John Lyons

LYONS, MR. JOHN JAMES, born at Gawler, in South Australia, on May 21, 1863, died in Adelaide on July 21, aged 64. He visited this country on three occasions--in 1888, 1890, and 1893. Those whose cricket memories go back over 30 years, will remember him as a very fine hitter indeed. He was not, perhaps, so famous as George Bonnor, nor did he have the same capacity for scoring on all sorts of wickets as Percy McDonnell. In fact, when the ball was turning he generally proved an easy victim to a spin bowler. On a hard, true wicket, however, he was a most dangerous bat, and likely to demoralize the best of bowlers. Before coming here first he had established his reputation, and in the winter of 1891-2 he played an innings of 134 in a Test matches at Sydney against Lord Sheffield's team, captained by W. G. Grace. It was in 1893 that people in England saw him at his best, when in all matches he had an aggregate of 1,605, a highest score of 149, and an average of over 28. He again headed the batting in representative matches, 23 innings yielding him 761 runs and an average of 33. In May, 1893, at Lord's, Lyons played probably the most brilliant innings of his career. The Australians had to go in a second time against a powerful M.C.C. team 181 runs behind. Yet these were hit off before a wicket fell by Lyons and Alec Bannerman, and of this number Lyons obtained no fewer than 149. As such a terrific pace did he score that he completed his 100 in an hour, with the total at 124. The strokes of Lyons's innings were twenty-two 4's, three 3's, twenty 2's, and only twelve singles, and to this day people who saw that day's play describe his batting as the greatest display of fast-footed driving ever given at Lords.

Lyons' batting overshadowed the rest of his cricket but he was at times distinctly useful as a bowler. Against one of the English teams at Adelaide in 1887-8 he took seven wickets for 94 run for South Australia, and in the Test match at Lord's in 1890 he had an analysis of five for 30 besides being chief scorer for his side with 55 and 33. As a benefit he received part proceeds of the match between South Australia and New South Wales at Adelaide in 1925-6, when, from all sources, the sum realised was £1,252.

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