Some One-Test Not-Such-Wonders

5th January 2016

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 returning to take you ‘Around the World in 2‘:

“The 2nd Test between SA & Eng has seen big scores from Amla, Stokes & Bairstow, the last 2 adding a Test record 399 for the 6th wkt; & Did You Know that Stokes’ 258 was Eng’s fastest ever double hundred & 2nd quickest ever behind NZ’s Nathan Astle? Eng, 1-0 up in the 4-Test series, are wearing black armbands in memory of Sussex fast bowler Matthew Hobden who tragically died aged only 22.

“In Sydney, the 3rd day washout of the 3rd Test between Aus & WI was the 1st full-day’s play lost in an SCG Test for 27 yrs. But that’s been overshadowed by the furore surrounding Chris Gayle’s sexist pitch-side comments on live TV to female interviewer Mel McLaughlin during a Big Bash match. The Melbourne Renegades today fined him Aus$10,000.

“Meanwhile, Aus have pulled out of Jan’s U19 World Cup in Bangladesh amid security fears & their place has been offered to Ire.

“Elsewhere, in NZ, the hosts completed a 3-1 win in their 5-match ODI series with SL. While in another 5-match ODI series Afghan & Zim went into today’s final game locked at 2-all.

“& in India, spare a thought for the bowlers of Arya Gurukul School in Mumbai. They conceded 1,465 for 3 dec to KC Gandhi High School in the HT Bhandari Cup. The total was thanks largely to 15-yr-old opener Pranav Dhanawade’s 1009no, which he made off 323 balls, hitting 127 4s & 59 6s. Naturally, both his & the team’s total are world records, Dhanawade’s inngs bt the 628no by 13-yr-old Eng schoolboy AEJ Collins in 1899. Let’s hope KC Gandhi’s capt is brave enough to enforce the follow on when the opposition are bowled out.”

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:

“Birthdays this week include Jam’s Chris Barnwell, who’s 29 tomorrow; St Kitts’ Desmond Chumney, who played 21 ODIs for Canada will be 48 on Fri; former WI capt Jimmy Adams will also be 48 on Sat; & the same day fellow Jamaican Gareth Breese is 40; also on Sat, former Leeward Islands slow-left-armer, & WICB Governance Committee Chairman, Charles Wilkin QC is 67. He was co-ordinator & co-author of the 2012 report into regional cricket administration rejected by the WICB.

“Today is the 58th birthday of Ezra Moseley. In 1990, Ezra broke Graham Gooch’s hand when the Eng capt was on the verge of taking his side to a 2-0 Test series lead. Without him, WI won 2-1.

“Gooch was replaced by David Smith, who’ll be 60 on Sat – & Did You Know that he immediately broke his thumb! Smith played twice for Eng v WI in 1986, top-scoring in both inngs of his last Test with 47 & 32 as WI won by 10 wkts. At 6 ft 4, Smith had a reputation as an aggressive, volatile player – a facade exploited by the gentle giant who was known to intimidate young tail-enders into dismissal – threatening them from short-leg with a thump if they didn’t get out soon. A coach subsequently, Smith is a regular visitor to Barbados.

“Another D Smith was born 103 yrs ago on Fri – NZ quickie Dennis, who bowled Eng’s Eddie Paynter with his 1st ball in Tests in 1933. But his 1st was also his last, as he ended with 1-113 in his only Test.

“Another NZ quick bowler would’ve been 75 today. Bob Cunis, who died in 2008, took 51 wkts in 20 Tests, & prompted BBC radio commentator John Arlott to say of him: ‘Cunis – funny name that; neither one thing nor the other.’

“Another who’d have been 75 birthday today was India’s great captain, Mansur Ali Khan, the Nawab of Patudi. A stylish batsman who overcame severe eye damage in a car accident aged 21, he still amassed 2,700 Test runs with 6 centuries, & led India during their period of success in the 1960s & 70s, when they were briefly acknowledged as the world Test champions. Patudi was later a respected intl match referee & was widely mourned on his death in 2011.

“Other anniversaries this week include the 1954 birth on Thur of former Test umpire Clyde Duncan who also died in 2011; & on Sun the 1885 birth of Joseph Holt, who was a member of WI’s pre-Test tour of Eng in 1923; Sun also marks the 1917 birth of Tyrell Johnson, who was another to take a wkt with his 1st ball in Tests, bowling Eng’s Walter Keeton for 0 at The Oval in 1939. Unlike NZ’s Dennis Smith, this wasn’t Johnson’s only Test wkt – he took 2 more – but like Smith, it was his 1st & last Test Match – in fact his only Test was the very last before the outbreak of WWII.

“& finally, spare a thought for one more who played just 1 Test. Hugh Motley Thurlow was born 113 yrs ago next Mon & played his only match in 1932 v SA. He didn’t take a wkt or a catch & batted at no. 11. Being last man in with Don Bradman at the other end not out on 299, Thurlow got run out for 0, leaving the Don a run short of his triple century. Perhaps not surprisingly, Hugh Motley Thurlow never played for Aus again.

“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’ – http://www.vob929.com/ 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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