28th March 1999
'A star yesterday and a nobody today'. The paraphrase is Jesse Owen's. He applied it to himself with brave philosophy but near truth when two years after he had startled the world by winning four gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1936 he signed in as a playground attendant in Ohio at a salary of £18 a week to enable him to house and feed his wife and two children.
With whatever feelings we who saw him at first hand may look back on the 1936 Games the running of James Cleveland Owens coffee coloured son of the Alabama cotton fields, will remain a thing apart a glorious and abiding memory.
It did not take 10 seconds for me to realize on that Sunday on which the Games opened and Owens ran his first heat in the 100 metres, that I was watching probably the greatest sprinter the world has ever seen. Owens, in his second heat clocked 10.2 secs, equalling the world record time but this was not recognized as a record as he had the advantage of a decided following wind. He, in fact, ran his four heats in the remarkable times of 10.3 10.2 10.4 10.3 secs.
Despite the intense Nazi propaganda against the coloured American athletes, 100,000 people - mostly Germans - in the huge stadium erected with German thoroughness for the occasion, were quite definitely lifted out of themselves by the running of Owens. The ovation they gave him was exceeded only by that which greeted his victory in the final the following day.
Jesse Owens was the hero of the Games that night. The next morning Tuesday - with an enormous leap of 8.06 metres (26 ft. 5.1 /4ins) he established a new Olympic record for the long jump. This,incidentally, was hailed at first as a new leap world record until it was pointed out that Owens own leap of 8.13 metres (26 ft. 8-1 1/4 ins) done in August , 1935 had already been ratified as the world record.
That after Owens ran two heats of the 200 metres in 21.1 seconds, and later set up another Olympic record by winning the final in 20.7 seconds. He won his fourth gold medal as a member of the United States 4 x100 metres relay team, which set up a new world record .
Owens was by no means a man of outstanding physique. He stood 5ft 10-1/2 ins, weighted 161 lbs. He has powerful shoulders and a big chest, but he was perfectly proportioned, beautifuly balanced with finely tapering legs, and he ran with a smoothness and rhythm which delighted the eye of even the uninitiated. He was the acme of perfection in athletic development.
This champion of champions had pleasant features and spoke quickly, with a pleasing lazy drawl. It was to his manner of speaking infact, that he owed the name of Jesse by which he will be known to succeeding generation of athletics followers. At school he was asked his initials and drawled them out like that.
Owens was an exceedingly modest young man who, unlike many of humble origin who hit the headlines of the newspapers and become world famous, never lost his natural shyness. He was the son of the cotton picker and before he became a student at Ohio University he used to add to the family income from his earning as a page boy at the State House. It is said that when Jesse was a student his mother applied for state relief when the total income of the Owens household was only $7 a week and was refused it because the family can afford to keep a son at the University.
As will all great men of sport Jesse's success was largely attributable to his singleness of purpose, concentration on perfecting himself in his own particular branch of athletics, and diligent training. He did not smoke or drink but otherwise his diet was that of the average man plenty of good, plain fare and home cooking, with no fads and fancies.
He told me in the several talks I had with him both in Berlin and when he subsequently came to England with the rest of the American team to give our men a post Games drubbing at the White City that he put the injuries sustained by several of the British athletes at the Games down to their not being muscle-hardened in the same way that the Americans were. Before the Games he told me he had competed with unfailing regularity in three or four events every weekend since the beginning of May. In this way he had built himself up to withstand the enormous strain of the big show.
Before he sailed for Europe, Owens who was 22 in this peak year of his athletic porwess, had every intention of going back to graduate at Ohio University, but now professional offers began to pour in on him. Hollywood wanted him for films, plans were put up to him for stage shows, exhibition racing and every conceivable way in which he might cash-in on his athletic talents and exploit the fame they had brought him.
He has by no means made up has mind to accept any of them, but he was anxious to get home and discuss them and decide on his future. He had enough running for one season at all events, and after the match between the British Empire and the United States at the White City he cut the trip to Sweden for which the American team was booked. There was a good deal of fuss about it at the time and Owens was not very popular with the American authorities.
