Steven Smith scored two centuries in three days against India, both of them coming in 62 balls – has anyone made a faster hundred for Australia in ODIs? asked Brent Franklin from Australia
Those near-identical centuries by Steven Smith against India on Friday and on Sunday come in joint third on Australia’s list of the fastest hundreds in men’s one-day internationals. Their quickest took just 51 balls, by Glenn Maxwell against Sri Lanka in Sydney during the 2015 World Cup, while James Faulkner belted one from 57 balls against India in Bengaluru in 2013-14.
Who played the most Test matches without ever ending up on the losing side? asked Sanket Amdalli from the UAE
This unusual record is held by the Indian offspinner Rajesh Chauhan, who appeared in 21 Tests in the 1990s, of which 12 were won and nine drawn. He’s well ahead of the next man, the Australian legspinner Colin McCool, who was never on the losing side in his 14 Tests, ten of which were won. The Antiguan allrounder Eldine Baptiste played ten Tests for West Indies between 1983-84 and 1989-90 and won the lot, another record.
The equivalent record for one-day internationals is currently held by another Indian, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, whose nine ODIs have brought eight wins and a no-result. The new South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje has played in seven ODIs as I write, and finished on the winning side each time (on the flip side, Nortje has lost five of his six Tests).
Is it true that Garry Sobers was supposed to play in the first World Cup? asked Michael Johnstone from England
Garry Sobers – or Sir Garfield, as he’d been since the New Year Honours were announced earlier in 1975 – was indeed in the original West Indies squad for the inaugural World Cup in England. However, he withdrew after suffering a groin strain while playing for Littleborough in the Central Lancashire League. “I would have loved to play,” he wrote. “But I had pulled a muscle and, though it might have healed in the intervening two weeks, I did not believe it was worth taking the risk. Countries had to declare their 14 players in advance, and if someone dropped out there was no provision to call up a replacement.”
Rohan Kanhai took Sobers’ place and, aged 39 and greying at the temples, scored a vital 55 in the final against Australia at Lord’s, at one point going scoreless for 13 overs while Clive Lloyd made merry.
It meant that Sobers played only one official one-day international, against England at Headingley in 1973, when he was out for a duck (although he did take 1 for 31).
Six Indian batsmen scored 1 against West Indies at Ahmedabad in 1983-84. Is this a record for the most 1s in a Test innings? asked Syed Nooruzzaman from Pakistan
The short answer is yes: India’s six 1s against West Indies in Ahmedabad in 1983-84 is comfortably a record. Sunil Gavaskar was the first to go for a single, and he was followed by Sandeep Patil, Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev, Roger Binny and Balwinder Sandhu. India, who had needed 242 to win, were all out for 103 (looking on the bright side, at least no one was out for 0). Michael Holding inflicted three of the dismissals. There are ten instances of four batsmen scoring 1 in the same Test innings.
When Australia were bowled out for 75 by South Africa in Durban in 1949-50, there were six 2s on the scorecard (including the not-out batsman Bill Johnston). There have been five Test innings that included six ducks, plus six more with five ducks and a 0 not out.
Zimbabwe hold the corresponding record in one-day internationals: five of their batsmen made 1 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in January 2005, although only four of them were dismissed: Chris Mpofu finished with 1 not out. There are 20 instances of four scores of 1 in an ODI innings.
When Bangladesh’s women slid to 54 all out against India in the opening match of the T20 Asia Cup in Bangkok in November 2016, there were seven scores of 1, including the last five in the order (one of whom, Khadija Tul Kubra, was not out).
Did Imran Khan, now the prime minister of Pakistan, play in the McDonald’s Cup in Australia in 1985? asked Farwa from Morocco
The McDonald’s Cup was the name given to the Australian states’ one-day competition from 1979-80 to 1987-88, after which the sponsor changed. Imran Khan had a season with New South Wales in Australia, in 1984-85, as he recovered from a leg injury. He did not appear in NSW’s first two games in that season’s McDonald’s Cup, but he was Man of the Match in the semi-final, against Victoria at the MCG, following 1 for 28 from his ten overs with 73 not out in a seven-wicket win. And he was on the winning side again in the final, against South Australia in Sydney, scoring 36 and taking a wicket as NSW eased to an 88-run victory which formed part of a domestic double, as they also won the four-day Sheffield Shield that season.
And there’s a clarification for one of last week’s questions, about players who have appeared for multiple IPL teams, after queries from Sooryanarayanan Sesha and Harbinger Ora:
Irfan Pathan played for five IPL teams – the Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions – but he was also in the Chennai Super Kings squad in 2015, when he did not appear in a match. So he shouldn’t really appear on the list, although he was on the roster of six different squads. Thanks also to those who pointed out that Shaun Marsh was the leading scorer in the inaugural IPL in 2008, with 616 runs for Kings XI Punjab, before he’d played for Australia.
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