11th January 2024
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Do feel free to order during the next two weeks. We are on a bit of a holiday ‘go-slow’ but orders will be fufilled and sent out…just a little more slowly!
The 5th Ashes game in 1938 took place at the Oval from 20-24 August. England needed to win the test match to draw the series – one match had already been abandoned. Len Hutton opened…and continued batting for 13 hours 20 minutes during 8 batting sessions. His score of 364 broke test match cricket records. In particular he surpassed the batting record of Australia’s then captain and cricketing legend, Don Bradman. Bradman had scored 334 at Leeds in the 1930 Ashes.
Hutton’s record-breaking score took England to an unassailable win of 903-7. He mused on the experience in later years. He remembered how he had started to relax on the Monday afternoon, having batted for 8 hours or more. He lifted a ball over mid-on’s head. England’s captain, Wally Hammond immediately popped up on the pavilion balcony. He made it very clear that Hutton was to keep his head and his shots down. Hutton dutifully pressed on. By Monday evening Hutton had become understandably tired from his long stint at the crease. Leyland advised him to have a port and a pint of guinness to help him sleep. The teetotaller Hutton did as suggested. He later reckoned he would have needed 5 or 6 pints to knock him out that night. He was haunted by the face of fiercesome, Australian bowler, Bill O’ Reilly, who he knew he’d have to face the next day. O’Reilly was an aggressive bowler, who ran in as if he’d like to eat batsmen for breakfast.
O’Reilly did indeed bowl Hutton on the Tuesday…but not before Hutton had destroyed all previous cricket records by scoring 364. In the meantime no.s 5 & 6, Eddie Paynter and Denis Compton had spent nearly two days padded up in the pavilion, waiting to go on. Eddie Paynter bet Compton £1.00 that they wouldn’t score more than 10 between them. Paynter was out for a duck. Compton was bowled for 1. The fall of that wicket was particularly galling to Compton. He was bowled by Australia’s Mervyn Waite…and that was Waite’s only wicket in his whole Test career!
Rare & unusual Cricket Scorecards – our new cricket catalogue is out. We’ve struggled to keep the item numbers down in the catalogue. There are simply too many cricket scorecards with great stories to tell on our website! Some of the scorecards stand out due to their age. An I Zingari v the Liverpool Club cricket match took place on 19th July 1859. An extremely rare scorecard from the first ever Australian Tour of England in 1878 tells a painful early story of England Cricket.
The game was at Lord’s. Somehow the Australians scored only 41 yet won the match by 9 wickets. England, led by WG Grace, were bowled out twice in an afternoon, scoring just 33 and 19. The scorecard belonged to Alick Bannerman, the famous “stone-waller”, and has his name printed to the reverse.
Another cricket scorecard stands out due to the match’s extraordinary score. On 24-29th December 1926 Victoria amassed a still unbeaten First-Class record score against New South Wales at Melbourne. Victoria made 1107 runs over the five days. Ponsford was top scorer, having made 352 runs. Arthur Mailey was hit for a soul-destroying 362 runs in his 64 8-ball overs. New South Wales lost – unsurprisingly – by an innings and 656 runs. It remains only the third heaviest defeat in history…so far.
Other cricket scorecards in the catalogue tell stories that bring in outside elements to cricket itself. Footballing legend Geoff Hurst’s only First Test Match score was in a cricket match in 1962 . Another of the cricket scorecards in our catalogue introduces a significant element of interest outside cricket. In July 1902 London County played the MCC at Crystal Palace. London County won by an innings with Wood, Poidevin and WG Grace all scoring centuries for County. But the real intrigue is the appearance of one Sir A Conan Doyle for the MCC team, who scored his highest first-class score in the match. He made 43 runs.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a hard hitting, though not especially skilled, batsman and a bowler of slow, loopy lobs which often took a puzzling flight. Indeed he once quipped that so slow was his bowling that if he ever delivered one he didn’t fancy could run down the wicket, intercept it, and come back for another go! In 1899, for the MCC, he took seven for 61 against Cambridgeshire at Lord’s and on the same ground two years later carried out his bat for 32 against Leicestershire. It is said that Shacklock, the Nottinghamshire player, inspired him with the Christian name of his famous character, Sherlock Holmes, and that of the latter’s brother Mycroft was suggested by the Derbyshire cricketer of that name.