Hard times for Jesse:-
Indeed, the following month they announced his suspension for a year, though by this time their action was more formality than a positive measure and it was pretty obvious that Jesse was through with amateur athletics and was about to embark on some form of activity that would debar him anyway. Owens toured for some time with a dance band, and ran races against racehorses, greyhounds and midget cars in a series of ventures that proved anything but remunerative. In 1938 the world heard that he has fallen on hard times and had taken a job as a playground attendant. Little was done for him and he filed his petitions for bankruptcy in 1939.
The last news I heard of Owens - in November 1947 was that he was touring the States showing movies entitled 'mom and dad' in Negro picture-houses and that he had been doing this work for 11 months. Jesse says he wishes he were sprinting again and that he would like to make the trip to England this year.
- Sir Curtis Bennett
By Ismail Khan
P. Beauont's 8 year old handicap chaser young Kenny won his second Grand National Trial Saturday last this time at Uttoxeter winning the £70,000 Marstons Midlands Grand National Chase run over 36 furlongs, having won his earlier trial at Haydock on 27/2 beating Fiddling The Facts. On Saturday last he beat Call It A Day and Hollybank Buck. And now here and then I give Young Kenny a gilt-edged chance of winning the showpiece of the National Hunt racing scene at Aintree, Liverpool next month _ The Grand National itself, the most colourful event in the English racing calendar.
Young Kenny as I said a few weeks ago is a superb chaser, a good jumper and very good on the flat runin where he puts his head down and goes down to business straightaway. This style of racing suits the Aintree National Hunt course and according to Peter Beaumont the trainer and jockey Brendan Powell, Young Kenny has all the attributes of a Grand National winner. So, I pass this information to you.
Saturday last had a few horses to be followed for the balance of the National Hunt season. And here they are: P.R Webber's Tiger Paws 4th on 4/3 at Ludlow 20 furlongs beaten by Satcotin close home at Lingfield on 20/3. Could do well over an extended trip of 22 furlongs or even 24 furlongs.
R. Hodge's Northern Saddler 3rd to Boulevard Bay Saturday last at Lingfield after in indifferent 3rd to Shadrach on 2/3 at Hereford. 16 furlongs looks the right trip but Peter Holly should ride him from behind. He has won all his races coming from behind.
Warm Spell a short head second to Get The Point at Towcester on 1/3 was beaten again at Lingfield this time by runaway scorer Pealings. Should appreciate 20 furlongs or more.
R. Hodge's Melling beaten by Oriental Style at Newton Abbot on 17/3 was beaten again Saturday last at Lingfield by Rare Occurence. Looks as if 16 furlongs or even 17 furlongs is his need.
And Mrs. R. Richards Weapons Free 3rd to The Minder at Fontwell on 8/3 seems to be having problems traversing long distances. Reverting to 16 Furlongs would be the best for this Novice Hurdler who attempted a handicap first time Saturday last.
So that's the lot. Next week horses to follow will include Flat races too as it has already commenced. So be sure you book your copy of the Sunday Times early.
According to a read er's poll world- wide, 76 percent say that Muralithan is not chucking. Twenty four percent are of the opinion that he chucks...
It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that ace spinner Muttiah Muralitharan does not throw.
Herewith we continue our poll conducted worldwide from a our readers. According to the poll 24 percent say that Murali is chucking and 76 vehemently deny that the spinner is throwing. Read on to have their reactions.
Charles Bloomer, UK: You may think I'm biased in this matter, but I genuinely believe that Muralitharan doesn't throw. His is a complex action and I wouldn't blame any umpire for being unsure of its legality. However, this is precisely why the ICC set up a panel of experts to examine his action in minute detail. As they arrived at the unanimous conclusion that there was nothing wrong with his basic action, I think he should be left alone. Ross Emerson, in calling Murali implied that he was unhappy with the immediately preceding ball - on subsequent analysis, this proved to be virtually identical to the others. It may be alright for umpires to get decisions wrong and to cost sides matches, but this is on a wholly different scale - the career of one of the best off spinners ever to bowl is at stake.
