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Ask Steven – How many batters have scored hundreds in both innings of a first-class match against James Anderson?

Going into the T20 World Cup Final, Adil Rashid had played 91 matches, scored 91 runs and taken 91 wickets. Was this the highest coincidence? asked Michael Clayton from England

That’s a sweet spot: before the World Cup final in Melbourne earlier this month, Adil Rashid had played 91 T20Is for England, collecting 91 runs and 91 wickets. He kind of messed things up in the final by taking two wickets and not batting, so now at 92-91-93.

Rashid is easily the leader when it comes to these three numbers being the same: next comes Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana who, after his penultimate game in the World Cup of the year, had played 31 matches, scored 31 runs and had 31 wickets caught. He didn’t bat or take a wicket in Sri Lanka’s last game, so now at 32-31-31.
Kenyan sailor Elijah Otieno was 27-27-27 at one point, but failed to register a run or a wicket in his last four T20Is, so he currently stands at 31-27-27. And Afghan sailor Shapoor Zadran had 25 runs and 25 wickets after 25 matches, neatly collecting a run and a wicket in his next match to make it 26-26-26. After his most recent T20I, in March 2020, Zadran was 36-27-37.
How many batters have scored hundreds in both innings of a first-class game against James Anderson? asked Will Gubbins from England

Four men have scored a century in each innings in a Test match with James Anderson in opposition: Peter Fulton for New Zealand at Auckland in 2012-13, Shai Hope for the West Indies at Headingley in 2017, and Australian pair Steve Smith ( in Edgbaston in 2019) and Usman Khawaja (in Sydney in 2021-22). Smith didn’t actually face Anderson in that match in 2019, as he was limping (and out of the series) after bowling just four overs.

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As well as his 175 Test matches, Anderson has played 105 other first-class games to date, most of them for Lancashire, so I was expecting a few more cases. But there is only one, and it happened at Southampton earlier this year when Hampshire southpaw Nick Gubbins scored 101 not out and 130. Anderson took three wickets in each innings, but Gubbins escaped his clutches.

Since Anderson made his debut in 2002, there have been eight other instances of an opposing player scoring two centuries in a match against Lancashire – but he did not play in any of those matches. So that’s kudos to the percussion cap…and another to our questioner, who turns out to be Nick Gubbins’ brother. As I’ve said before, it’s always nice to get a question from the horse’s mouth (or from a close relative!), so if there are other players out there who think they might have something unique or have done anything unusual, please let me know .

Apparently two events on the European golf tour have been won by the sons of Test cricketers in recent years. Who were they? asked Phillip Bacon from England

The two European (DP World) Tour golf winners from illustrious cricket-playing parents were Dean Burmester, who won the Tenerife Open in May 2021, and Sean Crocker, who came out on top by one stroke in the Hero Open at the Torrance Course at Fairmont St Andrews in Scotland in July 2022. Burmester now represents South Africa and Crocker the United States – but both were born in Zimbabwe, and their fathers, Mark Burmester and Gary Crocker, both appeared in Zimbabwe’s inaugural test, against India at Harare in October 1992. Actually they were the first two bowlers to take test wickets for Zimbabwe: Burmester caught Ravi Shastri and later Crocker bowled WV Raman to make it 77 for 2.

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When Litton Das reached his half-century against India in the World Cup, the team score was just 54. Was this a record? Raquibul Ahmad from Bangladesh asked

During his attack in Adelaide, which put Bangladesh in a strong position in their T20 World Cup group stage match against India, Litton Das reached 51 with a six on his 21st ball, bringing the team total to 54 (co-opener Najmul Hossain Shanto had scored the other three).

Given that we don’t have the full details of all T20Is, the only performance known to dwarf Litton’s attack came from Vanuatu’s Patrick Matautaava against Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur in October 2019. He came in on No. 3 in the first over, he rushed to 50 from 53 in 18 balls, with his fourth six; batting partner Joshua Rasu scored two hits and there was also a walk. These are the only known instances in T20Is of an individual and the team reaching 50 off the same delivery.
The closest approach in a match involving Test nations came when Australia’s Cameron Green reached 50 (off 19 balls) from 58 for 1 against India in Hyderabad in September 2022.
Does Bruce Reid hold the record for most Test wickets without ever taking one in England? asked Julien Benney from Australia

Beanpole left arm sailor Bruce Reid took 113 Test wickets, but none of them came in England. He did hold this record for a while before handing it over to his Test and state teammate Bruce Yardley (126). They have since been overtaken by another Australian, Stuart MacGill, whose 208 Test wickets failed to reach England.

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Looking briefly at other countries, Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker Shakib Al Hasan has hit 225 in Tests so far without any in Australia (Taijoel is next with 158). India’s Subhash Gupte (149 test wickets) and Pakistan’s Fazal Mahmood (139) also never played a test in Australia. England pair of Alec Bedser and Darren Gough took 236 and 229 Test wickets respectively with none in the West Indies; none of Pat Cummins’ current catch of 199 have made it to the Caribbean either. In short, Ambrose took 405 test wickets, but none in India, where Dennis Lillee (355) and Fred Trueman (307) also never played.

Shiva Jayaraman from ESPNcricinfo’s stats team helped with some of the answers above.

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