20th January 2015
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:
“Aus won their 1st 2 games in the Tri-series v Eng & India; with David Warner scoring 127 in the 1st match, & clashing with Rohit Sharma in the 2nd – for which he was fined 50% of his match fee. In the 3rd game last night, Eng thrashed India by 9 wkts with Steven Finn taking 5-33. The teams all play each other once more before the Final on Sun Feb 1st.
“NZ are 2-1 up after 4 games in their 7-match series with SL. The 5th match is on Fri.
“Meanwhile, in the Big Bash the Adelaide Strikers lead the table with 6 wins & only 1 defeat in 8 games, & they’ve already booked their place in next Sat’s 1st semi-final. Kevin Pietersen is the tournament’s leading run scorer with 262 at 52.4 for the the Melbourne Stars who are in 3rd place. The Final is on Wed Jan 28th.”
A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:
“Today is Junior Murray’s 47th birthday. The 1st intl cricketer from Grenada, he played 33 Tests between 1993-2002, scoring 918 runs at 22.3 & taking 102 dismissals. He hit 1 Test ton, 101no off 88 balls v NZ at Wellington in 1995.
“Today is also the anniversary of the 1911 birth in Tobago of Cyril Merry. The son of an Archdeacon, Merry captd Trinidad between 1932-37 & toured Eng in 1933 scoring 856 1st-class runs at 28.5, including 146 v W’wicks, & also took 13 wkts at 32.3. He played his only 2 Tests on that tour; but scored a mere 9 & 1 at Lord’s & 13 & 11 at The Oval. After his playing career he was honorary secretary of the WI Cricket Board of Control & was Manager of WI’s 1951/2 tour of Aus & NZ.
“Thur is the 94th birthday of WI’s oldest living Test cricketer, Trinidad’s Andy Ganteaume. In his 1st Test inngs in 1948 he made 112 v Eng, but Did You Know, Andrew that was his final Test Match? He was part of WI’s 1957 tour of Eng, scoring 800 runs at 27.5 without a century, or playing a Test.
“Fri is the 26th birthday of Jamaica’s Nkrumah Bonner. He’s played 2 T20 intls, making 3 v Eng in 2011 & 24 v Aus in 2012. So far in this yr’s Nagico Super 50 he’s hit 52no v the Leeward Islands, 51 v T&T & 10 today v the U19s.
“Sat is the anniversary of the 1912 birth of Kenneth Weekes. Born in Boston, Massachusetts of a Jamaican mother & Bajan father, he played 2 Tests v Eng in 1939. At Lord’s he made 20 & 16, looking so awful that Neville Cardus said he ‘shaped like a left-hander batting the wrong way round’. He was dropped, but recalled for the final Test at The Oval & hit a magnificent 137 in 2 & a quarter hrs with 18 4s & a 6. Cardus changed his tune, admitting that Weekes ‘hit the ball as hard as a kicking mule.’ But sadly that was his last Test inngs, as WWII began less than 2 weeks later.
“Adding 163 in 100 mins with Weekes in that inngs was Vic Stollmeyer, who shared the same birthday, Jan 24th, being born 4 yrs later in 1916. But Did You Know, Andrew that Stollmeyer’s 96 was his only inngs in Test cricket & leaves him 2nd in WI’s all-time Test Match avgs, behind Andy Ganteaume? Vic’s brother, Jeff played 32 Tests for WI & cptd them 13 times.
“& finally, Sun is the 30th birthday of Lendl Simmons, who’s played over 100 intls for WI, with 8 Tests, 61 ODIs & 34 T20s – scoring 2,824 runs at 27.4 with 1 century across the 3 formats. But in Tests alone his avg is only 17 & he’s never hit a 50. Simmons is part of WI’s 15-man World Cup squad, but Did You Know, Andrew he has yet to play in the ODI series in SA because of an injured finger? Unlike Leon Johnson, who isn’t in the World Cup squad – but has played in both ODIs v SA – scoring 0 & 1.”
The final question: who is the only man in Test cricket history to have done all 3 of these things: he’s scored over 10 Test 100s; he’s taken over 10 Test wkts; & he’s also taken more than 10 Test stumpings? So he’s a batsman, & a bowler & a wkt-keeper. You could therefore say he is the greatest genuine all-rounder of all time. I’ll give you a clue – he was knighted and he is from Barbados.
The answer to the final question: Sir Clyde Walcott, who hit 3,798 runs at 56.68 with 15 100s, & took 11 wkts at 37.09 & 11 stumpings in 44 Tests.
The Mason & Guests show is broadcast live every Tuesday from 6.15-8pm ECT (10.15pm-midnight GMT) on Voice of Barbados 92.9fm, and can be heard by clicking on ‘LISTEN LIVE’ on the website page via the link provided. To catch up on previous broadcasts, click on this link to the show’s archives.
David Oram is the resident ‘statto’, and sometime presenter of ‘Mason & Guests’ – Voice of Barbados’ weekly cricket talk show, the leading cricket radio show in the West Indies – hosted by the Caribbean’s principal radio commentator, Andrew Mason.
You can tweet me at DavidOram@colblimp1983.