How often have wickets fallen to the first two balls of an ODI innings?

Mitchell Starc got Jason Roy and Joe Root with the first two balls of the match, the fourth such instance in ODIs Getty Images

How often have wickets fallen to the first two balls of an ODI innings? asked Robin Jackson from England
That Mitchell Starc double at Old Trafford last week - he dismissed Jason Roy and Joe Root - was the fourth time the first two balls of an innings have produced wickets in one-day internationals.

It also happened in Brisbane in 1988-89, when Australia's Terry Alderman bowled Ramiz Raja and Aamer Malik of Pakistan with the first two balls of the day, then Pakistan turned the tables in Durban in 2012-13, when Mohammad Irfan accounted for Hashim Amla and Colin Ingram with his first two deliveries.

But the top prize goes to the Sri Lankan left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas, who took a hat-trick with the first three balls of Bangladesh's innings in Pietermaritzburg during the 2003 World Cup, dismissing Hannan Sarkar, Mohammad Ashraful and Ehsanul Haque. After a four and a wide, Vaas removed Sanwar Hossain with his fifth legal delivery to leave Bangladesh reeling at 5 for 4. It was the only time the No. 6 batsman has faced a ball in the first over of an international match.

Have Nos. 6 and 7 ever scored centuries in the same ODI before, as Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell did the other day? asked Michael Carter from Australia
That double by Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell during the entertaining final ODI of the English season at Old Trafford last week turns out to be the second time this has happened in official one-day internationals. The other occasion was an unusual one, during the Afro-Asia Cup in Chennai in June 2007. The Asian XI were struggling at 72 for 5 before No. 6 Mahela Jayawardene was joined by MS Dhoni - but they both scored centuries, and put on 218. The eventual total of 331 proved just too steep for the Africa XI.

Dane Cleaver scored 201 and made nine dismissals in a recent match in New Zealand. Has any wicketkeeper ever scored a double-century and taken more dismissals in the same match? asked Kenneth Malcolm from Australia
The Central Districts wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver achieved this remarkable double - 201, eight catches and a stumping - against Northern Districts in Napier in February 2020. No wicketkeeper has ever scored more than 200 in a match (even counting both innings) and made ten dismissals - but, remarkably, a non-keeper has. Playing for Gloucestershire against Surrey in Cheltenham in 1928, Wally Hammond made 139 and 143, and also took ten catches, eight of them off slow left-armer Charlie Parker.

What is the record for sixes by a team in one innings in an ODI, and a T20 international? asked Riz Naik from India
England set the record for the most sixes in a one-day international innings during last year's World Cup, when they crashed 25 against Afghanistan at Old Trafford. That included 17 by Eoin Morgan, the individual record. England held the previous best, too - four months earlier, in February 2019, they had clobbered 24 sixes against West Indies in Grenada - which broke the week-old record of 23, set by West Indies in Bridgetown, in a match they still lost.

In T20Is the record is 22 sixes in an innings, hit by Afghanistan against Ireland in Dehradun in February 2019. That beat the old mark of 21, which has happened three times now.

The recently retired Ian Bell took 100 catches in Tests. Is he the only one with this round number? asked David Adele from Kenya
Ian Bell, who has just retired from first-class cricket at the age of 38, took 100 catches in his 118 Tests. He is indeed the only man to stick on exactly 100, although South Africa's Jacques Kallis took 200, four of them for the World XI. David Boon took 99 for Australia. Two wicketkeepers also took 99 catches - Nayan Mongia of India, and Junior Murray of West Indies. Mongia also made eight stumpings, and Murray three. One of Murray's catches came in the field.

Viv Richards and Sourav Ganguly both took exactly 100 catches in one-day internationals.

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