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Ask Steven – How many “team hat-tricks” have there been in testing?

Ask Steven – How many “team hat-tricks” have there been in testing?

How many teams have scored a “team hat-trick”, like England did in a Lord’s Test over? asked Robert Horton of England, among others

Stuart Broad’s pivot on day three of the England v New Zealand switch test at the lord the weekend included the wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Kyle Jamieson, interrupted by the run-out of Colin de Grandhomme. My first port of call for queries like these is Melbourne statistician Charles Davis, whose monumental research into past Test matches has uncovered many previously inaccessible statistics.

He informs me that there have only been two previous individual overs in Tests which definitely contained three wickets in three balls, including a run-out. The first was in an ash test at Old Trafford in 1888, when Englishman George Lohmann took two wickets with successive balls after Harry Trott was run out; 92 years later in 1980, also at Old Trafford, West Indian fast bowler Joel Garner took two wickets immediately after Alan Knott ran out. There is a third possibility: at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in 1997-98, Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka finished the second innings with two wickets either side of a run-out with India’s total stuck at 181. It was definitely in the same over, but the board edge has disappeared so it is not certain that the wickets fell to successive deliveries. If there’s anyone with a score sheet or video proof, let me know!
There have also been eight other instances of a team hat-trick split over two different overs, involving two bowlers, including the only known instance of four wickets in four successive balls in a Test – by England against West Indies. at Headingley in 1957 when Fred Trueman claimed a wicket with the last ball of an over, then Peter Loader scored a hat-trick with the first three deliveries of the next. It must be said that, despite the remarkable efforts of Charles, there are still a number of events for which ball-by-ball scores are not available.
Was Matt Parkinson the first man to make his Test debut as a concussion substitute? asked Kevin Ryan from England

The Lancashire Legpinner Matt Parkinson was called up for his first Test after ill-fated Jack Leach suffered a concussion early in the opening Test against New Zealand at Lord’s. Unusually, Parkinson’s debut was confirmed as he barbecued at his home around 200 miles from Manchester.

The only other man to play his first Test as a substitute with a concussion (the preferred term, as in cricket substitutes cannot bat or bowl, while such substitutes can) was the Zimbabwean fly-half. Brian Mudzinganyamawho was called against Sri Lanka in Harare in January 2020 after Kevin Kasuza (another rookie) was hit in the head while on the court.
More recently, South Africa Khaya Zondo made his test debut as a Covid substitute after Sarel Erwee tested positive in the game against Bangladesh in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) in April.
The first Test against New Zealand this year started at Lord’s on June 2. Last year the same two teams met in the first test at Lord’s – again starting June 2. Has this ever happened in Tests? asked Philip Kelly from England

My first thought was that this wouldn’t have happened before – but it’s still dangerous in cricket. And in fact, there was another example, in the 19th century: Australia took England In Sydney in a match that began on February 17, 1882, and the two teams met again at the SGC on February 17, 1883. Australia won both.

There have been three other instances of teams meeting in successive years in Tests that started on the same day, but not on the same ground. The West Indies and Pakistan began testing on March 26 at Port of Spain in 1958 and Lahore in 1959; Pakistan and Bangladesh started matches on 12 March in Dhaka in 1999 and Karachi in 2000; and South Africa met Australia in testing from November 9 in Cape Town in 2011 and Brisbane in 2012.

Many batsmen were out for 1 in the first Test between England and New Zealand – was that a record? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England

In all, there were five individual scores of 1s in the first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord’s. However, five turned out to be a good way down the list. There were three tests with eight scores of 1: South Africa v England in Cape Town in 1898-99, India against West Indies in Ahmedabad in 1983-84, and India vs South Africa in Mohali in 2015-16.

The first two of those matches included seven dismissals plus one no-out (the third included three no-outs). There have been five more tests in which seven men were absent for 1.
At Lord’s, New Zealand Do young people was out for a pair of 1s. This has now happened 74 times in testing – jimmy anderson did it four times – but only six openers have completed the feat. Three of the others were also from New Zealand: Gordon Leggat (against Pakistan in Dhaka in 1955-56), Bruce Murray (against England in christchurch in 1970-71) and Jeet Raval (against Australia in Perth in 2019-20). It was also made by Moeen Ali for England (against Pakistan to Dubai in 2015-16) and the Indian Wasim Jaffer (vs West Indies in Kingston in 2006).
When did the English Test team last contain two players called Matthew, as it did at Lord’s? asked Matthew Robertson from England

England’s two debutants in the first Test at Lord’s were Durham Matthew Potts and Lancashire Matt Parkinson, as mentioned above. It was the first time England had included two players with the first name Matthew since… March, when Yorkshire Matthew Fisher made his debut against West Indies in Bridgetown and lined up beside Jack Leachingwhose first name is Matthew.

But that’s a bit of a cheat: the only time England have fielded two players commonly known as Matthew (or Matt) in the same team was in four matches in 2007, when Matthew Hogard appeared with Matt Prior (they both had the same first name too: James). England’s only former Matthew was Glamorgan’s Matthew Maynardwho won four caps between 1988 and 1991.

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

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