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Full name Maurice Alfred McCanlis
Born June 17, 1906, Quetta, India
Died September 27, 1991, Pershore, Worcestershire (aged 85 years 102 days)
Major teams Gloucestershire, Oxford University, Rajputana, Surrey
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Education Cranleigh School; Oxford University
McCANLIS, MAURICE ALFRED, who died on September 27, 1991, at the age of 85, played cricket with distinction for Cranleigh before going up to Oxford in the autumn of 1924. He was primarily a right-arm fast-medium bowler, able to swing the ball away from the right-hander, but he could bat well enough to make a hundred for his school in 1923, when he hit 371 runs for an average of 33.72. His bowling that year was devastating, bringing 36 wickets at 5.11 in 119 overs, and if he had to work harder for success in 1924, his 35 wickets nevertheless were reasonable at 13.65. He made little impact in the Freshmen's Match in 1925 and must have been surprised at his selection to play against Leicestershire a fortnight later. Going in last he helped to put on 59 in less than an hour with J. W. Greenstock, ending unbeaten on 30, and with three for 32 in 21 overs in the county's first innings he might have felt he warranted a further trial. None came. In 1926, however, he was one of the mainstays of the attack, with 31 wickets at 29.70, and won his Blue with no trouble. In the University Match he produced a sensational opening spell, sending back E. W. Dawson, F. J. Seabrook and K. S. Duleepsinhji without conceding a run. All three were lured by perfectly pitched out-swingers and caught at second slip by G. B. Legge. McCanlis finished with five for 59, and was 15 not out when Oxford lost by 34 runs. His 33 wickets the following season were obtained at a reduced cost of 22.93, and also with a much improved striking-rate. At Lord's, when Cambridge cut loose in their second innings and were able to declare at 349 for 9, he alone escaped punishment with an economical four for 47 in 23.4 overs.
Captain in 1928, he missed almost the whole of the home programme in The Parks because of illness and injury, and he was only just beginning to find some sort of form by the time of the University Match. He managed five wickets, but probably had greater satisfaction from masterminding a rearguard action from the dressing-room, as his tailenders fought tooth and nail to ward off defeat. The last pair were unparted for 25 minutes, and saved McCanlis from a hat-trick of defeats. That was virtually the end of his first-class career. He had made two appearances for Surrey while at Oxford, and played for Gloucestershire once in 1929. He also played for Rajputana in 1938-39 and 1939-40, when he was teaching in India. Apart from that spell, he taught at Cheltenham from 1932 to 1966. McCanlis made 493 runs in first-class cricket at 15.40, and his 82 wickets were obtained at a cost of 32.21. A threequarter at rugby, he played twice for Oxford at Twickenham and won two England caps in 1930-31.
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