Ask The Spider #30

Where does the Lancashire bowler Johnny Briggs stand in terms of First-Class wickets among his contemporaries who played only in the 19th-century?

Briggs – whose last season was 1900 – comes second when tallies of wickets up to 1900 are concerned. The only man to beat his 2221 is WG Grace, who had 2809 in all, but played on to 1908 and had just 2661 by the close of the 1900 season. So Grace took more 19th-century First-Class wickets, but amongst those who were no longer playing come the 20th, Briggs tops the list.

What’s the worst career bowling average in Test cricket? How about batting?

The worst bowling average is 294.00 by Sri Lanka’s Roger Wijesuriya, with one wicket for 294 runs in four Tests. The most runs conceded by a bowler who remained wicketless is 307 in 3 matches by Bangladesh’s Anwar Hossain Monir between 2003 and 2005.

In batting, 38 players have a career average of precisely 0.00 (including GF Grace, brother of WG), however only one of these batted in more than two innings, that being Arthur Mold, whose Test appearances as a bowler were limited to 3 due to a suspect action.

Has anyone ever achieved a hat-trick in the last over of a test match?

Yes, this has been achieved three times: George Lohmann (Eng) in the First Test vs. South Africa in 1896/97; Hugh Trumble (Aus) in the Second Test vs. England in 1901/02; and Lindsay Kline (Aus) in the Second Test vs. South Africa in 1957/58.

Who has played in the most Tests without losing?

Rajesh Chauhan of India played in a really fairly remarkable 21 Tests without ever being on the losing side.

Has extras ever been the highest scorer in a Test match?

Yes, on 15 occasions so far, most recently in the Test between West Indies and England in 2004, when England made 339 all out with 60 extras.

What is the lowest team score in a First-Class match in Australia?

It was made by Victoria in 1903/04, against the touring MCC (England) team, and they were a man short. After taking a surprise first-innings lead of 51, they were hurled back to Earth as the tourists’ opening bowlers cut them down for 15 in 12.1 overs. No data is readily available in the form of match reports, but it would seem logical to suggest the Victorians were caught on a sticky.

Who missed most Tests between appearances?

Pakistan’s Younis Ahmed, who played twice against New Zealand in 1969/70 aged 22, then toured South Africa and was banned. After he had finally served the ban, he was brought back in 1986/87, and played twice more against India. Apart from the 17-and-a-half year span, he had missed 104 games.

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