Ask the Spider #37

Statistically speaking, who is Australia’s best spinner that is still playing, in First-Class cricket and List-A one-day domestic cricket respectively?

As far as career averages are concerned, and counting only players who played a minimum of 3 Pura and Ford Ranger games in 2007/08 who have also either appeared in the Sheffield Shield or FR Cup this season or been injured recently:
First-Class cricket’s most successful is, not surprisingly, Bryce McGain, the 36-year-old Victorian, whose career average of 33.82 places him well above anyone else in the longer game.
One-day cricket’s best, more surprisingly, is also McGain, whose economy-rate of 4.15-an-over and average of 26.60 outstrips all-comers as well, though Nathan Hauritz’s strike-rate is similar and Beau Casson’s is actually superior but Casson’s woeful economy-rate of almost 5-an-over cancels this out, while Hauritz’s poor one of 4.7-an-over still puts him comfortably behind McGain.

Which Test bowler has the highest percentage of victims bowled?

Imposing a minimum of 50 Test wickets, the bowler with the highest percentage of victims via rattling the stumps is England’s Tom Richardson, with 54 of 88 victims, equating to 61.36%.

On a similar theme, which bowler has the highest total of victims bowled?

Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan has 160 batsmen out bowled to his credit in his Test career.

How many times has the same player top-scored in both innings of a Test match in which all 40 wickets fell?

This has happened on eight occasions, the most recent being Rahul Dravid for India against West Indies at Sabina Park in 2006. Dravid scored 81 and 68, and is the only player to have performed the feat as captain. Inzamam-ul-Haq of Pakistan is the only player to have top-scored in both innings twice.

Which players have been dismissed for a pair (of ducks, that is) on the most number of occasions?

West Indies’ Courtney Walsh and Mervyn Dillon, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar of India and Marvin Atapattu of Sri Lanka have all “achieved” this feat on four occasions. Atapattu is the only specialist batsman of the four.

Excluding the events of the interminable timeless Test at Kingsmead in 1938/39, what are the five longest Test fourth-innings’? In terms of overs?

The top five were:
England against West Indies at Lord’s in 1950 (191.3 six-ball overs)
India against Australia at Adelaide Oval in 1977/78 (141.4 eight-ball overs)
New Zealand against England at Trent Bridge in 1973 (188.1 six-ball overs)
Australia against South Africa at Kingsmead again in 1949/50 (123.6 eight-ball overs) – this is the only one of the top five to result in victory
England against South Africa at The Wanderers in 1995/96 (165 six-ball overs)

In terms of average, who were the leading Test bowlers in the 1930s? With a minimum of 10 Tests and excluding games against New Zealand?

Australia’s Bert Ironmonger tops the list, with an extraordinary average of 15.05 from his 12 Tests. No-one else averaged less than 20 in the decade of those who played 10 Tests against teams other than New Zealand. A handful managed to average under 30: West Indies’ Manny Martindale and Learie Constantine; Australia’s Clarrie Grimmett, Bill O’Reilly and (just) Ernie McCormick; England’s Bill Bowes, Hedley Verity, Bill Voce, Ken Farnes, Morris Nichols, Walter Robins and (just) Gubby Allen; and South Africa’s “Sandy” Bell.

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