Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Captain v captain

Captain v captain, and some World Cup firsts

Also, a Man of the Match who didn't bat, didn't take wickets or catches, and didn't make a stumping
I remember Mike Gatting famously getting out to his opposing captain Allan Border in the 1987 World Cup final. How many times has one captain dismissed another in the World Cup?asked Bob McDonald from London
That famous incident, when Mike Gatting's reverse-sweep off Allan Border's first ball in the 1987 World Cup final bobbled up to be caught by the wicketkeeper, quite possibly changing the course of the whole match, is one of 30 instances in the World Cups prior to this one of a captain dismissing his opposite number during a match. Gatting had already fallen to his opposing captain once in that 1987 World Cup, being trapped in front by Viv Richards in the group game against West Indies. The only other captain to fall to his opposite number twice in the World Cup is Sourav Ganguly, who was dismissed by Roland Lefebvre of the Netherlands and Pakistan's Waqar Younis in 2003. The two captains dismissed each other in the match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in East London in 2003: Sanath Jayasuriya was caught off the bowling of Heath Streak, and later Streak gave a catch off Jayasuriya.
Who scored the first century in the World Cup, and who took the first five-for? asked Farrukh Akhtar from Pakistan
Two centuries were scored on the first day of World Cup cricket - June 7, 1975 - by Dennis Amiss and Glenn Turner. Amiss made 137 for England against India at Lord's, while Turner batted through New Zealand's innings of 309 for 5 against East Africa at Edgbaston and finished up with 171 not out. As England and New Zealand both batted first it's difficult to tell who reached three figures first, but contemporary reports suggest it was Amiss, who got there in the 37th over of England's innings. The first five-wicket haul in the World Cup is much easier to nail: on that same opening day Dennis Lillee took 5 for 34 as Australia beat Pakistan by 73 runs.
Who scored a hundred in his first World Cup match, but scored a duck in his last World Cup game? asked Martin Powell from Kent
The only man to do this is the New Zealander Nathan Astle, who scored 101 against England at Ahmedabad in the first match of the 1996 World Cup, but failed to score in his last innings - in fact his last two innings - in 2003. Astle had a remarkably up-and-down time at World Cups. In 1996 his scores were 101, 0, 1, 2, 6 and 1, then in 1999 he made 4, 4, 2, 0, 11, 20, 9, 26 and 3. He signed off in 2003 with 0, 46, 54 not out, 11, 102 not out, 0 and 0. No one who has scored two or more World Cup centuries has a batting average as low as Astle's 20.15 - Sanath Jayasuriya is next with 34.26.
Who is the only player to win the Man-of-the-Match award in a one-day international without scoring a run, taking a wicket or making a catch or stumping? asked Muhammad Asim via Facebook
The only man to achieve this rather unlikely feat was the tall West Indian fast bowler Cameron Cuffy, who was given the award for a tight spell of bowling in Harare in June 2001. Cuffy delivered his allocation of overs unchanged at the start of Zimbabwe's innings, finishing with figures of 10-2-20-0 (and didn't bat or take a catch). In West Indies' next match in this tri-series, he had figures of 10-3-20-1 against India - "Cuffy bowled his now-familiar single miserly spell," reported Wisden - but he didn't win the match award that time: it went to Sachin Tendulkar for a match-winning innings of 81 not out.
Who has played the most Test matches without ever captaining his country? And who holds the ODI record? asked Karn Sohal from England
The record-holder in Tests is Shane Warne, who won 145 caps for Australia without ever captaining them, although there are many who believe that he should have. And Warne's rival at the top of the Test wicket-taking list holds this record for one-day internationals: Muttiah Muralitharan had played 341 ODIs before the current World Cup without ever captaining.
I know that Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for the most runs between dismissals in Tests. but who has made the most with the run not including a century? asked Paul Jones via Facebook
The holder of this esoteric record is the phlegmatic Australian batsman Ken Mackay, who once made 228 runs without being dismissed in four innings that did not include a century - in fact he never reached three figures during his 37-Test career. The man known ironically as "Slasher" scored 52 not out, 83 not out and 77 not out in successive Test innings in South Africa early in 1958, then took his total to 228 in the first Test of the 1958-59 Ashes series before he was caught behind off Jim Laker for 16 in Brisbane, his home ground. Two other batsmen have made more than 200 Test runs between dismissals without a century - Saleem Malik of Pakistan (206 - 82 not out, 84 not out and 40 against England in 1992) and Australia's Albert Trott (205 - 38 not out, 72 not out, 85 not out and 10 against England in 1894-95). Trott's feat was from the start of his Test career, so after the first innings of his third Test - which remarkably was his last for Australia - he had a batting average of 205.00, which halved when he was out for a duck in the second innings. Sachin Tendulkar does indeed hold the overall record for runs between dismissals in Tests: he made 497, including two centuries, early in 2004.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket. If you want to ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here each week. Ask Steven is also now on Facebook

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