In the limited time available, Mohammad Aamer seized the opportunity to take a five-for — his first since making his comeback in international cricket © AFPThe second day of the first Test between Pakistan and West Indies was heavily affected by rain, resulting in a mere 11.3 overs of cricket. In the limited time available, Mohammad Aamer seized the opportunity to take a five-for — his first since making his comeback in international cricket. At the other end, West Indies skipper Jason Holder scored 55 not out off 69 balls, defying Pakistan. By the time the day ended, West Indies had reached 278 for 9 after resuming the day at 244 for 7. Yasir Shah claimed 2 for 91, while Wahab Riaz and debutant Mohammad Abbas got a wicket apiece. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies 2017, 1st Test at Jamaica Day Two had a lot of action in store. West Indies had resurrected their innings — they were 71 for 5 at one point on Day One — but a patient stand of 118-run stand between Roston Chase (63) and Shane Dowrich (56) rescued the hosts out. Yasir Shah struck against the run of play getting both Chase and Dowrich on consecutive deliveries. Pakistan had got the grip of the game yet again. At that stage the score read 189 for 7. Then Holder and Devendra Bishoo added 75 for the 8th wicket, frustrating the Pakistan bowlers. Pakistan had their opportunities of mopping up the tail, but missed chances cost them. Abbas looked dangerous with the new ball but that was it. Wahab has been wayward, often giving away runs and releasing the pressure. Untidy bowling has cost Pakistan, and will hurt them more if they allow Holder to score more runs on Day Three. Holder has already shown signs of cutting loose once Alzarri Joseph was cleaned up. Misbah-ul-Haq will have to end the innings. PAK vs WI, 1st Test, Day 1: Aamer, Abbas’ early damage, Wahab’s stunner and other highlights West Indies, on the other hand, will aim to make it past 300, which will definitely give them a mental boost. Their tail-enders have done a commendable job. It is likely that Holder goes away for big shots immediately on Day Three. With nothing to lose for West Indies, any run that comes on the third morning will be welcome. When it comes to their bowling, Gabriel and Joseph will be hoping to exploit the rain-hit pitch. We have already seen Aamer and Abbas do a splendid job with the new ball. If they get a couple of wickets in the first session, they will certainly be back in the match. Pakistan vs West Indies, 1st Test, Day 2: Mohammad Aamer shines with 5-for on a rain-hit day On the other hand, quick wickets will also bring Younis Khan (23 short of 10,000 Test runs) and Misbah (48 short of 5,000) coming in to bat in their final series. But having said this all, there is this maximum possibility of rain playing the perfect spoilsport on Day Three just the way it did yesterday. Brief scores: West Indies 278 for 9 (Roston Chase 63, Shane Dowrich 56, Jason Holder 55*; Mohammad Aamer 5 for 41, Yasir Shah 2 for 91) vs Pakistan.
(From left) Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and Ab de Villiers are all set to steal the show for Kolkata fans © BCCIAs the City of Joy gets set for a cracker of a contest between Virat Kohli‘s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and former two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), , Kolkata is already buzzing with the arrival of cricketing superstars in the form of Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers. KKR will take on RCB in Match 27 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 at the historic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday. Eden Gardens is expected to witness a split crowd as well as an even support for both the sides. Moreover, it is also a battle of the two Delhi boys, who are the skipper of the respective IPL sides, which undoubtedly sets the bar high. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017, Match 27 at Eden Gardens “It’s like a wedding function since we have arrived here at the team hotel. Our team bus has been chased from the hotel and at the ground while entering for practice it was crazy. Especially for the big three,” said a Bangalore spokesperson. Meanwhile, an office bearer from the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) said, “This has been the case every time RCB play here. The Kolkata crowd loves their cricket and they understand the level of these players and their pedigree. There is that fan-boying that is unmistakable.” Talking about the match, a fan was quoted as saying by IANS, “The match has come to Eden at the right time.” Another fan said, “I am a Kolkatan and support KKR. But today, as a cricket lover, I am here to witness the magic of Gayle and Virat. It doesn’t matter who wins”..
Dinesh Karthik has a total of 74 catches and 26 stumpings in IPL history © AFP (File Photo)Dinesh Karthik on Sunday completed 100 dismissals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament, during the clash between Gujarat Lions (GL) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Karthik has become the first wicketkeeper in the history of IPL to claim 100 dismissals. With GL — placed at the bottom of the IPL 2017 Points Table — needing an inspirational start, Karthik provided a fitting start when he teamed up with Nathu Singh to dismiss Manan Vohra. Karthik took a splendid diving catch on his right to collect the ball inches above the ground, helping the hosts start on a good note in the Match No. 26 of IPL 10. Full Cricket Scorecard, Gujarat Lions vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2017, Match 26 Karthik has been an integral part of GL, which made its IPL debut in the last edition. He has established himself as a vital cog in a star-studded batting line-up. Despite the presence of the likes of Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Smith and even Jason Roy (this season), Karthik has been able to establish himself as their middle order mainstay. Before the start of IPL 2017, Karthik had played as many as 16 matches for Gujarat Lions. In the last edition, he had scored 335 runs and so far in IPL 10, he has scored 172 runs in 6 matches. Even though Karthik has not been able to score a half-century yet, he has the highest score of 48 not out. He has been a contributor behind the stumps as well, with 74 catches and 26 stumpings. The 31-year-old, Karthik, has played for several other teams such as Delhi Daredevils (DD), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI) and KXIP apart from his current franchise GL.
