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Ask the Spider: Ask The Spider #13
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Q: Q. Who holds the record for the fastest Test triple-century?

A :In terms of balls faced, the fastest ever Test triple was by Virender Sehwag for India against South Africa at the Chepauk Stadium, Chennai in March 2008 - Sehwag took just 278 balls to reach his 300, eventually being out for 319. In terms of minutes at the crease, the record is held by Walter Hammond, who took 288 minutes over his triple for England against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland in 1932/33, on the way to 336*, which was a Test record at the time. In contrast, New Zealand had been skittled out for 158 in their first-innings. There is no record of the number of balls Hammond faced, however, as such things were rarely recorded in those days. What is known is that with a score of 227 in the first Test Hammond's average for the series was a staggering 563.00! This is a Test record unlikely ever to be beaten. However, it must be mentioned that the New Zealand team was of a deplorably low standard, one quite comparable to the Bangladesh team of the past seven years.
Q: Has any bowler taken more than one Test hat-trick?

A: Three men have taken two Test hat-tricks, with pride of place going to the Australian Jimmy Matthews, who had a hat-trick in each innings of the same match (against South Africa in the 1912 triangular tournament in England); interestingly, Matthews only took three wickets in each innings, and Tommy Ward was his third victim on both occasions. The other two bowlers enjoying two Test hat-tricks are Hugh Trumble of Australia (both against England in 1901/02 and 1903/04 at the MCG) and Wasim Akram (only a week apart in successive Tests for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in the Asian Test Championship in 1998/99, at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore and Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhaka). Wasim is so far the only player to take a hat-trick as captain.
Q: Who has taken most wickets in a Test series?

A: In a five-Test series, the record is 49 by SF Barnes, who actually took all of his wickets in only four Tests, including 5-wicket innings hauls seven times and 10-wicket match hauls three times at an extraordinary average of 10.93. Allegedly, Barnes refused to play in the fifth Test due to non-payment by the South Africans of a promised appearance bonus; either way, his non-appearance is a great disappointment for statisticians. George Lohmann took 35 wickets in a three-Test series in South Africa in 1895/96, at an astonishing average of 5.80, which included two 10-wicket matches. Lohmann also became the first to take nine wickets in one innings of a Test during this series. Both of these series were played on coconut matting for pitches.
Q: What is the longest wait to get off the mark in a Test match?

A: Geoff Allott of New Zealand took 101 minutes to score precisely zero against South Africa in 1998/99, facing 77 balls without scoring. No-one else has taken that long without scoring.
Q: Has there ever been an instance where all 10 wickets of an innings have been run out or stumped? If not, what has been the most of either?

A: The First-Class record for the highest number of stumpings in one innings is six, by Hugo Yarnold of Worcestershire against Scotland in 1951. There doesn't seem to be an instance of all ten dismissals being via run out. The most batsmen run out in a Test is four, Pakistan vs. India 1954/55 and Australia vs. West Indies 1968/69. In Twenty20, the record is also four, New Zealand v India in 2007. Records for First-Class cricket are much harder to find, and we haven't had any luck so far.
Q: What is the highest proportion of a team's runs scored by an individual batsman in a completed innings in First-Class cricket?

A: The highest percentage of runs scored by an individual in a completed innings is 83.4% by Glen Turner for Worcestershire v Glamorgan in 1977. Turner scored an astonishing 141* from a team total of only 169 (a single of these came from extras). Turner carried his bat, and the next best score was 7 by Norman Gifford at number-ten. This easily eclipses Charles Bannerman's Test record.
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