All Time XIs – Through the Alphabet VIII

Today’s all time XI continues the alphabetic progression, starting with a Y.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to today’s ‘all time XI‘ cricket post. After yesterday’s England v West Indies special we resume our alphabetic progression sequence of squads, starting with a Y.

PERCY FENDER’S XI

  1. Martin Young – right handed opening batter. A consisten run scorer for Gloucestershire for many years.
  2. Hazratullah Zazai – left handed opening batter. The attacking Afghan opener shuuld complement the more restrained Young very nicely.
  3. Chris Adams – right handed batter. He played for Derbyshire for many years before moving south to Sussex, who he captained to their first ever county championship title. Although prolific at county level he never quite delivered for England (though it must be acknowledged that he was given few opportunities to do so). He has gone on to a coaching career in which he has also enjoyed some success, being involved with the Surrey set up for one of their championship wins.
  4. Allan Border – left handed batter, left arm orthodox spinner, vice captain. The first person to reach the career milestone of 11,000 test runs, and until another resolute left handed, Alastair Cook, went past it he held the record for consecutive test appearances, having played the last 153 of his 156 tests in succession. His career had two distinct components – part 1, when he was desperately attempting to hold together a struggling outfit, and was very often the only serious stumbling block faced by opposition bowlers, and part 2, when Australian efforts to rebuild began to bear fruit, and they went from chumps to champs in the space of a few years, a position they would occupy undisputed for another decade after Border’s retirement. I don’t often name vice captains in this series, but his status as the captain who turned Australia’s fortunes round in the late 1980s has to be acknowledged, and I had another player in the team I wanted to name captain.
  5. Michael Clarke – right handed batter, occasional left arm orthodox spinner. To put it mildly he was not universally popular with Australian fans during his playing career, but the excellence of his record at the highest level cannot be denied. He had, in common with many of his team mates, a very poor series in the 2010-11 Ashes, and some of his efforts to avoid being seen to covet his skipper’s job were overdone to say the very least – such as suggesting that he at 29 might be retiring before the 36 year old Ponting. It may also have not have helped when in the final match of that series, with Ponting injured, the debutant Khawaja was given the job of filling the no3 slot while the veteran Clarke stayed down the order.
  6. +AB De Villiers – right handed batter, wicket keeper. An explosive middle order batter and a fine keeper. Although he was best known for his performances in limited overs cricket his test record was also splendid.
  7. Tom Emmett – left arm fast bowler, left handed batter. Although it was his bowling for which he was chiefly noted he could definitely bat as well – at one time Yorkshire pressed him into service as an opening batter when they were short. 
  8. *Percy Fender – leg spinner, right handed batter. An all rounder who once scored a first class century in 35 minutes against proper bowling (various quicker efforts appear in footnotes in the record books as they were scored against bowlers who were trying to concede quick runs to bring about a declaration, a ‘tactic’ that was once common in county cricket. He never got to captain England, but was universally acknowledged to be superb at the job, which is why I have named as captain of this side.
  9. Charlie Griffith – right arm fast bowler. One half of a great fast bowling pair. There is an amusing story from their schooldays featuring Griffith bowling off spin interspersed with the odd quicker one while the other member of the duo was keeping wicket.
  10. Wes Hall – right arm fast bowler. He bowled the final over of the first ever tied test, at Brisbane in 1960, spilling a catch that he would have been well advised to leave to Rohan Kanhai along the way. At Lord’s in 1963, when the match ended in a draw with England six runs and the West Indies one wicket short of the line, he bowled an epic unchanged spell on the final day.
  11. Bert Ironmonger – left arm orthodox spinner. Australia’s oldest ever test cricketer – he was 46 when he made his debut and 51 when he played his last test match. He and Bill O’Reilly were the bowling stars of Australia’s only victory in the 1932-3 Ashes series, at Melbourne, and the same duo shot South Africa out for 36 and 45 in a test match in which Bradman crocked himself and was unable to bat and Australia still won by an innings and 72 runs.

