Ask The Spider #45

What is the longest over bowled in a Test match in terms of most balls bowled?

In 1996-97 at Perth during the fifth Test between Australia and West Indies, Curtly Ambrose was no-balled nine times in a 15-ball over.

Who was the first non-wicket keeper to take 100 catches in Tests?

England’s Walter Hammond claimed his 100th victim during the second Test at Old Trafford vs West Indies in 1939. The batsman was Manny Martindale and the bowler Bill Copson.

Has anyone ever taken a wicket with their last ball in Test cricket?

I’m not sure if anyone else has done it, but certainly Australia’s David Hookes can claim this achievement. He only bowled two overs but managed a wicket with his last ball.

What’s the highest Test career bowling average for a bowler who has taken a Test hat-trick?

Alok Kapali of Bangladesh achieved the hat-trick vs Pakistan in 2003, yet could only average 118.16 for his six Test wickets.

How many times has a score of more than 500 been made in the very first innings of an Ashes series?

The answer is eight, with the most recent being the 602 for nine wickets declared made by Australia at the Gabba in 2006.

Who was the first former professional Test cricketer to become a Test selector?

Les Ames was the first, for England in 1950.

I have a problem with the number of overs that have to be played in a day of test cricket. In Australia yesterday, South Africa finished their innings after 9.5 overs at 12h25 local time. Then, I made this calculation, there were 2 sessions remaining + 1 hour in the first session + 5 minutes of the first hour, that makes 240 minutes+60 minutes + 5 minutes, so 305 minutes. If I take out 10 minutes for the in-between innings, it remains 295 minutes divided by 4 equal 73.75, so 74 overs. But they played 75 overs for stumps. Could you please explain where I’m wrong.

It is just a case of Australia having bowled those 9.5 overs at a slow rate. Ideally, in the same time, Australia should have bowled 14 overs, thus letting 74 overs remain for the day as per your calculation (excluding 2 overs from the total of 90 overs for the change of innings). 75 overs were bowled by South Africa by the scheduled time of play, because they were just making up the overs lost earlier in the day. Even so, 3 overs were still lost on the day.


I can’t believe your answer to Q5, about the Test selectors.
Both WG Grace and CB Fry were selectors, and Sir Pelham Warner chaired the England selection panel for years between the wars. They had all played Test cricket, as had many other selectors in those years.
Possibly you meant to say that Les Ames was the first former professional cricketer to become a selector. That might be true.

Comment by Stephen Chalke | 12:00am GMT 30 December 2008

Hi Stephen, good catch – I meant to say former professional cricketer!

Comment by Dave Wilson | 12:00am GMT 30 December 2008

Has anyone ever taken a wicket with their last ball in Test cricket?

Yes, Glenn McGrath took his last wicket with his last ball in Test cricket when he dismissed Anderson in the Sydney Test.

Interestingly, McGrath took his final ODI wicket also off his last ball, dismissing Russel Arnold in the World Cup Final 2007.

Comment by Prashanth | 12:00am GMT 2 January 2009

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