Ask The Spider #64

I know Charles Bannerman’s 165* in the very first Test is the highest percentage any batsman has of a completed Test innings, but what is the highest percentage conceded by a bowler?

A fairly remarkable 76.66% – England’s Hugh Bromley-Davenport took 1-23 in South Africa’s 30 all out against England href=””>at St.George’s Park, Port Elizabeth in 1895/96. This, like Bannerman’s, may be a record that is never broken.

Has there ever been a Test innings where no batsman made double-figures?

Just the one – and the same team made the same score against the same opposition as in the above question. This time it was 1924 at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The South Africans did rather better following-on (408 runs behind) but still lost by an innings.

Which batsman has made the most Test fourth-innings centuries?

This is a record currently shared by Sunil Gavaskar, Ricky Ponting and Ramnaresh Sarwan – currently each on four. Either of the latter two could yet claim the record outright.

What is the most number of wickets taken by different bowlers in a ODI? That is, the highest number of different bowlers who each took a wicket?

12 different bowlers took a wicket in the ODI between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain in 1996, a record which has never been broken, though it was equalled in 2001 – and strangely enough, twice in little over a week, when New Zealand faced first Sri Lanka then India at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Of New Zealand bowlers with 50 Test wickets, who has the second-lowest career average after Richard Hadlee? Excluding Shane Bond who averages 22.39 but 27.25 against teams other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Remarkably, Bond is still third in this list even when only serious opposition is considered – only one bowler apart from Hadlee with 50 wickets averages under 27. This is the all-rounder Bruce Taylor, who like Bond had a relatively brief career, in which he took 111 wickets at 26.60.

And how about in home Tests only?

Hadlee has actually been bettered by three 50-wicket bowlers in Tests in New Zealand, though none of them have played an enormous number of them. At home, Hadlee averaged 22.96 – slightly higher than his away average – and Jacob Oram (11 Tests, 20.05), Bond (6 Tests, 22.23) and, of all people, Daryl Tuffey (11 Tests, 22.65) did better. All three appear less likely than more to play again, but with Bond and Tuffey having been thrown a lifeline from their ICL entrenchments and Oram still not having formally announced Test retirement they may yet alter these records. Two other bowlers had notable home records while failing completely away – left-armer Richard Collinge took 80 wickets at 23.86 in New Zealand and Danny Morrison 115 at 27.12. In other countries, Collinge averaged 41.22 and Morrison 54.

What is the highest individual score by a single batsman which has not been enough to prevent defeat?

Ricky Ponting made 242 against India at Adelaide Oval in 2003/04, but thanks to Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman India reached near-parity, and Ajit Agarkar then cut down the hosts’ second-innings. Thanks to another knock from Dravid, India then went on to win the game.

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