Hashim Amla (left) and Glenn Maxwell added 47 for the third wicket © BCCIHashim Amla’s sublime form and vital contributions from Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Akshar Patel helped Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) set a 189–run target, against Gujarat Lions (GL) on Sunday. In the 26th game of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 tournament, Kings XI Punjab produced yet another splendid batting display, led by Amla and Maxwell. To their credit, Gujarat Lions did well to grab a couple of wickets in the middle overs to dent KXIP’s hopes of a total in excess of 200, which looked achievable after Amla and Maxwell had added 47 runs in a little less than five overs. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Gujarat Lions (GL), IPL 10, Match 26 Amla picked from where he left in Indore. Having scored a century in the previous game, Amla continued to play strokes around the park and batted with supreme authority to score 65 off 40 balls, studded with 9 boundaries and 2 sixes. On the other hand, Maxwell batted like a man possessed, looking to attack almost every ball that he faced. He was eventually dismissed for 31, but not before putting KXIP in a position of command. Towards the end, Akshar chipped in with a 17-ball 34 to push KXIP towards a big total. FULL CRICKET BLOG: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Gujarat Lions (GL), IPL 10, Match 26 The tone of a big first innings total was set early when KXIP added 11 runs off the first over. Gujarat Lions decided to open the bowling attack with Shubham Agarwal, and Amla struck two boundaries. Nathu Singh, another debutant for Gujarat Lions in the game, had a start to cherish, thanks to Dinesh Karthik. Nathu generated an outside edge off Manan Vohra’s bat, but it was a brilliant catch from Karthik which resulted in that dismissal. Karthik was sharp enough as his dive was timed perfectly. Karthik, with the dismissal of Vohra, became the first wicketkeeper in the history of IPL to complete 100 dismissals. The 31-year-old cricketer, who has played for Delhi Daredevils (DD), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI) as well as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) apart from Gujarat Lions, has 74 catches and 26 stumpings to his credit in IPL history. Amla then teamed up with KXIP veteran Marsh for 70 runs, which came in about next 8 overs. Marsh contributed with a 24-ball 30, and was immediately dismissed after the first strategic break, playing a slow ball straight to the man at mid-on. But before that, Amla and Marsh had put up a strong foundation for a big score. After Marsh’s dismissal, Maxwell strode out and began looking for quick runs right from the onset. Maxwell and Amla added 47 runs in 28 balls to turn up the heat on Gujarat Lions. While Amla continued with his exquisite strokeplay around the ground, Maxwell turned up all guns blazing. Even though KXIP were batting first in the contest, the urgency with which Maxwell batted in his innings made it look like as if his side was chasing a huge target. However, Gujarat Lions did well to apply brakes on KXIP at just the right time. Both Maxwell and Amla were dismissed in quick succession, with the latter falling first. Amla was dismissed on the final ball of the 14th over, when Shubham Agarwal claimed his maiden IPL wicket, taking a return catch of the in-form KXIP batsman. In the next over, Ravindra Jadeja trapped Maxwell leg-before when the batsman tried a switch-hit, but failed to connect. Maxwell hammered 3 sixes and 1 boundary to score a rapid 18-ball 31. Marcus Stoinis could not do much and his poor show with the bat in the IPL continued. Even though he added 25 runs with Akshar in the later stages, Stoinis could contribute with a mere 7. Akshar was belligerent towards the end of the innings, showing good batting skills to garner runs late in the innings. His innings of 17-ball 34 was instrumental in pushing the KXIP total to 188 for 7 at the end of the 20 overs. Akshar smacked 2 sixes and 3 boundaries in his innings. However, given their meek bowling attack, the target is certainly not big enough for KXIP. Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab 188 for 7 in 20 overs (Hashim Amla 65, Shaun Marsh 30, Glenn Maxwell 31, Akshar Patel 34; Andrew Tye 2 for 35) vs Gujarat Lions. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Gujarat Lions (GL), IPL 10, Match 26
Few batsmen have been as outrageously brilliant as Wally Hammond in his pomp © Getty ImagesGloucestershire had awarded Tom Goddard a benefit match at his hometown in Wagon Works. However, all seemed doomed when Nottinghamshire were bowled out cheaply on what turned out to be a bowler-friendly track. Then Wally Hammond, seldom hailed as the greatest team-man, rose to the cause. On August 31, 1936, the second day of the match, Hammond carved out 317 of the best runs on a pitch that required tremendous application. Goddard’s benefit match was thus saved, Abhishek Mukherjee looks at a day when a teammate brought the compassionate best in probably the most enigmatic character cricket has witnessed. The story goes back decades, in the 1930s, when the professional-amateur bar was still prominent in English cricket. For the professional cricketer, what they earned from the club was perhaps enough to see them through their playing days, but perhaps not after retirement. Also ReadGeorge Geary shoots himself in the foot (not literally) in his benefit match So clubs gave senior professionals benefit matches. The concept was simple: the club would assign a match; the beneficiary would arrange for everything (travel, security, umpires, scorers, and any other expense) and pay relevant amount; and he would keep whatever gate money was there. In other words, every player wanted their benefit match to be (a) played in a big ground (b) full to the brim (c) against a glamorous opposition (d) in great weather and (e) a tight contest that would go till the end. Of course, not everything went according to plan. In