Harshan Lamabadusuriya, Sri Lanka: For once, I don't think racism plays a part here. How many more countries have to object before it's not just 'England and Australia being bad sports'? To say that it's racism is very convenient, to say the least. England are quite familiar with the idea of people being better than us, thanks, that doesn't really bother us that much. There are plenty of issues of racism in sport, even in cricket. I don't think this is one. People were saying he threw it years ago, before he was much cop. I think he does, but I'm not sure if it matters...What about all the fuss just being bad sportsmanship on SL's part? England treated the world like its own dustbin for too long. But let's not make everything refer back to it, eh?
David Lea, UK: Yes he does chuck. When one watches his action in slow motion, it is quite easy to spot.
Krishnamohan S, UK: Just a few words to the Aussies and the English: THE DAYS OF THE RAJ ARE LONG GONE, GET OVER IT!!
Himanshu, USA: Emerson has myopia.
Karun, India: HE DOES NOT THROW and his bowling action has been cleared by the ICC. So whats the problem? You Aussies just can't face defeat. That's your problem. So leave Murali alone.
A De Zoysa, UK: The last I heard, Australian umpires were under the regulations of the ICC, not above it. "Comman..aussies...what's going on? Chill out will you! We are beginning to wonder why is it a problem, ONLY WHEN WE ARE IN AUSTRALIA?
Buddhika Jayamaha, USA: To the naked eye his action does look a bit suspect. However the ICC has studied his action under super slow motion and its experts, comprised of former Test greats including Allan Border, unanimously agreed that his action is fair. A bent arm is allowed as long as it does not straighten. The cricket gods have spoken - mortals rest in peace.
Rody, UK: If the ICC has ruled that he is unable to straigten his arm, then umpires should be aware of this and take it into consideration before they no-ball him.
Chamath Perera, USA: This man has played in over 40 Test matches around the world under the scrutiny of the world's best umpires; has taken over 200 Test wickets (and almost 150 ODI wickets). He gets called for throwing only in Australia by Australian umpires. Meanwhile, the ICC and independent medical teams from Australian universities (nonetheless!) have cleared his bowling action. Maybe the problem is not with Muralitharan.
Damnath De Tissera, USA: The deformity in Muralitharan's arm must be quite severe, as having seen numerous replays of him bowling this winter, the arm is bent more than slightly when the ball is released
Chris Martin, UK: There is a lot of racist paranoia from the Sri Lankan respondents. I do think a white player would be 'called' if he used the same action. Personally I think Murali bowls fairly. I take exception to Amarjeet Rantunga's comments. The only cheating scum on display in this match was the guy who obstructed Gough to prevent a run-out when the game was in the balance.
Kevin Parker, UK: Reading some of the reaction there appears to be a general mistaken belief that if the arm is bent then it is a throw. This extract from the laws of the game clearly allows a bent arm, as long as the bend remains constant throughout the delivery. This is exactly what he does. The ICC panel of ex-Test players and umpires found that he didn't throw. "A ball shall be deemed to have been thrown if, in the opinion of either Umpire, the process of straightening the bowling arm, whether it be partial or complete, takes place during that part of the delivery swing which directly precedes the ball leaving the hand. This definition shall not debar a bowler from the use of the wrist in the delivery swing. " If the ICC panel believe that his action falls within this definition and if people such as Ian Botham and Allan Border believed his action falls within this definition, then surely it is time to accept his action.
Martin Shwartz, UK: I think he doesn't. There are very few who have no balled him since his arrival in the Test arena. In my personal opinion race can be a factor too as none of the colored umpires have ever no balled him for chucking. The majority of umpires do not see any problem with his action.
Anser Azim, USA: To say Murali is throwing or chucking is an insult to cricket. He has been thoroughly examined by the ICC & they have no problem. It is only the few who do not know the facts who accuse him.
