At Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo; 13, 14, 15 November 1971.|
Rhodesia 166 and 269/5 declared. Eastern Province 165/9 declared and 152/5. Match drawn. - RHODESIA v EASTERN PROVINCE (Currie Cup match)
Reports taken from The Herald unless otherwise stated.
AFTER BARBOUR COMES DEBUT FOR BOWES
Tuesday 2 November 1971
Rhodesia’s newest sporting sensation, tiny Terry Bowes of Bulawayo, has hit the headlines again. A few months ago he made a spectacular debut for Rhodesia at rugby. Now he has been chosen at cricket for the Currie Cup match against Eastern Province in Bulawayo on November 13, 14 and 15. What makes this unique double more astonishing is that he is in his first year out of Hamilton High School in Bulawayo.
There is only one change in the side which has just played Transvaal – Bowes coming in for opening bowler Dave Seagrave, the burly Standard Bank speedster. Seagrave has yet to strike form this season and tended to bowl too short against Transvaal, while Bowes was most impressive eight days ago in a National League match against Old Hararians in Salisbury.
From Old Miltonians, Bowes is a 5ft 9in, 140-pounder who turned 20 last August. He is a representative for a steel company in Bulawayo.
Matabeleland captain Peter Wilkinson will be 12th man for the Eastern Province match.
BOWES WILL MARK UP A RARE DOUBLE
By Glen Byrom (Wednesday 3 November 1971)
When Terry Bowes takes the field against Eastern Province in Bulawayo on November 12 he will probably become only the second man to win cricket and rugby colours for Rhodesia.
A search of available record books reveals that Freddie Brooks was the first to achieve this feat, playing cricket in 1906 and rugby in 1906, 1908 and 1910. He also played tennis for Rhodesia in 1929 and the gates at Salisbury Sports Club, on North Avenue, are named after him. Mr Brooks died in 1947.
Like him, Bowes has the distinction of becoming a double international in the same year, although the Bulawayo ‘find’ is now only four months out of school.
Are there others who have claimed these two colours?
My claim on Monday that 18-year-old Brian Barbour came close to becoming the first Rhodesian to score a century on his first-class debut has sparked controversy and a search of the record books. Rhodesian officials and past players I spoke to on Sunday could not recall it being done.
In the strict sense ‘debut’ means first match. This, of course, was achieved by Jono Clarke against Western Province at Newlands in the 1967-68 season. But Clarke made a ‘duck’ in his first innings and it was my assertion that Barbour could have become the first to score a first-class century on debut innings.
Mr Denys Hayter, official scorer for the RCU and possessor perhaps of the finest cricket records in the country, has since unearthed one man who achieved this. A H Pattison made 128 in December 1931 in his first innings against Free State, in Johannesburg, on debut for Rhodesia. Pattison, an opening batsman, was a schoolteacher at Plumtree.
Like Jono Clarke, Tommy Chapman made 124 not out in his second innings on debut against Griqualand West in November 1952.
Do readers have any other claims? And has anyone ever made more runs in both innings than Barbour (152) on debut for Rhodesia?
RHODESIA’S NEW CAP HAS NO TIME FOR DEFEAT
From Mike London, Bulawayo (Wednesday 3 November 1971)
The sporting potential of 20-year-old Terry Bowes, a former Hamilton High schoolboy, has truly blossomed in the last couple of years.
This likeable young man, who opens the bowling for Old Miltonians, has achieved his ambition to play rugby and cricket for his country because of his tenacious approach, which is not unlike that of Springbok all-rounder Eddie Barlow.
The truth of the matter is that Bowes hates losing. He hates being hit for four and he hates watching a team-mate drop a catch, no matter how difficult it might have been. For these reasons, Bowes probably puts a little more effort into his game than other sportsmen.
Bowes is very similar to his club-mate, Brian Barbour, in that big games mean nothing to him. “Graeme Pollock? I’m dying to have a go at him. They say he’s one of the best batsmen in the world, but he must be really brilliant if he is better than Lee Irvine.”
I asked Bowes what he thought of Barbour’s first knock. “I didn’t see it,” he said. “I was so nervous for Brian I sat in the dressing room.”