these pages we have seen how George Geary had himself ruined his own benefit by taking 13 for 43 in the match. There was also the benefit of BertieBuse that Brian Statham and Roy Tattersall ended in a day. And ClarrieGrimmett, blinded by vengeance, dismissed Don Bradman with a leg-break — realising only too late that dismissing The Don would take toll on gate money. Vic Richardson, Grimmett’s co-beneficiary, was also financiallyhit by that delivery. Also ReadBertie Buse’s Benefit match ends in one day Gloucestershire assigned Tom Goddard their last Championship match of 1936. Wagon Works Ground, Gloucester was chosen as the venue. While Wagon Works was not exactly obscure, it certainly did not enjoy the stature of Bristol County Ground or Cheltenham College Ground, Gloucestershire’s two most preferred grounds. However, Goddard was happy, and rightfully so. Born in Gloucester, Goddard’s life centred around the Wagon Works Ground. His carpet shop was a stone’s throw away — literally, provided George Bonnor threw it — from the ground. His teammates often joked that when his wife Flo wanted a second opinion over a sale she simply yelled at her husband, who was invariably bowling those lethal off-breaks at the ground. Also ReadClarrie Grimmett clean bowls Don Bradman, loses money Who was Tom Goddard? But why were Gloucestershire so generous with Tom Goddard? What made the gigantic off-spinner with that enormous nose so special for Gloucestershire that they were willing to part with their income for his sake even during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when clubs often slashed salaries of professionals to stay afloat? Goddard was six-foot-three and had outrageously broad shoulders, which made him look enormous. He also had a very long, almost hook-like nose that made him look like a Greek scholar. When they took field at Bristol or Cheltenham, Goddard easily stood out among his peers. But that was not all. He was gifted very long fingers and strong yet supple wrists, which meanthe could give the ball a serious rip. Most importantly, his accuracy was legendary, and he seldom got tired. All these meant Goddard had the potential to become one of the all-time greats. He played a mere 8 Tests (despite having 22 wickets at an average less than 27), but it was at First-Class level that he really thrived. His 2,979 wickets (at below 20) are fifth in history. He had 251 five-wicket hauls and 86 ten-fors; only Tich Freeman and teammate Charlie Parker had taken ten wickets in a match more often. One must remember that Goddard achieved this despitebeginning his career as an unsuccessful fast bowler, and had taken to off-spin only after pace did not work for him. No, Gloucestershire were not being generous by granting that benefit despite their financial woes. They were merely being grateful, for barring WG Grace, Gilbert Jessop, and Wally Hammond, and perhaps Parker, no other cricketer has done as much for Gloucestershire as Goddard. Also ReadTom Goddard: Fifth highest wicket-taker in First-Class history You can never tell at Gloucester Arthur Paish, a left-arm spinner whose 354 wickets came at 24, had played for Gloucestershire at the turn of the millennium. It was certainly a good thing that Wagon Works had appointed someone of that stature as their groundsman. Paish made what he thought a perfect pitch, but as it was the case with poor Geary’s benefit match earlier that season, the weather did not help Goddard’s case at all. Only Sam Staples (58) and Joe HardstaffJr (46) put up any resistance as Nottinghamshire crashed to 200 after being 142 for 4 at one stage. Goddard himself did most of the damage, taking 4 for 49. Monty Cranfield, the second off-spinner of the side, had 3 for 51. The ball was already turning. The possibility of the match lasting three days looked bleak. Thankfully, Notts were without the services of Harold Larwood, but his partner-in-crime Bill Voce was spearheading the attack. He got two quick wickets before Hammond walked out, at 23 for 2. At stumps the score read 107 for 3; Hammond had already raced to 52. Despite that, the situation looked bleak. True, Hammond was still around, and his presence would invariably result in footfall, but the others were probably not good enough to make the match go all three days. It was not a big ground, and if the crowd lost interest midway, Goddard was certainly doomed. Paish found Goddard after the day’s play. “Sorry Tom. How was I to know it were going like this? Trouble is, you can never tell at Gloucester,” he apologised. Goddard was justifiably not happy: “I relied on you, Arthur. And here it is, bloody breaking up. Never going to last for three days. And that’s hundreds down the pan.” He had probably forgotten to keep his voice down. Or perhaps Hammond was standing too close. Whatever it was, Hammond overheard the conversation. And Hammond responded: “Don’t panic, Tom. I’ll make sure the match lasts. For a start, I’ll bat all day on Monday.” Was Goddard relieved? One can only speculate. For one thing, Hammond never had a reputation for being the perfect team-man. If anything, he was aloof towards his colleagues.They called him self-centred, and justifiably so. This was the man whose egocentric attitude they often misinterpreted as narcissism. His obsession with Bradman was ridiculous yet tragic at the same time. Bradman’s reputation never let Hammond attain the stature he so richly deserved. Whether it was a good thing for cricket is debatable, for Hammond was almost certainly the more aesthetically pleasing of the two. Hammond, throughout his career, could never come to terms with the defeat. Eyewitnesses were surprised to see, for a change, an animated Hammond when Gloucestershire held the Australians of 1930s to a tie. Hammond was also the man who would take up a job just to become an amateur so that he could lead England.There were rumours that he wanted to replace the immensely popular Bev Lyon as Gloucestershire captain. This was the man who, if one goes by rumours,had married Dorothy