Creating Champions

22nd January 2014

Around the World in 2 – a few occasional off-breaks

Each week for Mason & Guests I compile and broadcast a brief summary of cricket events outside the Caribbean, with a few “Did You Know, Andrew?” facts thrown in. Here’s this week’s round-up:

“West Indies’ tour of New Zealand concluded with a defeat in the 2nd T20 international. WI lost by 4 wickets, despite their tactical innovation of fielding no less than 5 wicket-keepers in the side. Denesh Ramdin, Chadwick Walton, Johnson Charles, Lendl Simmons and Andre Fletcher had all previously kept wicket for WI in international cricket. WI next fixture will be versus Ireland in the 1st of 2 T20 matches in Kingston on February 19th.

“New Zealand beat India in the 1st of a 5-match ODI series by 24 runs, despite a century by Virat Kohli. But Did You Know, Andrew that also in the match India’s captain M.S. Dhoni became the 4th wicket-keeper to complete 300 ODI dismissals? He joins Adam Gilchrist, Mark Boucher and Kumar Sangakkara in achieving this feat.”

This week’s question: well this week I have 2 – 1) I said M. S. Dhoni passed 300 ODI dismissals. Who has the most for the WI, with 204? and 2) I said last week that Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh appeared alongside each other in 95 Tests for the WI. But which duo hold the record, with 99 appearances alongside each other?

“Staying in New Zealand, Craig Findlay, who played for Central Districts in the 1990s, scored 307 off 115 balls – against a schoolboy side of 15 & 16-year-olds. Findlay smashed 27 sixes & 27 fours for Napier Technical Old Boys v St. John’s College, in a total of 578-6 in their 45 overs. The St. John’s captain repeatedly begged Findlay to retire ‘because things were getting out of hand’, but he refused. Asked to explain his bullying, Findlay, who was dropped twice, said: ‘They should have held their catches. I played hard so that’s why I won a lot. To create champions you have to be tough.’

“Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in the 3rd and final Test of their 3-match series to level the contest at 1-1. Left to score 302 to win on the final afternoon, they achieved the target with moments to spare in fading light to win by 5 wickets. Did You Know, Andrew that veteran Pakistani cricket journalist Qamar Ahmed became only the third man to cover 400 Test Matches at the game? The 76-year-old joins the UK’s former Times cricket correspondent John Woodcock and the legendary Richie Benaud at that figure.

“Australia have won the ODI series v England, with still 2 matches to play. They won the 2nd & 3rd games this week by 1 wicket and then by 7 wickets. After the game England captain, Alastair Cook hinted he may stand down as the ODI skipper. The 4th match in the series begins on Thursday evening at 11.20pm ECT.

“In the Big Bash league in Australia the Melbourne Stars still lead the way with 7 wins out of 7, while their neighbours the Melbourne Renegades, who were joined by Dwayne Bravo this week, are next to bottom. Meanwhile, Did You Know, Andrew that Moses Henriques of the Sydney Sixers achieved something that as far as I can tell is unique – he scored a pair in a T20 match. In the game v Perth Scorchers he was caught for a 4th ball duck in the game proper, and when the tied match went to a super-over, he was caught 2nd ball – again for 0. And they lost.”

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:

“Tomorrow is the 93rd birthday of Trinidad’s Andy Ganteaume, who had only 1 innings in Test cricket, and scored 112. Despite playing 1st-class cricket for a further 15 years he never got another knock on the big stage.

“Saturday will be the 29th birthday of Lendl Simmons, who made his Test debut in 2009, but in 8 Test Matches and 16 innings failed to score a fifty.

“Sunday will be 21 years to the day of the narrowest victory in Test history, when West Indies beat Australia at Adelaide by 1 run. Courtney Walsh took the decisive wicket, having Craig McDermott caught behind by Junior Murray. But Man of the Match was Curtly Ambrose, who not only took 10-120 in the match, but after a 1st innings duck, scored a single in the 2nd innings – which made all the difference.

“And finally, Monday will see the 44th birthday of a man whose father and grandfather played for West Indies – but he himself played for England. Dean Headley played 15 Tests for England, while his father, Ron played twice for the WI, and his grandfather, the legendary George Headley, had a Test career spanning 24 years, and averaged over 60. Often described as ‘the black Bradman’, many shrewd judges in the Caribbean preferred to think of Bradman as ‘the white Headley’.”

The answer to this week’s quiz questions: 1) Jeffrey Dujon, and 2) Sir Vivian Richards & Gordon Greenidge.

The Mason & Guests show is broadcast live on Tuesday’s from 6.15-8pm ECT (10.15-midnight GMT)  on Voice of Barbados 92.9fm and can be heard via numerous internet tune-in services.

David Oram

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