Kevin Chandra, USA: There in no difference between his bent arm bowling and a straight arm bowling because for Muralitharan that's his permanent straight arm. For the naked eye his top spin bowling looks too bent because the arm length is short for any bowler when it comes to top spin. For me he is a disabled bowler and does not get any advantage with his disabled arm. His bowling brilliance is to do with his excellent spinning ability and skills. Give him a chance - please don't destroy the talent.
Neil Dev-A, UK: I don't think he throws. His elbow bends a little but stays the same way when the ball is released. It doesn't straighten out before the ball is delivered. Considering that fact and the fact that he can never straighten his hand because of a disability, I think the Australian Umpires were crass and cheap in calling him a Chucker.
Madhusudhan Rangarajan, USA: The only country that has umpires that accuse Muralitharan of chucking are the Aussies. This is also the only country that after consultation with the 3rd umpire gives not outs when players are clearly run out. It seems to me that the Aussie umpires should sort their own cricketing ethics out before they go around accusing chuckers of chucking even if they do chuck.
Paul, UK: The rule is that the arm action must not change during the delivery. It does not try to penalise people who are not able to or who are born that way.
Emerson's decision is intended to cast a shadow on Sri Lanka who will beat Australia in the World Cup
Mohan Thiagarajah, UK: Though his arm may not be "straight", it is "stiff"; i.e. he is not taking advantage of the bend.
Gareth Howell, UK: Mmmm, this is obviously a very difficult question! The fact that he has a problem with his arm should not stop him bowling as near to the rules as he possibly can. I believe he does this most of the time, but if the umpire feels that a specific delivery of his deviates from this he should be called for throwing like any other bowler. Surely this is only fair?
Adrian North, UK: England batsmen would have trouble with under-arm bowling at the moment, never mind someone accused of throwing the ball.
Malcolm McCandless, UK: To my mind chucking is an intentional act. The bowler who throws the ball intends to do so. But, as in the case of Muralitharan, if the arm is bent because of a physical deformity and he cannot do anything about it and if there is no intention to throw, then there is no chucking. Granted that there is no way to know about the bowler's intentions (unless the cricket board hires psychics), the only way out is to go by the medical diagnosis of the problem. If Muralitharan cannot staighten his arm, whether he intends or not that is the only way he can deliver the ball. One either accepts the medical fact or forces him out of the game. Surely, the English and Australian cricket fans are not too scared of Muralitharan's abilities to go for the second rather disgraceful and cowardly option.
Sunil Goonasekera, USA: What knowledge do the Australian umpires have about Cricket, they themselves are umpiring because they can't play & pouring frustations on innocent souls, because they can't stand their success. Its better if they go home, change, go to the local park & watch kids play cricket. Then may be they will learn something about cricket.
Sharon Austin, Australia: He just does not throw. It is sytematic, planned and well thought of plans of the Aussies to keep all the Test playing countries - from Asia in particular (take the case of Harbhajan Singh from India, Salim Malik case in Pakistan and of course Murlidharan case in Sri Lanka) to get involved in something or the other which is an issue all together different from cricket so that they can be mentally far superior to the opposition going into the matches and can therefore be called the unofficial world champs of Test cricket. Well this is just the tip of the iceberg. It not only demoralises the player as an individual but also crashes the morale of the entire team sometime to the extent of changing the entire team composition. Frankly, its just not Cricket.
Atul Bakliwal, India: The time when he delivers the ball he gives a sudden jerk, with straightening of the arms.
Amit Gandhi, USA: The Umpires can only call it as they see it. If they call "no ball" for throwing then that is their decision. They are appointed to umpire the match.
Bill Byers, New Zealand: My opinion on the matter is that Muralitharan does 'chuck' the ball just before it is delivered. However, I think that because of the physical deformity of his elbow, which cannot be fixed so that it straightens before he releases the ball, his action is permissible.
