On This Day

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On This Day

Postby The Professor » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:31 pm

Something I have started doing on my blog; something I'm happy to copy onto here if there's interest.

On this day in 1937 Australia faced England in the third test of their tour.

England had won the last two matches of the series and were feeling confident that The Ashes would be coming back to England with them. This feeling was only further bolstered by the weak resistance put up by the opening Australian batsmen. Bill Brown was out early doors and with the wicket of Don Bradman leaving Australia on 33-2, England would have been jubilant early doors.

The day was salvaged for Australia by Stan McCabe. The 27 year old took the responsibility for the Aussies and took the impetus in a number of partnerships with a range of disappointing Aussie batsmen who faded away. Despite this lack of support the New South Wales all-rounder reached the end of the day at 63* and his team at 181-6.

Despite the stand out performance being McCabe's it would be England who would be most proud of their performance on the first day. Hedley Verity was England's top man with two wickets coupled a killer economy of 1.28. He also was on the receiving end of a Gubby Allen delivery to dismiss Keith Rigg.

A very close first day with England marginally ahead in terms of cricket...although we can all agree a team of Gubbys and Hedleys have the moral superiority over a team of Dons and Keiths.
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Re: On This Day

Postby from_the_stands » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:22 pm

On this day 20 years ago, Michael Bevan pulled off arguably the greatest hiest in ODI cricket, securing a remarkable victory over the West Indies, which saw him hit a boundary off the last ball. Watching this on tv... it was better than sex!

:bow:
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Re: On This Day

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:22 pm

Good stuff chaps. I'll try to think of some.
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Re: On This Day

Postby The Professor » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:17 am

On this day in 1937 England fell apart catastrophically to hand the advantage to Australia.

Thus far in England's tour of Australia the lowest total that England achieved was 256; their average run total being 346.7 per innings. Today they achieved a mere 76.

Weather could have been a suitable scapegoat for England but that would have been to protect themselves from having to credit the captaincy of Don Bradman. Up to this point Bradman had been under a deal of pressure. The curse of captaincy had severely hampered his batting technique and it was believed a series loss, which looked inevitable up to this point, would see him make way for McCabe.

Play started after lunch due to rain and Australia's woes with the bat continued before, after half an hour, Bradman threw in the towel and declared on 200-9. After that the woes of England began. The wicket proved erratic and the England players could not judge the flight of the ball. This was underlined three deliveries into the innings when yesterday's stand out performer with the bat, McCabe, dismissed England opener Stan Worthington. Wickets fell with increasing regularity: 14-2, 56-3, 68-4. At 68-4 the England team were pushing Gubby Allen to declare so that the English attack could have a go on the still wet track; in a defining moment for this tour, he declined.

The man who did the most damage for the Australians was Morris Sievers. He managed to get the ball to slip and snake around and use the pitch to his advantage. He ended the day with a five-fer and two catches.

Towards the end of the day Allen did declare with England on 79-9. England faced an 124 run first innings deficit.

Bradman then took, what looked to be, a relatively gutsy decision. He sent in two nightwatchmen in the form of Chuck Fleetwood-Smith (who would retire with a career average of 9) and Bill O'Reilly (who retired on 12.81). This gamble lasted until the end of the day but what effect would it have for the next day's play?

Hindsight Watch - Do not read behind if you do not want any cricket based spoilers.

This was emphatically the day when this Ashes tour turned against England. England would go on to lose the tour and many point to the complete and dramatic collapse on day two of the Third Test as a psychological milestone the team could not get past.
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Re: On This Day

Postby The Professor » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:02 pm

On this day in 1937 Australia and England had a day of rest; so let's see some hear from some accounts of the first two days.

First of all lets go for a journalist with a little hindsight. This is William Pollock writing in the 1940s for the English Daily Express which sums up the state of affairs in the Australian camp. "Stories and rumours began to fly about. The Australian team was at sixes and sevens... Captaincy was affecting Bradman's cricket... I heard people say Bradman's popularity was in the balance at the time, though I didn't believe it." Even with the benefit of time Pollock was more scathing of day two's pitch than he was impressed by Australian bowlers saying: "You didn't want cricketers on that pitch. You wanted the Crazy Gang, Mickey Mouse, Einstein, and Euclid."

