Who scored a double-century on first-class debut and a hundred in his first Test?

Greg Chappell (left) made 182 at the SCG against West Indies in 1976, then repeated the feat in his last Test, against Pakistan, in 1984 at the same venue Getty Images

I see from his player page that Don Bradman hit only six sixes in Tests. Who were the unfortunate bowlers? asked Paritosh Bhatt from India
You're right in thinking that only 36 of the 6996 runs Don Bradman made in Tests came from sixes - he preferred to keep the ball on the ground, and hit well over 600 fours. A statistical oddity is that all six sixes came from left-arm bowlers, three off England's Hedley Verity.

Bradman's first six in a Test came during the 1932-33 Bodyline series, in Adelaide, when he on-drove Verity over the boundary: he was caught and bowled next ball for 66, as Australia slid to a heavy defeat in a bad-tempered game.

Two-thirds of the Don's Test sixes came in the next Ashes series, in England in 1934. During his 304 in the fourth Test at Headingley he hit two sixes late on the second day - another off Verity to reach 244, and one off the medium-pace cutters of Len Hopwood to advance to 268. He added three more runs that night before the close, giving him 102 runs in all in the final session: such was his dominance of the England bowlers that a wag in the crowd shouted "Put on Dolphin!" - Arthur Dolphin, the old Yorkshire wicketkeeper, was one of the umpires.

Then in the final Test at The Oval, Bradman hit Verity for six again to reach 234 of his eventual 244 in the first innings - he was out before the end of a first day on which Australia amassed 475 for 2 - and hooked left-arm seamer Nobby Clark, who was bowling with something like a Bodyline leg-side field, into the crowd when he had nine of his second-innings 77.

Bradman did not hit another six in Tests for nearly 14 years, before tucking in to another slow left-armer, India's Vinoo Mankad, in Adelaide in 1947-48. Bradman's sixth Test six took him to 144, and he was out around an hour later for 201, the last of his dozen Test double-centuries: more than 70 years later, no one has matched this number.

Herbert Sutcliffe scored 161 against Australia at The Oval in 1926, and again in 1930 - is this the highest repeat score at the same venue? asked Daren Fawkes from Australia
There are actually two higher such doubles than Herbert Sutcliffe's twin 161s for England in Ashes Tests at The Oval in 1926 and in 1930. Mahela Jayawardene scored 167 twice in Galle - for Sri Lanka against New Zealand in 1998 and against South Africa in 2000. But on top of the list is Greg Chappell, who made 182 not out for Australia against West Indies in Sydney in 1975-76, and added 182 in his final Test, against Pakistan at the SCG in 1983-84.

The highest repeat score in Tests, not at the same venue, is 203 not out, which, remarkably, was achieved by two different batsmen. Shivnarine Chanderpaul did it for West Indies against South Africa in Georgetown in 2004-05, and against Bangladesh in Mirpur in 2012-13. This mirrored the feat of Pakistan's Shoaib Mohammad, who made 203 not out against India in Lahore in 1989-90, and repeated that score against West Indies in Karachi the following season. Shoaib's father, Hanif Mohammad, scored 203 not out against New Zealand in Lahore in 1964-65.

Who scored a double-century on first-class debut and a hundred in his first Test? asked Gordon Brine from South Africa
The only man to complete this notable double is the stylish Indian batsman Gundappa Viswanath, who made 230 on his first-class debut, for Mysore against Andhra in Vijayawada in 1967-68, then two years later, in the first of his 91 Tests, made 137 against Australia in Kanpur. He received a little bit of help: "I committed another of my costly fielding errors, this time acting as fairy godmother to GR Viswanath in his Test debut," remembered Australia's opener Keith Stackpole. "Following a duck in the first innings, he was on 98 when I stopped a shot from him at point. He took off, and I threw the ball too high, giving him his hundred."

Who has played the most Test matches without taking a catch? asked Jeremy Nicholson from Australia
There are four men who have played ten Tests without holding on to a catch. The first to do so was the unorthodox Australia left-arm spinner Chuck Fleetwood-Smith in the 1930s. He has since been joined by the Sri Lankan spinner Jayananda Warnaweera, the tall Indian seamer Abey Kuruvilla, and the Pakistan paceman Mohammad Imran Khan, who played his most recent Test in November 2019, so may yet get off this list (or rise to the top of it).

Tendai Chatara, the Zimbabwe seamer, has so far played nine Tests without taking a catch. Pakistan fast bowler Ata-ur-Rehman made no fewer than 30 one-day international appearances without taking a catch. Another seamer, West Indies' Oshane Thomas, has so far played 20 (and a record 32 internationals all told). The Afghanistan spinner Amir Hamza Hotak played 31 T20Is without taking a catch.

Bangladesh won their recent Test against Zimbabwe by an innings. Was this their first innings victory in Tests? asked Craig Marshall from England
Bangladesh's win, by an innings and 106 runs, over Zimbabwe in Mirpur in February was their 14th Test victory overall - but the second by an innings. Their previous win, over West Indies in Mirpur in November 2018, was by an innings and 184 runs. They still have a fair bit of ground to make up: Bangladesh have so far lost 89 Tests, 43 of them by an innings.

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