BEYOND THE BOUNDARY : 25 things you've probably forgotten about the Test series

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The Independent Online
It's a melancholy moment, the end of a Test series. More so when the series has been a great one, and more still when it could have been even better, but was let down by a flat ending. So here, to divert readers who are feeling blue, are 25 things you may already have forgotten about England v West Indies, 1995.

1. The day before the Lord's Test, Mike Atherton was widely reported to be about to resign, in protest at Ray Illingworth's apparently unilateral decision to switch the keeper's gloves from Steve Rhodes back to Alec Stewart.

2. It was a series of dropped catches. Richie Richardson dropped Robin Smith on 16 on the first day at Lord's; he went on to make 61 and 90. England dropped four catches while bowling West Indies out inside 60 overs at Old Trafford. Sherwin Campbell dropped Mike Watkinson on 22, fifth Test, day five; had he caught him, West Indies would probably have won.

3. And England, as usual, dropped Devon Malcolm (after the first Test). This was the one match Angus Fraser missed. The firm of Malcolm and Fraser eventually teamed up at The Oval, for only the sixth time in 49 Tests. England's results in those games: three wins, two draws, one loss.

4.The first ball of the third Test at Edgbaston, bowled by Curtly Ambrose, went for four byes - the best four runs West Indies ever conceded, as the ball ballooned over the keeper's head and informed the batsmen that they could have no faith in the pitch.

5. Such was England's excitement as victory loomed at Lord's that when Junior Murray prodded towards short leg, even David Gower, commentating on BBC TV, shouted: "Catch it!"

6. At Old Trafford, bright light stopped play.

7. No individual century was scored in the first 12 innings of the series. By the end, England had scored two hundreds (Atherton 113, Hick 118*) and five nineties (Smith, 90, Thorpe 94, Hick 96, Russell 91, Atherton 95).

8. One man played a Test without fielding (Jason Gallian, who broke a finger at Edgbaston), while another appeared on the BBC's shortlist for Catch of the Series without playing a Test (Paul Weekes, at Lord's).

9. The curse of the Playfair Cricket Annual struck again. This year's cover star could have been Brian Lara, but the editor, Bill Frindall, plumped for Darren Gough. He was out, hooking, to his first ball of the series; opened the bowling with a spell of 3-0-23-0; and limped off half- way through the summer, out-Goughed by Dominic Cork. He did, however, do well at Lord's, dismissing Lara and taking a great catch in the deep.

10. In a series that had more subs than a game of L'Attaque, England's fielders included Matthew Maynard, Stewart Hutton, David Ligertwood and Stephen McDonald.

11. An opening batsman played for England having never made a hundred for his county. He still hasn't (Nick Knight, top score for Warwickshire 91).

12. After Wisden Cricket Monthly had doubted the dedication of black cricketers, England fielded an XI without one for the first time in seven years. They lost in two days and a bit.

13. Then they won.

14. A Test Match Special commentator was quietly reprimanded for making a racist remark. It concerned not West Indians, or even Anglo- Australians, but Jews.

15. Jack Russell, after 14 Tests in the doghouse, made such a happy return in the fourth Test he was put on standby to captain England in the fifth.

16. It was hard to say who pulled off the best comeback: Russell, Smith, Ian Bishop or the Great British Streaker, who struck five times at Old Trafford.

17. A listener wrote to BBC TV to protest at the use of the term "sweeper" for the fielder at deep point.

18. West Indies played a specialist spinner (Rajindra Dhanraj, fifth Test). He did not take a wicket, but did enable them to complete 30 overs in a session.

19. England's wicketkeepers made six consecutive thirties. Three of these were by Stewart and three by Russell: final proof that when Stewart is the keeper, he bats like one.

20. After the fifth Test, West Indies had four bowlers in the world Top 10 for the first time in a decade (Ambrose, Bishop, Walsh, K Benjamin)...

21. ...but only three batsmen in the Top 20 (Lara, Adams, Richardson) to England's five - Thorpe, Atherton, Hick, Smith, Stewart.

22. West Indies fielded two Courtneys in the same team for the first time in England (Walsh and Browne, sixth Test).

23. England's No 6s made a total of 58 runs for 11 times out. This included a pair by Mark Ramprakash, whose County Championship average this year is 87.

24. England's seventh boundary at The Oval came after two and a half hours. West Indies' seventh boundary came after three and a half overs.

25. The fashion for groups of friends to sport the same jokey headgear (bowler hats, orange wigs, you name it) became an epidemic, but did not reach Lord's, where the members may have felt that their ties made them look silly enough.