Neville Cardus, an English cricket writer without the hindsight of Pollock, gives a more scathing contemporary view of Bradman's performance thus far on the tour "Bradman began as though riddled with fallibility." Even when he did get 82 in the previous test Cardus was less than impressed saying he was out to a "stroke not fit for public view, it spoke of little hope, little resource." Despite this Bradman seemed to have the majority of the general public on his side as Cardus states that Bradman walked out onto "an island green in the sunshine...amid a roar which told not only of hero worship but almost of supplication." Once out, however, Cardus could not help but feel particularly smug: "I felt the spirit of defeatism in the Australian ranks, I thought, in fact, the rubber was ours now." It was not merely for Bradman that Cardus held antipathy but also for the whole of the team, describing them as "tame and feminine. Even the running between the wickets suggested hungry men starving to death for crumbs of singles." Cardus' language changes very obviously when he begins to write about day two. Of the first dismissal he writes that McCabe's first dismissal "came up as though jerked by invisible elastic to the top of Stan Worthington's bat... Never before have I seen a wicket so spiteful or eccentric." I am unsure if spiteful or eccentric are meant to be compliments here or criticism of the pitch. In contrast to Pollock's Mickey Mouse jibe Cardus was far more prosaic on the day two pitch: "I could scarcely believe my eyesight as I saw the ball's preposterous behaviour. It described all manner of angles and curves; it was here, there, everywhere, spitting, darting, fizzing. One good length ball would rear to the batsman's chin; another exactly the same length, would flash into the blockhole like a stone skimming over ice...I doubt if any Australian batsmen could have stayed in for ten minutes." Never one for hiding his bias, Cardus was brimming with bravado for his captain's decision to declare "He was caught in a difficult position ... Which called for the daring gambler's throw."

Bradman's point of view shows a remarkable lack of confidence for someone who we now see as one of the greatest cricketers of all time. He states "My own captaincy came in for a good deal of criticism. There was certainly a section of the public who thought the cares of captaincy were undermining my efficiency." On the exploits of the second day Bradman is very open about the state of the pitch describing it as "the worst I ever saw in my life". Despite the fact others were doubting his captaincy you can still see that he has faith in himself. He described his moment of declaration as "the appropriate psychological moment" and the rest of day two as "a sensational battle of tactics". It is clear to see that Bradman saw the game as one that is won in the mind as well as with the bat and ball. Even when he had the upper hand he was still filled with self doubt. He was concerned England "were losing wickets too quickly" and also goes on to say "Every moment, I was afraid Allen would see through my tactics."

England's captain, Gubby Allen, had also zoned in on Bradman's lack of confidence writing in his diary that "Bradman seems very jumpy and I should say, not at all well, and if we can keep him in that frame of mind we ought to win the rubber."

After starting with a Daily Express journalist let me end with one, that I think sums up the incredulity of bringing in two nightwatchmen "There was a yell of laughter as the first pair revealed itself...O'Reilly and Fleetwood-Smith, of all batsmen."
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Re: On This Day

Postby The Professor » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:30 pm

On this day in 1937 a battle of wits and batting on the part of Bradman met the bowling expertise of Bill Voce; with the Australian ending up on top.

Bradman's ploy of sending in the nightwatchmen first was not met with immediate success. Both players were back in the pavilion for ducks thanks to Voce's bowling which was lethal if not hugely accurate.

Bradman's risk taking was not over however as he still didn't send in his openers. Despite the fact that the Summer sun was shining down in Melbourne, Bradman felt that the pitch was still wet and that Voce could snare some of his top order batsmen. Hedging his bets he sent in a tail ender, Frank Ward, and his regular number 4, Keith Rigg. They managed to put together a decent partnership of 35 that must have buoyed up Bradman's opinion of the pitch as he soon sent in both his openers.

This ploy looked somewhat shakey when Voce struck again and took Bill Brown for 20 but when Bradman and Fingleton came together things looked a bit more solid. Bradman impressed with the bat when he finally came out to the middle - although his critics argued that he had been selfishly protecting himself up to this point. The day's play ended 194/5 with a raft of middle order batsmen still to come.
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Re: On This Day

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:44 pm

I see this Test was in Melbourne, not Sydney as the NY tradition is now.

There wasn't a Boxing Day Test, as the previous Test ran up to Christmas, in Sydney.

