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Ask The Spider #5

If Jason Gillespie never played Test cricket again, would his 201* be the highest Test score of a cricketer in their final match? If so, whose record did he break and what is the ODI record for this?

Gillespie doesn’t even come close: the highest score in a player’s final Test-match belongs to Andrew Sandham, who scored 325 against West Indies at Sabina Park, Kingston in 1930, though this game (and the series) was not considered a Test at the time. Four others have passed 200 in their last match. Bill Ponsford scored 266 against England in 1934 and Seymour Nurse 258 against New Zealand in 1969. More recently, two players have finished their Test careers with doubles against Bangladesh: Aravinda de Silva (206) in 2002, and Gillespie in 20056. In ODIs, both the highest scores in final matches were made by Dutchmen in the last game of the 2003 World Cup. For regular ODI teams, the highest was Clive Radley for England against New Zealand in 1978 (117*).

What is the highest score by a No 11 batsman?

In Tests, the mark is held by Zaheer Khan, who scored 75 against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 20045. The ODI mark is held by Shoaib Akhtar, who smashed a forlorn 43 against England in the 2003 World Cup after his side’s top-order had been decimated by James Anderson at Newlands, Cape Town.

Who has hit the most sixes in an innings in both Test and ODI cricket?

Wasim Akram holds the Test mark, with a remarkable 12 maximums in his 257* against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura in 1996. Hot on his tail are Nathan Astle (11 in his 222 vs. England at Christchurch) and Matthew Hayden (the same number in his 380 against Zimbabwe at the WACA, Perth). In ODIs, Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi have both managed to clear the boundary 11 times in a single knock. Jayasuriya did it in his 134 against Pakistan at Singapore in 199596, and just 6 months later, Afridi returned the favour against Sri Lanka, in his 102 at the Gymkhana Ground, Nairobi.

Who has hit the most fours in an innings in both Test and ODI cricket?

The most Test fours in a single innings were hit by John Edrich during his 310* against New Zealand at Headingley, Leeds in 1965. He scored a remarkable 52 boundaries (208 runs). In ODIs, Jayasuriya (with 24) again takes the crown, though the game, against Netherlands, was something of a farce, in which Jayasuriya crashed 157. The mark had previously been held by Saeed Anwar, with 22 in his 194 against India at the Chepauk Stadium, Chennai in 199697.

With Adam Gilchrist retiring at the end of the Commonwealth Bank Series, who will be the most successful Test and ODI wicket-keeper still playing?

Gilchrist has 416 dismissals in Test cricket (379 caught, 37 stumped), just 1 ahead of Mark Boucher (396 & 19). The next closest current player is a long, long way behind, Kumar Sangakkara, currently on 144 (124 & 20). And given how Sangakkara’s Test career has panned-out, it’s possible to see him playing as a specialist batsman for the rest of it. In ODIs, Boucher and Sangakkara (who does still keep regularly in the shorter game) are also the men to give chase. Gilchrist has 471, Boucher 386, and Sangakkara 232.

Daniel Vettori has a fairly high average of 32.04, what makes him be rated number one in the ODI World Bowler rankings?

The LG ICC rankings are based on complicated formulae, taking into account a large number of different factors. An exact explanation is given on the rankings’ official website. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that the rankings are a form guide, not something which attempts to reflect a player’s entire career.

Who was the first team to score 300+ in a ODI?

The mark was actually hit on the same day by two different teams: England (334 against India) and New Zealand (309 against the rather more modest opposition of East Africa) both cracked it on the 7th of June 1975. No evidence exists to show which team made it at the earlier hour, though given that matches started at the same time and England’s total was the higher it’s fairly safe to guess it might have been them. Both these games were 60-over affairs; the first 50-over 300-plus score was made by West Indies against India on the notorious batsman’s paradise of the Recreation Ground, St.John’s, Antigua, in 1978.

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What is the highest score obtained by a bowler in Test and ODI Cricket.

Comment by David | 12:00am BST 26 March 2008

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