Bowes explained: “It’s funny, I’m never nervous for myself, but for the team. I remember being terribly worried before my first rugby match for Rhodesia against the South Africa Gazelles. I was scared I’d let the team down. But as soon as the ball was kicked off, I played my normal game.”
POLLOCKS FLY IN TODAY
By Mike London; Chronicle, Tuesday 9 November 1971
The Eastern Province cricket team arrives in Bulawayo this afternoon – and, after denying Pat Trimborn’s Natalians victory yesterday, the Eastern Cape’s talented line-up is well geared to provide Ray Gripper with plenty of headaches in the Currie Cup match starting at Queens on Saturday.
Graeme Pollock, the EP captain, is obviously the man Rhodesia fears most. His innings of 63 and 92 against Natal indicate he is coming back into the form that earned him that record-breaking 274 against Bill Lawry’s Australians in Durban. The 27-year-old left-handed genius has 29 centuries to his credit and no doubt he is keen to repeat his last innings against Rhodesia.
Playing at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, Pollock hit a glorious 138 – and with Dassie Biggs, the EP opener, wading in with 102, Easterns were able to declare at 436-5.
Another batsman who has proved himself a fine first-class player is 25-year-old Simon Bezuidenhout. In his first season for Eastern Province, he took 84 off Rhodesia, and last season scored a career-best 141 against the full Transvaal attack.
Opening the batting with Biggs will be the Nottinghamshire county professional Mike Harris, known as ‘Pasty’ to his teammates in the English side. Down in Port Elizabeth, however, a better nickname would be ‘Takkies’, for the likeable Grey High School coach enjoys nothing better than batting in plimsolls.
From a bowling point of view, the EP attack is still pretty strong, with Peter Pollock and Sibley McAdam as the new ball partners. The spin department is possibly a little weak, although Biggs is a more than useful off-spinner and Graeme Pollock bowls a fair leg-spinner.
Two medium-pacers are included in the team – Dave Brickett and Etienne Schmidt.
QUEENS PITCH WILL BE FAST – GROUNDSMAN
From Mike London, Bulawayo; Wednesday 10 November 1971
Queens groundsman Bobby Styles believes that the pitch he is preparing for the Rhodesia-Eastern Province Currie Cup match at the weekend will be hard and fast. “Naturally we are hoping the rain will hold off. But if there is a little moisture the track could possible turn a little on the third day,” he added.
No doubt this will be good news for the captains, Ray Gripper and Graeme Pollock, as each team boasts a more than useful bowling line-up.
Eastern Province will open with Springbok Peter Pollock and Sibley McAdam, who are backed by Etienne Schmidt and Claude Pittaway, two medium-fast seamers. The spin attack is a little thin, however, with only Dassie Biggs (off-spin) and Mike Harris (leg-breaks) likely to be given an over.
The Eastern Province team arrived in Bulawayo yesterday – and, following their tough match against Natal last weekend, relaxed at their city hotel before being entertained at the Breweries last night. This morning they will have a light practice at the Queens ground in preparation for the Gillette Cup-type match against a Matabeleland XI at BAC tomorrow.
WILKINSON BOWS TO OLD INJURY
From Martin Lee, Bulawayo; Thursday 11 November 1971
It has taken Matabeleland skipper Peter Wilkinson a long time to be recognized by the Rhodesian cricket selectors. And after being chosen as 12th Man for the weekend’s Currie Cup match against Eastern Province, and named to lead Matabeleland in today’s 60-overs game at BAC, he’s tragically out of action with cartilage trouble.
Wilkinson decided to put off an operation at the end of the rugby season. He wanted to play a full season of cricket – but on Tuesday night at BAC nets he collapsed while bowling and has been advised to have an immediate operation. His place in today’s game against Eastern Province will be taken by pace bowler Denis Streak, with Tommy Dunk taking over the captaincy.
Matabeleland officials have fallen in with the requests of Easterns’ manager Alan Thompson about the regulations for today’s match. There will be no limits – as in Gillette Cup games – to the bowlers’ run-ups, or the number of overs each player may bowl. Each side will bat for 60 overs.
With only 10 players in Bulawayo – Mike Harris and Peter Fenix fly in tomorrow – manager Alan Thompson will play for Easterns.
