlesex century partnership occurred in July 1987 when their captain, Mike Gatting (124), and John Emburey (58) added 143 for the seventh wicket against Pakistan at Edgbaston.
(b) You have to go back to 1947 to find the last instance of a brace of Middlesex batsmen contributing 200 runs to an England innings. No prizes for guessing their identity. It was indeed Denis Compton and Bill Edrich, who shared a combined first-class tally of 7355 runs and 30 centuries that summer. In successive Tests against South Africa at Lord's and Old Trafford, they enjoyed third-wicket stands of 370 and 228, contributing joint tallies of 397 and 306.
Andrew Howes, England
Monty bowled 42 overs in the first innings of his debut Test. Is this anywhere near a record for overs bowled by a debutant?
In terms of most balls bowled, Monty Panesar's 42 overs (252 balls) ranks 71st in the list of longest bowls in the first innings of their maiden Test.
The record, by a 42-ball margin, is 77 overs (462 balls) by Tom Cartwright for England during Australia's 656-8 declared at Old Trafford in July 1964. His full analysis was
Who made the first stumping in the history of Test matches?
J.M. ('Jack') Blackham made the first stumping in Test cricket when he dismissed Alfred Shaw off the bowling of Tom Kendall in England's second innings of the inaugural Test, at Melbourne on 19 March 1877. Blackham's 35 caps included Australia's first 17 Tests and he captained his country eight times.
James Barry, UK
When was the last time in India, that India have been bowled out for under 200 in both innings?
Not since January 1977 when England, led by Tony Greig, dismissed them for 155 and 181 in the Second Test at Eden Gardens, Calcutta, to win by ten wickets. During his 103 in the first innings, Greig became the first to achieve the double of 3000 runs and 100 wickets for England.
India came within a single run of being dismissed for fewer than 200 in each innings at Nagpur in October 2004 when they were bowled out by Australia for 185 and 200 in the Third Test.
Manish Achutha, India
What is the highest runs-margin of defeat in a limited-overs international? Is it the 254-run loss of Namibia to Australia in the 2003 World Cup?
You have the correct match, Manish, but the actual margin was 256 runs. Australia scored 301-6 and bowled Namibia out for 45 at Potchefstroom on 27 February 2003.
The largest margin in a match between full member countries is 245 runs, Sri Lanka (299-5) defeating India (54) at Sharjah on 29 October 2000 in the Champions Trophy.
David McKay, England
About 15 years ago, I played for the same club as Surendra Bhave of Maharashtra and West Zone, a very fine player. Is there anyone in world cricket who has scored more first-class runs at a higher average than 'Surrey' and never represented his country?
Thank you for a fascinating question, David. Surendra Shriram Bhave played in 97 first-class matches between 1986-87 to 2000-01 inclusive, scoring 7971 runs at 58.18 with 28 hundreds, 27 fifties and a highest score of 292 for West Zone against South Zone at Rourkela in 1994-95.
Four British batsmen exceeded Bhave's aggregate without playing international Test cricket but none approached his average. They are Alan Jones of Glamorgan (36,049 runs at 32.89) who played for England against Rest of the World in 1970, and was awarded a cap for an appearance in a match subsequently ruled by ICC as unofficial, John Langridge of Sussex (34,380 at 37.45), Les Berry of Leicestershire (30,225 at 30.25) and Ken Suttle of Sussex (also 30,225, at 31.09).
Very few batsmen have averaged over 58 in their first-class career and I haven't located one who did not play Test cricket. I wondered if B.B.Nimbalkar had done so. Although he is the only batsman to score a quadruple hundred (443 not out) and not play Test cricket, both his aggregate (4841 in 80 matches) and average (47.93) are inferior to those of Bhave.
Saad Siddique, UAE
A friend and I were wondering if a bowler were to take two wickets in successive deliveries, bowl a wide and then take a third wicket, would this be classified as a hat-trick?
No, Saad, a hat-trick is only gained by taking three wickets with successive deliveries and a wide or no-ball would break such a sequence. Bowling for England against Pakistan at Edgbaston in 1978, Chris Old narrowly missed becoming the first bowler to take four wickets in four balls in a Test when he interrupted a potential sequence by over-stepping and being no-balled (WWnbWW).
I.M. Sahai, India
Ref SB119 and Norman Oldfield. Is he the one who toured India with a Commonwealth XI in the 1950s and played in Tests? If so, how come he didn't progress any further at that level?
'Buddy' Oldfield (1911-1996) scored 80 and 19 on his only appearance for England in the final pre-war Test, against West Indies at The Oval in 1939. A stylish opening batsman, he scored 1000 for Lancashire in his first season (1935) and was on the brink of a long Test career when war arrived.
After two post-war seasons in the Lancashire League, he joined Northamptonshire (1948-54) and set a county record with 2192 runs in 1949. That winter he toured India, Pakistan and Ceylon with a Commonwealth XI, scoring 491 runs, avge 54.55, including three hundreds, in the five unofficial Tests against India. A first-class umpire from 1954-65, he stood in two Tests.
Stuart Hughes, Cayman Islands
How many one-Test wonders, who played for England, are still playing first-class cricket?
Currently, there are five: Kabir Ali (Worcestershire), Ian Blackwell (Somerset), Owais Shah (Middlesex), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire) and John Stephenson (MCC captain against the Champion County, Nottinghamshire, in the opening match of the 2006 season but no longer playing county cricket). Sidebottom's father, Arnie, is also a member of the One Test Wonders Club. Blackwell and Shah joined this winter.
Will Sisco, USA
I'm sure this is a most simple question, but since I am from America, I do not know the answer. How are "Not Out" innings reflected in your averages?
Not out innings are excluded, Will. A classic example was achieved by Bill Johnston on Australia's 1953 tour of England. In all first-class matches, that left-arm fast-medium bowler averaged 102. An automatic number 11, he scored 102 runs and was dismissed only once, his top score in 17 innings being 28 not out. In the final match of their tour, his captain declared to prevent him from going to the crease and putting his unique record at risk.
Jon Steane, England
The score is 8 for no wicket after the first over. This over consisted of four dot balls and then two run-scoring shots. At the end of the over both batsmen were on 4 not out. How?
The first batsman hits a ball into the deep, they run five including overthrows but that tally includes one short run. Having crossed, the second batsman then hits a boundary.