Lister for her father’s money, and had numerous affairs during their turbulent marriage. No, despite his amazing talent, despite his ability to draw crowds to the ground like almost no one in history Bradman, Walter Reginald Hammond was probably not the most-trusted man in the history of Gloucestershire cricket. Goddard probably did not believe Hammond. If he did, it must have been because he did not have an option, for on that pitch Hammond was the only man who could make the contest last. Sunday, the stipulated rest day of the match, passed by. Then, on Monday morning, Hammond strode out with Billy Neale. Also ReadWally Hammond: A life of grace, grandeur and grief Of tonsils and bouncers Compared to his usual levels, Hammond’s performance in 1935 had been ordinary. While 2,616 runs in a single season would have been spectacular for anyone, they had come at a very un-Hammond-like average of 49.35. There was a reason for this. He had been diagnosed with tonsillitis at the beginning of the season. He suffered breathing problems. He found it difficult to eat and sleep, let alone score hundreds. He had eventually got the tonsils removed in early 1936. There is a delightful story about Hammond’s days in the St Mary’s nursing home, Bristol, where they performed the surgery. Also admitted was Len Creed, later to become Chairman of Somerset CCC. Creed is remembered mostly for his role in signingViv Richards for Somerset; Creed, on the other hand, remembered and treasured the autograph Hammond signed for him during their mutual stay at St Mary’s. But let us return to Hammond. He would play fewer matches that summer, but that average would zoom to 56.94.However, the season had not started on a high. In fact, Hammond had to wait till the end of July for his first hundred of the season, 167 against the touring Indians, a side already marred by internal conflicts. The deluge began in August: 160* and 57, 6 and 43, 81 and 35*, 108 and 62, 217 and 5*, 44 and 0, 52, and 43 and 51. In August alone he had scored 964 runs at 80.33. This was the 31st, the last day of August: would he do a thousand in a month? There were other scores to settle as well. Gloucestershire had toured Trent Bridge in May the year before. At that point Hammond was ill, very ill; and on a greenish pitch Voce had peppered him with bouncers — and, of course, Larwood had not been too lenient, either. Voce had probably gone a bit overboard that day with intimidatory bowling — something bowlers in England typically avoided while bowling to Hammond. They knew better than that. Larwood had tried to stop Voce: “Look, Big ’un, you might be enjoying yourself, but the bugger, he’ll get his own back.” Voce had not paid heed. Hammond scored a mere 13 that day before the leg-breaks of George Gunn undid him. But as we have seen numerous times in his career, Hammond never forgot. No, Tom Goddard probably had reasons to smile, too. Larwood had warned you, big ’un… All Neale had to do that Monday was to exist at the crease, and he did, scoring runs almost invisibly. As for Hammond, nothing mattered: Voce, the pitch, the spinners, nothing. The partnership with Neale fetched 164, of which Neale got 66. “There were cracks in the wicket; the ball kept turning. The bowling demanded utter concentration,” wrote David Foot in his seminal work Wally Hammond: The Reasons Why. “As for the faithful who had come to boost Tom’s fund, they couldn’t decide what they wanted most — some entertaining batting to justify their decision to take a couple of days off work, or Goddard at his match-winning best.” Hammond batted like only he could. One must remember here that Voce was at the peak of his career. His new-ball partner Harold Butler, still a bit raw, would play Test cricket after World War II. There was the just-above-medium-pace of Staples, Frank Woodhead, and George Heane, always dangerous on a wearing pitch. And Gunn held up the rear with his leg-breaks. Hammond’s first hundred came in three-and-a-quarter hours. At that stage he was merely warming up. There was a false stroke on 111, when he almost played on; but he resumed batting as if nothing had happened. The second hundred took him another eighty minutes.On 226 came the second chance, a difficult one behind the stumps, one that Arthur Wheat could not hold on to. The third hundred tookseventy minutes.One must remember that the conditions were so ordinary for batting that they had driven Goddard to despair. Hammond eventually scored 317 of the best in 390 minutes, just like that, before being bowled by Woodhead. He hit 34 fours and 3 sixes. Those 317 runs had taken his tally of August to 1,281 — in other words, past WG Grace’s record for most runs in August. Grace had amassed 1,278 runs in 1876. The wicket also ended a ninth-wicket stand of 133 with wicketkeeper Victor Hopkins, who got 25. Hammond, ninth out, scored 317 out of 461 Gloucestershire had managed during his stay. No, he could not keep his promise. He could not bat all day. But then, he had made sure Goddard’s benefit match was a success. As he walked up the stairs, he found Goddard’s colossal frame waiting for him outside the pavilion. “Worth more than a pint, Wally,” thanked the big man. Hammond, according to Roderick Easdale in Wally Hammond: Gentleman and Player, even gave the bat away to Goddard for auction. The rest passed in a blur. Nottinghamshire ended the day on 22 without loss. They were reduced to 64 for 4 the next day before Charlie Harris (50) and Staples (52) added 82. Then they collapsed to 215 and lost by an innings as Cranfield took 4 for 71. Goddard got the solitary wicket of Gunn, but he need not have worried: the benefit fetched him £2,097 — in addition to what Hammond’s bat fetched him. More counterintuitive incidents Sitting in the stands was one RW Spencer, “a lifelong Gloucestershire supporter” (to quote Foot), who, by his own claim, had watched the triple-hundred in entirety. Spencer later admitted in an interview for a documentary: “Although I loved cricket as a small boy, I wasn’t always able to