Fire in Harare

25th February 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:

“South Africa fought back to level their 3-Test series v Australia with a 231 run win. Centuries from AB de Villiers, JP Duminy & Hashim Amla were the platform for their win, & a 3-wicket burst in 5 overs from Dale Steyn sealed the victory. Duminy passed 1,000 Test runs in his hundred, while de Villiers passed 7,000 in his, & Did You Know, Andrew that he set a new world record when he scored a half-century or more for his 12th successive Test? In that period he has scored 1,390 runs at 77.22. 3 men had previously achieved the feat in 11 consecutive Tests: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag & Sir Vivian Richards. Did You Know, Andrew that in 19 innings between January 1976 & February 1977, Sir Viv scored: 30, 101, 50, 98, 142, 130, 20, 177, 23, 64, 232, 63, 4, 135, 66, 38, 291, 32 & 92? That’s 1,788 Test runs at 94.10. The 3rd & final Test between SA & Aus begins at 4.30am ECT on Saturday.”

This week’s question: the last time the West Indies beat England in a home ODI series was in 1998, when they won 4-1. Who were WI’s opening batsmen throughout that series; & who took the most wickets for the WI in that series?

“Sri Lanka completed a 3-0 ODI series win over Bangladesh. The 2 countries are now taking part in the Asia Cup one-day series alongside India, Pakistan & Afghanistan. SL today beat Pakistan in the opening match by 12 runs. The final of the competition is on March 8th.

“In the ICC U19 World Cup, Pakistan will play either SA or Aus in Saturday’s final, Aus having beaten WI in the QF. WI narrowly beat Afghanistan today in the battle for minor placings; & will now play India on Thursday to see who finishes 5th in the tournament.

“And in New Zealand, West Indies’ Women have lost the 1st 2 ODIs in the 3-match series. The 3 ODIs will be followed by 5 T20s.”

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:

Did You Know, Andrew that 24 years ago today the most expensive over in 1st-class history was bowled? In NZ, Wellington were trying to encourage Canterbury to chase their far-off victory target – so Robert Vance bowled an over that cost 77 runs. His 22-ball over, which contained 17 deliberate no-balls, were slow full-tosses and long hops that helped Lee Germon to 160no. In the mayhem, the umpire lost count & it ended up a 5-ball over. The game ended in a tie – & Wellington were docked points because ‘it just wasn’t cricket’.

“Also today, 13 years ago saw the death of the world’s greatest ever batsman, Don Bradman who died aged 92; while 100 years ago today arguably the greatest ever radio commentator was born. No, not Andrew Mason – he’s not quite that old yet – but England’s legendary voice of the airwaves, John Arlott.

“Tomorrow will be the birthday of one of WI’s 11 Test Match knights: Sir Everton Weekes will be 89. Sir Everton was the 3rd of the 3Ws to receive a knighthood. Sir Frank Worrell was knighted in 1964, Sir Clyde Walcott was knighted in 1993 & Sir Everton was knighted 2 years later in 1995.

“Thursday, is 90 years since the birth of Barbados’ Norman Marshall, brother of Roy, who played 1 Test for the WI in 1955; Thursday is also 75 years since the birth of Jamaican fast bowler, Lester King who played 2 Tests, one in 1962 & the other in 1968.

“Saturday will mark 56 years to the day another knight, Sir Garfield Sobers created a new record for the highest score in Test cricket, making 365no v Pakistan at Sabina Park. His record stood for 36 years until broken by Brian Lara, & remarkably this was the very 1st of Sir Garfield’s 26 Test centuries.

“And finally, Sunday will be the 35th birthday of Zimbabwe’s Mark Vermeulen, who was hit by a bouncer in a Test Match in 2004, causing him psychiatric damage; & in 2006 he set fire to the Harare Sports Club & Zimbawe National Cricket Academy. Last year, while watching WI V Zimbabwe, former captain, David Houghton was asked if he had ever had any stands named after him, like the Hall & Griffith stand at the Kensington Oval. ‘No,’ he said – ‘but I did have the David Houghton Lounge – until Mark Vermeulen burnt it down.'”

The answer to this week’s quiz question: Clayton Lambert & Philo Wallace; & Phil Simmons.

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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