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Last Updated: Friday, 7 July 2006, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Stump the Bearded Wonder No 126
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 as the season gets underway.

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


Sarwan was reported yesterday as the first person to hit 6 fours in an over (in this case a seven-ball over because of a no-ball) in a Test match.

But, if memory serves, didn't Gayle do this to Hoggard a couple of years ago at the Oval?

And, going back even further, didn't an Indian batsman (I've forgotten his name but could it have been Patil?) do this to Bob Willis (at Edgbaston?), again off a seven-ball over?

The report was wrong and you are correct, Peter. India's Sandeep Patil hit 444(nb)0444 off an over from Bob Willis at Old Trafford in 1982 and Chris Gayle struck six fours off an over from Matthew Hoggard when West Indies played at The Oval in 2004. Ramnarash Sarwan hit 444444(nb)0 off Munaf Patel when West Indies played the Third Test against India at Basseterre recently to provide the third instance of six fours in an over.

The most runs off an over is 28 (466444) by Brian Lara off Robin Peterson's left-arm spin when West Indies played South Africa at Johannesburg in 2003-04. There have been four other instances of 25 or more runs being conceded in a single over.

Wayne Radix, Grenada

The West Indies and India have drawn the first two Tests of their current series and the third one is looking like a draw as well.

Has there ever been an occasion where all the Tests in a series have ended in draws?

India's victory in the fourth Test enabled them to take that series after the first three matches were drawn. There have been four instances of sides drawing every Test in a FIVE-MATCH series. The first two involved India and Pakistan (1954-55 and 1960-61), before India and England joined the list in1963-64, followed by West Indies and New Zealand in 1971-72.

Uwe Junge, Germany

Why is a score of 100 runs called a "ton"? In mathematics a ton is linked to the amount of 1,000.

Certainly a metric tonne weighs 1000 kilograms but 'ton' is also used in slang (informally) to mean a large amount of something. As a unit of speed, a ton can be 100 mph or 100 km/h. In money, it is slang for 100. In darts, a ton (or ton up) is a score of 100 or more points with three darts.

Joel O'Brien, Leeds

Geraint Jones is now holding the world record in Tests for never getting out for 0. Who held this record previously?

Jones is currently joint record holder for the most innings in a Test career without a duck and will be anxious to avoid one against Pakistan at Lord's next week. His tally of 44 innings equalled the record of J.W. (Jim) Burke for Australia from 1950-51 to 1958-59. Burke's record was the more remarkable because he faced the new ball in 37 of those innings.

Jones is currently joint fifth in the list of most innings before a first duck in Tests. Sri Lanka's Aravinda de Silva heads that roll of honour with 75 innings, followed by Clive Lloyd (West Indies - 58), Alan Davidson (Australia - 51) and Basil Butcher (West Indies - 46).

Maggie Evans, UK

Which Australian bowler achieved the fastest ever haul of 50 Test wickets all against England?

C.T.B. (Charlie) Turner holds that record having reached that tally in just six matches bowling fast-medium with a chest-on action. It took him just 1727 balls and they cost a mere 10.18 runs apiece, five runs fewer than the next cheapest first 50 English wickets by an Australian. Fred Spofforth, Terry Alderman and Shane Warne share the second-fastest spot with eight Tests, Spofforth's 1916 balls being the only other instance among the 32 Aussies taking 50 England wickets of fewer than 2000 balls.

Ben Russell, England

What is the lowest Test average ever gained by an opening batsman?

Intriguing question! If a qualification of 20 innings as an opener is applied and innings in which he did not open are ignored, Salim Elahi of Pakistan has the wooden spoon with an average of 15.05 runs from his 20 innings. The England mantle for that award goes to my old TMS colleague, Trevor Bailey, who averaged 21.04 runs from 23 innings.

David Dewsbury, England

An earlier question raised the feats of Chris Old versus Pakistan in 1978, in which he bowled a sequence of WWnbWW. I faintly remember coming in from school to see it happen and seem to recall that his "no ball" was also a wicket taker but for him over-stepping. Can you confirm if I remember this correctly (I was 8 years old at the time)?