McPHUN STILL A DOUBTFUL STARTER
By Glen Byrom; Thursday 11 November 1971
John McPhun is still a doubtful starter for Rhodesia’s A Section Currie Cup cricket match against Eastern Province in Bulawayo this weekend. The Old Hararians batsman damaged the ligaments in his right shoulder while fielding against Transvaal in Salisbury and did not play for his club last Sunday. McPhun has been having daily treatment and underwent a fitness test last night. A decision will probably be made today on whether or not he plays in Bulawayo.
If McPhun drops out the selectors will be faced with a tough problem – nobody springs to mind as a ready reserve. Perhaps the choice would rest between three players, Martin Benkenstein, Jack Heron and Jimmy Mitchell. Heron and Benkenstein are batsmen and both outstanding fielders. Mitchell has both these attributes and is also an impressive left-arm spinner.
The nine Mashonaland members of the Rhodesian team fly to Bulawayo tomorrow morning and will practise at Queens in the afternoon.
The team for Rhodesia’s first round Gillette Cup match against Transvaal in Johannesburg on November 20 will be announced in Bulawayo after the Currie Cup game.
[Note: scores for the 60-over match between a Matabeleland XI and Eastern Province at Bulawayo Athletic Club:
Matabeleland XI 249 (D H L Evans 63, E T Laughlin 58, T W Dunk 35; S J McAdam 2/48, C Pittaway 2/59) lost to Eastern Province 250/5 (A L Biggs 37, R G Pollock 94, P M Pollock 36; G N C Peck 2/76, D H Streak 2/73) by five wickets.
Extract from match report by Martin Lee, Friday 12 November 1971: “For the Matabeleland XI young Des Evans was top scorer with 63, despite taking a couple of nasty blows from Pollock above his pads. But for the locals Errol Laughlin’s 58 (two sixes, seven fours) in 52 minutes was by far the best knock. I would suggest that should John McPhun have a recurrence of his shoulder injury – he passed a fitness test in Salisbury last night – before tomorrow’s Currie Cup start, the selectors won’t need to send to Salisbury for a substitute with Laughlin on hand.”
POLLOCK G. POSES BIG PROBLEM
From Glen Byrom, Bulawayo; Saturday 13 November 1971
For the first time in many years Rhodesia will not be going into an A Section Currie Cup cricket match as underdogs. In fact, I make Ray Gripper’s men slight favourites to beat Eastern Province at the Queens ground here in the match starting today. Play continues on Sunday and Monday.
One stark fact prevents me from boldly predicting Rhodesian victory – Eastern Province have Graeme Pollock. The 27-year-old batting genius has torn apart the best attacks in the world. And he flashed a waning to Rhodesia by slamming 94 against Matabeleland on Thursday, to follow his knocks of 61 and 92 against Natal last week in Durban.
The last time Pollock encountered Rhodesia he hammered 130 at Port Elizabeth in 1968. So the message for Rhodesia today is clear – YOU MUST GET POLLOCK EARLY TO HAVE A CHANCE OF VICTORY.
The rest of the Province batting should not strike fear into our bowlers, although Dassie Biggs is a classy player overflowing with confidence and determination. He, too, scored a century against Rhodesia in 1968, taking advantage of some loose bowling.
Province have a fine pair of opening bowlers in Springbok spearhead Peter Pollock and the accurate Sibley McAdam, but after that the bowling looks somewhat meagre. However, Dassie Biggs is an off-spinner in the Brian Bath mould and he could worry the Rhodesians, who will have to use their feet to keep the scoreboard clicking.
Mike Procter is never out of the headlines for long. Against Transvaal in Salisbury recently he achieved nothing of real distinction, which must be a warning to Pollock and his team. The Police pitch looked fast, but turned into a batsman’s dream. The fiery Procter would have hoped for a more fiery pitch at Queens to gain maximum advantage from his all-effort bowling. But the Queens groundsman says it will be slow and turning, so Procter could be in for a heart-break three days.
Terry Bowes, the impish 140-pounder from Bulawayo, will be making his debut in front of a home crowd. He could be the perfect foil to Procter, because he can maintain immaculate length and direction. Any loose bowling from Procter’s opening partner would give the batsmen a chance to score, while concentrating merely on survival against the renowned Springbok.
