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Which match in Australia featured eight umpires over three days?

Lasith Malinga has taken 154 wickets for Mumbai Indians in the IPL BCCI

Apparently there was once a first-class match in Australia which featured no fewer than eight umpires. Can you tell us more about this? asked Ashru Mitra from India
The match in question was played in Australia in 1908-09, between Tasmania and Victoria in Launceston. Tasmania were not competing in the Sheffield Shield at the time, but did play regular matches against near neighbours Victoria, and some touring teams.

ESPNcricinfo's scorecard says "several different umpires officiated", but Ray Webster's encyclopaedic First-Class Cricket in Australia 1850-51 to 1941-42 gives some more details: "The umpires for this match remain something of an enigma. Launceston Telegraph reports W. Reeves, H. G. Tevelein and H. Wilson (first day), none on the second day, and F. Vaughan and 'Jordan' (third day); Cricket reports that eight different umpires officiated but gives no details, and no other source gives any names or reasons for the changes."

It seems to have been a strange match all round. The weekly magazine Cricket mentions a report from Victoria's manager: "He felt constrained to mention the management of the Launceston game, in the course of which they had no fewer than eight umpires, and in addition, the Victorian team had had to roll the wicket between the innings for themselves."

One person who seemed to cope regardless of who was wearing the white coat was Victoria's legspinner Jimmy Matthews, who took 12 wickets in the match, including a hat-trick in the first innings. Matthews would later take two hat-tricks in the same Test - still a unique feat - for Australia against South Africa at Old Trafford during the 1912 Triangular Tournament.

I know a few bowlers have taken 100 wickets in the IPL. But who has the most for a single team? asked Mehmet Singh from India
The man with the most wickets in the IPL is the Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga, with 154 - and all of those were taken for Mumbai Indians. Malinga is not taking part this year, so may soon lose top spot: as I write, Amit Mishra has 134 IPL wickets, and Piyush Chawla 127. But that pair, and the others with more than 100 wickets - Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Vinay Kumar, R Ashwin and Zaheer Khan - have all appeared for more than one team. Harbhajan's first 127 IPL wickets came for the Mumbai Indians, before his switch to Chennai this year.

At the time of writing, Sunil Narine had taken 99 wickets in the IPL, all for Kolkata Knight Riders. Umesh Yadav, who has played for three teams, has 96. For the full and updated list of the leading wicket-takers, click here.

I noticed that Graham Gooch hit 99 fours (and four sixes) during the 1993 Ashes series. Is this the overall record? asked James Harrington from England
Graham Gooch in 1993 was actually the second player to hit 100 boundaries in a Test series, after Don Bradman, who hit 97 fours and four sixes in the 1934 Ashes in England (in only five Tests to Gooch's six).

But two batsmen have smacked a century of fours in a series. Brian Lara tops the table, with 121 (plus a six) in the six-match series in England in 1995, while he also hit 109 fours (and three sixes) in five matches against England in the Caribbean in 1993-94. Pride of place, though, should perhaps go to another West Indian, Viv Richards: in four Tests in England in 1976 (he missed one match through illness) he struck 112 fours (and four sixes).

Gooch hit 89 fours - and seven sixes - in England's three-match series at home to India in 1990.

Who has scored the most Test runs without ever making a hundred? asked Daniel Hampson from Australia
Top of this list is Shane Warne, whose 145 Tests produced 3154 runs - and a highest score of 99, against New Zealand in Perth in 2001-02. Warne holed out on the boundary one short of his ton - and was not best pleased to be told, some time later, that he shouldn't have been given out as the bowler (Daniel Vettori) had overstepped.

Next comes the Indian opener Chetan Chauhan, whose 2084 Test runs included 16 fifties, but no century. The West Indians Deryck Murray and Malcolm Marshall scored 1993 and 1810 runs respectively, without a hundred between them. In all, 49 players have scored 1000 runs in Tests but finished without a century to their name.

Would Don Bradman have been the fastest to 7000 in Tests if he had scored four runs in his final match? asked Marco Vallarino from Italy
The short answer is yes, by a distance: the famous duck with which Don Bradman finished his Test career at The Oval in 1948 left him with 6996 runs from 80 innings in 52 Tests. Another boundary - there or earlier in his career - would have given him 7000 runs, and an average of 100.

Bradman's long-standing rival, England's Wally Hammond, remains the quickest to 7000 Test runs in terms of innings: it took him 131 (51 more than Bradman had overall). Next come Virender Sehwag (134 innings), Sachin Tendulkar (136), Kumar Sangakkara and Garry Sobers (138), Mohammad Yousuf (139), and Sunil Gavaskar and Viv Richards (140). Sobers and Sehwag needed only 79 Test matches, and Hammond, Gavaskar and Matthew Hayden 80.

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