attend county matches. When I returned, Wally came and sat beside me. He asked me why I hadn’t been lately and I told him my meagre pocket money didn’t run to it.” Shortly afterwards, Spencer received the schoolboy membership card of Gloucestershire CCC by post. He never claimed it was Hammond, though he “always felt it must have been him.” No, that is not what self-obsessed, narcissistic men are like. Neither do they bat for their mates all day and give their bats away for auction. Maybe this was the real Hammond. Or perhaps the real Hammond was the one they all knew, and this was an aberration. We will never know. A Dickie Bird story, but still worth a mention There are two things about Dickie Bird’s cricket anecdotes: first, they are generally delightful; and secondly, they are often figments of imagination. We will never know whether this one — from White Caps and Bails — was made up. However, let me quote Bird anyway: “After the game Hammond led the full Gloucestershire team back out to the middle, told Goddard to set his field on a pitch that had been turning dramatically, and proceeded to play the bowler with the edge of the bat. Unplayable? Not for Hammond. That was a remarkable example of his excellent technique.” False, perhaps; but then, had it been anyone but Hammond, the word ‘perhaps’ would not have been necessary. Hammond did make you believe in things. Brief scores: Nottinghamshire 200(Joe HardstaffJr 46, Arthur Staples 58; Tom Goddard 4 for 49, MontyCranfield 3 for 51) and 215 (Charlie Harris 50, Arthur Staples 52; Charlie Barnett 3 for 25, MontyCranfield 4 for 71) lost to Gloucestershire 485 (Wally Hammond 317, Billy Neale 66; Bill Voce 3 for 117) by an innings and 70 runs.
Albert Ward © Wikimedia CommonsIt has been a long tradition on the part of Wisden to honour cricketers with the title Cricketers of the Year based primarily on their “influence on the previous English season.” The tradition began in 1889 with the naming of Six Great Bowlers of the Year (George Lohmann, Johnny Briggs, John Ferris, Charles Turner, Sammy Woods, and Bobby Peel). Nine Great Batsmen of the Year were named in 1890 (Bobby Abel, Billy Barnes, Billy Gunn, Louis Hall, Robert Henderson, Maurice Read, Arthur Shrewsbury, Frank Sugg, and Albert Ward). Five Great Wicketkeepers were nominated in 1891 (Jack Blackham, Gregor MacGregor, Dick Pilling, Mordecai Sherwin, and Henry Wood). And so it went, five Cricketers of the Year becoming the norm from 1897 onwards, with a few exceptions made. Among the star batsmen named in the second year was a man with a rather unusual entry in his curriculum vitae. He was chronologically the first of the nine players till date to represent both Yorkshire and Lancashire in County Cricket, beginning in 1886, in the days of the “unofficial” Championship and spilling over to the “official” Championship that began in 1890. We speak of Albert Ward. Ward was born November 21, 1865 at Waterloo, Leeds. He is seen to have been a right-handed batsman, usually batting up the order, and a right-arm slow bowler. Ward developed into a professional cricketer and exceptionally gifted batsman with a long reach from his 6-foot frame. Wisden, not known for the use of hyperbole, had this to say about Ward’s batting: “Possessing the ideal temperament for an opening batsman —cool, patient, and persevering — he carried his bat through an innings on five occasions and for England against Australia he accomplished some of his best performances.” Ward made his First-Class debut for Yorkshire in August 1886, under the stern captaincy of Lord Hawke against Middlesex at Bradford. Yorkshire won the game by an innings and 196 runs. Ward scored 22 out of a total of 401 and took a catch. He played 4 matches for Yorkshire in that month. Also ReadFrederick Ponsonby: Cricketing peer, co-founder of I Zingari It was while he was playing Minor cricket in 1887 that he came under the notice of Lancashire for whom he was eligible to play from 1889 on the strength of a residence qualification. Ward made his Lancashire debut against MCC at Lord’s that year. Although it was a drawn game, Ward, under the watchful eye of skipper ‘Monkey’ Hornby, made a reasonable debut for his new county, scoring 33 (the second-highest score in the first innings) and 62* (top-score in the second). The Lancashire Committee seemed to have liked what they saw in the young professional. In a span of 1886 to 1904, Albert Ward played 385 First-Class matches, scoring 17,783 runs, with a highest of 219 and an average of 30.08 — a fairly high average given that he usually batted in the upper half of the order and played on uncovered wickets. He had 29 centuries and 87 fifties, and held 172 catches. Of his bowling, it was said: “He was one of the early freak bowlers before the description googly was invented.” His 71 First-Class wickets included CL Townsend, Arthur Shrewsbury, George Hirst, and CB Fry, all in their prime. Between 1893 and 1894-95 he also played 7 Tests for England, scoring 487 runs at an average of 37.46 with a hundred and 3 fifties. In his 16 seasons for Lancashire (1889 to 1904), Ward scored in excess of 1,000 runs in a season 9 times, and became, in 1893, the first professional to top the 1000-run mark in a season for Lancashire, with an aggregate of 1,435. His most productive season was 1895 when he scored 1,790 runs at an average of 42.61. He carried his bat for Lancashire 5 times in all, twice in 1893, once in 1895, and twice again in 1899. In all matches for Lancashire alone, Ward aggregated 15,362 runs at an average of 30.97. Also ReadJohn Napier: Frugal Man of God who took 4 wickets in 4 balls The history of the club shows that the fortunes of Lancashire began to rise from 1885 with the infusion of new talent in the ranks. In 1885 the 19-year-old George Kemp, later an MP, scored the first century for Lancashire in a Roses Match. Also, Briggs and Pilling put on the record last-wicket stand of 173 against Surrey at Liverpool. 