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Ask the Spider: Ask The Spider #71
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Q: Against West Indies in 2001/02, Chaminda Vaas took twin seven-fors, something I'm pretty sure I've not seen since. How many times had this happened previously?

A :It has indeed not happened since that game at Sinhalese Sports Club in 2001/02, and the last time before Vaas was quite a while ago: Alec Bedser at Trent Bridge against Australia in 1953. To find the next one you have to go back another 21 years: Clarrie Grimmett against South Africa at Adelaide Oval in 1931/32. There is one remaining instance in the 20th-century: the phenomenal SF Barnes routed South Africa at Durban's old ground, Lord's, in 1913/14. And there was one further instance in the 19th: Fred Spofforth in the famous 1882 Oval Test, which gave birth to The Ashes. Spofforth's 80 runs is the cheapest of these fourteen-wicket match hauls. There have so far been a further 229 seven-fors in a single innings. There are two instances of twin eight-fors: famous ones by Bob Massie at Lord's in 1972 and Narendra Hirwani in 1987/88.
Q: Which decade has contained the most hit-wicket dismissals?

A: The 1950s had 22, just ahead of the 1960s with 21.
Q: Which country has seen the most batsmen dismissed hit-wicket?

A: England tops this list by far, with 37 dismissals out of 13625 wickets that have so far fallen in the country.
Q: And which team has lost most batsmen this way?

A: England again come out on "top", having had 36 batsmen dismissed this way so far.
Q: And has there ever been an instance of more than one hit-wicket dismissal in the same match?

A: Astonishingly, there have been 11 - and two of them had three, West Indies vs. England at Bourda in 1930 and Pakistan vs. Australia at Karachi in 1964/65. The most recent came in 1997.
Q: And... last of all... what's the most hit-wickets in a Test series?

A: Remarkably, there were four in each of the 1930 West Indies vs. England series (the one containing the above Bourda Test) and the 1938/39 South Africa vs. England one. In a further four series' there were three, and 25 where a couple fell that way.
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