This team has a fine top six, including a keeper batter, and a bowling attack that is beautifully balanced, with left arm pace, right arm pace, leg spin and left arm orthodox spin. There is no off spin and no purveyor of ‘chinamen’, It is a side that I would expect to give a good account of itself.

MONTY NOBLE’S XI

  1. Sanath Jayasuriya – left handed opening batter, left arm orthodox spinner. The MVP of the 1996 cricket world cup, and he had a fine test record as well.
  2. Michael Klinger – right handed opening batter. One of the better batters never to play test cricket, he enjoyed a long and distinguished career for South Australia, and was often mentioned as a possible for the test side. He did get to play a few T20Is.
  3. Roy Levy – left handed batter. He played 25 matches for Queensland in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and his record does not look stellar. He qualifies by virtue of an innings played at the age of 22 against South Australia with 37 year old leg spinner Clarrie Grimmett in their ranks. The match was desperately close in the final stages, as Levy shepherded the Queensland tail towards the target. Eventually Levy chanced his arm against the bowler at the other end to Grimmett, sent the ball into the air towards Grimmett who missed the catch, and then compounded the felony by shying wildly at the stumps and missing, which enabled Levy to complete the winning run. Levy in that innings finished with 85 not out, and Queensland won by one wicket. There is a detailed account of the match in Patrick Murphy’s “Fifty Incredible Cricket Matches”.
  4. Stan McCabe – right handed batter, right arm medium fast bowler.
  5. *Monty Noble – right handed batter, right arm medium pace bowler/ off spinner. A genuine all rounder and a fine captain as well. He and Warwick Armstrong once put on 428 together for Australia against Sussex for the sixth wicket.
  6. Niall O’Brien – wicket keeper, right handed batter. The Kent, Northamptonshire and Ireland keeper established a fine record over a long period of time.
  7. Anuja Patil – off spinner, right handed batter. Her international experience has been limited to T20s thus far, but her record makes impressive reading.
  8. Abdul Qadir – leg spinner. 67 test matches, 236 wickets at 32.80 at a time when spinners were in eclipse due to the success of Clive Lloyd’s battery of four fast bowlers for the West Indies, and a tendency developed therefrom by other countries to treat spinners as ‘fill-in’ bowlers. Leg spin in particular was all but extinct – the only specialist leg spinner who played international cricket at the same time as Qadir that I can think of was the older Australian Bob Holland, and save for once against the West Indies dear old ‘Dutchy’ was never a match winner. In 1986 at Faisalabad Qadir took 6-16 in the second West Indies innings as they slumped to a then all-time low for them of 53 all out, and defeat by 186 runs.
  9. Tom Richardson – right arm fast bowler. His thousandth first class wicket came in 134th match and his 2,000th in his 327th match at that level, both of which figures remain all time record. From the start of 1894 to the end of 1897 – four seasons and one tour of Australia – he captured over 1,000 wickets, a period of sustained destructiveness matched only by Kent leg spinner Tich Freeman. Neville Cardus selected Richardson as one of his “Six Giants of the Wisden Century” in 1963 because he was a real life version of a storybook fast bowler. He learned his craft on Mitcham Common, and as Surrey’s star fast bowler thought nothing of walking from his home in Mitcham to The Oval (a substantial walk, I can tell you, as someone who grew up in southwest London myself) with his kit bag, doing a day’s bowling and walking home again at the end.
  10. Alfred Shaw – right arm slow bowler. His dictum was “length and successful variations of pace are the key to successful bowling.” He bowled more overs in his career than he conceded runs (admittedly for most of his career an over consisted of four balls). He took over 2,000 wickets at 12 runs a piece, with his best season seeing him claim 186 at 8.54 each in first class matches. He also dismissed WG Grace more often than any other bowler – 49 times in all (they met in many types of fixture, including Gentlemen vs Players, North v South, Under 30 v Over 30, etc.). He bowled the first delivery ever in a test match. In the 1881 Gentlemen vs Players match (he was a professional, so played for the Players) he made what turned out to be a crucial 8 not out in the Players second innings, and then took 6-19 in the Gentlemen’s second innings, ending the match by taking a blinder off his own bowling to give the Players victory by two runs. After retiring from Nottinghamshire who he served for many years he became coach at Sussex, and in a crisis came out of retirement for them and proceeded to show a new generation what all the fuss had been about 20 years earlier.
  11. Jeff Thomson – right arm fast bowler. When there was all the hoop-la about Shoaib Akhtar’s first record 100mph delivery (which the batter played calmly to square leg with no apparent difficulty) one person who was resolutely unimpressed was Jeffrey Robert Thomson, who believed, not entirely unjustifiably that he had regularly propelled the ball at that speed 25 years earlier. He in tandem with Dennis Lillee and backed up the fast medium of Max Walker destroyed England in 1974 and 1975, and it was a 5-1 series defeat in that part of the world, again mainly caused by Lillee and Thomson that planted the germ of the four fast bowler idea in Clive Lloyd’s mind, and idea that crystallized when India scored 406-4 to win at Trinidad a few months later with the West Indies fielding three spinners because the pitch was expected to turn.

