Leeds. Dirty Leeds.
Known in this part of the world for Don Revie, Billy Bremner, The Wedding Present, Danny Hay, Scary Spice, Jimmy Savile, Peter Sutcliffe, Bluey McClennan, and, very briefly, Brian Clough.
This will be the seventh time New Zealand has played a test here. The summary.
That best pre 80s side of all time; labouring under the ridiculousness of the constraint of three day tests.
This was probably the least remarkable of the tests in that series, marked by a five wicket bag, and then an injury to Jack Cowie.
In has place, in the second innings the bowling was opened by that great all-rounder NZ test cricketer, England test rugby player) Martin Donnelly.
Note that Cricinfo tells a different story. But the Cricket Almanack (sic) of New Zealand 1949 – Special English Tour Issue (price 6/6) says otherwise.
Runty Smith played only four tests and finished with an average in the late 40s. This was the test he’s best known for. 96 and 54*. Was even cheered onto the field when coming out to bat as they knew they were in for a run a ball innings
But this match was all but over at the start of the last day (3) with both sides scoring in the mid – 300s. Wasn’t this a different era though? Despite that almost inevitable draw there were still almost 500 runs scored on that last day.
1958. England. An innings & 71 runs
When people come up to at the pub, talkback radio, or on Twitter and say any given New Zealand cricket performance was the worst / most gutless of all time (and we have had a bit of that during the week) just reply with 1958
The breakthrough tour, the five test, all summer tour. And we were smashed all over the country. Take this test as a random specimen.
Day 1, no play
Day 2 no play; high hopes of a draw
Day 3 did not get underway until 2p.m. The opening stand of 37 contributed more than half of the team’s first innings total. The last 10 wickets fall for 30 runs. All out for 67 in 59 overs.
At least T20 could not be blamed for that effort.
Day 4; England lose two wickets and then declare.
Day 5: New Zealand makes it to 129; Lock 7/51. Laker sent down 58 overs in the match and conceded 44 runs.
A couple more stats:- Bill Playle batted for 194 minutes with his 18 consisting of seven scoring shots. Tony MacGibbon’s 39 was the highest score by a New Zealander in the series to date. In six innings.
Not much more to be said; click on the scorecard to see it for yourself if you dare.
1965. England. An innings & 187 runs
If anything, it got worse in 1965. This was the tenth test of a trip that included series in India and Pakistan. A tour that lasted from early February to late July.
England won the toss, batted first, and lost their second wicket on 382.They finally declared at 546/4, and John Edrich, who was left on 310* might have felt a bit aggrieved he was not able to go for a world record. All this against what, on paper anyway, was a pretty useful if inexperienced bowling attack.
John R Reid, playing in what turned out to be his last test, top scored with 54 in the first innings, Vic Pollard with 53 in the second
You thought Laker was economical in 1958? Here Fred Titmus followed suit by taking 5 / 19 in the second innings off 27 overs. He also achieved the mathematically improbably feat of taking four wickets in an over with no hat-trick.
A minor victory was achieved in taking that match into the final day; albeit for 15 minutes only.