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Ask the Spider: Ask The Spider #62
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Q: What's the longest gap between India-Pakistan Test matches? (In terms of time, that is)

A :The subcontinental rivals had two lengthy gaps where their Test-playing was suspended - the second and second-longest was between 1989/90 and 1998/99, which was just over 9 years. However, this did not come close to extending to the length of the period between 1960/61 and 1978/79 - over 17 years, 8 months and 8 days.
Q: And how about Australia-New Zealand (excluding the gap between the first and second)?

A: The trans-Tasman rivals' first game, officially, was in 1945/46, but this was not recognised as a Test at the time and New Zealand's team was still far from justifying their Test-playing tag at all. The next match was in 1973/74 and thereafter they have played regularly, never more than three-and-a-half years separating any series. However, the two-leg home-and-away one-off Tests in 1989/90 were not, essentially, a series, meaning that the match-ups in 1987/88 and 1992/93 were separated by over 6 years.
Q: Has there ever been a five-Test series which finished nil-nil?

A: There have been (so far) four - Pakistan vs. India in 1954/55; India vs. Pakistan in 1960/61; India vs. England in 1963/64; and West Indies vs. New Zealand in 1972. The first of these was a series of four-day matches; the second was generally a bat-athon (though two games came very close to a result); in the third England ran-out of time to chase targets in the opening three games before the last two were bat-athons; and West Indies should have snatched the fourth (which was mostly a bat-athon) at the last but were denied in the series' final session.
Q: Who has made the most single-figure scores (whether out or not) consecutively in Test cricket?

A: India's Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, who was no batsman of note, played 32 innings' between 1967/68 and 1975/76 (not surprisingly he had one lengthy spell out of the side in this time). Bruce Reid almost equalled this - his last 31 innings ended in single-figures, but injury deprived him of the chance to extend it.
Q: I read somewhere that 1948 Invincible Colin McCool never lost a Test? Is this true, and is his 14 Tests a record?

A: McCool did indeed never finish on the losing side, but his is only second to the remarkable Rajesh Chauhan, who played for India 21 times without once losing.
Q: What's the lowest score which earned an innings victory in a Test?

A: Australia's 153, at The MCG in 1931/32, was easily enough to condemn South Africa to an innings defeat - they had been knocked-over for 36 in their first-innings and fell for 45 in their second. The destroyer was Bert Ironmonger, a left-arm slow-medium bowler aged 49, who took quite incredible match figures of 11 for 24.
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