Bulawayo fans will also be eager to see the imperturbable Brian Barbour in action. Barbour made a spectacular start to his first-class career with 97 and 55 against Bacher’s Transvaalers. He has the unflappable temperament to distinguish himself again, yet people should not expect too much. Barbour is a natural strokemaker who likes to get on with the task of run-making. His aggressiveness and outlook must not be stifled by well-meaning coaches or senior players.
Let Barbour develop naturally. Let him learn from his own mistakes. He surely knows that he must mix aggression with a little more caution and judgement, but let him decide.
RHODESIA BOUNCING BACK: WICKETS GALORE AS BATSMEN STRUGGLE
Sunday Mail cricket reporter; 14 November 1971
After a pitiful batting display to be all out for 166, Rhodesia struck back in dramatic style when Mike Procter and his new-ball partner, Terry Bowes, ripped the heart out of the Eastern Province first innings on the opening day of the A Section Currie Cup match at Queens yesterday. When bad light ended play 20 minutes early, Eastern Province had slumped to an incredible 55 for six wickets.
What an amazing day of drama and fluctuating fortunes before a boisterous crowd of about 3000. There was no particular menace in the pitch, which was slowish and just doing a bit off the seam early on.
Rank bad batting saw Rhodesia bundled out against a steady, accurate attack which lacked real venom. Easterns were clearly intimidated by Procter, who was in his most aggressive mood. His two wickets came in successive balls, including the golden prize of master strokemaker Graeme Pollock first ball, caught behind.
Terry Bowes made a spectacular cricket debut. Gaining inspiration from a partisan crowd (which sounded more like a soccer crowd on occasions) and from his Springbok partner, Bowes was magnificent. Working up a good pace, and maintaining a line on or just outside the off stump, he had a drama-charged first over.
Success came in his second over, with his 11th ball in Currie Cup cricket. The delivery cut away from Biggs and Procter snapped up the sharp chance low at first slip to make Province 8-1.
Two more wickets fell with the total on nine. Pollock prodded half-forward and the field erupted in their appeal and elation.
The English professional Mike ‘Pasty’ Harris, who was having a torrid time against Procter, played back to Bowes and again the ball moved away off the seam for wicket-keeper Howie Gardiner to take a fine catch moving in front of the slips. In the previous over from Bowes, Harris had been dropped by John McPhun at gully.
Now Easterns were nine for four and had had the initiative snatched away. Peter Fenix stayed 19 minutes before Bowes and Gardiner again combined to remove him to make it 22 for five in just over an hour.
With the light fading and rain threatening, Peter Pollock, who had left the field early in the morning with flu, joined Simon Bezuidenhout. At 5.25 the umpires called off play for the day.
Rhodesia must count themselves fortunate to be in such a commanding position. Having won the toss, most of them batted without conviction.
Gripper mis-hit a pull to be caught at mid-on and McPhun guided one to gully, where Harris took a superb catch, diving across the slips.
Brian Barbour, who made 97 in his debut against Transvaal, lived dangerously. On 12 he was dropped by Harris at slip and a few balls later he was caught behind off a no-ball. A few runs later he edged a ball from McAdam straight to wicket-keeper ‘Tubby’ Bond who floored it.
He also played and missed a lot outside off stump and was most fortunate to reach 36 before being taken at first slip by Graeme Pollock, who so nearly dropped it.
Procter shuffled in front to be out leg before and Davison slashed outside the off stump to be caught behind. When Brian Oldrieve, who was doing a manly job, dragged an attempted hook on to his stumps Rhodesia were 74 for six. But a 62-run partnership between Jack du Preez and Duncan Fletcher stopped the rot until du Preez was run out. Fletcher called for a run, du Preez said no and the result was a flat-footed du Preez out by yards.
The innings lasted exactly 270 minutes, with the visitors claiming their maximum five fielding bonus points and Rhodesia getting no points for their dismal batting. But they have got two points from their bowling and seem set to get three more this morning.
