'Butch' White finished with second innings figures of 6 for 10 as Yorkshire were bowled out for 23
‘Butch’ White finished with second innings figures of 6 for 10 as Yorkshire were bowled out for 23

On May 20, 1965 a star-studded Yorkshire were bowled out for 23 by Hampshire at Middlesbrough. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at one of the most unbelievable upsets in the history of the Post-War County Championship.

Fred Trueman, Geoff Boycott, John Hampshire, Brian Close, Phil Sharpe, Ray Illingworth, Richard Hutton, Don Wilson, Jimmy Binks and Doug Padgett — 10 Test cricketers. And an 11th in Tony Nicholson, who was one of the mainstays of county cricket for close to a decade and a half.

You do not expect such a side to be humiliated and mauled by a relatively weaker Hampshire inside two days — that too during a 10-year phase when they had won the County Championships seven times between 1959 and 1968 and would have taken on any side in the world.

Shackleton and Cottam break, Trueman counterattacks

Boycott walked out to open the innings with John Hampshire. Derek Shackleton and ‘Butch’ White, Hampshire’s famed opening pair, took the new ball, and disaster struck almost immediately when Shackleton clean bowled Boycott. The local crowd was stunned into silence. More surprises awaited them. Shackleton removed Hampshire and captain Close in quick succession as the Yorkshire read 16 for three. One felt Yorkshire still had Padgett and Sharpe, who could surely pull them out of this situation

But Padgett, Sharpe, and Illingworth were snared in quick succession. After some more attritional cricket, Shackleton, who had still not been replaced, took care of Binks.

It was now 47 for seven. Even the most optimistic Yorkshire supporter’s shoulders were drooping
now as Trueman walked out to join Hutton and took control of the situation in his inimitable way. Trueman flogged his way to 55, including 24 in an over from Shackleton.

Once the partnership was broken, and especially after Trueman fell to Shackleton for 55, Yorkshire collapsed for 121 in 44.5 overs. Shackleton had bowled unchanged throughout the innings with figures 22.5-10-64-6, while Cottam had returned figures of 15-3-45-4. White finished with 7-4-9-0.

Marshall resists Yorkshire bowlers

Trueman, nicely warmed up by his breezy innings, took the new ball with Nicholson, and with Hutton also bowling well, the trio put a stranglehold on Hampshire, pegging away at the wickets. However, Roy Marshall, that champion of domestic cricket, gritted it out, scoring 51 on a low-scoring track.

After Marshall fell, though, Close brought himself on for a single over, and took out two wickets, and Nicholson and Trueman mopped up the innings. Despite the low first-innings score, Yorkshire had conceded a measly two-run lead, and were back in the match — strong as ever.

Or that was what they thought.

The carnage begins

Shackleton, yet again, opened the bowling with White. They had to bowl just a few minutes before stumps on Day One, and so gave it the full throttle. The fact that Yorkshire managed to save the innings defeat passed unnoticed; it would have been a matter of concern, though, had Hampshire managed about 20 runs more.

White trapped Boycott leg-before for five, and Shackleton removed Hampshire for two. Yorkshire ended Day One at seven for two, five runs ahead. The Yorkshire fans did not return home happy, but they knew that a total of 150 would probably be enough to defend.

The debacle

Day Two commenced, with the partisan Middlesbrough crowd keen on watching their heroes to take their team to safety. Of course, they knew that they might be disappointed. However, they had no idea about the shock that was in store for them.

Binks, sent out as night-watchman, and Padgett, fell for ducks. Before Yorkshire could understand anything they were seven for four. A run was added, and two more wickets followed (including Illingworth for a duck), and Yorkshire were 6 down for 8.

Then Brian Timms conceded four byes, and the score reached double figures. White took out two more wickets, and the score reached 13 for 8. A shell-shocked Wilson walked out to join Trueman, and the two hung around. Shackleton and White bowled on relentlessly, and the two managed to clinch the occasional single.

With the score on 23 for 8 (by which time Wilson had scored 7 — the top score of the innings), Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie made the first bowling change, replacing Nicholson with Cottam. He responded immediately, trapping Trueman leg-before. Nicholson walked out, and fell to Cottam for a duck. Yorkshire were bowled out for 23 in 20.4 overs — 1 less than what Trueman had scored in their first innings.

The spectators sat shell-shocked. Even Yorkshire’s previous lowest score, 26 against Surrey at The Oval in 1909 when Tom Rushby and ‘Razor’ Smith had demolished them in 16.1 overs, was eclipsed. The county, arguably the greatest in the history of the Championship, had reached their nadir.

White had led the rout with 10-7-10-6, while Shackleton supported with 9-5-7-2, and Cottam polished off the tail with 1.4-0-2-2.

Hampshire finish things off

With nothing left in the game, Marshall walked out with Mike Barnard, and polished off the required runs in 8 overs from Trueman and Nicholson. Hampshire collected 10 points from the away match, surpassing all expectations.

Brief scores:

Yorkshire 121 (Fred Trueman 55; Derek Shackleton 6 for 64, Bob Cottam 4 for 45) and 23 (Butch White 6 for 10) lost to Hampshire 125 (Roy Marshall 51) and 20 for no loss by 10 wickets.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is a cricket historian and Senior Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He generally looks upon life as a journey involving two components – cricket and literature – though not as disjoint elements. A passionate follower of the history of the sport with an insatiable appetite for trivia and anecdotes, he has also a steady love affair with the incredible assortment of numbers that cricket has to offer. He also thinks he can bowl decent leg-breaks in street cricket, and blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in. He can be followed on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ovshake and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)