The law is clear that intent to throw is irrelevant because it is not the intention of the bowler which is in question but instead how he/she physically releases the ball. In this particular situation though I believe that intent is relevant because it seems that a large number of people think that this guy actually wants to throw the ball in order to get an advantage over the opposition and that he is using the deformity of his elbow as excuse to justify and legitimate it.
This issue is a very sensitive one because it involves the integrity of a bowler who in my opinion does not have unfair intentions when he bowls, and who's career is on the line. On the other hand the law regarding fair play and what constitute a fair delivery states that for a ball to be fair the bowlers elbow 'must' be straight before the ball is released. The resolution of this matter involves two things; 1) is Murali's case distinct from other cases because of his deformity and 2) if it is a distinct case, can it be made an exception and therefore making his action permissible?
Last year a golfer had great trouble walking long distances and who had to use a motorised cart to go from hole to hole. The PGA had to consider if to allow the Golfer to continue using the cart, which is illegal within the laws of professional golf or have him walk which will cause great physical pain and an obvious hindrance to the player's ability to play the game effectively. I believe that the PGA ruled that the Golfer's case was distinct and that the law regarding his particular problem could be modified.
The same situation exists with Muralitharan's case. His situation is distinct because his deformity cannot be cured and thus neither his action. The bowler also does not intend to use unfair methods to gain an advantage. Therefore, the ICC was correct in concluding that Muralitharan case was unique and as such the law regarding 'chucking' could be modified to accommodate this unique case.
Oh! why complain about the security!
Being an old Royalist, and having witnessed the Royal-Thomain encounters for the last 35 years at least, it was a pleasure to see a tremendous improvement in the behaviour of the spectators and the conduct of the matches in the last two years.
It has been the talking point by some and carried in certain newspapers that the Royal-Thomian encounters this year were conducted with the military stick and that it should not be so, considering that this is a prestigious and time-tested event.
However, being a spectator myself, I must confirm that the match environment leading upto 1997 was most frightening, with spectators running onto the field at the stroke of every 4 or 6 and sometimes even for singles, twos and threes.
This disrupted the game on several occasions, thereby more than one and a half hours playtime being lost, herding spectators back to the respective tents being a very tedious process.
Sitting in my tent and watching all this was very annoying, It must also be brought to the notice of the readers that in 1997 when one of the Thomian fielders was on the verge of taking a catch , some spectators rushed onto the field, trying to disrupt the attempt at the catch.
I am also privy to the knowledge in that 1997, on the verge of a Thomian victory, certain persons were endeavouring to dig up the pitch and when accosted, attempted to stab one of the persons trying to prevent such an ugly incident. That person refuses to be a spectator at Royal-Thomian matches any more.
1997 was the worst year to my knowledge. The years previous were also bad, but not so frightening. In the context , I join the thousands of spectators at the 1998/99 matches in congratulating those responsible for clamping down on unruly behaviour and taking the necessary measures to ensure a trouble-free match.
Amongst my friends too are a very few who prefer a free-for-all situation, but I can vouch for the fact that at least 95-98% of the spectators speak very highly of the conduct of the match in 1998 and 1999.
I too am a parent of two small boys, both attending Royal College, and last year they did not witness the match, as my wife and I were not willing to risk the lives of our children
However, seeing the improvement last year , my children and I were able to persuade my wife to change her mind, and my two boys did enjoy tremendously the cricket, the bonhomie, and the loss in the big match, and the victory in the 50-over game that they witnessed.
This is the Royal-Thomain spirit which we should encourage, and not drunken and boisterous behaviour by certain individuals to whom this type of behaviour is what makes them feel noticed.
I do not need to reiterate that we do not need to have a repetition of what is taking place in our political circles in these prestigious events. Nor do we wish to see this at the big matches of other schools as well.
Our children should be taught by word and by example how a civilized society should behave itself as they are the future of this country. Hooliganism must be discouraged to the utmost and hooligans must be dealt with accordingly.
I am most certain that to ensure what I have enumerated above is why the military police and various other security agencies were co-opted to assist the match security in the last two years.
