Dennis Lillie’s 70th Birthday

28th October 2015

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

Each week for ‘Mason & Guests’ I put together a brief summary of cricket events outside the Caribbean, round-up the week’s notable WI birthdays & anniversaries, & throw in a few ‘Did You Know?’ facts:

“Hello! This is David Oram taking you ‘Around the World in 2‘:

“Pak took a 1-0 lead against Eng with Wahab Riaz MoM for his 4 1st inngs wkts despite Yasir Shah’s 8 in the match. The leg-spinner moved up to 2nd in the ICC Test bowler rankings. Joe Root made 88 & 71 & returned to the top of the batting list, while Younis Khan rose to 5th – during his 118 he passed 9,000 Test runs. But spare a thought for tailender Imran Khan who’s yet to score his 1st run. He made 0no & after 7 Tests he’s still to get off the mark in any inngs. The 3rd & final Test begins Sun.

“SA won the deciding ODI v India to take the series 3-2. de Kock, du Plessis & de Villiers all hit 100s as they racked up 438-4 & won by 214 runs. AB de Villiers scored 3 tons in 5 matches & remains easily the world’s best ODI batsman.

“Best ODI bowler is again Mitchell Starc who took 3-39 & was Player of the Tournament as NSW bt SA by 9 wkts in the final of Aus’s domestic 50-over competition, The Matador Cup. Starc took 26 wkts in 6 matches at only 8.1 apiece.

“Elsewhere, Afghan bt Zim in their ODI series 3-2 & yesterday added victory in the 1st of 2 T20 intls.

“Meanwhile, at the Vatican Pope Francis’ St Peter’s CC bt The Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI in their T20 re-match. A yr ago the Anglicans gained a 6 wkt victory thanks to a match-winning knock by my own brother, Rob Oram – but this time the Catholics gained revenge, their 147-6 proving too much for the visitors who were all out for 105.”

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:

“Tomorrow is Dennis Lillie’s 70th birthday. But no, not that Dennis Lillee. DJ Lillie was a leg-spinner for Queensland from 1965-82, altho’ he didn’t play a single game between Feb 1966 & Dec 1980. He took 33 career wkts at 51 & scored 135 runs at 8. The legendary DK Lillee will be 70 in 2019.

“Tomorrow marks the 1913 birth of Cyril Christiani who kept wkt in all 4 matches in WI’s 2-1 win v Eng in 1935 – his only Tests. His brother Harry played 1 1st-class game in 1947 & turned 90 this yr.

“Thur would’ve been the 80th birthday of off-spinner David Allen who played out the last 2 balls from Wes Hall in 1963 to secure the famous draw at Lord’s when WI needed 1 wkt to win & Eng only 6 runs – but with Colin Cowdrey at the non-striker’s end batting with a broken arm. Allen died in May last yr; while in Aug the same yr ‘time’ was called on former Test umpire Douglas Sang Hue. Tomorrow is the anniversary of his 1931 birth. Fellow Test umpire Campbell Foster, who officiated in the 1948 Bridgetown Test v Eng, would’ve celebrated his 101st birthday this coming Mon. He played twice for Barbados in 1937 & died in 1978.

“Other anniversaries this week include the 1885 birth on Fri of Barbados ‘keeper Claude Bancroft who toured Eng with the 1906 WIndians; while Trinidad’s George Dewhurst, who was stumper on the 1923 trip to Eng, was born in 1894 on Sat. Another former WI WK, & former capt, Gerry Alexander was born in 1928 on Mon. He scored nearly 1,000 Test runs in 25 Tests at 30 & topped the avgs in the great 1960/1 series v Aus with 484 runs at 60.5 – outdoing Sobers, Kanhai, Worrell, Hunte & Nurse. He retired after the tour & became a vet. But Did You Know he was also a fine footballer, representing Eng as an amateur intl & earning an FA Amateur Cup winner’s medal in front of a capacity crowd of 100,000 at Wembley in 1953 as Pegasus bt Harwich & Parkeston 6-0?

“Other birthdays this week include former Guyana fast bowler Philbert Blair who’s 72 on Fri; WI’s leading Test wkt taker & current selector, Courtney Walsh is 53 the same day; fellow Jamaican & former Test selector & player Robert Haynes is 51 on Mon; & on Sun former WI Women’s coach & opening batsman, Sherwin Campbell is 45.

“On Sat Dominica’s Lockhart Sebastien will be 60. A regular ‘Mason & Guests’ contributer he scored almost 5,000 1st-class runs between 1972-89 with a HS of 219. A respected coach, voice & vocal critic of Caribbean cricket he served his country’s Ministry of Sport, managed the WI ‘A’ team & the Windward Islands & in 2013 was honoured with WIPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“& let’s spare a thought for the passing of his Jamaican contemporary, Basil ‘Shotgun’ Williams who’s died aged 64. We’ll look back at his achievements when we feature his date of birth in Nov.

“& finally, Sun’s the anniversary of the birth 150 yrs ago of Monty Bowden. He was Eng’s youngest ever capt at 23 yrs 144 days in his 2nd & last Test v SA in 1889 when Charles Aubrey Smith was injured. A keeper/batsman, Bowden remained in Africa after the tour, moved into stock-broking with Aubrey Smith, followed by gold-prospecting & liquor smuggling in Rhodesia. In 1892 he fell from his cart & was trampled to death by his own oxen. His body had to be protected from marauding lions & was buried in a hand-built coffin crafted from whiskey barrels. He was 26. Aubrey Smith, his captain & business partner, turned from cricket to acting & eventually moved to America where he featured in over 100 films – & is surely the only Test cricketer with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Until next time, this has been ‘Around the World in 2′ with David Oram.”

You can listen to the above round-up here.

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

David Oram is an Englishman following West Indies cricket from Islamabad. When I lived in the region, I was the resident ‘statto’, co-host and sometime presenter of ‘Mason & Guests’ – weekly cricket talk-show, the sport’s leading radio show in the WIndies – hosted by the Caribbean’s principal radio commentator, Andrew Mason. You can tweet me at DavidOram@colblimp1983.


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