This side has some decent batting, a quality wicket keeper, and lots of bowling. Thomson, Richardson and Shaw, with Noble as fourth option in that department provide  ‘seam’ options, while Qadir and Patil offer two contrasting spin options, with Noble as back up in that department as well.

SOLUTION TO YESTERDAY’S TEASER

I offered the following problem from brilliant to readers yesterday:

Exponent

Here is Pall Marton’s published solution, a genuinely brilliant effort:

Pall Marton

A LINK AND PHOTOGRAPHS

Alison, who some of readers will know as ‘the unabashed autist‘ now has a new site, alisonrising, which I recommend to all of you – please visit and subscribe. Now it is time for my usual sign off…

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TTA VIII
The teams in tabulated form.

The Royal London Cup Last North Group Games

A look atr today’s Royal London Cup matches, with predictions as to their outcomes. A feature on offspinning allrounders and lots of photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This post resumes my following of the Royal London Cup, interrupted by a week in hospital. For that reason I am jot going to do an in depth examination of my last set of predictions. For the record I got three right and three wrong, putting me on 26/42 overall. 

TODAY’S MATCHES AND PREDICTIONS

There are four matches in progress today:

  • Northamptonshire v NottinghamshireNorthamptonshire 325-7 from 50 overs.
    Substantial contributions from Vasconcelos (74), Cobb (61), Keogh (71) and Wakely (53) seem to have put Northamptonshire in control of this one. Samit Patel with 2-51 from his 10 overs was the best of the Nottinghamshire bowlers. The fact that a spinner fared best of all Nottingshamhire’s bowlers suggests that offspinner Tom Sole will be important for Northamptonshire, who I confidently expect to defend this total.
  • Derbyshire v WorcestershireDerbyshire 351-9 from 50 overs
    Centuries from Luis Reece and Wayne Madsen, backed up by 43 of 31 balls from Alex Hughes would seem to have given Derbyshire an unassailable total. No Worcestershire bowler deserves to have their figures quoted.
  • Leicestershire v Warwickshire Leicestershire 340 all out from 49.3 overs.
    Useful scores from Harry Dearden (69) and Colin Ackerman (74) did not look like being enough for Leciestershire, but Tom Taylor, mainly a bowler, played an extraordinary innings, making 98 not out off 56 balls to change the complexion of the game. Warwcikshire had two teenagers who supposedly bowl offspin, Liam Banks and Robert Yates, but did not turn to either of them, even though Jeetan Patel, another offspinner, had 2-46 from his 10 overs, and Alex Thomson had 1-39 from his full 10 bowling…off spin. Instead of trying the youngsters Warwickshire allowed Hannon-Dalby (3-85, so at least he got wickets), Miles (1-74), Panayi (1-85 from 9.3) and Will Rhodes (one over for 13) to get hammered. I expect Leicestershire to defend these quite easily.
  • Yorkshire v DurhamDurham 179-2 after 33.1 overs, rain affected
    Yorkshire, already certain of qualification, quite sensibly used this match as a chance to blood some youngsters (this has caused some moaning from those based on the wrong side of The Pennines, as a Durham victory would be bad news for them), and it would appear that they will face a stiff target once the DLS adjustment has been made (when the rain came Durham had 80% of their wickets and 33% of their overs remaining, so I would expect Yorkshire’s target to be in excess of seven an over, maybe more if the match is greatly shortened. The four non-regulars getting a run out for Yorkshire today are Will Fraine, a 22 year old right hand batter, Jared Warner, a 22 year old right-arm fast medium (5 overs for 32 today), Jordan Thompson a 22 year old right arm medium pacer (5 overs for 43 today) and Ben Birkhead, a 20 year old wicketkeeper. Leg spinner Josh Poysden with six overs for 27 was the most economical of the bowlers. Sam Steel made 68 for Durham and Lees was on 50 not when the rain came. Unless the rain wins this one I expect Durham to do so.

