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Ask the Spider: Ask The Spider #80
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Q: What was the most runs in a match in a 50-over ODI before the dawn of the 1990s (for simplicity's sake say the 1989/90 season)?

A :This was achieved by West Indies and Sri Lanka in a B&H Series (i.e., the Australian triangular) match at The WACA in 1984/85. West Indies slammed what was in those days a pretty insurmountable 309-6, Larry Gomes starring with an 89-ball 101, and Sri Lanka made no realistic assault on the chase (number-three Ravi Ratnayeke, sent up the order to pinch-hit, instead scored 24 from 74 balls) but a respectable 227-6 took the match aggregate to 536. Those same two teams almost broke their record in the 1987/88 World Cup in a desperately one-sided encounter where West Indies struck a colossal 360-4 and Sri Lanka could manage just 169-4 in reply.
Q: And how about the highest team score?

A: Not surprisingly, it was also that West Indies 360-4, well clear of the nearest challenger, 323-2 by Australia at Adelaide Oval in that same 1984/85 B&H Series, against those same unfortunate Sri Lankans.
Q: What's the highest all-out team score in a ODI batting first?

A: The top two came against Zimbabwe and Scotland (by Pakistan and Australia respectively) but in a serious match, the highest was 328, by India in the First ODI in Pakistan in 2005/06.
Q: And second?

A: 334, made very recently by New Zealand (who were chasing a near-impossible 393) in the Third ODI of the home series against India in 2008/09. The next-highest, 329 by Sri Lanka against West Indies in a Sharjah triangular in 1995/96, was also higher than the highest batting first (and a rather closer contest than either of the matches mentioned above - they were chasing 334).
Q: How many nine-fors have been taken in the first team innings of a Test?

A: Four - by Muttiah Muralitharan, Richard Hadlee, Abdul Qadir and Subhash Gupte. Three of these are wristspinners, which might perhaps surprise those who believe spin is generally most effective later in the innings.
Q: And which bowler has taken the most wickets in Test match first-innings'?

A: Muralitharan tops this pile again (not terribly surprisingly) - he has 225 as of this column. His fellow wristspinners and prolific Test wicket-takers Anil Kumble and Shane Warne are third and fifth respectively; the other seven of the top ten are all seamers.
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