Obituary

Roger Winlaw

ESPNcricinfo staff

WINLAW, SQUADRON-LEADER ROGER DE WINTON KELSALL, the Cambridge cricket and Association Blue, was killed on active service on October 31. He made a name at Winchester, being four years in the cricket eleven 1928-1931, captain in the last two seasons. His best year was 1930, when he headed both batting and bowling averages. Scoring 85 and 33 in the Freshmen's match, he got his Blue in 1932, and was in the Cambridge eleven three times, all the matches against Oxford being drawn. He batted splendidly in 1934, being second to J. H. Human in the averages with 977 runs, average 57.47, and hit five centuries, the highest being 161 not out against Essex at Fenner's. At Cardiff, against Glamorgan, his two separate hundreds, 108 and 109 not out, came as an outstanding achievement. The other centuries were at Fenner's--104 against Yorkshire and 103 against Free Foresters. In the University match he made 56 and 12 not out.

He played in nine county engagements for Surrey that season, scoring 341 runs, average 28.41, and his full aggregate amounted to 1,330, average 42.90. A very good display was his 91 against Sussex at the Oval, and he was not out 5 when Surrey won by eight wickets. In the Middlesex match he took part in a thrilling finish and stood out as the hero of a rare struggle. Scoring 61 in the first innings, he helped R. J. Gregory in a stand that stopped a bad start, and Surrey gained a lead of 175. In an uphill fight, Middlesex played grandly on the third day, and, setting their opponents to get 117 for victory, dismissed six men for 43, and Winlaw, struck on the head by a ball from Jim Smith, retired. Garland-Wells hit a dashing 45, and the total rose to 104 before the ninth wicket fell. Then Winlaw resumed. A bye was snatched as the last ball of an over went to the wicket-keeper, so that Brooks could face the bowling. As it happened, he fell hurt by a ball from Smith, a nasty blow; but, recovering, he drove the next two balls to the boundary and Surrey won by one wicket.

Except in 1934, Winlaw played for Bedfordshire from 1931. Captain in 1935, he led the side admirably and headed the averages with 85 for an aggregate of 425. Next year, thanks to team work, they rose to fourth in the second-class county championship--their best season for 31 years. Winlaw set the example of brilliant fielding, in which he excelled generally at mid-off, though his batting fell off badly. Winlaw recovered his form next year, but others were less consistent, and there came a further decline in 1939, when Winlaw finished with an average of 27.45. He played three times in the University Association match on the right wing, being captain in his last year. Before joining the Royal Air

Winlaw was a master at Harrow, where he was held in the highest repute by the scholars and all who knew him. It was a sad coincidence that R. G. Tindall, his Winchester colleague in the 1930 eleven, was killed early in the year. They were opposed in the University matches of 1933 and 1934, Tindall being a double Blue at Oxford. In the same plane tragedy also overtook another and more famous Old Wykehamist, C. T. Ashton.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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