Tag Archives: cricket match

Two against eleven

Found a lovely brochure for an interesting match in 1936

1936 players

The match was played to celebrate and replicate a match played in September 1834 when Edward Wenman and Richard Mills, who both played for Kent, went up against 11 Isle of Oxney players for the high stake of £20 in what was described at the time as a “manly exercise”.  It’s said that 4,000 spectators came out to watch, even though the match was played in a “very marshy and thinly populated district”, lots of cash was placed in bets with most backing the 2 to be victorious against the 11.

original 2

The ‘Benenden 2’ batted first and made a partnership of 150 before Edward Wenman was bowled by a D.Nere for 65.  The situation meant that just one wicket had to fall for there innings to be over, it would have been quite an anti-climax for the 4,000 had either of them gone for a duck!  But as the match report says they took care with their wickets and “guarded them with as scrupulous care as a sacred relic would have been by monks of old.”

So next they took to the field, with one man bowling and the other presumably covering all fielding positions!  They bowled Oxney all out for a paltry 55 with ‘extras’ as top scorer on 22 (not bad with only one fielder to stop byes).  In their second innings the 2 scored a more modest 48 with Mills caught on 29, this left Oxney to chase 144 for victory.  They made just 77 with extras top scoring again.  The crowd were delighted and match report verdict “we must say that these two scientific players have achieved a triumph that will never be forgotten by those who beheld it”

Unfortunately I don’t have the same detail of the replica match result, I know that the 11 were all out for 153 in the first innings and the 2 replied with 186, but I don’t know how the match ended, if anyone does please get in touch!  I do know that Ashdown was the only first class cricketer to play cricket before World War I and after World War II (he came out of retirement at 48 in 1947 for one final match), but that’s all I had time to find out.

Incomplete scorecard from the 1936 match.  Can any of you fill the gaps for me?

Incomplete scorecard from the 1936 match. Can any of you fill the gaps for me?

1 Comment

Filed under archive, Cricket

‘The Denton Plan’: the answer to bad umpiring?

Alastair Cook trudges back to the dressing room after a bad lbw decision.

Alastair Cook trudges back to the dressing room after a bad lbw decision.

The debate over what to do about bad umpiring is rife again today after Cook was given out lbw to a ball that was heading wide of off stump.  DRS might have saved him, but is it really the answer?  DRS was introduced to reduce umpire errors but only seems to have stimulated more arguments over its effectiveness and it’s effect on the flow of the game.  It is not being used in the current India v. England test series and in a recent blog Mike Selvey argues that it has made the quality if umpiring worse  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2012/dec/03/india-england-drs-umpires-worse ).  And what about cricket at other levels?  Can the Counties afford DRS?  What about club cricket where even providing neutral umpiring can be a challenge in small towns where everyone knows everyone (listen to Montgomery CC members talking about the match where an umpire gave 7 batsmen out lbw in one innings off his son-in-law’s bowling! http://www.takingthefield.com/stories/1960s-club-bowling-legend-bert-davies-and-7-lbws-one-innings).

But fear not cricket fans!  My colleague Alan Rees has discovered the answer to umpiring woes buried deep in the archive.  I present…The Denton Plan!


As you can see the plan is pretty detailed and I couldn’t quite fit it all on my scanner, but I hope this gives you the gist.  Basically the only way a batman can be out is run out or bowled – Bat v. ball is the Denton mantra.  This plan was received by the MCC in 1965 and was surprisingly rejected as it was felt it would received little favour from cricket fans, but what do you think?  Denton believed it would not only solve all umpiring problems but would also make the game more exciting.

Here he lays out all the problems the Denton Plan will solve.  (Problems he claims are mostly caused by Australians!)

Here he lays out all the problems the Denton Plan will solve. (Problems he claims are mostly caused by Australians!)

I have to admit that I’m not entirely convinced.  It might make cricket simpler but the potential complexity of the game is one of the reasons I fell in love with it.  I like a good relaxing draw now and then, I even enjoy bad umpiring decisions deep down – they give you something to discuss and get angry about!  Let me know what you think, could this be the future?


Filed under archive, Cricket, England, India, MCC, umpiring

Another memorable match!

In the latest digital story on http://www.takingthefield.com/ members of Rodley CC talk about their most memorable matches, they’re pretty interesting but don’t really compete with this!

This is an article my friend Andrew found while going through some old correspondence from the 1950s.  It was sent to us in 1959 by a member who thought we might find it interesting.

The article reads…

“Mr K. Bolton, who returned recently to Sydney from a trading trip to the island of Malaita, in the Solomon  group, describes a cricket match that took place between two groups of natives.  An engagement was made for the men of Tai to visit Atta, another small island, for the purpose of deciding the inter-island cricket championship.

Cricket at Malaita is a peculiar game.  As many as 30 or 40 men play on each side.  The bat is a piece of wood, roughly shaped, and the ball a hard ivory nut.  Scoring is carried out in a primitive fashion by tearing off a frond from a palm leaf for every run scored.

