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Sunday, 24 May 2009





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Bradman leads team of household names

CRICKET: There are some cricketers of the vintage era who have become household names where the game is concerned by their wonderful performances during their hay days.

Take for instance the name of Sir Donald Bradman. Though he is not amongst the cricketers of today, his performances during his playing days of Australia, speaks volumes about his capabilities.

Bradman played 52 Tests, had 80 innings with 10 not outs, 6,996 runs with 334 as highest. He hit 29 centuries and his average was phenomenal - 99.94.

Sobers: Another in the top bracket is Sir Garfield Sobers who is still among the cricketing fraternity, but does not play at the moment as he has retired from active days. Sobers has played 93 Tests, had 160 innings, 21 not outs, scored 8,032 runs with 365 not out as his highest.

Sobers hit 26 hundreds and his average was 57.78. In bowling, Sobers sent down 21,599 deliveries, took 235 wickets conceding 7,999 runs at an average of 34.03 runs. Then there were two stalwarts of the older brigate from England - Len Hutton and Wally Hammond.

Len Hutton:Len Hutton played 79 Tests, had 138 innings, was 15 times not out, scored 6,971 runs with 364 runs as his highest with 19 centuries for an average of 56.67 runs.

Wally Hammond: Wally Hammond played 85 Tests, had 140 innings, 16 times not out, 7,249 runs, 336 runs as his highest, 22 centuries for an average of 58.45 runs.

Wally Hammond was a household name in his day. He was born on June 19th 1,903 and when he died on July 2nd, 1965 in Durban, South Africa, he had made his mark in cricket.

He scored 50,493 runs in all first days games for an average of 56.10 with 167 centuries. He was a bowler too and took 732 wickets at 30.58 per wicket.

In Tests, his batting produced 7,249 runs for an average of 58.45.

He was a fine slip fieldsman with easy moments and held 78 catches in a single season and in one match he took 10 catches. His usual place is first slip.

Dr. Grace - no rival

Dr. Grace: Before the cricketers about whom have been mentioned already, there was a batsman in the vintage era - Dr. W.G. Grace who cannot be forgotten all of a sudden.

Dr. W.G. Grace played for England and figured in 22 Tests when cricket was in the infant stages.

He had 36 innings in the middle and was twice not out, scoring 1,098 runs with 170 runs as his highest. His average is 32.29. He hit two Test hundreds.

In no branch of sport has anyone ever enjoyed such an unquestioned supremacy as that of W.G. Grace on the cricket field. In his great days he stood alone, without a rival.

In his whole career, he scored in gentlemen and players matches 6,008 runs with an average of 42 and took 271 wickets for a trifle under 19 runs each. He made seven hundreds for gentlemen at Lord's, four at The Oval, one each at Brighton, Prince's and Scarborough and Hastings.

Australia- narrowest win

Aussies win: Most of the time cricket fans talk about the big wins a team has got in Tests.But not many spare a thought for the close contests between two teams that eventually makes the match really thrilling.

An interesting question is whether any team has won a match by only one run in Test cricket?

The answer is, No. The narrowest win in terms of runs was achieved by Australia who defeated England by three runs at Old Trafford in 1902.

The scores:

Australia: 299 (V.T. Tremper 104, R.A. Duff 54, C. Hill 65, J. Darling 51, Wilfred Rhodes 4 for 104, Lockwood 6 for 48) and 86 (Rhodes 3 for 26, Lockwood 5 for 28).

England: 262 (F.S. Jackson 128, L.C. Braund 65, Trumble 4 for 75, Saunders 3 for 104) and 120 (Trumble 6 for 53, Saunders 4 for 52).

Gavaskar, Umrigar - India's foremost

India's best: India has produced many fine cricketers in the past. In the old days, there was of course the mercurial Sunil Gavaskar who had shown the cricket fans here what batting is all about. Gavaskar will no doubt remember Sri Lanka very well as it was his great deeds with the bat for Indian Universities on their tour of Sri Lanka in the good old days that earned him the Indian Test cap.

But before that, there was another batsman - Polly Umrigar who was a out standing batsman in the Indian Test team. Umrigar played Test cricket between 1948 and 1962 and figured in 59 Tests for India. He had 94 innings, was eight times not out, had a total of 3,631 runs. His highest score was 223 and had an average of 42.32.

Then he was one of the leading bowlers in the team. In official Tests, he bowled 795.4 overs, had 259 maidens, gave away 1,483 runs and took 35 wickets for an average of 42.37.

Century - then dropped

Stunning decision: Cricket it is said is a game of chance and all the players must take that chance when it comes their way. However, the game of cricket may be unkind to some players.

There is one such cricketer that has been at the receiving end to some unkind happening.

That cricketer is Andy Ganteaume of West Indies. He made 112 for West Indies in the Port of Spain Test vs England in 1947-48. This remains one of cricket's little mysteries.



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