John Saunders

SAUNDERS, MR. JOHN VICTOR, born on February 3, 1876, died under an operation in Melbourne on Decemeber 21 in his 52nd year. He will be remembered chiefly as a member of the Australian team of 1902, which toured England and South Africa under Darling's captaincy. He came over with a big reputation as a left-handed slow bowler, and, favoured as he was by a wet season, met with considerable success. In all matches he obtained 127 wickets for just over 17 runs apiece, and in the four Test Matches in which he took part he dismissed eighteen men at a cost of rather more than 26 runs per wicket. On turf which suited him he was undoubtedly a difficult bowler. Delivering the ball from a good height and getting on an appreciable amount of spin, his big break made him at times quite deadly, but his action was open to criticism. In the Test Match at Sheffield, when Australia played better all-round cricket than England and won by 143 runs, Saunders obtained five wickets for 50 in the first innings, but had 68 runs hit off twelve overs in the second innings without dismissing anybody. At Manchester, where Australia won a remarkable match by 3 runs, Saunders, on a ruined pitch, had much to do with the victory. Eight runs were wanted when Tate, the last man, joined Rhodes, and, having scored a 4 from the first ball he received from Saunders, he was bowled by the fourth which came with the bowler's arm and kept low. The Oval match was the one in which G. L. Jessop played his great innings of 104 after half the England side were out for 48. Saunders took four wickets in the second innings, the first three falling to him for 10 runs, but Darling undoubtedly kept him on too long, and he came in for severe punishment when Jessop was hitting in such terrific fashion. During the tour Saunders' most noteworthy bowling performance was in the second match against Surrey at the Oval when he took six wickets for 9 runs.

In Test matches against England he obtained 64 wickets for 25-32 runs each, and against South Africa, 15 for 11.73 apiece. One of his analysis at Johannesburg was 7 for 34. After making his last appearance for Victoria he settled in New Zealand and played in representative games for Wellington.

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