Ask The Spider #10

What is the highest score obtained by a bowler in Test and ODI cricket?

This question really depends on how you define a bowler. Sir Garfield Sobers, for example, bowled a lot, but he was far better batsman than bowler and he has a Test triple-century. Wasim Akram has a double-century, but he was at the edge of being considered an all-rounder. So the problem becomes that if you score a lot, you become an all-rounder and thus are disqualified and you end up looking for the highest score by a person who (in your subjective view) didn’t score enough to be an all-rounder.

If you mean specialist bowlers coming-in down the order (numbers nine through eleven), you’d have to exclude people like Jason Gillespie, who is not normally thought of as an all-rounder, but scored a double-century coming-in at three as a nightwatchman in his last Test.

The best way to do this is to go strictly by batting-order and the highest score from each of the positions normally occupied by bowlers (eight-eleven). The list then looks like this for Tests:

#8: Wasim Akram (257*)
#9: Daniel Vettori (137*) (NB: Ian Smith (173) holds the highest score for a number-nine batsman in Tests, but he was a wicketkeeper, not a bowler; Clem Hill scored 160 there, but he is one of Australia’s greatest-ever batsmen and was only batting so low because he had ‘flu; and Asif Iqbal, with a Test average of 38.85 and who mostly batted four, five and six, also scored 146 there)
#10: Patrick Symcox (108) (NB: Walter Read (117) has the highest score by a number-ten batsman in Tests, but he like Hill was a front-line batsman, and never took a Test wicket; another front-line batsman, Reggie Duff, also scored a century at the position, having been held back because of a wet pitch)
#11: Zaheer Khan (75)

And for ODIs:

#8: Thomas Odoyo (84)
#9: JP Yadav (69)
#10: IK Pathan (50) (NB: Douglas Marillier (56*) has an even higher score in the position, but it was his only innings there – he opened the batting 17 times in his career and also batted five and six, and thus should probably be disqualified from this question. Marillier was more a batsman than a bowler – he did not bowl in any of his first six games, and also in another seven later on in his career)
#11: Shoaib Akhtar (43)

What’s the best strike-rate for a batsman who has faced half his team’s allocation in a ODI?

The fastest score by a player who has faced half the balls in an innings (150 balls) is Sanath Jayasuriya?s 189 off 161 balls in Sharjah for Sri Lanka against India. The innings happened in 2000, and astonishingly, Sri Lanka only made a total of 299, with the next highest score being 52 by Russel Arnold. No other batsman passed 15 in the innings. Adding to the importance and quality of the innings was the fact that India were subsequently bowled out for 54 runs, with only one batsman making double figures (Robin Singh with 11), and Sri Lanka took the final by 245 runs.

How many times has someone been dismissed by the first ball of an innings in a ODI?

There have been 79 instances of a batsman being dismissed first ball in a ODI. The first instance occurred in 1976 as England’s Barry Wood was bowled by the great West Indian seam-bowler Andy Roberts. Interestingly, being out first ball seems to happen more in the first innings than in the second. The first case of this occurrence happening in the second innings was in 1986, with India’s Kris Srikkanth losing his wicket to England’s Graham Dilley.

Has anyone finished their entire career without scoring a duck in a ODI?

There have been many such instances, but if you set a minimum of 50 innings played, then there is only one man left: Kepler Wessels of Australia (and then South Africa). His career spanned eleven years, and he played 105 ODI innings without a duck.

Has there ever been a non-timeless Test which has contained more than one double-century and finished in a positive result? If so, were any of these doubles in different team innings?

There have been quite a few:
More than one double century by players in the same team:
– Australia v England – December 1946 – Barnes 234, Bradman 234 – Australia won by an innings and 33 runs (6-day match, but not timeless)
– West Indies v Pakistan – March 1958 – Hunte 260, Sobers 365* – West Indies won by an innings and 174 runs (6-day match, but not timeless)
– Pakistan v India – January 1983 – Mudassar Nazar 231, Miandad 280* – Pakistan won by an innings and 191 runs
– India v England – January 1985 – Fowler 201, Gatting 207 – England won by 9 wickets
– Pakistan v Sri Lanka – March 1999 – Ijaz Ahmed 211, Inzamam 200* – Pakistan won by an innings and 175 runs
– Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka – May 2004 – Atapattu 249, Sangakkara 270 – Sri Lanka won by an innings and 254 runs
– Sri Lanka v South Africa – July 2006 – Sangakkara 287, Jayawardene 374 – Sri Lanka won by an innings and 153 runs
– Bangladesh v South Africa – March 2008 – McKenzie 226, Smith 232 – South Africa won by an innings and 205 runs
More than one double century, but by players in different teams:
– England v West Indies – August 1976 – Richards 291, Amiss 203 – West Indies won by 231 runs
– Sri Lanka v West Indies – December 2001 – Lara 221, Tillakaratne 204* – Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets
– New Zealand v England – March 2002 – Thorpe 200*, Astle 222 – England won by 98 runs
– Australia v India – December 2003 – Ponting 242, Dravid 233 – India won by 4 wickets
– India v Pakistan – March 2005 – Younis Khan 267, Sehwag 201 – Pakistan won by 168 runs

When is the new ball able to be taken for the third time during a Test (presuming the innings goes that long)? If the fielding team had taken the second new ball at over 100 rather than 80 would they have to wait till over 180 to take the third one or would they be able to take it in over 160?

The new ball is available to the fielding side after 80 overs have been bowled with the previous ball. The distinction is made on overs bowled with a ball, not in the innings.

Who was the Man of the Series in the 2008 Commonwealth Bank Series?

Though India won the Commonwealth Bank Series two-nil in the finals, Nathan Bracken deservedly won the Man of the Series award for his exceptional performances throughout the tournament. In the ten matches he played in, he had an excellent economy-rate of 4.04-an-over, and took 21 wickets at a superb average of 16.52.

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