Ask The Spider #97

Who made the first Test century after WW1?

Australian opener Herbie Collins, in the first post-War Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1920/21, scored a superb match double of 70 and 104; his captain Warwick Armstrong soon after belted 158.

And WW2?

Joe Hardstaff Jnr., the Yorkshire middle-order batsman, scored 205* for England against India in the First Test of 1946 – which at the time was also thought of as the first post-War Test (the one-off mismatch between New Zealand and Australia a few months earlier has since been, somewhat questionably, afforded Test status – no-one made a century in that).

Really weird question but – someone once told me that the West Indians Steve Camacho and Roland Holder had a fair bit in common. What might this mean?

Well they have plenty of difference – Camacho, a Guyanese opener, played in the late 1960s and 1970s; Holder, a Barbadian middle-order batsman, played in the 1990s and early 2000s. One thing they do have in common – and I can’t think of much else – is that both enjoyed a decent entry to the Test arena in their first season before becoming bit-part and almost completely unsuccessful thereafter. Camacho made his debut, after the retirement of the great Conrad Hunte, in 1968 against England; he played all five Tests of that series and enjoyed a decent enough start, averaging 32.80. Holder made his bow, replacing the out-of-touch Jimmy Adams, in 1997 and played all seven home Tests that season against India and Sri Lanka, averaging 32.22. But Camacho thereafter played just 6 Tests, averaging 26; Holder played a mere 4, averaging 15. Camacho was just 22 when he debuted; Holder was already 29.

How many players played Tests for Australia during the Packer schism who did not feature before or after?

There were 14 – Wayne Clark, Paul Hibbert, Tony Mann, David Ogilvie, “Sam” Gannon, Ian Callen, Rick Darling, Trevor Laughlin, “Jock” Maclean, Phil Carlson, Kevin Wright, Dav Whatmore and Jeff Moss. Graeme Porter also played ODIs only.

And how many who did?

18 – Bobby Simpson, Jeff Thomson, Kim Hughes, Graham Yallop, Alan Hurst, Gary Cosier, Steve Rixon, Craig Serjeant, Peter Toohey, John Dyson, Graeme Wood, Bruce Yardley, Jim Higgs, Rodney Hogg, Geoff Dymock, Allan Border, Andrew Hilditch and Peter Sleep.

When was New Zealand’s 100th Test match?

It was the Third Test of the series against West Indies in 1972 at Kensington Oval, a rather dreary bat-dominated series between two sides with extraordinarily weak bowling attacks which was drawn nil-nil.

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Richard Dickinson