Ask the Spider #38

Has a bowler conceded 200+ runs in the first-innings of a Test and been on the winning team? If so how frequently? And has a spinner done it?

19 spinners have conceded 200 or more in a Test first-innings, including Vinoo Mankad and Saqlain Mushtaq twice, and also Rajesh Chauhan and Anil Kumble in the same innings, against Sri Lanka at R Premadasa Stadium. The first was in 1930, and 11 of them have come since 1995/96.

There have also been 5 seam-bowlers who conceded 200 or more, 2 of which (Fazal Mahmood and Khan Mohammed) were in the same game (against West Indies at Sabina Park in 1958). The other three have all occurred since 1982/83: Kapil Dev that season, Ian Botham in 1987 and Brett Lee in 2003/04.

Never has a bowler conceded 200 or more in the first-innings and seen his side win the game. 8 of the instances which occurred in five-day Tests (plus 2 in timeless Tests and the Pakistanis in a six-dayer) resulted in defeat.

How many players have made a hundred on debut for England?

17 players have so far achieved this feat, the first being WG Grace in 1880 in the very first Test in England. The most recent century debutant was Matt Prior in 2007.

Prior to 1970 when did England hold The Ashes?

England held the Ashes in 1956 with a 2-1 win, but lost 4-1 in 1958-59, after which the Aussies held the Ashes right through the 1960s. Both series’ in Australia were drawn, and England twice lost at home before Derek Underwood saved the day at the last gasp in 1968 to salvage a 1-1 draw. This presaged victory in 1970/71.

Name the player who batted in nine out of the eleven positions for England, excluding one and eleven.

This was Middlesex all-rounder Fred Titmus.

Is it true that a Sri Lankan wicketkeeper never conceded a bye in his Test career?

Yes. Brendon Kuruppu played 4 times between 1986/87 and 1991, and let not a single one through. However, he kept wicket just once (and scored 201* in that game). Pakistan’s Humayun Farhat, who played once in 2000/01, also did not concede a bye in that game but could conceivably play again, though it now seems fairly unlikely.

Which bowler has the most Test wickets without a caught-and-bowled?

England’s Phillip DeFreitas holds this record – he took 140 Test scalps, but not one saw him taking a catch.

And did anyone take more than this before their first caught-and-bowled?

Yes – Courtney Walsh, John Snow and Kapil Dev all had more than 140 before their first c&b. Walsh had 184 before he got his first.

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by James Nixon