In view of the fact that Warwickshire should have used one or both of Banks and Yates and that Leciestershire already have Ackerman bowling his offspin early in the Warwickshire innings I am going to give you an extra feature looking at some…

OFF SPINNING ALL ROUNDERS

In view of the difficulty of accommodating two non-batting spinners (it either means having a long tail to the team or only having two specialist pace bowlers) it is clearly advantageous to have spinners who can bat. Here are five from across cricket’s history who played that role, bowling off-spin and batting well in the middle of the order:

  1. Billy Bates, Yorkshire and England.
    For England he played 15 times, scoring 656 runs at 27.33 and taking 50 wickets at 16.42. In all first-class cricket he scored 10,249 runs at 21.57 and took 874 wickets at 17.13. Note that his averages were slightly better in test cricket than in first-class cricket. His wickets would have cost more these days, but his batting average would also have been higher. I reckon that by today’s lights he would be a good person to have batting at number eight and bowling his off-breaks. His best test match was at Melbourne in 1883-4 when he scored 55 and then took seven wickets in each innings, including the first test hat-trick by an England bowler, as England secured an iunnings victory. His son W E Bates played for Yorkshire and Glamorgan, and his grandson Ted was involved in various capacities with Southampton FC for over six decades.
  2. George Giffen, South Australia and Australia.
    He played 31 test matches, scoring 1,238 runs at 23.35 and taking 103 wickets at 27.09. In all first class cricket he scored 11,758 runs at 21.54 and took 1022 wickets at 21.31. In the 1894-5 series, the first ever five match series, he scored 475 runs and took 34 wickets, but still finished on the losing side, Andrew Stoddart’s England winning the first, second and fifth matches to take the series 3-2. For South Australia against Victoria in 1891-2 he scored 271 and took 7-70 and 9-96.
  3. Monty Noble, NSW and Australia.
    He played 42 test matches, scoring 1,997 runs at 30.25 and taking 1, she21 wickets at 25.00. In all first class cricket he managed 13,975 runs at 40.74 and took 624 wickets at 23.14.
  4. Vallance Jupp, Sussex, Northamptonshire and England.
    Only eight tests, which yielded 208 runs at 17.33 and 28 wickets at 22.00, but in all first class cricket he scored 23,296 runs at 29.41 and took 1,658 wickets at 23.58. This included doing the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets for the season 10 times, eight of them in successive seasons (a level of consistency beaten only by George Hirst, 10 of whose 14 doubles happened in successive seasons and rivalled only by Wilfred Rhodes who twice achieved seven successive doubles).
  5. Deepti Sharma, India Women.
    A current player (indeed she is only a little older than the two youngsters who inspired this section of the post), she has not hat the opportunity to play test cricket but her records in other forms of the game (48 ODIs, 1,380 runs at 41.81 and 56 wickets at 27.39, 30 T20Is, 197 runs at 15.15 and 28 wickets at 22.92) suggest that she would fare well in the longer form, especially looking at that highly impressive ODI batting average (and her HS of 188). 

I hope that Warwickshire will give Banks and Yates opportunities to bowl sooner rather than later (and ditto Somerset with George Bartlett, another young middle order batter who supposedly bowls offspin but has been given little chance to demonstrate it), because if they become genuine bowlers as well as good batters there will be much more scope for variety in the England attack. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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My new outside furniture.

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