If a vote is taken amongst the spectators, you can be most certain, without any doubt, that at least 95-98% of those present would agree with me totally.
At this juncture, I must very sincerely congratulate the military police, civil police and all other security agencies for their great contribution in curbing any violence or unruly act.
The conduct of these gentlemen was exemplary, and this I endeavoured to notice myself, as some were of other opinions.
Thank you very much, and we hope that you will help our schools in the future as well, so that my two sons could witness the Royal-Thomian matches in the many years to come, as I have done in the past.
Let us Royalists and Thomas set an example, being the leading educational institutions in Sri Lanka having a big match history of 120 years, and keep to the clean traditions that have developed over such period of time.
Let us also encourage the required demands on security and adopt measures to safeguard not only such traditions but also the lives and limbs of the students and spectators, the vast majority of whom prefer good discipline within a safe environment. -Disce Perpetua
Wedisinghe continues dominance
For the second week running, champion rider Ananda Wedisinghe dominated the Sri Lankan motor cycle circuit, winning the open event at the Narammala Motocross last Sunday.
It was only the previous week that Wedisinghe had shown his tremendous talent with a breathtaking performance at the Pannala Supercross.
Wedisinghe clinched the Racing Motocross Open event, Four Stroke Open and also the Racing Motocross 250 cc event for good measure without showing even a semblance of finishing second in any of the races he took part.
An encouraging crowd of nearly 10,000 witnessed the exploits of the champion Wedisinghe who was to fly back to Japan soon after his victory.
Kamal Prasanna was the only other competitor to win two events when he bagged the Street Trail Open and the Street Trail Bikes 250 cc and finished second behind Wedisinghe in the Racing Motocross 250 cc event.
Kevin Buultjens won the children's race while 12 year old Priynaga Wijesinghe came second.
Novices 250 cc:1. Ajith Abeynayake; Novices 125 cc: 1. Nishantha Attygalle 2. Bandula Handapangoda 3. Shantha Dayaratne; Racing 80 cc: 1. Rohana Jayaratne 2. Kevin Buultjens 3. Ramal Pathiratne; Standard/Modified 125 cc:
1. Sajith Wedisinghe 2. Amara Perera 3. Sugath Nilantha
Racing 125 cc: 1. Jeffrey Buultjens 2. Sajith Wedisinghe 3. Lakshitha Perera; Street Trail Bikes 250 cc: 1. Kamal Prasanna 2. Sajith Wedisinghe 3. Nalin Perera PV Class (Children's race):
1. Kevin Buultjens 2. Priyanga Wijesinghe 3. Rohan Buultjens
Racing Motocross 250 cc: 1. Ananda Wedisinghe 2. Kamal Prasanna 3. Jeffrey Buultjens; Four Stroke Open: 1. Ananda Wedisinghe 2. Sajith Wedisinghe 3. Tharanga Alahakoon
Street Trail Open: 1. Kamal Prasanna 2. Nalin Perera 3. Harendra Yatawaka; Racing Motocross Open: 1. Ananda Wedisinghe 2. Jeffrey Buultjens 3. Lakshitha Perera
By Ismail Khan
Three exciting days of horseracing are on the cards as the Holiday Season unfolds at Nuwara Eliya when the Sri Lanka Turf Club holds its much looked forward to equine extravaganza on April 10,12 and 14.
This year's horseracing in the salubrious climes has been given a new impetus by the Poonawalla Estate Stud and Agri Farm of Pune, India who are sponsoring the April 14 racing day at Nuwara Eliya. The Poonawalla stud farm owned by the Poonawalla brothers Dr. Cyrus and Zavareh have already bred more than 200 classic winners in India. Their home bred horses Adler and Astonish have had success in foreign races and their stallions Malvado, Riyahi and Placerville have produced a prolific number of winners. This year's entries at Nuwara Eliya includes 22 thoroughbreds and some top Indian jockeys are likely to ride them.
