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11 Best bowling performances at Lord’s

Every player wants to give their best at Lord's © Getty Images
England’s Hedley Verity finished with a match haul of 15 for 104 against Don Bradman’s Australia in 1934 © Getty Images

A list of 11 best bowling performances at Lord’s. Compiled by Arunabha Sengupta

1.     Charlie Turner five for 27 and five for 36 Australia versus England 1888 – Bobby Peel and George Lohmann were a handful on the wicket and restricted Australia to 116 and 60. But then there was Charlie Turner, and his deadly combination with JJ Ferris. There was only one bowling change when Sammy Woods came on for Ferris to send down four overs. Turner bowled through the match unchanged. The two picked up 18 of the 20 wickets, and England totalled 53 and 62.

2.     Hedley Verity seven for 61 and eight for 43 England versus Australia 1934 – Australia were one up in the series and at 192 for two at the end of the second day at Lord’s in reply to England’s 440. Hedley Verity had dismissed Don Bradman on the second afternoon. During the rest day it rained, and the Yorkshireman turned into an unplayable assassin. Australia were dismissed for 284, followed on and managed 118. Bradman was snapped up by the left-armer again, caught off a skier. The feat even got mentioned by Hercule Poirot in Four and Twenty Blackbirds.

3.     Xen Balaskas five for 49 and four for 54 South Africa versus England 1935 –On his first appearance in England, Balaskas bowled an immaculate line and turned the ball both ways, getting immense purchase off the pitch. Combining with Bruce Mitchell’s five-and-a-half-hour 164, the leg spinner earned South Africa their first-ever win in England.

4.     Sonny Ramadhin five for 66 and six for 86 West Indies versus England 1950 – The match that created the immortal calypso on Ramadhin and Alf Valentine. The figures of Ramadhin were miraculous, 43-27-66-4 and 72-43-86-6.  And Valentine was not far behind with 45-28-48-4 and 71-47-79-3. It marked the first victory for West Indies in England.

5.     Brian Statham seven for 39 England versus South Africa 1955 – It was a riveting series and the second Test was a thriller. South Africa required 183 to win in the final innings. It seemed a regulation chase but they had to get past Statham. The Lancashire great bowled unchanged for 29 overs and stopped the visitors at 111.

6.     Bob Massie eight for 84 and eight for 53 Australia vs England 1972 – The dream debut to beat all dream debuts. Massie swung the ball prodigiously as the England batting was vanquished twice. He picked up 16 of the 20 wickets even as Dennis Lillee bowled from the other end.

7.     Chris Old four for 67 and five for 21 England versus India 1974 – Old’s first innings success was just about reasonable as India followed on after scoring 302. Under a cloud cover on Monday, he and Geoff Arnold demolished the Indian batting in an incredible tale of collapse. The visitors were bowled out for 42 in just 17 overs.

8.     Mudassar Nazar six for 32 Pakistan versus England 1982 – The man with the golden arm ran through the innings as England followed on. It is a matter of conjecture whether he was helped by Robin Jackman, David Gower and Allan Lamb having duck for dinner the previous night. Pakistan won by ten wickets.

9.     Dominick Cork seven for 43 England versus West Indies 1995 – West Indies needed 296 to win and were 124 for two when the debutant struck. And he kept striking. Seven of the eight remaining wickets went to this exuberant young medium pacer and England won by 72 runs.

10.  Glenn McGrath eight for 38 Australia vs England 1997 –Rain did not allow a result, but the match was made remarkable by the impeccable McGrath. Taking advantage of uneven bounce on offer, he ran through the innings to stop England for 77.

11.  Andy Caddick five for 16 England versus West Indies 2000 –West Indies seized the initiative with a 133-run first innings lead obtained through the toils of Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh. But, then Andy Caddick ran in and banged it in short. The Caribbean batsmen wilted away, dismissed for just 54. The match ended with England pulling off a tense two-wicket win.

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry.He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

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