When Tai visited Atta, the home team batted first, and scored 10 runs.  Tai claimed the match, and said it was unnecessary for them to bat, as they could not possibly score less.  Amid protests from Atta, they proudly paraded as the winners, and announced their intention of going home.  In this they were loudly supported by their women, who were standing off the island in their canoes.

As the men of Tai waded out to their canoes their boasts proved too much for the Atta natives.  Brandishing hatchets and knives they fell upon the self-styled winners.  A fierce struggle ensued, and one of the Atta team had his arm chopped off at the shoulder.  Many others received knife wounds.

The Government officer in Malaita hearing of the fight, called at the scene of the struggle and held a court.  After hearing evidence, while both teams stood glaring at one another and breathing threats, the officer fined the captain of each team 5s for disturbing the peace.  When the fine was paid, he assembled the teams, and in pidgin English told them that if they played British games they must observe the spirit of British fairplay.”

Pretty memorable!  But probably not as much fun as the Rodley CC matches.

(Article provided by MCC Library).

Leave a comment

Filed under Cricket

The Spectator


I’m currently in the process of putting together a new digital story from Rodley CC, Malcolm Woodhead, Mike Wright and John Fenton talk about the most memorable matches they have played in over their cricketing careers.  I’ve never played cricket, but they got me thinking about my most memorable matches as a spectator – and here they are!

Yorkshire Tea Village cup Final 2012, Reed C.C. vs. Woodhouse Grange C.C.  Lord’s 9th September 2012


An unexpectedly beautiful September day after another disappointing summer.  A perfect day for watching cricket.  The match wasn’t particularly close or thrilling and I didn’t know anything about the teams playing, but I’ve chosen this match as it was one of my nicest days as a spectator.  I’d been working at Lord’s for over six months and was starting to feel really at home there.  My husband had finally found a job after nearly 11 months of stressful job seeking.  I was feeling full of optimism and the joys of late summer!  There was a great atmosphere and it was just a wonderful day’s cricket.

4th Test.  England vs. India.  The Oval.  22nd August 2011.


I remember during days 3 and 4 of this match watching on TV thinking ‘come on England, make in 4-0…just not yet!’  I’d booked tickets to day 5 back in November the year before because they were cheap, I’d had no idea at the time it might mean the chance to see England crowned the world number 1 test side.  I was fairly disappointed not to see Tendulkar’s 100th 100 (he was out on 91) but overall it was a fantastic day.  It was pretty clear early in the day that there was only going to be one result and the crowd were able to just sit back and enjoy it.

World Cup 2011.  11th Match, Group B: India v England at Bangalore, Feb 27, 2011


England versus India again but a very very different match!  I was watching on TV this time and also I didn’t enjoy this match very much so it’s here for drama rather than fun.  When India racked up 338 I thought England didn’t have a chance, especially after their scare against the Netherlands, but almost as soon as the chase began I started to believe.  This is possibly my favourite innings ever from Strauss, and I’m generally a test cricket fan, but he was so impressive,  proving all those who said he shouldn’t be in the One Day squad wrong.  While he was there I was confident England would win as the required run rate dropped over after over – I would have loved to see him there to the end but couldn’t begrudge Zaheer Khan his wicket with that perfect yorker.  After that viewing became less pleasant, after one ball – England have no chance, the next – I think they can do this!  Many said that a tie was probably the right result – but I still maintain Swann could have run 2 off that last ball.

3rd Test.  England vs. Pakistan. Headingly. 6th August 2006.


I’d been watching cricket for a while by this point but I always identify this as the day I fell in love with it.  The 363 stand between Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf was painful to watch at times.  It looked like there was nothing England could do, but this was proper test cricket and I learnt that anything can happen!  This was also the day I fell in love with Strauss as captain, throughout the long long partnership his demeanor in the field remained thoughtful, determined and positive.  With him as captain I felt there was always hope and started to think maybe the Ashes that winter wouldn’t be so awful after all, England had been hit with injuries but with Strauss at the helm…I don’t want to talk about that decision that occurred the following month as the memory is still painful (and also makes me rant and froth at the mouth!)

4th Test.  England vs. Australia. Trent Bridge.  28th August 2005


I imagine this match will be on a lot of people’s lists but for me it has special significance as day 4 of this match was the first cricket I ever saw.  I’m not sure how I managed to get to my mid-twenties without seeing a single ball bowled but I did.  I grew up in a very anti-sport household and the flashes of football I’d witnessed confirmed to me just how unpleasant sport was so I just assumed cricket to be the same and it never entered my head to give it a chance.  On this day, however, I was incredibly hungover and lay dying on the sofa, I hadn’t the energy to protest or care when my husband asked if he could put the cricket on.  What I then saw before me through my blurry vision was utterly hypnotic, I didn’t know the rules or who’s side I was supposed to be on, but it didn’t matter – I just couldn’t look away.

So that’s my top five in my career as a spectator.  If you’d like to hear a more active account of top cricketing experiences keep an eye on http://www.takingthefield.com Rodley CC members will appear there to talk about their favourite matches soon.


1 Comment

Filed under Cricket