To mark the first match of the Ashes we dug out a few odd cricketing performances. And then finish with a little puzzle concerning another oddity. The answer to which is below.
For Natal against Griqualand West, A F Borland had an innings bowling analysis of 0.5 0 0 4. Meaning he bowled only five balls, and took four wickets without conceding a run to finish off the opponents innings.
Again in a match involving Natal, Border scored 16 in the first innings and 18 in the second innings to finish with a match total of 34. This is the lowest in first class cricket history.
In a similar vein Railways, playing in Lahore in Pakistan, racked up 910-6 declared in an Ayub Trophy match. Showing that they had monumentally overestimated their opposition, Dere Ismail Khan, Railways bowled them out for 32 and 27. The winning margin of an innings and 851 runs is the biggest margin in first class cricket. It would have been easy for Railways to know nothing of Dere Ismail Khan's strength, or otherwise. This match was their one and only outing in the Ayub Trophy.
On the subject of high scoring, Arthur Fagg is the only player in all first class cricket to score a double century in both innings of a match. He did this scoring 244 and 202 not out for Kent against Essex.
The highest score at the fall of a wicket in first class cricket is 1107, when Victoria set the record score for an innings. More interestingly the highest score at the fall of a wicket in a Test match is 924. The interesting part is that it is the sixth wicket, not the tenth, in Sri Lanka's 952-6 declared.
And the question - how can a bowler take a hat trick and only dismiss two batsmen?
Very simply, he dismisses one of the batsmen twice, once in the first innings and once in the second. In 1844 W Clark took a hat trick, dismissing J F Fagg in both innings.