Home > Features > Moments in history >

When Dennis Lillee lost his wicket to Dennis Lillee

Although taking the catch to dismiss Dennis Keith Lillee (in picture) wasn't the highlight of Dennis John Lillee's career, but was definitely a landmark moment © Getty Images
Although taking the catch to dismiss Dennis Keith Lillee (in picture) wasn’t the highlight of Dennis John Lillee’s career, but was definitely a landmark moment © Getty Images

In a bizarre turn of events, Dennis Lillee got caught by his namesake on March 8, 1981. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at one of the most bizarre scorecard entries in the history of the sport.

The big one

By early 1981, Dennis Keith Lillee had firmly established himself as one of the greatest fast bowlers in history. When Queensland toured them for the last Sheffield Shield match (for both teams) of 1980-81, Lillee found himself pitted against Jeff Thomson, his old partner-in-crime. Lillee was on the same side as Rodney Marsh, but Greg Chappell, the third cog of their much-famed friendship, was actually leading Queensland.

New South Wales (NSW), till then the leader of the table, were on 122 points from eight matches. Western Australia were placed second at 114, while Queensland were marginally behind with 113. A win ensured ten points, which meant that both teams stood with a chance of clinching the coveted Shield.

The lesser one

Dennis John Lillee was, on the other hand, an innocuous Queensland leg-spinner. Born in 1945, he had made his debut in 1965-66 and had vanished somewhere into obscurity for fifteen seasons. Earlier that season, he had routed Tasmania at The Gabba with figures of five for 48 as Queensland had romped to a nine-wicket victory. In this match, however, he was dropped from the side, though he was named twelfth man.

The match

Chappell put Western Australia in, and almost immediately found success when Geoff Dymock removed Bruce Laird. Greg Shipperd batted on with impressive support from Kim Hughes and Mark O’Neill. Following the steps of his illustrious father, Mark played some excellent strokes before he fell for 42. Day One ended with Western Australia on 267 for six and Shipperd on an emphatic 138.

The dismissal

Shipperd fell early on Day Two when Lillee walked out to join Bruce Yardley. The score passed 300, the pair went for quick runs — and then it happened: facing his mate Chappell, Lillee gave one a nice plonk; the catch was taken by Dennis John Lillee — who was fielding as a substitute. There have been few scorecard entries as unusual.

Dennis Lillee caught by Dennis Lillee

The rest of the match

Hughes declared immediately, and Lillee, Terry Alderman, and Yardley bowled out the tourists for 186. Some brisk batting, especially from Laird and Craig Serjeant, helped Western Australia set a target of 409. Having already secured 11 bonus points all they needed to do was to stop Queensland from victory.

In the end, they almost won the match: Queensland had reached 211 for five when Yardley removed Ray Phillips, thus triggering a collapse; Dymock and Thomson soon followed, and it took a quintessential Allan Border rearguard performance to save the match: with a typically diligent 83 not out he saved the match in the not-too-confidence-oozing company of Carl Rackemann.

What followed?

- Western Australia clinched the Sheffield Shield with 125 points, three clear of NSW. Queensland finished with 118.

- Dennis John Lillee played 17 First-Class matches and finished with 33 wickets at 51.06.

- Dennis Keith Lillee, on the other hand, had 882 from 198 matches at 23.46. Of these 355 had come in the 70 Tests he had played.

Brief scores:

Western Australia 305 for 8 decl. (Greg Shipperd 140, Mark O’Neill 42; Greg Chappell 4 for 66) and 289 (Craig Serjeant 72, Bruce Laird 59; Jeff Thomson 4 for 63) drew with Queensland 186 (Martin Kent 67, Wayne Broad 46; Terry Alderman 4 for 33, Bruce Yardley 3 for 40, Dennis Lillee 3 for 59) and 232 for 9 (Allan Border 83*; Bruce Yardley 3 for 34, Terry Alderman 3 for 41).

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka


South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs


New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI


Australia perpare for 1st Test against Pakistan

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: MS Dhoni gets much-needed break ahead of Australia tour

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

WICB seek meeting with BCCI to minimise damage

AB de Villiers: What gets me going is finishing games for the team

Luke Ronchi seeks consistency ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Australia to play an ODI in Ireland

Rajasthan U-19 player slams record 18 sixes in double ton

Australia’s best opportunity to bury ghosts of playing on spinning track

Duleep Trophy, 1st Semi-Final; Central Zone vs North Zone: Players to watch out for

Pakistan’s chances in ICC World Cup 2015 bleak: Mohammad Zahid

Quinton de Kock equals wicketkeeping record with six catches in South Africa vs New Zealand 1st ODI

MS Dhoni rested, Virat Kohli as captain, and other points of interest from squad for first 3 India vs Sri Lanka ODIs

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here