I'd guess these were the last Ashes timeless Tests.
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Re: On This Day

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:00 am

While it's still the fourth.

It happened today. Michael Atherton declared with Graeme Hick unbeaten on 98, on the verge of his third Test century late on Day four in Sydney. Which created a scenario that still provokes debate.
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Re: On This Day

Postby The Professor » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:24 pm

On this day in 1937 Bradman led the way to a huge Australian total to wrestle control of the Ashes away from England.

Despite suffering from flu Bradman ends the day on a huge 192*. He was supported valiantly by Jack Fingleton who was more than happy to put Bradman on strike but also managed to muster 136 himself.

It was a fool's errand for the England bowlers with the only success being the wicket of Fingleton for Sims, the first of his match.

Bradman is joined at the wicket by the danger man from Day One Stan McCabe as Australia look to turn the screw further tomorrow.
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Re: On This Day

Postby The Professor » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:08 pm

On this day in 1937 the England tail went out with a whimper to concede this third test emphatically.

At the start of the day things looked brighter for England as Leyland consolidated his position of last night to push on for a century, whilst his partnership with Robins also showed signs of a growing resistance. The wheels came off when Robins was dismissed at 306-7. From there everything came up roses for Australia. The next three wickets fell for the gain of just 17 runs. To add insult to injury Fleetwood-Smith, the laughing stock of Day Three, ended up with the last laugh bagging two wickers and a five-fer in the innings.

This match, won by 365 runs, keeps the Ashes tournament alive and well going into the fourth test

Spoilers – Do not read ahead if you don’t want the 1937 Ashes spoiled for you

Australia never looked back from here and won both the next tests, the 5th test in a somewhat dramatic fashion by an innings and 200 runs. This sealed Bradman’s position as Australia captain as well as his place in the history books; he is still the only captain who has won a five test tournament after losing the first two.
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Re: On This Day

Postby The Professor » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:38 pm

On this day in 1925 England's fighting chance of winning the second test of the Ashes fell with the wicket of Herbert Sutcliffe.

England started the day needing 113 runs to win with three wickets in hand. The nation was pinning their hopes on Sutcliffe, as the senior batsmen, to make the bulk of the runs whilst all the tailenders needed to do was hold on and support. He didn't and then they didn't.

Sutcliffe, who achieved 114*, yesterday added a further 13 runs before being removed by a delivery from Arthur Mailey.

The day belonged to Mailey who also added the scalp of Arthur Gilligan, caught and bowled. This added to his three wickets from yesterday to seal his five-fed. When all was said and done England only ate 35 runs into the deficit and lost the test.

Spoilers - Please do not read beyond if you do not want the 1924-25 Ashes spoiled for you.

This was very much the standard for this tour; England put up a spirited performance but are beaten, usually narrowly, by the Aussies. The series was won 4-1 by Australia.
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Re: On This Day

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:46 pm

Wish I was there.
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Re: On This Day

Postby The Professor » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:43 pm

You would have been home by lunchtime!
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Re: On This Day

Postby The Professor » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:59 pm

On this day in 1951, the third test between Australia and England came to a premature end after a dramatic batting collapse from England to allow Australia to win The Ashes.

The day started with Australia's first innings in full swing. The opening session was dictated by Keith Miller. Stranded, on the third day, at 98 he added a further 49 runs in the morning session and, one gets the impression, he could have carried on batting if it were not for the fact that he ran out of partners. Australia's innings ended on 426 all out. A lead of 136. England's star man for the morning session was Freddie Brown who claimed two of the three last wickets and ended the innings with a five-fer and 8 maidens.

It was spinner Jack Iverson that was the predominant destroyer of the England cause in two dramatic spells with the ball. In his first seven overs he dismissed the top three batsmen; Len Hutton, Reg Simpson and Cyril Washbrook to render the score at 45-3. Then, after a spell without a bowl came a ten ball spell where he sent back; Alec Bedser, John Warr and (most importantly) Brown. With the dismissal of Brown England's tail were very much exposed and were polished off for an Australian win by an innings and 13 runs.

With this result Australia had retained the Ashes and no one could deny that this was a fitting result to underline their right to do so.
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Re: On This Day

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:43 pm

The Aussies first Ashes series post the Don. Must have felt strange. Hassett was skipper, Harvey at three.
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