Ask The Spider #124

Which is the highest successful run chase in first-class cricket?

The highest successful run chase occurred very recently, when West Zone scored 541-7 against South Zone in Hyderabad during the 2009-10 season. The highest fourth innings total of all time occurred during the timeless Test in 1938-39 between England and South Africa at Durban – England were set the huge total of 696 and came pretty close with a total of 654-5, the “timeless” Test being closed after the tenth day following rain and the English team’s desire to catch a boat home. In 2003, Somerset tied the West Indies A side after being dismissed for 453 in the fourth innings. During the 1948-49 season, Maharashtra scored 604 all out in the fourth innings and still lost by a massive 354 runs! Bombay, boasting the likes of Phadkar and Umrigar among its ranks, managed 651 and 714-8 declared.

Which is the shortest completed innings ever in terms of balls bowled?

This occurred during the famous County Championship match between Hampshire and Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1922, when Hampshire were skittled out for 15 in only 53 balls – incredibly, Hampshire went on to win, scoring 521 in their second innings, despite being at one point 177-6) to win by 155 runs (a more detailed description of that match can be found here). Lower totals have been recorded, most recently when Essex bowled out Surrey for 14 in 87 balls at Chelmsford in 1983, but this is the lowest recorded number of balls bowled in a completed innings. England Bs scored 6 all out vs England at Lord’s in 1810, however the number of balls bowled is not recorded.

Which is the highest first innings total in which the team would go on to lose?

In 2004 Essex scored 642 in their first innings against Glamorgan, however Glamorgan’s reply of 587 coupled with Essex’s subsequent second innings collapse to 165 all out saw them lose by four wickets.

And conversely, which is the lowest first innings after which the team went on to win?

In 1827, an England XI totalled 27 in its first innings against Surrey and went on to win by 24 runs. Of course this was at a time when scoring generally was lower – since the turn of the 20th century, the lowest total to win was 31 by Gloucestershire against Middlesex at Bristol in 1924, built largely on Hammond’s second innings 174* from a total of 294-9 declared. Since then, the lowest is 44 by Derbyshire vs Gloucestershire this past summer, again at Bristol.

Which is the highest first innings lead after which the follow-on was not enforced?

During the final representative match of the 1929-30 tour, the MCC outscored West Indies by 563 runs on first innings totals (849 to 286), with Sandham scoring his famous 325. This Test was meant to be timeless, and Calthorpe did not enforce the follow on, so with a great 223 from George Headley preceding two days of rain, the result was a draw.

Who holds the record for the highest individual score during the fourth innings of a first-class cricket match?

In 2006 at Derby, Craig White scored 260* from a total of 498, as Somerset chased a total of 578 set by Derbyshire.

Who holds the record for the most consecutive matches scoring at least a century?

Australia’s Bill Ponsford managed this feat between the winters of 1926-27 and 1927-28 – his innings during this period were 214 & 54 vs South Australia, 151 vs Queensland, 352 vs New South Wales, 108 & 84 vs South Australia, 12 & 116 vs Queensland, 131 & 7 for an Australian XI vs The Rest, 133 vs South Australia, 437 vs Queensland, 202 & 38 vs New South Wales and 336 vs South Australia. His average during this period was 158.33.

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