Dubious distinction

V. GANESAN

Zimbabwe’s Elton Chigumbura (above) was dismissed hit-wicket during the second match of the ODI series against Pakistan. This made him the ninth Zimbabwean to be dismissed hit-wicket in an ODI. Zimbabwe have now equalled the record — with West Indies — for having the most batsmen dismissed hit-wicket in ODI history.

Despite having played the second-fewest ODIs among Test nations, there have been nine instances of Zimbabwean batsmen being dismissed hit-wicket, which means that, on an average, a Zimbabwean is dismissed hit-wicket once every 50 ODIs — the highest frequency for any Test-playing nation. In stark contrast, only one England batsman has been dismissed hit-wicket in their ODI history of 655 matches.

In terms of total dismissals, the above table shows that there have been 11 instances of West Indian batsmen being dismissed hit-wicket, the most for any team. This is because there are two West Indian batsmen who have been hit-wicket twice in their ODI careers - Faoud Bacchus and Sherwin Campbell.

Sri Lanka is the only other nation with two batsmen who have been dismissed hit-wicket twice - Romesh Kaluwitharana and Kumar Sangakkara. No batsman has ever been out hit-wicket thrice in his ODI career.

South Africa scored 200 runs to win the first T20I of the ongoing series against India. Has any team failed to defend a target of 200 on more than one occasion in a T20I?

- Shikha Radhakrishnan, Ooty, TamilNadu No, there have been six instances of a team scoring 200-plus runs in a successful T20I chase, with all of those coming against different oppositions, i.e. West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Australia, South Africa and now India. This is the second time that South Africa have scored 200-plus runs in a successful chase, with the previous instance being against the West Indies (2007). India are the only other team to score 200-plus in two successful T20I chases, against Sri Lanka (2009) and Australia (2013).

Which is the best bowling pair in Test history?

- Yogender Singh, Bageshwar, Uttarakhand

While this is a subjective question, it can be objectively determined which pair has together taken the most wickets in Tests. The answer is Shane Warne (513) and Glenn McGrath (488), who have together taken 1001 wickets in Tests that both of them have played. Next on this list are Muttiah Muralitharan (586) and Chaminda Vaas (309), who have together taken 895 wickets in 95 Tests.

Who is the first batsman to be given out by the third umpire in international cricket?

- Pralhad Kurundwadkar, Miraj, Maharashtra

Sachin Tendulkar was the first batsman to be given out by the third umpire. This happened in a Test match between India and South Africa in Durban in 1992. During the first innings, Tendulkar played a delivery from Brian McMillan towards point, and Jonty Rhodes whipped the ball into the gloves of the waiting 'keeper who took the bails off. Karl Liebenberg was the third umpire who gave Tendulkar out, while Cyril Mitchley was the on-field umpire who referred the decision.

Shoaib Malik seems to have made a very good comeback to ODI cricket. In statistical terms, how good has he really been?

- Wiseroy Damodaran, Thodupuzha, Kerala

After being out of ODI cricket for almost two years, Shoaib Malik made his comeback against Zimbabwe in Lahore in May 2015. Since then he has scored 466 runs in 10 ODIs, at an average of 93.2, including a century and three fifties. Malik has the second- best ODI average for any batsman in this period after Ross Taylor (121.8). Among batsmen batting at No. 5 or below, he has the most runs (354) and the most 50-plus scores (3) in this period.