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Thread: A Remarkable Giant Killing

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    A Remarkable Giant Killing

    A Remarkable Giant Killing

    Neutrals always enjoy seeing the underdog triumph against the champion. In this feature Martin tells the story of a famous County Championship match in which David slew Goliath
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    Thanks for this article Fred. From reports Read bowled a rocket. His "A" tour to Australia in 35/36 meant that he was in the frame for the real thing the following season. From what I've read he was then given an ultimatum from his employers; accountancy or cricket. Nowadays it would be an easy choice and an employer might see some value having a test player on their staff. Not so then and Read made the only choice he could and retired from the game.

    I'm happy to see an article give Nichols his due. It would have been interesting to see how many games he would have got if Allen wasn't around. I'd bet a worthwhile amount with his versatility and stamina he would have been a test regular. I'm inclined to think he was a little more hasty than described in the article and had genuine pace. He (and Clark) bonced a few heads and cut a few chins on Jardine's Indian tour. Nichols badly hit either Merchant or Amarnath in a game but I forget which one. The victim suffering a scar much like Ponting when hit by Harmison.

    He certainly could dominate strong opponents and those efforts v Yorks and Glocs being oustanding examples. Charles Bray in the 1960 Wisden mentioned the Yorks game and talking afterwards to Nichols who told him that revenge was sweet. Nichols was probably referring to the many beatings dished out by Yorks but most probably the time Holmes and Sutcliffe recorded their record stand for the 1st wicket when Nichols was one of the suffering bowlers.

    Nichols was described by R - Glasgow as being an undemonstrative cricketer who never betrayed disappointment at a missed opportunity or excitement over a success. Yet I'm sure he kept a quiet book for squaring ledgers. You wrote a previous article about Gimblett and his famous debut which was scored off an attack including Nichols. Nichols got his payback dismissing Gimblett 8 subsequent times for less than 20 including 3 ducks with a pair amongst them. He also had the wood on Hutton whom he dismissed for 4,0,0,0,25 and 0. Once again including a pair. He was quality and deserved greater recognition from cricket's selectors and historians.

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    My brother's father in law claimed he knew Frank Rist who told him what it was like keeping to the 48 Australians. Apparently he had very little work to do that day though the scorecard shows he effected a catch and a stumping. Essex's attack that day wasn't strong but with test bowlers Trevor Bailey and Peter Smith it wasn't too bad. It was the 1st of 3 times Bailey bowled to Bradman that summer and the 1st of 3 centuries he saw Bradman make against him.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to post those comments - the Invincibles have always fascinated me - you probably haven't seen this as it was before you joined but I did try to argue here that they could have been even better


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    Enjoyed reading that as much as all your articles. I have heard of all of them but know them better after reading your work. Very impressive that Alley possessed language so vulgar that it found Fred uncommonly reproachful yet discreet enough not to confront him with it. I think a mixture of those that made it and were left behind would have made the side stronger. I like McCool as a cricketer and would have kept him, picked Pepper and Alley and retained Johnson for variety. The 55 over new ball rule in 48 would've meant that whomever were selected would have played bit parts on tour so in that sense the side would not have been any stronger for the replacement of one spinner or peripheral batsman with another one of those types. Their selections would have been more influential under the old 200 run new ball rule though still playing a supporting role to the fast bowlers.

    I have a thought that England's sides were badly selected that season though Australia would have still won the series. With hindsight England could have built a pace attack around Bedser, Jackson, Bailey and possibly Pollard with Laker and Hollies being the main spinners. Not only did Yorky almost beat Australia but England had us in trouble at OT and really should have won at Leeds. Australia achieved domination over England and it encourages people to think England were weak. Yet they owned some of their most famous names at the time. Australia kept winning because of a slight advantage that was always present in the tests. Bradman thought that 2 players separated the side and if England possessed a fast bowler to partner Bedser and had another middle order batsmen the 2 immediate post war series would have been close.
    Last edited by the big bambino; 19-12-2013 at 03:58 AM.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Had modern qualification rules prevailed in 48 we'd doubtless have picked Tom Pritchard, who that season had what was his best ever season by a country mile - with his pace to complement Bedser it would certainly have been closer

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    Oh yeah Pritchard. If ever a career was ruined by war...He's still alive I think and approaching the ton. Would have been 31 in 1948 and at his peak. Born in Kaupukonui. And that's in England!

    Edit. Yes he's still amongst us and in his 97th year.



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