I was wondering about “purple patches” for players. For example, which batsman scored 1000 Test runs in the fewest innings at any stage of his career? asked Martin Kingston from England
You don’t usually have to look beyond Don Bradman for this kind of record, and indeed he still holds the mark – he scored more than 1000 runs in eight innings between March 1929 (when he scored 123 and 37 not out in the final Test against England in Melbourne, and the 1930 Ashes series in England, in which he made 8, 131, 254, 1, 334 and 14. The Don added 232 in the final Test in 1930, finishing with 974 runs, still a record for any series.

Four other batsmen have amassed 1000 runs in the space of nine Test innings, most recently Alastair Cook, between November 2010 and June 2011. The others were Garry Sobers (February to December 1958), Mohammad Yousuf (July to November 2006), and Kumar Sangakkara (December 2006 to December 2007).

Sunil Narine recently took his 300th wicket in T20 matches. Was he the first to get there? asked Juan Castro from Chile
The West Indian spinner Sunil Narine‘s 300th T20 wicket came up recently in Bangladesh, when he dismissed Worcestershire’s Ross Whiteley during the match between Dhaka Dynamites and Sylhet Sixers in Mirpur.

Narine is actually the third bowler to reach 300 in T20 matches. Top of the list is another West Indian, Dwayne Bravo, who has 387 wickets as I write: he reached 300 while playing for Gujarat Lions in the 2016 IPL. The Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga comes next with 325. The next to get there will probably be the tangle-footed Pakistani Sohail Tanvir, who currently has 277 wickets. For the full list, click here.

Who has played the most one-day internationals in a calendar year? asked Safyan Mahmood from Pakistan
I’m not sure whether you mean a team or an individual player – but it doesn’t matter very much, as the answer is almost the same: India played 43 one-day internationals in 1999, and Rahul Dravid featured in all of them! Sourav Ganguly played in 41, while Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan) and Lance Klusener (South Africa) also played 41 ODIs in 2000.

Ganguly scored 1767 runs in 1999 and Dravid 1761, which puts them second and third on the list for the most ODI runs in a calendar year, which is headed by Sachin Tendulkar, who amassed 1894 in 34 matches in 1998. The leader so far in 2017 is Virat Kohli, with 1460 runs as I write.

Jason Holder recently scored a Test century from No. 9. Has any other Test captain done this? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
Jason Holder made 110 after coming in at No. 9 during West Indies’ recent second Test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. This was the third occasion a Test captain had made a hundred from so low in the order – and the other two were both by the same man. Shaun Pollock scored 111 for South Africa against Sri Lanka in Centurion in January 2001, and a couple of months later added 106 not out against West Indies in Bridgetown.

There have been 12 Test centuries by captains batting at No. 8, three of them by Daniel Vettori and two by MS Dhoni. Top of that list is Wasim Akram‘s 257 not out for Pakistan against Zimbabwe in Sheikhupura in 1996-97.

Which Test cricketer was nicknamed “Mossy”? asked Robert Arnold from England
England and Australia have both had a Test player called Moss – Jeff and Alan – who probably attracted this nickname as a matter of course. But the name was also attached to another player for a while: Percy Fender, the idiosyncratic Surrey captain who played 13 Tests for England – and, many thought, should have captained them. According to Richard Streeton’s excellent biography of Fender, he acquired the nickname “Bill” after a mix-up over the payment arrangements for a farewell party during the First World War: “He remained ‘Bill’ to his closest friends. To his family, he was always ‘George’ [his second name] At one stage in his cricket life, the nickname ‘Mossy’ Fender began to be used, but Fender never liked it and was thankful it never caught on widely.”

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