1889 saw the re-emergence of Lancashire who shared the championship with Surrey and Nottinghamshire, but many people felt they had begun to rely too much on players born outside the county. Three players recruited during the season, Arthur Paul, Arthur Mold and Ward, who were all to play a significant part in the future of Lancashire cricket, were all born outside the county. In 1890 one Archie MacLaren, still a schoolboy and captain of Harrow, made his Lancashire debut scoring a century against Sussex at Hove. MacLaren was destined to become a Grand Old Man of Lancashire cricket and captain of England in his later years. Ward’s consistent scoring in the early part of 1893, both on behalf of Lancashire and of The North, particularly against the visiting Australians, was taken cognisance of. He was chosen to make the first of his 7 Test appearances for England in the second Test against Australia at The Oval in 1893. England won the Test by an innings and 43 runs despite heroic efforts by George Giffen. Winning the toss, WG went in first with Drewy Stoddart, and the pair put on 151, with Grace scoring 68 and Stoddart making 83. Batting at No. 5, debutant Ward scored 55 while Stanley Jackson (103) registered his maiden Test century (“the first in a Test in England to be completed with a hit over the boundary (then worth only four runs,” as per Bill Frindall). England finished at 483, Giffen capturing 7 for 128. Thanks to Bill Lockwood (4 for 37) and Briggs (5 for 34), Australia’s first innings finished on a paltry 91. Although the visitors posted a healthy 349 in the second innings, Harry Trott top-scoring with 92, the total proved to be inadequate. Also ReadWilliam Yardley: The man who hit two switch-hits in 1870 The third Test at Old Trafford was drawn. The defining innings of the Test was the 102* by William Gunn in the England first innings of 243. Ward had scores of 13 and 0. Ward maintained a reasonably good batting form throughout the 1894 domestic season and found himself on the boat to Australia in the autumn of 1894 under the captaincy of Stodddart. The 13-member party had two Lancastrians as the designated openers — MacLaren and Ward. England won the 5-Test series 3-2 after a dramatic all-round performance in the very first Test at Sydney. The gripping story of the first Test of this series at Sydney has already been recounted in great detail in these columns. However, the account of the Test by Stephen Samuelson, published in The Sydney Morning Herald, makes compelling reading. As has been well-documented, Australia had posted an imposing total of 586, thanks to maiden Test centuries by Giffen (161) and Syd Gregory (201, only the second double-century in the 18-year history of Test cricket till then). While debutant Joe Darling had begun his Test career with a golden duck, another Australian debutant, Frank Iredale, had given a good account of himself with an innings of 81. Skipper Jack Blackham added 74. Also ReadEmmanuel Benjamin: The second Indian to play Sheffield Shield For England, debutant opener MacLaren, perhaps somewhat overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead, had been dismissed for 4. His partner Ward top-scored with a confident 75. Thereafter, some lower-order tenacity by Briggs (57) and wicketkeeper Leslie Gay (33) had taken the total to 325. It was at this point that the drama began. Blackham decided to enforce the follow-on, and England were obliged to go back to the batting crease. This time MacLaren contributed 20 to a stand of 44. As in the first innings, Ward again stood resolute, and top-scored for the second time in the match with 117, scored at a crucial juncture of the game. That Ward had scored his runs quite freely is evident from the fact that he was the third man dismissed, at the total of 217. England’s second-innings total rose to 437. Australia began the fourth innings of the Test needing 177 for victory, and there were no alarms when they finished Day Four on 113 for 2. But it rained overnight. Stoddart put Bobby Peel, hung over from the previous night, under a cold shower. Thus charged, Peel told his captain: “Gi’ me t’ball, Mr Stoddart. Ah’ll get t’buggers out before lunch.” And he did, with 6 for 67. Briggs took 3 for 25, and England won by 10 runs, becoming the first side to win a Test after following on. The second Test at Melbourne resulted in another victory for England, this time by 94 runs. Ward top-scored with 30 in a meagre total of 75 in the face of superlative bowling from Charles Turner (5 for 32) and Hugh Trumble (3 for 15). It was Tom Richardson to the fore for England when Australia began their first innings, taking 5 for 57 in a home total of 123. The England second innings total of 475 had a decidedly more wholesome look about it, replete with a magnificent 173 from Stoddart. Ward scored 41 and Peel 53. It was Giffen (6 for 155) and Turner (3 for 99) with the ball this time. The 428-run target proved to be beyond the home team and they managed 333, headed by a fine 95 and 54 respectively from openers Harry Trott and William Bruce. Frank Iredale contributed 68. Australia responded with a resounding 382 run win in the third Test at Adelaide, Ward scoring 5 and 13. In many ways, this Test turned out to be a triumph for Australian debutant Albert Trott, who scored 38* and 72 * and captured 8 for 43 in the second innings. Australia won their second consecutive match, this time at Sydney, by an innings and 147 runs. Australia scored 284, Harry Graham scoring 105, the only century of the game. They then dismissed England for 65 and 72, with Giffen and Turner running riot with the ball. England won the deciding fifth Test at Melbourne by 6 wickets, with opener Ward scoring 32 and 93 and MacLaren (120) and John Brown (140) registering their maiden Test centuries. In the last innings, Ward and Brown had shared a vital third-wicket stand of 210 to propel England to a deserving victory. Richardson shone with the ball, taking 9 wickets in the Test. Tom Horan, under the pseudonym of ‘Felix’, had this to say in the Australasian: “When Stoddart fell, I doubt whether