Monday, April 03, 2006


In the 1st Test of the 1895/96 series played at Port Elizabeth, four of the 15 players (7 South Africans and 8 Englishmen) who made their Test Debut, in a remarkable match went on to become OTWs. England’s Audley Miller (4* & 20*) and South Africa’s Frederick Cook (7 & 0), Robert Gleeson (3 & 1*), Charles Hime (0 & 8) did not Gleeson took a catch in each of England’s innings and Hime took the wicket of SMJ Woods was making his debut for England after playing for Australia. 21 wickets fell on the first day of this match in which South Africa was bowled out for a paltry 30 runs of just 18.4 five-ball overs which stood as the lowest score in Test Cricket till New Zealand fell short of it by 4 runs when they were dismissed for 26 in 1954-55. England’s George Lohmann's had an unbelievable bowling analysis of 8 for 7. He finished the match with a hat-trick, the first victim being OTW Fred Cook. Making his debut in this Test was a person who was later knighted and almost became a King of Albania, named Charles Burgess Fry.

Two more South Africans, William Frank (5 & 2) and Clement Johnson (3 & 7) got inducted into this OTW club in the next Test played at Johannesburg. Frank took a wicket and Johnson caught one batsman in the only England’s innings which was enough to beat SA by an innings and 197 runs. Lohmann was again the wrecker-in-chief with 12 wickets in the test and record 9 wickets in an innings, during which he claimed his 100th Test wicket. One of the Umpires for this Test was previous Test’s OTW Audrey Miller.

For all the four players , Ted Tyler of England and George Glover(18* & 3) , Alfred Richards(6 & 0) & Arthur Seccull(6 & 17*) who made their test debut in the next test match at Cape Town it proved out to be their solitary test appearance. Though AR Richards captained the side, he could not make his side escape from the innings defeat though he reduced the margin to 33 runs. George Lohmann being the main wicket taker again with 7 wickets in the 1st innings. He took his tally of wickets in the series to 35 at an amazing average of 5.8. Tyler though dismissed for a duck, provided a good supporting role to Lohmann with figures of 3/49 & 1/45. Seccull took couple of wickets and a catch where as Glover took one wicket in England’s only Innings.

In continuing its tradition of providing maiden test appearances to as many players as possible the 1st Test of the 1898/99 series between England & South Africa played at Johannesburg. South Africa introduced 6 players to Test Cricket and 8 players debuted for England. Three South Africans Robert Dower (0 & 9, 2 cts), William Solomon (2 & 2, 1 ct) and Vincent Tancred (18 & 7), all of whom had an uneventful debuts did not play a Test again. Sir Pelham Warner who too was making his debut hit a hundred (132*) and became the 1st opening batsman to carry his bat through a completed innings. AE Trott joined the company of WL Murdoch & JJ Ferris by making his debut for England after appearing in three Tests for Australia.

In the next test played at Cape Town, South Africa added 3 more members to the OTW club, namely Frederick Kuys(26 & 0), Albert Powell(5 & 11, 2 cts, 1 wkt) and Charles Prince(5 & 1) along with England’s Alfred Archer( 7 & 24*). None of them had a memorable debut, though Kuys accounted for 2 wickets in England’s 2nd innings including that of England’s Centurion JT Tyldesley. All of them witnessed an amazing all round display from South Africa’s JH Sinclair. Sinclair, after having hit his country’s 1st Test fifty, has not only hit his country’s 1st Test hundred but also became the first player to score a century and take 5 or more wickets in the first innings of the same Test. South Africa was bowled out again for less than 40 runs and their 2nd innings lasted for just 114 balls.

Walter Mead of England, who was making his debut along with one of the most exciting batsmen of all-time, Gilbert Jessop, became the next OTW when he made his single Test appearance at Lord’s in the 2nd Test of the 1899 Ashes. He made 7 & 2, took 1 wicket and a catch. It was the last test played in 19th century that had an OTW. It also saw a flawless 135 with 20 boundaries from a player who was playing only his second Test, Victor Trumper.

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