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DateLine Sunday, 18 May 2008

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India 4 wkts for 0 runs and Trueman caused slide

CRICKET: Even though the Empire vanished some decades ago, still the order of the British Empire (OBE) remains the most coveted honour for people of outstanding merit. Especially the sportsperson who are rewarded for a lifetime of achievements.

In 1990 one such person who got that honour was Fred Trueman - the one-time English paceman. Although it was in 1990 that Trueman got that honour, he deserved it around 25 years or so earlier for brilliance as a bowler.

Trueman was moved to tears at the spectacular ceremony where the medal was pinned on his chest by Prince Charles.

“For me this is the greatest day of my life,” said Trueman, who, in his day epitomised the middle class hero. “It makes me feel proud to be an Englishman. Replied a beaming Prince Charles: “Trueman is the most honest example of English spirit. A true jewel in the crown.”

Known as much for his wit at cricket, Trueman became the first to notch 300 wickets.

A classic fast bowler, Trueman in his 67 Test career (1952-1965) captured 307 wickets for 6,625 runs averaging 21.57. His best came against India at Old Trafford when he took 8 for 31 in the first innings in 1952 while his best in a match was against West Indies at Birmingham in 1963 when he had 12 for 119 (5 for 75 and 7 for 44). Trueman bagged five or more wickets in an innings on 17 occasions and 10 for more wickets in a match thrice.

After crushing the Indians at Old Trafford, he went on to consolidate his image as one of the world’s most formidable fast bowlers. In the 1952 series against Vijay Hazare’s India, he took 29 wickets at 13.31 apiece.

Son of a Yorkshire miner, he made his appearance as a Colt at the age of 16 and by 20 he was in the Test team. One of the pioneers of natural movement away from the bat, Trueman along with Brian Statham and Frank Tyson, formed the core of English team which rose to dizzy heights in the fifties and the early sixties.

But nothing could compare to the confusion wrought by Trueman’s entry into Test cricket. It resulted in one of the most amazing scoreboards in Test circketing history. He made his debut at Leeds on June 5, the first Test of the 1952 series. It was against India and the first victim was Polly Umrigar caught by wicket-keeper Godfrey Evans for 8. He picked up two more wickets (C. D. Gopinath bowled for zero and Vijay Manjrokar caught by Watkins for 133) conceeding 89 runs.

It was in the second innings that India made Test history, losing four wickets for nought on the board, in just 14 balls bowled. Of the four, three were claimed by debutante Trueman in eight balls, Trueman claimed 4 for 29 in the second innings and returned match figures of 7 for 116.

Fiery Fred on his Test debut that day at Headingley, Leeds dismissed those three Indian batsmen - Pankaj Roy, skipper Vijay Hazare and Vijay Manjrekar while Alex Bedsor removed opening batsman D. K. Gaekwad and the Indian scoreboard in the second innings read an unbelievable 0 for 4. Four batsmen falling without a run on the board in a Test match, two of whom - Majrekar (133) and Hazare (89) had associated themselves in a partnership of 222 runs in the first innings. Seemed impossible to swallow.

Four ‘ducks’

The same four Indian batsmen who were all out for ‘ducks’ in the second innings, had jointly made 174 runs in the first innings, yet could not hustle up a single run in the second innings!

That was cricket - and that of course still remains as the worst possible start of a Test innings - when the first four wickets fell without a run on the board.

INDIA - 1ST INNINGS

P. Roy st. Evans b Jenkins 19

D. K. Gaekward b Bedser 9

P. Umrigar c Evans b Trueman 8

V. Hazare c Evans b Bedser 89

V. L. Manjrekar c Watkins b Trueman 133

Phadkar c Watkins b Laker 12

C. Gopinath b Trueman 0

Mantri not out 13

G. Ramchand c Watkins b Laker 0

Shinds c May b Laker 2

Ghulam Ahmed b Laker 0

Extras (b1, lb7) 8

TOTAL (all out) 293

BOWLING: A. Bedser 33-13-38-2, F. Trueman 26-6-89-3, J. Laker 22.3-9-39.4, Watkins 11-1-21-0, Jenkins 27-6-78-1, D. Compton 7-1-20-0.

ENGLAND - 1ST INNINGS 334

INDIA - 2ND INNINGS

P. Roy c Compton b Trueman 0

D. K. Gaekward c Laker b Bedser 0

D. Mantri b Trueman 0

P. Umrigar c and b Jenkins 9

V. Manjrekar b Trueman 0

V. Hazare b Trueman 56

Phadkar b Bedser 64

C. Gopinath lbw b Jenkins 8

N. Ramchand st. Evans b Jenkins 0

Shinde not out 7

Ghulam Ahmed st Evans b Jenkins 14

Extras 7

TOTAL 165

FALL OF WICKETS: 0, 0, 0, 0, 26, 131, 143, 143, 143.

BOWLING: F. Trueman 9-1-27-4, A. Bedser 21-9-32-2, J. Laker 13-4-17-0, Jenkins 13-2-50-4, C. Watkins 11-2-32-0.

ENGLAND - 2ND INNINGS

L. Hutton b Phadkar 10

Simpson c Mantri b G. Ahmed 51

P. May c Phadkar b G. Ahmed 4

D. C. S. Compton not out 36

T. Gravency not out 19

Extras 3

TOTAL (for 3 wkts at close) 123

FALLF OF WICKETS: 16,42,89.

BOWLING: Phadkar 11-2-21-1, G. Ramchand 17-3-43-0, Ghulam Ahmed 22-8-37-2, V. Hazare 3-0-11-0, Shinde 2-0-8-0.

After that splendid start to his Test career, Fiery Fred Trueman went places. Indeed his performances in the 1960-61 season makes ideal text book material. In 1960 in the West Indies, he took 21 Test wickets and followed it up by 25 scalps against South Africa at home the same year. In 1961, he took 20 wickets more wickets against Australia - his season’s average 24.10 apiece.

Commenting on these performances “It was absolutely marvellous,” said Trueman in his familiar cocky manner.

 

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