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Ask the Spider: Ask The Spider #8
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Q: What is the ranking order in terms of most common dismissals in Test cricket?

A :There have been 33178 recorded instances of batsmen being dismissed caught; 12561 of bowled; 7985 of lbw; 2036 run-outs; 1190 of stumped; and 148 hit-wickets. There have also been 2 cases of batsmen retiring out (both in Sri Lanka's inaugural Test against Bangladesh) and 8 irregular dismissals (7 handled the ball, 1 obstructing the field).
Q: What are the five oldest Test venues?

A: The first-ever Test - and the next two - were staged at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1876\77 and 1878\79, though no-one gave a thought to this on either occasion, as the tours - James Lillywhite's XI and Lord Harris' XI - were private ones. The next venue, introduced in 1880, was a little more like what we now consider a Test, as a truly representative England XI faced an almost-full-strength Australian XI at Kennington Oval, London. The Sydney Cricket Ground was first used in 1881\82 (when Alfred Shaw's XI toured Australia) and Old Trafford, Manchester and the ground now considered "The Home Of Cricket", Thomas Lord's in London, were used in 1884.
Q: What is the biggest ever crowd at a Test?

A: Proper auditing has not been present at anything like 100% of Tests, but the highest crowd recorded for a single day's play was 90,800, in Australia vs. West Indies at the MCG in 1960\61.
Q: What is the size and weight of a cricket ball?

A: Various different cricket balls have different values (youth cricket, for instance, tends to use smaller, lighter balls than adult), but the Laws Of Cricket states: "Law 5: The ball. A cricket ball is between 22.4 and 22.9 centimetres in circumference, and weighs between 155.9 and 163 grammes."
Q: What is the record for the highest tally of centuries in an England Test team at the start of a game?

A: The team which recently collapsed to 110 all out at Hamilton had a fairly remarkable 55 between them, but the highest appears to have been that totted-up by the team which played in the Third Ashes Test of 1968, with 62 between them (Cowdrey 21, Barrington 20, Graveney 10, Edrich 5, Boycott 4, Knight 2). We'll have a look at the other teams over the next few weeks.
Q: Who was the first Test cricketer to take 100 wickets and score 1000 runs?

A: The first was George Giffen, who played a (in those days fairly remarkable) 31 Tests for Australia between 1881\82 and 1896. In his penultimate Test, he grabbed his 100th wicket, having scored his 1000th run the previous summer, and he has been followed by 50 others to date
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