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Fifth Q&A session with statistician Bharat Seervi

Statistician Bharat Seervi answers questions from cricket fans

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is one of the three 40+ players in the World Cup

1. Is this the first time that three players ageing over 40 are playing in a World Cup? – Asked by Jigar Mehta, Mumbai, India

In the ICC World Cup 2015, there are three players ageing over 40: Misbah-ul-Haq of Pakistan and Mohammad Tauqir and Khurram Khan of United Arab Emirates. However, this is not the first time that three 40+ players are appearing in the World Cup. It has happened in two World Cups in the past.

In the 1975 World Cup, Lance Gibbs of West Indies and Prabhu Nana and Donald Pringle of East Africa were the players with an age of more than 40. There were three 40+ players in the 1996 World Cup too, all from Netherlands – Flavian Aponso, Nolan Clarke and Steven Lubbers.

2. Which captain has taken most number of wickets in World Cups? – Asked by Aravinth JV, India

It is Imran Khan with 24 wickets in the 13 innings he has bowled in World Cups as captain. He is followed by two more Pakistan cricketers – Shahid Afridi (21 wickets in eight innings) and Wasim Akram (18 wickets in 14 innings). Next best is 17 wickets by Kapil Dev in 15 innings.

In this World Cup, the skippers who are regular bowlers among the Test playing teams are Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh), Angelo Matthews (Sri Lanka), Jason Holder (West Indies) and Elton Chigumbura (Zimbabwe). We shall hope they pick some wickets as captain.

3. 26 wickets fell on the first day of the Ranji Trophy match between Gujarat and Haryana at Ahmedabad. What is the maximum number of wickets on the first day of a Ranji Trophy match and overall? – Anonymous

On February 6, 2015, at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad in the Ranji Trophy match between Gujarat and Haryana, 26 wickets fell on the first day of the match. Haryana, batting first, were dismissed for 129 runs in 31.5 overs and then Gujarat were all out for 125 in 29.2 overs. By the end of the day, Haryana had lost another six wickets in their second inning (71 for 6 in 24 overs). The next day, Gujarat won the match by nine wickets.

However, the record for the most number of wickets to fall on the first day of a Ranji Trophy match is 30. It was on the first day of the first ever Ranji Trophy match, between Madras and Mysore at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on November 4, 1934: Mysore 48/10 (27.2), Madras 130/10 (43) and Mysore 59/10 (39.3). The match was over on the first day itself with Madras winning it by an inning and 23 runs.

When it comes to first-class cricket, there are seven occasions of all the 40 wickets falling on the first day of the match. All the occasions were in the 18th and 19th centuries, though. Since World War II, the record is 32 wickets on the first day of the match, which happened between Griqualand West and Easterns at Kimberly in South Africa in 2010/11.

4. Mumbai were defeated by an innings for the first time in the last about 64 years. This should be the record for most years between two innings defeats. Which team has the next best sequence? – Asked by Vigneshwar, Chennai, India

The defeat by an innings and 44 runs for Mumbai against Tamil Nadu at Chepauk is only the fourth innings defeat for Mumbai in their history of Ranji Trophy. Their last such defeat was way back in 1950/51 against Gujarat at Ahmedabad by an innings and 166 runs.

The record for the next most number of years between two innings defeats is held by Wellington, New Zealand: about 35 years from December 1904 to February 1939.

Hyderabad was without an innings defeat for 32 years from 1964/65 to 1996/97. Delhi had such a streak for 28 years, while Tamil Nadu/Madras and Baroda had for about 25 years. Auckland was without an innings defeat for about 23 years.

5.Has any wicketkeeper bowled in a World Cup match? – Asked by Poun Raj, India

Well, there has been no instance of a wicket-keeper giving away his gloves and bowling in a World Cup match. Overall in ODIs, there have been only seven occasions of a designated wicket-keeper bowling in a match.

The best bowling figures by a designated wicket-keeper in an ODI is 2/11 by Devon Thomas for West Indies against Bangladesh in 2009 and 2/42 by Tatenda Taibu for Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka at Harare in 2004.

Indian captain MS Dhoni has bowled in two ODIs, picking a wicket in one of them. Hashan Tillakaratne and Andrew Hall have also bowled as wicket-keepers in ODIs.

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