Old's feat took place at Edgbaston on the opening day of England's first Test against Pakistan on 1st June 1978. Bowling from the City End, the first ball of his 19th over was left by Wasim Raja, who top-edged a catch to keeper Bob Taylor off the next. His third ball nipped back though the gate to hit Wasim Bari's off stump. Old's fourth ball, a no-ball, was edged by Iqbal Qasim but my notes do not record that it resulted in a 'catch'.

Qasim edged an outswinger to Taylor off the fifth ball before Sikander Bakht found Graham Roope at second slip off an identical following ball. Liaquat Ali took a quick single to short mid-wicket off the final ball. Old thus equalled the record of four wickets in five balls set by Maurice Allom on his Test debut at Christchurch in 1929-30.

This was the first Test to be sponsored by Cornhill Insurance and it was also the game in which David Gower celebrated the start of his illustrious England career by hitting his first ball (off Liaquat) to the backward square-leg boundary at 3.10 on the second afternoon.

Neil Hake, England

Can you tell me how many current players made their Test debuts in the 1980's? The only one I can think of is Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar, who made his debut on 15 November 1989, is the only current player (assuming he will resume a career halted by injury since 22 March this year) to have begun his Test career before 1990.

Nine others, Anil Kumble (India 9 Aug 1990), Brian Lara (West Indies - 6 Dec 1990), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka - 22 Feb 1991), Shane Warne (Australia 2 Jan 1992), Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan - 4 Jun 1992), Muthiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka 28 Aug 1992), Damien Martyn (Australia 2 Jan 1993), Justin Langar (Australia - 23 Jan 1993) and Glenn McGrath (Australia 12 Nov 1993) made their debuts before 1994.

Peter Relton, USA (Ex-Peru)

When someone scores a century in his first Test, mention is not made of which innings. Surely, if scored in the first, the glory is much greater? So would you please list those great achievers and whether in the 1st or 2nd innings.

I'm not sure what reference books you have consulted, Peter, but Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and my Wisden Book of Test Cricket both give full lists of Hundreds on Test Debut and prefix those scored in the second innings with a symbol. Of the 80 instances of a century on debut, 26 were achieved in the second innings. Lawrence Rowe (West Indies) and Yasir Hamid (Pakistan) scored hundreds in both innings of their maiden Tests.

Craig, England

The current coach at my club is Christopher Mann, an ex Durham player. Is there anything you can tell me about the man himself or his stint with Durham?

Christopher Mann was born at South Shields on 14 April 1981 and educated at Boldon Comprehensive School and South Tyneside College. A right-handed batsman and medium-pace bowler, he graduated to the Durham playing staff from their Cricket Academy in 2002. He made no first-class appearances before being released at the end of the 2003 season. His only appearance in List A limited-overs matches was for Durham Cricket Board in the 2002 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy when he scored 7, held a catch and didn't bowl.

Thomas Baker, Oaxaca, Mexico

In a Sunday league game that I played in last year back in England the ball went for six byes! Our wicketkeeper was standing back to a fast bowler but had not taken his helmet off from the previous over where he was standing up to a spinner. The bowler bowled a bouncer that slipped through the keeper's gloves, hit him on the helmet then crashed into the sightscreen on the full, hence the six byes. I was wondering if you have any records of any similar occurrences.

There are no records of a ball going for six byes because the Laws of Cricket do not permit it. Any ball that carries the boundary without bouncing or coming into contact with the batsman's equipment or clothing scores four, not six, byes. Law 19 (4b) states: The allowances for boundaries shall be 6 runs if the ball having been struck by the bat pitches beyond the boundary, but otherwise 4 runs.

Jay Pal, UK

There was a cricketer from Fiji called Bula who was reputed to have the longest name in cricket, Bula being the shortened form of his name. Can you tell me what his full name was and, if possible, it meant? I think the name told a story.

I.L.Bula's full name is without doubt the longest name of any cricketer and there are several versions of it: Ilikena Lasarusa Talebulamainavaleniveivakabulaimainakulalakebalau. The literal translation is: returned alive from Nankula hospital at Lakemba island in the Lau group.

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Bill Frindall Q&A
25 May 06 |  Cricket


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