TEST SERIES AVERAGES

ENGLAND

Batting

M I NO Runs HS Av 100 50 Ct St

M Watkinson 3 4 1 156 82* 52.00 - 1 1 -

G A Hick 5 10 2 403 118* 50.37 1 3 5 -

R C Russell 3 5 1 199 91 49.75 - 1 9 1

R A Smith 4 8 1 305 90 43.57 - 2 - -

G P Thorpe 6 12 0 506 94 42.16 - 5 2 -

M A Atherton 6 12 0 488 113 40.66 1 2 3 -

D G Cork 5 8 1 197 56* 28.14 - 1 1 -

R K Illingworth 4 8 5 69 17* 23.00 - - 2 -

A J Stewart 3 5 0 113 37 22.60 - - 9 -

N V Knight 2 4 0 89 57 22.25 - 1 5 -

J P Crawley 3 6 1 100 50 20.00 - 1 4 -

D Gough 3 6 0 73 29 12.16 - - 2 -

P A J DeFreitas 1 2 0 24 23 12.00 - - - -

P J Martin 3 6 0 52 29 8.66 - - 4 -

J E Emburey 1 1 0 8 8 8.00 - - 1 -

J E R Gallian 2 4 0 32 25 8.00 - - 1 -

C White 2 4 0 26 23 6.50 - - - -

A R C Fraser 5 8 4 22 10* 5.50 - - 1 -

M R Ramprakash 2 4 0 22 18 5.50 - - 1 -

D E Malcolm 2 3 0 15 10 5.00 - - - -

A P Wells 1 2 1 3 3* 3.00 - - - -

Bowling

O M R W Av Best 5w 10w

D G Cork 184.2 30 661 26 25.42 7-43 1 -

A R C Fraser 187.5 52 563 16 35.18 5-66 1 -

R K Illingworth 100 40 215 6 35.83 4-96 - -

M Watkinson 93 21 289 8 36.12 3-64 - -

D Gough 70 6 255 6 42.50 3-79 - -

D E Malcolm 50.3 7 220 5 44.00 3-160 - -

P J Martin 84 21 241 5 48.20 2-65 - -

P A J DeFreitas 27 3 115 2 57.50 2-82 - -

G A Hick 18 4 64 1 64.00 1-15 - -

J E R Gallian 12 1 56 0 - - - -

C White 16 0 76 0 - - - -

J E Emburey 30 7 82 0 - - - -

WEST INDIES

Batting

M I NO Runs HS Av 100 50 Ct St

B C Lara 6 10 1 765 179 85.00 3 3 4 -

C O Browne 2 3 2 62 34 62.00 - - 13 -

S Chanderpaul 2 3 1 103 80 51.50 - 1 - -

S C Williams 2 2 0 92 62 46.00 - 1 5 -

S L Campbell 6 10 0 454 93 45.40 - 4 9 -

C L Hooper 5 8 1 310 127 44.28 1 1 4 -

R B Richardson 6 8 0 275 93 34.37 - 2 4 -

J C Adams 4 6 0 160 58 26.66 - 2 1 -

C E L Ambrose 5 7 4 77 23* 25.66 - - 2 -

K L T Arthurton 5 7 0 172 75 24.57 - 1 6 -

O D Gibson 1 2 0 43 29 21.50 - - - -

K C G Benjamin 5 6 2 74 20 18.50 - - - -

J R Murray 4 6 0 84 26 14.00 - - 14 -

C A Walsh 6 7 1 61 19 10.16 - - 1 -

I R Bishop 6 8 1 71 16 10.14 - - - -

R Dhanraj 1 1 0 3 3 3.00 - - - -

Bowling

O M R W Av Best 5w 10w

K C G Benjamin 158.2 33 506 23 22.00 5-69 2 1

I R Bishop 242.3 49 649 27 24.03 5-32 1 -

C E L Ambrose 185.1 43 506 21 24.09 5-96 1 -

C A Walsh 290 57 786 26 30.23 5-45 1 -

C L Hooper 68 22 149 3 49.66 2-36 - -

O D Gibson 34 3 132 2 66.00 2-81 - -

B C Lara 1 1 0 0 - - - -

S Chanderpaul 6 0 22 0 - - - -

J C Adams 12 1 32 0 - - - -

K L T Arthurton 33.5 6 76 0 - - - -

R Dhanraj 55 8 191 0 - - - -

Source TCCB/ PA Cricket Record

First Test: West Indies won by nine wickets. Second Test: England won by 72 runs. Third Test: West Indies won by an innings and 64 runs. Fourth Test: Endland won by six wickets. Fifth Test: Match drawn. Sixth Test: Match drawn. Series drawn 2-2.

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