RAIN PUTS COOLER ON CURRIE CUP THRILLER – AFTER EASTERNS DECLARE BEHIND
From Glen Byrom, Bulawayo; Monday 15 November 1971
Steady afternoon rain yesterday wrecked any hopes of an outright decision in what had been a finely poised Currie Cup cricket match between Rhodesia and Eastern Province. Play was reduced to a mere 2h 25min of the scheduled seven-hour day, the second of this three-day A Section encounter at the Queens Ground.
There was time only for Eastern Province to finish their first innings, which Graeme Pollock declared on the fall of the ninth wicket with the total 165. This gave Rhodesia a one-run lead on the first innings, but as there are no longer points for a first-innings lead his declaration was obviously to deny Rhodesia their fifth bonus point.
Pollock’s declaration was hard to follow. His side was within 10 runs of a batting bonus point. Surely the object is to gain as many points as possible?
Play resumed yesterday in overcast, coldish weather. But this did not deter about 2500 people turning out to see if Rhodesia could continue their devastation of the Easterns first innings. Simon Bezuidenhout (not out 18) came out with Dave Brickett with the total tottering at 55-6.
Hopes of a quick breakthrough faded as Mike Procter and Terry Bowes never attained the heights of the previous afternoon. They lacked the same fire, while the longhaired Bowes struggled to find his length and direction of Saturday, when he and Procter produced the most inspired opening spell I can ever recall from Rhodesia.
After an hour, Brickett brought up the 100 with a straight six off Richie Kaschula and the Province pair looked well set. The first wicket fell after 65 minutes when Brickett went for a square cut off Kaschula and Bowes took a well-judged tumbling catch at deep point.
The stand had added 47 runs and demonstrated that this Queens pitch holds no particular terrors for batsmen. Rhodesia were bundled out simply because of poor batting, while Easterns were undoubtedly terrorized by Procter and Bowes.
Bezuidenhout eventually went after a courageous 58 made in 200 minutes, with five boundaries. He went for the pull of a short-pitched [ball by] leg-spinner Jackie du Preez and Bowes took a well-judged catch at mid-on. Easterns were then 132-8.
Then came the debonair Sibley McAdam. He seemed determined to rocket his side towards a bonus point or two as he launched a savage attack on the spinners. In successive balls from du Preez he slammed four, six, six, but his courageous last-ditch effort ended when he skied one from Procter to Brian Oldrieve in the covers. He had batted 20 minutes for his spectacular 31.
Pollock then declared the Province innings, so the bonus points for this match are Eastern Province 5 and Rhodesia 4, all earned while fielding.
Fifteen minutes were lost due to rain before lunch, and only one over was possible after lunch. Play was finally abandoned for the day at 3.30, with Rhodesia 2-0.
BRILLIANT BIGGS 100 IN VAIN
From Glen Byrom, Bulawayo; Tuesday 16 November 1971
Exhilarating batting from Brian Davison, Mike Procter and Dassie Biggs enlivened the third and final day of the A Section Currie Cup cricket match between Rhodesia and Eastern Province at Queens yesterday as it ended in the inevitable draw.
After the rain-plagued second day no other result was really on, so the sides go away with only bonus points from the first innings – Province five and Rhodesia four.
Ray Gripper declared Rhodesia’s second innings at 269-5, leaving the visitors the impossible task of scoring 271 for victory in 135 minutes. At the close they were 152-5, highlighted by a pulsating century from opener Dassie Biggs.
Earlier Davison and Procter ripped to a magnificent fourth-wicket partnership of 167 in 140 minutes, to make up for the stolid early batting by Rhodesia. Davison lashed a spectacular 74 in 150 minutes, while Procter matched his power strokes with an undefeated 84.
Rhodesia resumed their second innings yesterday at 2-0 and Brian Barbour was soon in the run mood, hooking two fours in the second over of the day from Sibley McAdam. The tempestuous young Barbour’s main fault of flashing outside the off stump at the wrong balls caused his dismissal after 25 minutes, Graeme Pollock taking the catch at first slip.
It was unlucky 13 for 18-year-old Brian, who was fed a steady diet of balls outside the off stump. After two hours Rhodesia had laboured to 64-1 and soon after Gripper was bowled by seamer Claude Pittaway. The ball moved away in the air then cut back sharply to get an inside edge and uproot the leg stump. A magnificent ball.