two batsmen ever faced the music with a heavier responsibility upon them than Ward and Brown. And so long as cricket flourishes, their splendid performance deserves to hold a high place in the annals of the game as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, performance on record.” Indeed, the 1894-95 Englishmen had captured the hearts and the imagination of all Australia, the media included. This was the opinion of one of the leading Editorials of the time: “It has been left to Mr Stoddart and his companions to take the Australian public by storm, and for at least four months to make cricket the question of the day. Politics local and imperial, the war in the East, currency tangles and municipal corruption in the United States, diplomatic intriguing, with possibly grave complications arising therefrom, have been cast into the shade. Nothing in short has been able to withstand the avalanche-like progress of the Stoddart combination.” It was in the last game of the tour, against South Australia at Adelaide, that Ward achieved his highest individual score. The home team had put up a fairly respectable total of 397, Clem Hill contributing 150. The tourists responded with 609, Ward leading the way with 219 at the top of the order, and sharing a second-wicket stand of 174 with Brown (101). Francis Ford scored 106. For the hosts, skipper Giffen captured 5 for 309, an unwanted record for him as the most runs conceded by any South Australian in a First-Class innings till date. The home second innings finished at 255, conceding a 10-wicket win. For England, Richardson took 9 wickets in the match. Back home after the tour and halfway through his First-Class career, Ward was very highly regarded by one and all for his batting abilities. In The Jubilee Book of Cricket, KS Ranjitsinhji makes the following remark: “There are few worthier fellows in the world than the average professional of the better class. I remember hearing Mr Stoddart say — and I hope he will not mind my repeating it—”Well, I never want to meet three better fellows or more pleasant companions than Tom Richardson, Albert Ward, and [Bill] Brockwell.” Coming from such an illustrious amateur, and captain of the team, this was a very high degree of appreciation in staid Victorian England. Ward contributed a morsel of cricket trivia to lovers of the game in a match against Derbyshire at Old Trafford in 1899 when he was dismissed hit wicket for 72. A delivery from Frank Davidson had caused part of the shoulder of Ward’s bat to become detached and the detached portion had dislodged the leg-bail to dismiss him. This had been one of the earliest instances of this sort of freak dismissal in First-Class cricket history. Lancashire awarded Ward a benefit in 1902, a ‘Roses’ match at Old Trafford in 1902. The entire last day of the game was rained off, but an estimated 24,000 spectators had passed through the turnstiles on the first day of the game, raising £1,739. Albert Ward, the ‘Roses’ man, passed away on January 6, 1939 at his home in Heaton, Bolton, Lancashire, aged about 73.
Just when the ‘#BreaktheBeard’ trend was catching up fast on the Indian players during IPL 2017, Virat Kohli has expressed no interest in ‘breaking’ his beard through his Instagram posts. Kohli posted a photo on Sunday morning with the message reading, “Sorry boys @hardikpandya_official @royalnavghan @rohitsharma45 but iam not ready to break the beard yet. Great job on the makeovers though. Kudos.” The trend started off with Ravindra Jadeja uploading a video on his Instagram account and putting up a snazzy look. When Kohli saw this different look of Jadeja during an IPL 2017 game, he was seen laughing hysterically on the all-rounder along with Praveen Kumar and others. Full Cricket Scorecard, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017, Match 27 Sorry boys @hardikpandya_official @royalnavghan @rohitsharma45 but iam not ready to break the beard yet. Great job on the makeovers though. Kudos A post shared by Virat Kohli (@virat.kohli) on Apr 23, 2017 at 12:10am PDT Following the trend, Hardik Pandya also donned a new look, posting a video of the same, and giving the credit to Jadeja. Soon, Rohit Sharma followed the fashion. Both the players donned the new look in their match against Delhi Daredevils (DD) on Saturday. Many thought that Kohli might follow the trend soon. But Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain is usually known to set new fashion statements, which most of his Indian teammates follow. It will be interesting to see what wouldl be the rest of the team’s reaction on this #BreaktheBeard wave. Several Indian cricketers, such as Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and a few more in the domestic circuit follow the trend. Change the game on the field. Change the look in the dressing room. #BreakTheBeard #rajputboy #newlook #timeforchange #vivoipl #glvsrcb A post shared by Ravindrasinh Jadeja (@royalnavghan) on Apr 18, 2017 at 5:20am PDT Jaddu, this one’s for you.We got no dressing room confusions here now. #BreakTheBeard #MIGotStyle #newlook #KKRvGL #OneMoreSurpriseComing A post shared by Hardik Pandya (@hardikpandya_official) on Apr 21, 2017 at 10:11am PDT Decided to finally have a summer style of my own. My time to #BreakTheBeard! A post shared by Rohit Sharma (@rohitsharma45) on Apr 21, 2017 at 10:29pm PDT Meanwhile, IPL 2017 is almost halfway through. RCB are right at the bottom of the table placed on No. 7 and are in hunt of a desperate win. RCB’s clash against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Sunday night will be keenly followed As the Kohli-led side are eager to break the jinx at Eden Gardens
