Rothman's Triangular Tournament, 1967

World XI dominate

The Cricketer

The Rothmans Triangular Tournament went according to plan. Last year the Rest of the World XI came to Lord's after only one week of practice and were defeated both by the West Indian Tourists and by the winners, England. 1967 was a different story. The weather was kind and the majority of the World Xl, notably the South African con¬tingent, were acclimatised and in form by the time the competition started. Moreover, the replacement of Thomas, Pataudi, Mushtaq, D. L. Murray and Nadkarni by Kanhai, Nurse, Sobers, Lindsay and Gibbs made for a stronger and better balanced side. Barlow and Hunte are probably slightly less formidable a pair of openers than last year's combination of Simpson and Hanif, but it was these two who scored the bulk of the runs in the first match.

The game (on Saturday) between the England XI and the World Xl was the vital one. From the very first ball, to which Milburn somnolently succumbed, Sobers and his side were in control. His quicker bowlers, Peter Pollock, McKenzie (the sole Australian), and Barlow, all took two wickets in economical spells. Sobers himself had the most impressive figures (naturally!) and it was unpleasantly obvious to the partial spectator that he was going to be too good for both M. J. K. Smith and Titmus, even before he produced the two fatal yorkers which accounted for them. Graveney, Parks, Smith and Murray all played brave strokes, but none could wrest the initiative. In sharp contrast to the start of the England innings, Hunte and Barlow both hit their first balls for four. The pattern was set. Higgs, Snow and Cartwright bowled with little venom and it was of small consequence to the result which of the galaxy hit off the last few runs. Sadly, Graeme Pollock's innings was only a formality.

Pakistan were not disgraced by either of their defeats. Their game with England was chiefly notable for the final appearance of the England captain, Mike Smith, and for quiet displays of technical perfection from the two seniors, Graveney and Hanif. Higgs and Cartwright both bowled very well and Smith did not allow the pressure to be relaxed.

In the final game the Rest of the World began dangerously. At one stage they were 50 for five after 75 minutes' play, but Sobers and Kanhai were more than equal to the occasion. It was a pity that a larger crowd was not present because the two West Indians batted with skill and judgment. The Pakistanis were never on top when their turn came and Majid alone showed the spirit required to upset predictions. So Sobers took the Cup and the World Xl took the gold medals. They must have enjoyed their holiday.

© The Cricketer