By Bruce Maurice
When Frank Worrell won the toss from Ted Dexter at 11.00 a.m. on Thursday the 20th of June, 1963, little did anyone dream that this second Test will go down cricket's memory lane as one of the the greatest games to be ever played.
Six days later, at 6.30 British Summer Time purple shadows has spread un-noticed down the length of Lords. All the typewriters had fallen silent. The last articles were on their way to the ends of the earth and all that remained were varying degrees of creative agony. Crumpled paper, ash trays heaped with abnormally long buts and exhausted slices of lemon at the bottom of dull glasses. Kennedy and Adenauer were unceremoniously swept off the T.V. screens to enable millions to see the last unforgettable over.
England had made two changes from the side that lost the first Test. Parks for Andrew and Shackleton for Statham. Trueman started from the Pavillion End and Hunte set the Test off with 3 fours off the first three balls. But the expected massacre was not to become a reality. Trueman and Shackleton dropped in to a line and length and at lunch time the West Indies had made only 47 runs. Shackleton had bowled for 95 minutes and sixteen overs but had conceded only 6 scoring strokes.
After lunch and with only four runs added, Trueman had McMorris LBW for 16. This was what Trueman needed. He now swung in to every delivery with more vigour and the West Indies were not relishing it one bit... With the score at 60, Hunte hit him for 4. But the next delivery was edged into the slips. Cowdrey knocked it up and Close standing next door, flung himself backwards to cling onto it. Sobers and Kanhai took the score to 127 when Dexter suddenly remembered there were two other rabbits suffocatinng in his hat, and brought Allen on. His first ball was hooked handsomely for four by Sobers. But his next ball spun away and was caught by Cowdrey at slip. Now came the last over before tea and with it disaster for the West Indies. Trueman dug one in short. Butcher spun on his heel, hooked it to long leg and straight down Barrington's throat. 145 for 4. Back came Trueman and Shackleton and after making 73, Kanhai was caught at gully off Trueman. And now the crowd rose for the next batsman coming in. It was Frank Worrell coming in like a galleon. But he was to last only six balls. Trueman pitched one well upto him. Back went his off stump and Worrell had to go with his canvas blown to pieces. Solomon and Murray saw out the rest of the day and Shackleton had bowled 32 overs, of which 17 were maidens yet had no wicket to show for it. Posterity is so blind to heroic failure, that a tablet should have been erected at the Nursery End! "Derek Shackleton, recalled this day to the colours and bowled almost to death in the cause of 0 for 75".
Twenty minutes into the second day and Trueman took his sixth wicket. The last three that remained, heaven be praised went to Shackleton. And the West Indies were all out for 301. And Shackleton after bowling 294 balls without taking a wicket, finished with 3 wickets in his final four deliveries. England were now left with only 25 minutes to negotiate to lunch and it was to be 25 minutes of total chaos for them. Edrich went to the very first ball he faced and Stewart to the last ball before lunch. Griffith and Hall looked like two huge hired assassins who were set for a bloodbath.
Dexter had come in a 1.12 p.m with the score 2 for 1. Went for lunch, returned at 2.10 and left for good at 3.12 with the score at 102 for 3. He hammered the daylights out of Hall and Griffith, as he raced to 70 with 10 fours off 74 deliveries. But statistics tell next to nothing. It was the manner in which they were scored. England on the brink of disaster and here he was taking the two fastest bowlers apart. The earth itself seemed to come to a halt as he played one of the greatest innings in living memory. The faster Hall and Griffith bowled the harder he drove them. The shorter they dropped, the harder he cut, hooked and pulled them. Only once did he smile and that was when he thrashed Griffith through the covers to reach his 50. He held his bat at the highest point of the follow through and waved it. There was no time to bring it down and raise it again in the manner of the conventional salute. The fastest and most feared pair of bowlers in the world hadn't a clue as to where to bowl next. From the brink of disaster Dexter had brought England back into the game. West Indian supporters at this stage wanted him gone no more than the England supporters. Edward Ralph Dexter was out there in a domain where no critic could lay a finger on him.
