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Charles Kelleway


KELLEWAY, MR. CHARLES E., who played in 26 Test matches for Australia in the years 1910 to 1928, died in Sydney on November 16 after a long illness, aged 55. He made his name with New South Wales, most successful of the States in the Sheffield Shield Tournament, and, starting Test cricket when South Africa first visited Australia in 1910, he might have enjoyed a more remarkable career but for ill-health and some differences with team selectors. A very sound batsman, invaluable for opening the innings or facing a crisis, he possessed unlimited patience combined with high skill in scoring strokes; he also bowled well above medium pace with length and swerve which kept the best batsman on the alert for unexpected trouble.
He first played against England in the 1911-12 season, when the team captained by P. F. Warner won four of the five Tests. Kelleway's best effort in eight innings was 70 and six wickets cost him 41.50 apiece; but coming to England in 1912 he made 360 runs in six Test matches, with 114 at Manchester and 102 at Lord's, both against South Africa. His achievement compared favourably with the work of Warren Bardsley, his only superior for the side on our pitches that were often treacherous during that season of the Triangular Tournament. This England won with four victories and two draws--both when meeting Australia. Kelleway in the whole tour averaged 30.95 and took 47 wickets.
After the 1914-18 war Kelleway stopped in England and captained the Australian Imperial Forces team during the early part of the tour. In nine innings he scored 505 with an average of 56.11, but then for some undisclosed reason he left the side, the captaincy devolving upon H. L. Collins. He did not come to England again as a player, but in the Australian season of 1920-21 he was a prominent member of the very powerful side captained by W. W. Armstrong which beat England under J. W. H. T. Douglas in all five Tests. Kelleway averaged 47.14 in the series and took 15 wickets at 21.00 apiece, the lowest cost for either side.
In the third encounter at Adelaide, England gained a lead of 93 on the first innings, but then Kelleway, missed before scoring, stayed nearly seven hours for 147, a display that earned him the nickname of Rock of Gibraltar. This display of solid defence in an uphill struggle for his country ranks with the 90 in five and three-quarter hours by William Scotton, who saved England from collapse at the Oval in 1884; the supremacy of M. A. Noble during eight hours and a half for Australia at Manchester in 1899 when he scored 60 not out and 89 in the follow-on, his patience being so controlled that during one spell of three-quarters of an hour he did not get a run; H. L. Collins proved equally imperturbable at Old Trafford in 1921 when 40 runs was his reward for four hours fifty minutes at the wicket. These three were saving efforts that proved effective; Kelleway paved the way for victory by 119 runs on the sixth day. In all five Tests against Arthur Gilligan's teams he averaged 28 and took 14 wickets. Four years later he finished his Test career, falling ill during the first match at Brisbane, where England won by the record margin of 675 runs before losing the other four contests in the rubber. According to the New South Wales Year-Book Kelleway's figures were 874 runs, average 31.21; 37 wickets, average 31.29 against England; 548 runs, average 54.80; 15 wickets, average 35.20 against South Africa.
In Sheffield Shield matches for New South Wales Kelleway scored 2,304 runs at an average of 40.42. He played his highest innings, 168, in December 1920 at Sydney against South Australia, and in partnership with Warren Bardsley, 235, put on 397, which remains a world record for the fifth wicket. When South Australia followed-on 611 behind heavy rain flooded the ground, and they asked that the match should be abandoned and a victory credited to New South Wales. This was done--the first time that a Sheffield Shield match was left unfinished. For his State Kelleway took 126 wickets at 27.73 each.