July 9, 2003

Edrich's epoch

Wisden CricInfo staff

All Today's Yesterdays - July 9 down the years

July 8 | July 10

1965
A record-breaking innings from John Edrich. Nobody has scored more runs in boundaries in a Test innings than Edrich did in this meaty 310 not out against New Zealand at Headingley. Edrich larruped 52 fours and five sixes; that's 238 runs - or 77% of his innings. He was on the pitch throughout the match, as England stormed home by an innings. In both their innings, New Zealand managed only 49 more runs between them than Edrich. It was a pretty modest Kiwi attack that Edrich punished, though: Dick Motz, Bruce Taylor, Richard Collinge and Bryan Yuile.

1982
Ian Botham's highest Test score. It could have been a Western, so quickly were the bars at The Oval emptied as Beefy slung India from pillar to post with a lacerating 208. The Wisden Almanack said he "drove with rare ferocity, one straight six off [Dilip] Doshi leaving its mark for posterity in the shape of a hole in the pavilion roof". And he also fractured Sunny Gavaskar's left fibula, when a scorching hit smacked into Gavaskar at silly point. There was another less-than-frightening attack at work here - India included Suru Nayak (Test bowling average: 132). For years it was the fastest-recorded Test double-century, in terms of balls faced (220). Now, after the carnage a season ago, it's all a bit passé, and lies third below Nathan Astle, Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchrist. This was Botham's 10th century in his 51st Test. In his last 51 he got only four.

1930
The cavalier strokeplay of Roy McLean, who was born today, made him the antithesis of most post-war South African batsmen. Once McLean got in - he made 11 ducks in 40 Tests - he was a fearsome proposition, especially square of the wicket on either side. At Lord's in 1955, he flashed 142, more than England had managed between them in the first innings ... but South Africa still lost. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1961, and also played rugby for Natal.

1893
Birth of George Geary, the Leicestershire seamer who played 14 Tests for England between the First and Second World Wars. One of a family of 16, he took almost as many wickets (12) in only his fourth Test, against South Africa at Johannesburg in 1927-28. And a year later, at the MCG, he had remarkable first-innings figures of 81-36-105-5, the most overs bowled by an Englishman in a Test innings. In 1929 he took 10 for 18 against Glamorgan at Pontypridd, at the time the cheapest ten-for in first-class history. His boots are on display at Grace Road, and he died in Leicester in 1981.

1969
The Test career of the Indian left-arm spinner Venkatapathy Raju, who was born today, splits beautifully into two sections: home and away. In 16 Tests at home he took 71 wickets at an average of 24; in 12 Tests overseas he managed only 22 wickets at 52. For once, statistics don't lie. When the ball was spitting off the surface Raju's bounce made him almost unplayable. Against Sri Lanka at Chandigarh in 1990-91, his match figures were a tortuous 53.5-38-37-8.

Other birthdays
1961 Mohammad Aslam (UAE)