It was a rare sight for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to lose a home game © IANSWith an intense battle up in the hands, the fans will get a toast of high voltage cricketing action, as former 2-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) take on Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), in Match 27 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 at the historic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday. The live cricket streaming of the match will be available on Hotstar. Also, the live telecast of the match will be available on Sony Six and Sony Six HD, while Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD will broadcast it in Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu commentary. SET MAX too will telecast it live with Hindi commentary. Full Cricket Scorecard, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), IPL 2017, Match 27 at Eden Gardens It was a rare sight for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to lose a home game. Ever since the setback received against Mumbai Indians (MI), KKR were ticking all the boxes right before Gujarat Lions (GL) halted their progress in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Nonetheless, Kolkata Knight Riders will like to get act together when they host a misfiring Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday. Virat Kohli-led side will like to come hard against the Gautam Gambhir’s well-oiled XI with the overall head-to-head record tied at 10-9 in favour of the hosts. KKR are down with a defeat but things are expected to turn around on Sunday. Their head-to-head record versus RCB at home will also bolster them ahead of the clash. With a win ratio of 4-3, Gambhir’s side start as favourites. Nonetheless, RCB have got the better of their opponents in the last two meetings at Eden Gardens. Expect a cliff hanger when these two starry sides clash on Sunday.
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) have been lacking in the variety of bowlers, which J Arunkumar feels that part-time bowlers could well fill it up © BCCIDespite having done fairly with both bat and the ball, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) head coach J Arunkumar feels they are yet to click as a team, and also need to be more consistent in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. However, he also feels that the bowling of the side could improve, as despite having performed fairly enough so far, and being their strongest department, they need to be more consistent with the bowling. Punjab have been lacking in the variety of bowlers, which feels that part-time bowlers could well fill it up. Also, he was a bit concerned regarding David Miller’s form, but was confident of him hitting the form at the right time. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Gujarat Lions (GL) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Match 26 at Rajkot “It’s important to play as a team, our players like Manan Vohra and Hashim Amla scored well, while bowlers also did well in patches, but we need them to play as a team. We have had patches where we really bowled well; we bowled well in two-three games and batted well in two-three games but failed to get them together; we need to get them together and complement each other. It’s a matter of time. Of course our bowlers gave way a few runs but they need to find out where batsmen find difficulties,” he said, as reported by PTI. Jos Buttler delighted with his match-winning knock for MI vs KXIP Speaking on the side’s bowling attack, Arunkumar said: “We have an Indian bowling attack, particularly in seam department. They have done well in patches but need to be more consistent and should bowl in areas where batsmen can make mistakes. We don’t have off-spinners or leg-spinners in the team. Maxwell can bowl a couple of overs if required. The trend in IPL this time is leg-spinners doing well in some games, off-spinner in some and left-arm leg-spinners doing well in some. We have good options in KC Cariappa and Rahul Tewatia.” On Miller’s form he said: “We all know what a very good batsman he is. It’s just a matter of time. Once he gets settled down at the crease and plays a few balls, he is able to destroy any bowling attack. He is ready than any other batsmen in the team, but we want to give him the comfort of the options. Miller is a batsman who can bat at any number. We know that once he plays few balls and get his eyes, he would start making runs.”
Rohit Sharma (left) and Shikhar Dhawan opened for India in ICC Champions Trophy 2013 © IANS (File Photo)With ICC Champions Trophy 2017 just a month and half away, VVS Laxman backed Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma as the right candidates to open batting for India in the tournament to be held in England. Laxman has been highly impressed with Dhawan’s return in form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 for defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), of whom Laxman is also the mentor. Laxman feels that not only should Dhawan be a regular member of the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy, but should be considered for opening along with Rohit, as they did in 2013, leading to their title victory. “I think it is great to see Shikhar batting the way he is. He looks in very good rhythm. Also he is in good space of mind. And I am sure the way he is batting, he will win more and more matches for the franchise. I am hoping that he will get a place in the Champions Trophy. I believe Shikhar and Rohit are the right players to open in England,” said Laxman in an exclusive interview with ANI. “I am very pleased with the way Shikhar is batting and I just want him to enjoy and play with a lot of freedom because he is a match winner and an impact player.”. Speaking on India’s chances of retaining the trophy, they won back in 2013, he said: “I believe India have got a very good chance in the Champions Trophy. But whether it is T20 or 50-over format, whichever team performs well on that day, they win the game. I believe at this moment I can chose the four semi-finalists and India will be one among them. I believe India will go into the tournament with a lot of confidence because most of the players have been playing in the IPL and they are match fit. So, I believe India has got a very good chance to win the Champions Trophy,” he concluded.