Heather Knight and Shafali Verma both missed out on centuries on debut in the recent women’s Test. How many people has this happened to? asked Jonathon White from Australia
Both of them did narrowly miss centuries in Bristol last week, but England’s captain Heather Knight was actually playing her seventh Test match – she made 157 in her second, against Australia at Wormsley in 2013. But India’s Shafali Verma, who made an attractive 96, just missed becoming the 13th woman – and, at 17, the youngest – to score a century on Test debut. For that list, click here.
I know that Seymour Nurse has the highest score by someone in their last Test. But is it also the record for someone’s last first-class match? asked Jamie Kettle from England
Actually, the highest score by a player in his final Test was Andy Sandham’s 325, for England against West Indies in Kingston in 1929-30; Seymour Nurse’s 258 for West Indies against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1968-69 is the record for a final Test innings. Both both Sandham and Nurse played more first-class cricket after their last Test.
As I write, there are some 20 men who scored a double-century in their last first-class match, although half of those are current players who will presumably appear again. Only one man has scored a triple-hundred in what turned out to be his final first-class appearance: Sam Agarwal hit 313 not out for Oxford University against Cambridge University in the Varsity Match at Fenner’s in 2013.
Other notable farewells included Fred Bakewell’s unbeaten 241 to ensure Northamptonshire drew with eventual champions Derbyshire in Chesterfield in August 1936. On the way home after the match, the car Bakewell was travelling in was involved in a serious road accident: his team-mate Reggie Northway was killed and Bakewell suffered an arm injury that prevented him playing first-class cricket again.
One sad entry on this list is Norman Callaway, who was only 18 when he hit 207 at close to a run a minute during his first-class debut, for New South Wales against Queensland in Sydney in February 1915 – but little more than two years later he was killed in France during the Great War, so that remained his one and only first-class innings.
Kiran More once stumped six batsmen in a Test. Has anyone else done this, and what’s the first-class record? asked Chetan Sarwate from India
The Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More made six stumpings in the match against West Indies in Madras (now Chennai) in 1987-88. Five of them came off the bowling of legspinner Narendra Hirwani, who was on the way to record Test-debut figures of 16 for 136.
More’s haul remains the record for Tests – another Indian keeper, Khokhan Sen, made five against England, also in Madras, in 1951-52 – but that mark has been exceeded a few times in first-class cricket. The overall record is nine stumpings in a match, by Kent’s Fred Huish against Surrey at The Oval in 1911. The controversial Ted Pooley made eight, also at The Oval, for Surrey against Kent in 1878.
In Pakistan’s second innings at Karachi in 2005-06, all seven batsmen reached 50. Was this unique in Tests? asked Muralidhar from India
The top seven batters in Pakistan’s second innings in Karachi in 2005-06 all made at least 50 (Faisal Iqbal went on to 139). The only man who reached the crease who didn’t make 50 was Kamran Akmal, who faced only one ball before Younis Khan declared at 599 for 7. Pakistan went on to win by 341 runs – a result that looked unlikely when the Indian left-armer Irfan Pathan started the match with a hat-trick in the first over.
The top seven all reaching 50 is indeed unique but there are two other Test innings that contained seven scores of 50 or more: England’s 627 for 9 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1934, and Sri Lanka’s defiant 537 for 9 to save the match at Lord’s in 2006.
I heard that a first-class cricketer played Euro Cup football for Scotland. Is this true? asked Debapriya Chakraborty from India
I think the man you’re talking about is the Scotland goalkeeper Andy Goram, who won 43 international caps at football and also played cricket for the Scottish national team, in the days before they had official ODI status. He defied the Hibernian FC manager’s instructions and turned out against the Australian tourists in Glasgow in 1989 – and was promptly fined on his return to his football club.
Goram later had several successful seasons with Rangers, one of Scotland’s premier football clubs. He played in the European Championships in 1992 and 1996, and was also part of Scotland’s squads for the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, although he did not make it on to the field.