Some awesome Cricket Curiosities courtesy of Dave Hillman …
* In 1912, Australia played South Africa and a leg-spinner from Australia by the name of TJ Mathews took six South African wickets in the match. Nothing unusual there, except he set a number of ‘records’ in doing this:
Firstly, he took three wickets in each innings, both of them were ‘hat-tricks’, becoming the only cricketer to take two hat-tricks in a single match in Test history.
All of his victims were dismissed without assistance from the fielders – 2 x bowled, 2 x LBW and 2 x Caught & Bowled. The South African wicket-keeper, TA Ward, achieved a ‘King Pair’ by being the third victim of both hat-tricks.
* The longest ‘duck’ in South African cricket was by Vince Hogg of Rhodesia whilst playing for Rhodesia B against Natal B in 1980. He survived for 87 minutes without scoring whilst his batting partner, captain Ed Parker, increased the total by 64 runs.
* The bowler who is said to have put an end to the career of WG Grace of England was FR ‘Demon’ Spofforth of Australia. Spofforth started his cricket career as a Fast ‘underarm’ bowler and then switched to a Fast ‘overarm’ action. Standing 6ft 3inches tall with a long aquiline nose, his aggressive bowling action was described as ‘all arms, legs and nose’ (remind you of a particular Roller?). In May 1978 against England he took 6 for 4 and 5 for 16 against England for match figures of 10 for 20, thus bowling Australia to victory on the first day (the first unofficial ODI?).
* Peter Heine, that fearsome South African bowler, once felled a batsman with a bouncer (no helmets in those days!). He walked up to the prostrate batsman, examined him and said, “No blood, I must be getting old”.
* The only declaration in limited overs cricket (60 overs) was in a Nissan Shield match when Natal scored 361/2 in 54 overs against the South African African XI at Kingsmead on 25th October 1975. Alan Barrow, 202 not out, and Henry Fotheringham, 128 not out, put on 303 for the third wicket.