The ever-confident, ever-aggressive Brian Davison was promoted to number four, but had not been in long before he lost his partner, John McPhun. Another sharp off-cutter from Pittaway deflected from McPhun’s bat on to the stumps as he shaped for a cut. McPhun never got his fluent strokes working and scored his 29 in 100 minutes. At this stage the accurate Pittaway had taken 2-15 in 12 overs.
Then came Procter and that stirring partnership, although right after lunch Davison hooked a ball from McAdam straight into ‘Pasty’ Harris’s hands at square leg, but it plopped out like wet soap.
Province were to regret that lapse. Davison, who was on 15, launched a savage attack, displaying some glorious strokes, played with perfect timing and stunning power. His 50 came in 104 minutes, with two sixes and five fours, but on 74 he fell leg-before to the second ball from off-spinner Dassie Biggs.
Jack du Preez got a faint edge to be caught behind for two and Howie Gardiner crunched one huge six over long-on before the declaration at 3.10 p.m.
Those who believe Gripper declared too late are being grossly unfair. Only a miracle could have seen Rhodesia bowl out powerful Province in an afternoon. An early declaration would merely have given the visitors a ridiculously generous chance of snatching victory, while they could always close up if the wickets started to tumble.
The Eastern Province second innings started in comical fashion, with English professional Harris not a little apprehensive about facing Procter. Poor Pasty looked petrified. After ducking under a bouncer, he played back to a short ball with his eyes on the heavens (and probably closed) to dolly a catch to Gripper at silly point.
What an unhappy match for Harris, the man with the big reputation, who was the second-highest run-gatherer in English cricket last season, behind only Geoff Boycott. Harris dropped three catches and totalled nine runs in his two knocks to bring his aggregate in four Currie Cup innings to 26.
But there was Biggs to delight the crowd of about 2000. After taking a short time to settle in he chased runs, picking the gaps with rare precision. His footwork to the spinners was a joy to watch.
When Bond was run out Biggs was joined by the immortal Graeme Pollock, facing a possible royal pair. With a result out of the question the crowd anticipated the thrilling spectacle of Pollock playing his flowing strokes.
But Pollock was taking no chances, and with Kaschula bowling very tight he remained docile, only showing flashes of his genius as the ball sped to the boundary from drives and pulls. Pollock went to Jack du Preez, playing back and dabbing a sharply-turning leg-spinner on to his stumps. He made 30 in 68 minutes.
Biggs was the man of the moment as he strived for his seventh first-class century before the close. At 83 Davison put down a hard chance at deep gully, then with only four minutes left for play Biggs still needed six. A skip down the pitch saw the ball from du Preez soar high into the crowd to give the 26-year-old accountant a well-earned ‘ton’.
He was out next ball, snicking an attempted cut to Procter at slip and stumps were drawn for the day at 152-5.
RAIN ROBBED US OF VICTORY
The Procter Column; Sunday Mail, 21 November 1971
What a great shame that rain robbed us of about five hours’ valuable time last Sunday in the Currie Cup match against Easterns. I am sure that if the game had run its full course we would have managed to beat them.
We started off the match with a great advantage by winning the toss on a wicket that looked made for runs. Unfortunately we batted like millionaires, throwing our wickets away, and were unable to capitalize on this advantage.
Brian Oldrieve was the only top order batsman who had his head down, and looked determined to make runs. He has a tendency these days to score very slowly but I am sure with experience he will learn to score faster.
Jack du Preez and Duncan Fletcher got together and put on a few very valuable runs when they really were needed. It is good to see du Preez regaining some of the form he showed a few seasons back. He is certainly batting like he used to, and his bowling is improving every time he bowls.
The first part of the match, where we lost six wickets for 70-odd runs, was one of the worst I have witnessed. Eastern Province didn’t bowl particularly well but we batted badly. In that coin, Eastern Province also grassed five catches.
Sibley McAdam bowled fairly well and was the only bowler who looked as though he might bowl somebody out.
