Cricket: Such classical moments

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND'S BEST DEBUTANT BOWLERS

J K Lever 7-46 v India, Delhi 1976-77

A V Bedser 7-49 v India, Lord's 1946

J Langridge *7-56 v West Indies, Old Trafford 1933

J C Laker 7-103 v West Indies, Bridgetown 1947-48

G H T Simpson-Hayward 6-43 v South Africa,

Johannesburg 1909-10

F Martin 6-50 and *6-52 v Australia, The Oval 1890

C S Marriott *6-59 v West Indies, The Oval 1933

P M Such 6-67 v Australia, Old Trafford 1993

L J Coldwell *6-85 v Pakistan, Lord's 1962

W H Lockwood 6-101 v Australia, Lord's 1893

* denotes second innings

BEFORE Peter Such's remarkable first Test performance is erased from the memory by the efforts of Shane Warne, let us go back to the brilliant piece of bowling which began the Australian batting demise on the second morning. Allan Border was not only the last remaining specialist batsman, he is a fine player of spin and one of the game's most determined fighters.

He presented Such with an exciting challenge and almost at once the off-spinner came up with the perfect answer. Such's long run-up and high action helps him to confuse the batsmen in the flight. After that lengthy approach it is understandable perhaps to think that the ball is coming through more quickly than it actually is.

Border took half a step down the pitch and drove before the ball was quite there. It went through after he had played the stroke, turning away from the left-hander and Alec Stewart, who is unlikely ever to be the best wicketkeeper in England, completed the stumping with admirable speed and efficiency.

It was classical off-spin bowling by a man who has taken so easily and unselfconsciously to Test cricket. A good temperament is as important for a bowler as it is for a batsman. Before this match there seemed to be two or three other off- spinners who were all much of a muchness with Such.

His luck seemed to be he played for Essex, but I would prefer to think that Graham Gooch and Keith Fletcher had spotted the little extra Such has revealed here.

The other moment I shall remember was when Chris Lewis sprinted to his left from backward short-leg and with a lovely, athletic throw on the turn, ran out Craig McDermott.

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