Ask The Spider #32

Name the player who has scored centuries in both innings’ of his debut Test.

This was Lawrence Rowe of West Indies, whose Test debut came at his home ground, Sabina Park Kingston, against New Zealand in 1972. He graced the occasion with 214 and 100*. Rowe continued to enjoy his home ground in Tests, scoring 76, 4, 120, 47 and 6* in his remaining games there. He also excelled at other Caribbean grounds, but struggled overseas, and his career was terminated after just 30 Tests due to problems with his eyes, including an allergy to grass.

Was wondering yesterday what the highest first-innings score to end in defeat was (in Tests)?

This is the same as the highest score to end in defeat, and both are among the oldest Test records remaining – set in 1894/95 at the SCG. Australia made 586, enforced the follow-on in a timeless game, and England set them a seemingly simple target which (in a scenario that has echoed down the years on many occasions) they just failed to reach. For many years this game was also the sole record in victory after following-on, until a similar (and even more famous) match was played-out at Headingley in 1981. Australia have since fallen victim once again in a perhaps even more remarkable Test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 2000/01.

Who has the best bowling figures in a side that has conceded 500 or more in an innings?

In 1974/75, with Australia having already long since wrapped-up the Ashes series, England went into the sixth and final match at the MCG looking to regain a measure of pride. One of Australia’s two big weapons, Jeff Thomson, had already gone down during the previous game and missed-out here, and Peter Lever and Chris Old promptly reduced the home side to 50 for 5, from where there was no recovery. With the other main spearhead, Dennis Lillee, also injured after bowling just 6 overs and part-timers like Doug Walters and Ian Chappell bowling a number of overs, England were always going to get a large total. But Max Walker, the second lieutenant, kept going and after working through the top-order was rewarded for his toil as he hurried the tourists from 507 for 4 to 529 all out. Walker finished with 8 for 143, Geoff Dymock and Ashley Mallett (no mean bowlers themselves) ending with a combined 1 for 226. Despite some second-innings resistance England eventually won by an innings and 4 runs.

When was the last time someone finished an English season with a bowling-average of 0?

The most recent was 1999, when Kiwi batsman and Oxford University student Nicholas Pirihi took a wicket in his only over, a maiden, in the Varsity Match. This was Pirihi’s only over in First-Class cricket.

How many official Twenty20 Internationals have so far been tied?

Up to the break in schedule in September 2008, there had been two: New Zealand vs. West Indies at Eden Park in 2005/06 and India vs. Pakistan in the World Championship in 2007/08.

And which Umpire has stood in the most Twenty20 Internationals?

Simon Taufel tops the list to date, officiating in 11 matches. Nigel Llong is next, with 10.

Am I right in thinking that Bangladesh’s most-faced opposition in Tests is Sri Lanka?

Yes – they have faced the Lankans 10 times. Whereas New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa have played them 6 times each.

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