The Greatest Aus ‘Keeper & Greatest Ever ‘Keeper/Batsman

16th February 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, coming to you this week from England, taking you ‘Around the World in 2‘:

“Aus won the 1st Test in NZ by a whopping inngs & 52 runs. Usman Khwaja returned with a ton, & his 1st inngs scores in his last 5 Tests now reads: 174, 121, 144, dnb & 140. But he was outshone by Adam Voges, whose Test avg rose above a 100 before he was dismissed, & now stands at 97.46. His last 3 inngs realising 269no, 106no & 239. But Spare a Thought for NZ pace bowler, Doug Bracewell who bowled Voges on 7, only to be no-balled for over-stepping by English umpire Richard Illingworth – although replays showed he was mistaken & Bracewell’s delivery was legitimate. That umpiring error cost NZ 232 runs. The incident occurred only 2 months after fellow Englishman, Nigel Llong probably cost NZ the Adelaide Test with an erroneous 3rd umpiring decision. The 2nd & final Test begins on Fri. A draw or victory for Aus would see them go to no. 1 in the ICC Test rankings.

“SA came from 2-0 down to win the 5-match ODI series with Eng 3-2. Quinton de Kock topped the avgs with 81 including 2 centuries, but Did You Know that the 23-yr-old is the youngest ever to hit 10 ODI 100s? The 2 sides now play 2 T20 intls; meanwhile, Eng’s women won their 3-match ODI series v SA 2-1; & India’s women took the 1st game in their 3-match series v SL. Meantime, India’s men overcame SL 2-1 in their T20 series to maintain their no. 1 ICC ranking, & the 2 sides now feature in an 8-team Asia Cup T20 tournament alongside Pak, Bang, Afghan, UAE, Oman & Hong Kong, beginning on Fri as a warm-up for March’s T20 World Cup.” 

A Few Birthdays & Anniversaries:

“Today is Michael Holding’s 62nd birthday. The fast-bowling legend took nearly 400 intl wkts for WI & over a thousand in top-class cricket between 1973-89. His 14 wkts at The Oval in 1976 was recently declared by ESPN Cricinfo as the 3rd greatest Test Match performance of the last 50 yrs. Sir Curtly Ambrose said on this programme previously that Holding would open the bowling for an all-time WI team with Malcolm Marshall.

“It was exactly 30 yrs ago this Thur that Marshall hit Mike Gatting flush in the face during an ODI at Sabina Park; the ball reering so fast & violently that a piece of broken bone from the bridge of his nose embedded in the ball.

“Tomorrow is 20 yrs to the day since Netherlands’ opening match v NZ at the 1996 World Cup; & the intl debut of Nolan Clarke, who at 47 yrs, 240 days is the oldest ever ODI debutant. Holland’s leading batsman, Clarke, who was born in Lower Westbury Rd in St Michael, was representing the dutch 23 yrs after hitting 159 for Barbados v the English toursits at Kensington Oval in 1974.

“Tomorrow is also the centenary of the 1916 birth of the man Don Bradman regarded as Aus’s greatest ever wkt-keeper, the appropriately named Don Tallon. Gideon Haigh observed that most of Tallon’s stumpings were ‘subtle, almost surgical, & seldom involved the removing of more than 1 bail.’

“Other milestones this week include the 80th birthday tomorrow of former Glam & Eng all-rounder, & TV commentator & presenter, Peter Walker; the 60th birthday of former Aus Test umpire, Steve Randell on Fri; & on Sat, Sunil Gavaskar’s son, Rohan, who’s recently been commentating on the U19 World Cup & played 11 ODIs for India, will be 40.

“Other birthdays include the 27th today of Trinidad’s Kevon Cooper; & the 35th tomorrow of Barbados’ Ryan Hinds; the 51st on Sun of Nevis’ Keith Arthurton; & the 33rd the following day of Dominica’s Shane Shillingford. Also born in Dominica, & celebrating his 50th on Thur is Phil DeFreitas who played 44 Tests & 103 ODIs for Eng.

“& finally, Sun is the 70th birthday of Jamaica’s Desmond Lewis, who’s statistically the greatest wkt-keeper/batsman of all time: with scores of 81no, 88, 14, 72 & 4no he avgs 86.3 – but with only 3 Tests he’s also 1 of the unluckiest. They came in the 1971 series with India which WI lost 1-0, when Lewis was described as a ‘tidy if unspectacular WK’ & an ‘obdurate customer’ with the bat; but he was dropped in favour of Mike Findlay for the subsequent tour of NZ. Lewis played on until 1976, but never earned a recall. He later contributed greatly to cricket in the USA & was inducted into their Cricket Hall of Fame in 2013.

“Until next time, when I will be in Barbados, this has been David Oram taking you ‘Around the World in 2′.”

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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