But shortly after 3.00 p.m. Griffith was taken out of the attack, and Wagnerian thunder gave way to Motzartian melody. Sobers came on and immediately hit Barrington on the pads. The effects of this over was profound on Dexter. In his next over he shuffled across as it swung in and hit him on the pad. Up went umpire Buller's finger and an innings that thousands will remember for the rest of their days was over. Fifteen minutes later Cowdrey was bowled by Gibbs and at 151 Close was caught behind off Griffith. But all this time Barrington was closing in on his 50, and he reached it after batting for a little over 2 hours. But as soon as the 200 went up, Worrell had him caught at cover for 80. England lost one more wicket that night, when Parks was dismissed by Worrell and at stumps England were 244 for 7, with Titmus and Trueman the not outs.
The next day Titmus reached his 50 and England were all out for 297. A deficit of four runs. Griffith took 5 for 91. His first five wicket haul in Test cricket. The West Indies started their second innings at 5 minutes past one and from now on this Test looked more like a de Maupassant script in the hands of Hitchock. McMorris started with a glorious driven four and Hunte hooked Trueman into the Mound Stand for 6. But both were gone by lunch time and the West Indies were 15 for 2. Dexter had not taken the field due to a swollen knee and Cowdrey had taken over the reigns. After lunch Kanhai and Butcher were crowded and at 64 they lost their third wicket when Kanhai was caught Cowdrey. B. Shackleton for 21. And at 84 and 104 they lost Sobers and Solomon. Butcher in the meantime had got his 50 and the score was 104 for 5. Hunte, McMorris, Sobers and Solomon had all gone without getting into double figures. Now came Worrell sauntering out for his last Test innings at Lords. Every stride taking him into a crisis. The West Indies neck deep in trouble and he himself on a pair. But within twenty minutes he was set and square cut Titmus for two glorious fours. This was vintage Worrell and West Indian magic at its best. However, he was content to let Butcher dictate the stand, and this Butcher did with a vengeance against a now wilting English attack. Allen was driven straight back over his head for 6 and square cut for 4. From 92 to 96 he went with a stinging straight drive off Shackleton and in the very same over a glorious on drive to go to his 100. Ten minutes before stumps Cowdrey took the new ball and Butcher hammered it wide of midwicket to complete the 100 stand between him and Worrell. By stumps the West Indies were again in the driving seat. 214 for 5. With Butcher not out 129 and for Worrell 33 unbeaten runs of purple hued splendour. (More next week)
Former Sri Lanka youth player Ranga Yasalal, who started off as a paceman, is presently going great guns with the bat hammering no less than five half centuries and one century while representing Sebastianites in the current First Class tournament.
Trained in Madras on a recommendation by Ex-Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee, Yasalal has given up fast bowling to aggregate more than 650 runs which includes a top score of 158 made against NCC.
His half centuries were made against Antonians (52), SSC (60), Sinha (81), Galle (54) and Colts (50) while batting in the Number 3 slot.
In scoring his century against NCC, the 24 year old Yasalal struck five straight sixes against the pace bowlers which marked a rare feat.
Yasalal earlier represented the Sri Lanka under 19 teams against India and England and on a recent stint in England scored more than 1200 runs while taking 67 wickets for Surrey in the league season. The aggregate was made up of six centuries.
Yasalal won an award for the best outstation schoolboy cricketer of the year in 1994 while representing S.de S. Jayasinghe MV in Dehiwela. (CD)
Get your 'cues and chalks' ready for the RSL pool tournament! This is where all who can find the test of aiming to the pocket begins. It happens nowhere else but the Echelon Pub at 6 pm from the 19th to the 22nd of April. There will be tournament for singles, and doubles.
Rs. 500/- nett will be the entrance fee. Trophies and gift packs galore. And guess what, there is complimentary beer for the participants just so you can get that swing at the right target. So be there for an evening of cheer and see the battle of the cues produce some smoke!
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