Which was the longest recorded Test match in cricket history?

According to Guinness World Records, the longest recorded Test match in cricket history was the fifth and final Test of the England tour of South Africa played at Kingsmead, Durban in March, 1939. With England leading the five-match series 1-0, the final Test was, by prior agreement, to be ‘timeless’ or, in other words, played to a conclusion.

Nevertheless, the match still expected to be completed within five days, with England scheduled to play a final tour match against Western Province in Cape Town – 1,000 miles, and two days, away by train – four days after the anticipated finish. However, the final Test lasted from Friday, March 3 until Tuesday, March 14, or a total of twelve days, including rest days on both Sundays and a whole day lost to rain on the second Saturday, before being abandoned as a draw.

In a total of 43 hours and 16 minutes playing time, 5,447 balls were bowled, the new ball was taken twelve times and 1,981 runs were scored. In near perfect batting conditions, prolonged by heavy rain and rolling to prevent deterioration of the pitch, six players – Pieter van der Bijl, Dudley Nourse, Alan Melville, Paul Gibb, Bill Edrich and Wally Hammond – scored individual centuries, with Edrich top scoring on 219.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat, scoring 530 in the first innings, with England scoring 316 in reply. The hosts added a further 481 runs in the second innings, leaving the visitors with an eye-watering fourth-innings chase of 696. Agonisingly, England were 645-5, or just 42 runs short of an unlikely victory, when rain returned to Kingsmead, removing the prospect of further play.

Who has the most heavyweight title defences in boxing history?

In the dynamic world of heavyweight boxing, a record stands tall, towering above the rest, capturing the imagination and admiration of fight fans worldwide. It belongs to the legendary Joe Louis, a name that resonates through the annals of boxing history like a thunderous left hook. With an awe-inspiring display of skill, resilience, and unwavering determination, Louis carved his place in the tapestry of the sport by achieving an astonishing record of 26 successful heavyweight title defences.

From the late 1930s to the late 1940s, Joe Louis reigned supreme, a pugilistic force to be reckoned with. He faced a relentless onslaught of challengers, each aspiring to etch their own name in the annals of greatness. Yet, time and again, Louis emerged victorious, his gloves etching a symphony of precise punches, his footwork painting a masterpiece of ring craft. With every successful defence, he added another brushstroke to his illustrious career, solidifying his status as an immortal boxing legend.

The magnitude of Louis’ accomplishment cannot be overstated. To defend the heavyweight title 26 times requires not just raw talent, but an unwavering resolve that burns like an eternal flame. It demands the ability to adapt to the shifting rhythms of the ring, to weather storms of physical and mental challenges, and to thrive amidst the deafening roars of a crowd hungry for upsets. Joe Louis possessed these qualities in abundance, his fists blazing a trail of triumph that reverberates through the corridors of boxing lore.

Joe Louis, the man whose name became synonymous with greatness, remains an enduring symbol of boxing excellence. His record of 26 successful heavyweight title defences stands as a testament to his explosive power, lightning-fast reflexes, and unwavering resolve. It is a beacon of inspiration, shining brightly for aspiring champions who dare to dream of etching their own mark in the unforgiving world of heavyweight boxing.

Which bowler holds the record for the most wickets in a single Test match?

The bowler who still holds the record for the most wickets in a single Test match is former Surrey right-arm off-break bowler James ‘Jim’ Laker. During the fourth Test of the Australia tour of England at Old Trafford, Manchester in July, 1956, Laker took nineteen of a possible twenty wickets to finish the match with figures of 68-27-90-19.

England, captained by Peter May, won the toss and elected to bat, compiling a total of 459 all out in the first innings. In reply, Australia managed just 84 all out, with only openers Colin McDonald (32) and Jim Burke (22) reaching double figures. The wickets of all bar Burke, who was caught by Colin Cowdrey off the bowling off Laker’s Surrey team-mate Tony Lock, fell to Laker. Indeed, Laker skittled out the last seven Australian batsmen for eight runs in 22 balls to finish the innings with figures of 16.4-4-37-9.

England enforced the follow-on and, in a rain-interrupted second innings, Australia reached 84-2 by the start of the final day. However, from 114-2, Australia collapsed to 205 all out, with Laker taking all ten wickets. Reflecting on his performance, Laker said later, ‘Odd as it may seem now, I did not even consider the possibility of taking all ten wickets. How could I when Tony [Lock] was fizzing the ball through against nine, ten and jack with venomous lift and spin?’ Take all ten wickets he did, though, recording scarcely believable second innings figures of 51.2-23-53-10 to give England victory in what will be forever known as ‘Laker’s Match’ by an innings and 170 runs.

Where, and when, did Deontay Wilder make his professional boxing debut?

Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on October 22, 1985, Deontay ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder was a relative latecomer to the sport of boxing, having his first fight, as an amateur, in October, 2005, just shy of his twentieth birthday. Nevertheless, Wilder was picked to represent Team America at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division after losing to Italian Clemente Russo – who had beaten Oleksandr Usyk in his quarter-final – in the semi-final.

At a height of 6’7″, with a reach of 83″, Wilder was predicted to make his mark on the heavyweight division as and when he turned professional and he wasted little time in doing so. In fact, he made his professional debut at the Vanderbilt University Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee on November 15, 2008, just 85 days after his Olympic semi-final. His opponent on that occasion was unheralded countryman Ethan Cox, whom Wilder knocked down three times in the second round before referee Anthony Bryant waved an end to the contest.

Wilder has, indeed, scaled the heights that seemed likely early in his career. He won the World Boxing Council (WBC) World Heavyweight title with a unanimous points decision over Bermane Stiverne at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada in January, 2015 and would go on to make ten successful defences. He drew his first fight with Tyson Fury at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California in December, 2018 and, while he lost the rematch, by seventh-round knockout, and the trilogy fight, by eleventh-round knockout, he remains a highly marketable heavyweight.

Indeed, Wilder returned to action with a first-round knockout of Robert Helenius in a WBC title eliminator at Barclays Center, New York City in October, 2022 to give himself a range of options. A final eliminator against former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. is one possibility, although Wilder appears to have his sights set on another former champion, Anthony Joshua.