Home > Features > Moments in history >

Alvin Kallicharran decimates a dangerous Vanburn Holder

Alvin-Kallicharan
Alvin-Kallicharan (above) was in great touch while batting against Worcestershire’s Vanburn Holder in 1979 County season © Getty Images (File Photo)

August 27, 1979. Arunabha Sengupta recalls Alvin Kallicharran’s moment of sheer genius during the county match between Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Towering genius disdains a beaten path. And there never was great genius without a mixture of madness.

Dennis Amiss, the former England opener and an outstanding batsman himself, will vouch for the truth of the statements in context of the supremely talented Alvin Kallicharran. The final career figures perhaps show that the tremendous potential was not fully realised, but few could doubt the extraordinary ability of the Guyanese batsman. And seldom was it as splendidly showcased as in one over during the summer of 1979.

The ways of seeing a bowler off

For much of his career, Vanburn Holder played alongside men like Michael Holding and Andy Roberts. To cut through the remnants of the batting after the fire-like pace had scorched opposition the line-up, the man from Barbados developed a reputation as an accurate fast-medium change bowler.

Yet, there were instances when he got the new ball in his hands and was presented with a fiery wicket to pitch it on. In such conditions, he could run in and send them down disconcertingly quick. Sometimes he did so for Worcestershire, the county he represented for as many as12 seasons.

And during that summer of 1979, he came across one such dream wicket in the Worcester County Ground. On the second afternoon, the visiting Warwickshire side took strike after the hosts had declared their innings at 300 for seven. Holder charged in and bowled his first few overs at furious pace.

As Amiss watched from the other end, David Smith received one far too quick to get his bat down in time and the ball thudded into his pads. The batsman who had become consistent enough to be awarded the county cap the previous season could do nothing about it. The finger of the umpire went up.

Five years down the line, Andy Lloyd would be rendered hors de combat by a Malcolm Marshall on his Test debut, and would remain in the hospital for ten days and suffer from blurry vision. However, there was nothing wrong with his eyesight on that day when he got a vicious in-dipper from Holder that uprooted his stumps.

It was 32 for two, and the West Indian pacer was breathing fire. And at this juncture, Kallicharran walked out to the middle.

According to Amiss, “I went up to Alvin and said, ‘He [Holder] can’t keep coming in as fast as this much longer, he will atmost have another over or two. Let’s see him off.’”Kallicharran nodded, walked to the striker’s end and took guard.

Holder sprinted in and greeted him with a short one rearing for his face. And the little Guyanese batsman swivelled around with languid grace and hooked him out of the ground. Amiss gazed after the ball and shook his head in disbelief.

The third ball was struck through the covers, and it raced away before crashing into the advertisement boards. A chastened Holder ran in for the last delivery of the over and bounced again. The batsman rocked back and pummelled him for another boundary that streaked through mid-wicket.

At the end of the over Norman Gifford, the Worcestershire captain, approached his star bowler. Amiss heard him say, “Vanburn, take your sweater.”

Kallicharran walked down the wicket with a smile. He said to his partner, “That’s the other way of seeing him off, Dennis.”

What followed?

Amiss did not last too long, but by then the momentum had shifted. Kallicharran kept striking the ball magnificently to score an unbeaten 107. Captain John Whitehouse closed the innings a few minutes before the close of the second day at 264 for five.

Brisk scoring by Glenn Turner and Phil Neale followed by a sporting declaration by Gifford on the final day set the match up for a thrilling finish. In the end Warwickshire triumphed by four wickets.

Brief scores:

Worcestershire 300 for 7 decl. (Younis Ahmed 152; Anthonie Ferrera 4 for 70) and 259 for 2 decl. (Glenn Turner 108, Phil Neale 101*; Steve Parryman 1 for 30) lost to Warwickshire 254 for 5 decl. (Alvin Kallicharran 107*, Geoff Humpage 96; Vanburn Holder 3 for 47) and 298 for 6 (David Smith 69, Chris Maynard 47*; Norman Gifford 4 for 91) by 4 wickets.

(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

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Mumbai Indians won by 9 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 72 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 13, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 6 wkts

Photos

West Indies vs Bangladesh, 2nd Test at Gros Islet

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Kevin O’Brien: Ireland will look to adjust to conditions in Australia-New Zealand ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1 — Key battles

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Kolkata Knight Riders’ likely XI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Chennai Super Kings’ likely XI

CLT20 2014: Why Mumbai Indians failed to recreate the magic

Bangladesh Bangladesh vs West Indies Bangladesh vs West Indies 2014 Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Lahore Lions MI Mumbai Indians Northern Knights Southern Express West Indies West Indies vs Bangladesh West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings Live Cricket Score CLT20 2014 1st Match at Hyderabad

Shivnarine Chanderpaul climbs to 3rd in ICC Test rankings

BCCI likely to decide on fates of Joe Dawes, Trevor Penney on September 26

CLT20 2014: Trent Boult and Tim Southee set up match for Northern Knights against Mumbai Indians, feels Michael Hussey

CLT20 2014 : Kings XI Punjab announce Nafex.com and Shrey as sponsors for this season

West Indies raise hopes ahead of India tour with dominant show against Bangladesh

Leave it to Smiths — an all-Smith XI

Kevin O’Brien: Ireland will look to adjust to conditions in Australia-New Zealand ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Top 10 young players to keep an eye on

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1 — Key battles

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

635 Posts | 7 Fans

Yuvraj Singh in Anupam Kher show

Bayern Munich vs Manchester City, Live Streaming and Score: Watch Live Telecast Online of BAY vs MCI UEFA Champions League 2014-15

West Indies raise hopes ahead of India tour with dominant show against Bangladesh

5 reasons you shouldn’t download iOS 8 update tonight

Bayern Munich vs Manchester City, UEFA Champions League 2014-15, Preview and Team News: Manuel Pellegrini’s men aim to top Group of Death

NGOs pursue education for all

4 ways stress is damaging your heart

Vikram’s I teaser crosses 2 million views in less than 24 hours, beats Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiyaan!

Is Aamir Khan guilty of partaking in objectification of women?

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Sex Tip #38 — Get your man turned on with a striptease!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here