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How many Tests have been won by a team that was 200 runs behind after the first innings?


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How many Tests have been won by a team that was 200 runs behind after the first innings?

10:26 PM ETSteven LynchEditor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes CloseSteven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said “I can’t let you win it again, but would you like a job?” That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website…

How many Tests have been won by a team that was 200 runs behind after the first innings?

10:26 PM ET

  • Steven LynchEditor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes

    Close

      Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years
      running before the then-editor said “I can’t let you win it again, but would
      you like a job?” That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the
      Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two
      sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden
      Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers’
      Almanack
      . He continues to contribute the popular weekly “Ask Steven”
      question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to
      International Cricket
      .

I know that there have been three Tests won by the side that followed on. But how many Tests have been won by a team that was 200 runs behind after the first innings? asked Mark Jenkins from England


Neatly, there are three more such matches, including the biggest first-innings deficit overturned for victory in a Test – 291, by Australia in Colombo in 1992-93. Australia had managed only 256 before Sri Lanka piled up 547 for 8, but they bowled Sri Lanka out in the second innings to win by 16 runs, with Shane Warne – in only his third Test – taking the last three wickets.

In Durban in 1949-50, Australia won by five wickets despite South Africa having bowled them out for 75 in the first innings and then made 311 themselves. And in Sydney in 2009-10, Pakistan led by 206 on first innings – but lost by 36 runs.

The three Tests won by the side following on – with Australia on the receiving end each time – were claimed by England in Sydney in 1894-95 and at Headingley in 1981, and by India in Kolkata in 2000-01.

Rohit Sharma was stumped in both innings of a Test late last year. How rare is this? asked Ashok Harish from India


Rohit Sharma’s double stumping – by Quinton de Kock off Keshav Maharaj – against South Africa in Visakhapatnam last October was the 22nd such instance in Tests. There’s been another one since: Sikandar Raza was stumped in both innings by Niroshan Dickwella off Lasith Embuldeniya against Sri Lanka in Harare in January.

Sharma did at least have the satisfaction of scoring a century in each innings before being dismissed, a unique double. At the other end of the scale, England’s Bobby Peel (against Australia in Sydney in 1894-95) and Chris Mpofu of Zimbabwe (against New Zealand in Harare in 2005) completed pairs by being stumped in both innings for nought.

Apparently Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were both out stumped just once in Tests – and the bowler was the same one both times. Who was it? asked Akila Ranasinghe from Sri Lanka

Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed 296 times in his 200 Tests, and Rahul Dravid 254 times in 164 matches – but you’re right, each of them was out stumped only once. The bowler on both occasions is now England’s director of cricket – slow left-armer Ashley Giles. Tendulkar was stumped by James Foster in Bangalore in 2001-02, while Dravid was deceived by Giles and stumped by Alec Stewart at Headingley in 2002. It wasn’t entirely a triumph for Giles: Dravid had made 148 in a match India won by an innings, while Tendulkar had scored 90 in a rain-affected draw.

Which ground has staged the most Test matches without ever having a draw? asked Charles McDermott from England


The leader here is the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong (now Chattogram), which staged eight Tests, all of which ended in positive results, from 2001-02, before being supplanted as the city’s main international venue by the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. Bangladesh lost the first seven, but did pull off a victory – their first in any Test – in the eighth, against Zimbabwe in January 2005.

The Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street has staged six Test matches, all of them won by England, while the ground in Bloemfontein that is now known as the Mangaung Oval has held five Tests, all won by South Africa. No other venue has staged more than two Tests without having at least one draw.

Lord’s has seen the most drawn Tests – 50 out of 139. Next come The Oval (37 draws) and Old Trafford (35), then Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand with 24. The National Stadium in Karachi has had 40 Tests so far, 22 of which (55%) were drawn.

Ollie Rayner, who announced his retirement recently, once took 15 wickets in a match – and took three other catches as well. How many people have been involved in 18 or more dismissals in a first-class match? asked Rob Reading from England


The match in which the tall offspinner Ollie Rayner achieved this considerable feat was for Middlesex against Surrey at The Oval in 2013 – he took 8 for 46 and 7 for 72, and also took three catches in the field.

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The Surrey offspinner Jim Laker leads the way, with his 19 wickets in the Ashes Test at Old Trafford in 1956. But I was saved a lot of ferreting about by the BBC statistician Andrew Samson, who had already looked into this one after Kyle Abbott (17 for 86 plus a catch) featured in 18 of Somerset’s 20 wickets against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl last year. Samson found that there were only three other cases of a player being involved in 18 dismissals in an 11-a-side first-class match: William Mycroft (17 for 103 and a catch) for Derbyshire against Hampshire in Southampton in 1876, Frank Matthews (17 for 89 and a catch) for Nottinghamshire v Northamptonshire at Trent Bridge in 1923, and John Davison (17 for 137 and a catch) for Canada against USA in an ICC Intercontinental Cup match in Fort Lauderdale in 2004. There are two further instances long ago in 12-a-side matches that had first-class status.

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