Is Prithvi Shaw's 244 the highest individual score in a List A match?

Prithvi Shaw nails a slog-sweep NurPhoto via Getty Images

What records did Prithvi Shaw set during his double-century for Northamptonshire the other day? asked Mumtaz Hussein from India
Prithvi Shaw smashed 244 from 153 balls against Somerset in the Royal London Cup 50-over match against Somerset in Northampton last week. It was the highest score in List A cricket for Northamptonshire, beating Wayne Larkins' unbeaten 172 against Warwickshire in a 40-over Sunday League game in Luton in 1983, and the second-highest in the English domestic competition, behind Alistair Brown's 268 in a 50-over match for Surrey vs Glamorgan at The Oval in 2002.

Including Brown's innings, there have been only five higher individual scores in List A matches, three of them by Indian batters: 277 by Narayan Jagadeesan (Tamil Nadu vs Arunachal Pradesh in Bengaluru in 2022-23), the ODI-record 264 by Rohit Sharma (India vs Sri Lanka in Kolkata in 2014-15), and 248 by Shikhar Dhawan (India A vs South Africa A in Pretoria in 2013). The other one was D'Arcy Short's 257 for Western Australia against Queensland at the Hurstville Oval in Sydney in 2018-19.

Shaw reached 200 in 129 balls, the seventh-fastest on record, and the second-quickest in England behind Ben Duckett's 123 balls for England Lions against Sri Lanka A in Canterbury in 2016. The only two List A double-centuries faster than Duckett's were both made by Travis Head for South Australia: in 114 balls against Queensland at the Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide in 2021-22, and 117 against Western Australia in Sydney (Hurstville Oval) in 2015-16.

Shaw's 244 was his second double-century in List A matches, following an undefeated 227 for Mumbai against Puducherry in Jaipur in 2020-21, when he reached 200 from 142 balls. He's the fourth man to score more than one List A double, after Rohit (three), Brown and Head, but the first to make them in different countries.

Roy Swetman, who died recently, was capped by three different first-class counties. Was he the first to achieve this? asked James Farrell from England
Wicketkeeper Roy Swetman, who died last month aged 89, was capped by Surrey in 1958, Nottinghamshire in 1966, and Gloucestershire in 1972. Neat and unflashy behind the stumps, Swetman played 11 Tests for England, the first after being selected for the 1958-59 Ashes tour even though he wasn't Surrey's regular keeper at the time. He should perhaps have played more often but, as his Surrey team-mate Micky Stewart recalled, "He enjoyed his time off the field too much. He'd start off the season in good nick, but after a few weeks back he wouldn't be so sharp. He didn't have the strength and stamina to maintain that lifestyle. It was sad, really."

Swetman was actually the second player to be capped by three counties, back in the days when movement between them was much less frequent than now. The first was the slow left-armer Bob Berry, by Lancashire in 1950, Worcestershire in 1957, and Derbyshire in 1961. Like Swetman, Berry also played for England, in two Tests against West Indies in 1950.

In case anyone is unfamiliar with the term, county caps are usually awarded to someone who has become a regular player. It used to be an important stage in a player's career - for a start it meant he would be paid more. Some counties, however, have discontinued this long-established tradition, and award caps (or sometimes "colours") to anyone who appears for their first team.

Mohammad Rizwan made a catch as a substitute in a recent Test, then joined the match as a concussion replacement and made another dismissal. Has anyone ever done this before in a Test? asked Hafeez Ahmed from Pakistan
Mohammad Rizwan pulled off this unusual double during Pakistan's recent Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo. In Sri Lanka's first innings, Rizwan took a catch at point to dismiss Kusal Mendis while on as a substitute fielder. Later he replaced Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was suffering from concussion; in the second innings Rizwan - by now a fully fledged member of the team - stumped Ramesh Mendis as Pakistan approached victory.

It was indeed the first time a player had made dismissals for the same side as a substitute in a match he was playing in, which has only been possible since concussion replacements have been allowed. But in the early days of Test cricket, when teams often did not have spare players handy, there were three instances of a man taking a catch as a substitute against his own side. The first to do it was Australia's captain Billy Murdoch, who caught his team-mate "Tup" Scott against England at Lord's in 1884. He was fielding in place of WG Grace, who had injured a finger. This was actually the first substitute catch in any Test; Scott had top-scored for Australia with 75.

Murdoch was followed by two more Australians in Ashes Tests. Affie Jarvis caught his team-mate Fred Spofforth in Melbourne in 1884-85. He'd only just been dismissed himself, six overs earlier, but England were short as Billy Barnes was injured. A few seasons later, in 1886-87, Charles "The Terror" Turner caught Reginald Allen in Sydney. He'd just sent down 64.1 (four-ball) overs, after 53 in the first innings, so must have been delighted to be asked to field for the opposition! He was needed as England's Billy Gunn had been pressed into service as an umpire on the final morning, in the absence of one of those appointed. None of this trio of Aussies took a catch for their own side in the same match (even though Jarvis kept wicket in his game), so Rizwan is unique in that regard.

Rebecca Blake made around 70% of Romania's runs in a recent T20I - was this a record? asked Geoffrey Harrison from England
Romania's Bucharest-born captain Rebecca Blake scored 135 not out in her team's 20-over total of 197 for 4 against Malta in Ilfov County last week. That's 68.52% of the total - which, as this table shows, currently comes in third place for a women's T20I (counting only all-out innings, or those where the full quota of overs was used).

Top of the list is Sindhu Sriharsha, who made an unbeaten 74 out of 103 for 3 - 71.84% - for United States against Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi in September 2022. Next comes Deandra Dottin, with 112 out of 159 for 6 - 70.44% - for West Indies vs Sri Lanka in Coolidge (Antigua) in October 2017.

The men's T20I record is 75.10% - 172 in a total of 229 for 2 - by Aaron Finch for Australia against Zimbabwe in Harare in July 2018.

Which player's life story is told in the book The Globe-Trotting Cricketer? asked Keith McKenzie from Australia
This is the much-travelled Australian-born cricketer Bert Kortlang, who played first-class matches for Victoria in Australia before the First World War, and for Wellington in New Zealand afterwards. But that wasn't the end of it: he travelled far and wide, and played minor cricket in many far-flung places, including Argentina, Canada and the United States. Back in Australia, he became a journalist and a friend of Don Bradman, who was the godfather to one of Kortlang's children. Pelham Warner, the former England captain who was later closely involved with cricket as a journalist and administrator, compared him to the Scarlet Pimpernel: "We hear of him here; we hear of him there; the beggar pops up everywhere."

Kortlang died in 1961, aged 80, but his life story was reassembled by the New Zealand writer Rob Franks, in a book for the Cricket Publishing Company that came out in 2022. Not many were printed, so it's rather hard to find, but it is beautifully produced and a very good read.

And there's an addition to last week's question about the players who made their international debuts in all three formats in the shortest time frame, from Mike Halliwell from Australia, among others
"There's a name to add to the list: the Australian legspinner Alana King completed her set in 14 days, the same as Mukesh Kumar, during the 2021-22 women's Ashes series. King made her T20I debut in Adelaide on January 20, won her first Test cap in Canberra on January 27, and played her first ODI in Adelaide on February 3."

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

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