In comparison with the first session, the last one was really rewarding and enjoyable. We all knew how badly we had played earlier and everybody really seemed to give everything to try and make up for earlier failures. The wicket did appear to help the bowler a lot more and a number of balls moved considerably off the seam.
Terry Bowes, playing in his first game, bowled really well, keeping the ball up to the bat and on and around the off stump, much to the discomfort of all the batsmen. He made them play at almost every ball, which is especially important with the new ball.
The crowd during this period were really tremendous, and at times it was almost like a football match, which made for a fabulous atmosphere. Crowds can really help players’ performances and I am sure this helped us because we really knew that they were right behind us.
We also missed three chances, which made eight in all for the day, with 16 wickets falling.
Eastern Province declared their first innings closed one run behind us with nine wickets down, thus depriving us of an extra bonus point. This was negative as they only needed another 10 runs to score a batting point. It was general knowledge that they were going to declare their first innings closed had they lost an early wicket on the second morning. We only wished they had done.
Anyway, they didn’t lose an early wicket and, as it turned out, it rained a lot on the second day.
We were left with no alternative on the last day. There was never enough time to bowl them out and if we had set them a generous declaration, we could only have been the losers.
Dassie Biggs really showed what a fine player he is in scoring his third century in successive matches, the others being against Border and Natal. He plays shots all around the wicket and is a joy to watch. He would undoubtedly have made his mark in international cricket had the tour of Australia taken place.
By John Ward
This was the first first-class match I ever watched at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. The ground was, and still is to an extent, dominated by the brick terraces on the western half of the ground, on top of which are the tall stands at the north end, where I usually sat, almost behind the bowler’s arm.
The first day was humid as Rhodesia batted. Gripper was unable to get off the mark with his customary early single, and struggled for quite a while before squirting his first (and only) run on the leg side. He looked uncertain and eventually an unwise hook top-edged an easy catch to midwicket. Barbour alone of the early batsmen tried to push the score along, but finally snicked a sharp catch above head height to Graeme Pollock in the slips. Oldrieve was unusually out hit wicket; I didn’t see exactly how it happened but I think he played back to Schmidt and dislodged a bail.
Peter Pollock broke down with a leg injury in his opening spell. McAdam, with the wheeling action, had just completed an over and Pollock left the field after bowling just one ball of his next over. Under the laws at that time, McAdam then had to come on and bowl another complete over, which must have been tiring! Pollock’s figures in the official scorecard suggest five complete overs bowled, but that was not the case; he bowled just a single ball of one over and it should probably read 4.1 overs.
The innings was rescued from ignominy by a good partnership between du Preez and Fletcher, but the final total was most disappointing. But it was thrilling to see how Procter and the inspired Bowes, the latter never able to keep still for a moment, rattled the Eastern Province batsmen. Mike Harris especially spent most of his time hopping around the crease against Procter. Pollock fell first ball, snicking a catch to the keeper, to the shock of the crowd.
I was unable to return until the third morning, when the match was in the balance until Procter and Davison gradually began to get on top of the bowling, leading to the declaration at tea. Then Procter and Bowes again got stuck into Eastern Province, while Harris again suffered a thorough working-out by Procter before popping a catch towards gully, taken by Gripper diving forward.
After a run-out, Pollock came in to bat against Procter facing a king pair, an unpleasant prospect. Procter bowled him two bouncers; he swayed out of the way without undue difficulty. The third ball was pitched on a length, and Pollock pushed it into the covers and ran like the wind – a rare sight to see! – to secure his first run. But he never tried to take charge and was eventually bowled by du Preez. He successfully avoided a pair throughout his long career.
By then the match was dead and the only interest was to see if Biggs, who had weathered the early storm this time, could record the rare feat of a century after tea. He did, but was caught at slip next ball, following which the players left the field.
One incident that sticks in the memory was when, with a draw certain, Biggs pulled a ball to midwicket and Bowes raced around the boundary and flung himself full-length to effect a brilliant stop and turn a four into a three. This was the enthusiasm and commitment of the man at that time, and Bulawayo was full of talk about this superb all-round sportsman and local hero. But he had perhaps too many irons in the fire; besides rugby, he was also a top golfer and played other sports as well. He did not last too long at cricket. I last saw him play two years after this match and the spark had gone.