The saga of Uton Dowe

You might not have heard of the West Indian cricketer  Uton Dowe. Not surprising, as he played only 4 Tests in the early 1970s without great success. As we will see, he did lend his name to some of the better remembered PJs in cricket.

A summary of his cricket career:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/51653.html

At least his picture is there, unlike in many of the Cricinfo profiles of lesser-known players.

It is evident that he was not much of a batsman, so we move to his Test bowling performances:

dowe-bowling

His first Test was at Bridgetown vs India in 1970-71, the series which marked India’s first Test and series wins against the West Indies. This was the 4th Test of the series, and it is worthwhile to look at the scorecard: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63069.html

Dowe took the wickets of Gavaskar (1), Krishnamurthy (1) and Jaisimha (0) to help reduce India to 70/6 facing a WI total of 501. This was the only time in 8 innings in this series that Gavaskar scored less than 50, so this was quite an achievement on Dowe’s part.

In those days the Indian lower order were not expected to stage comebacks, but times had changed and Sardesai (150), Solkar (65) and even Venkat and Bedi contributed to a total of 347. The match ended tamely with Gavaskar making his second Test century (117*). Dowe finished with 4/69 and 1/22. He again played in the 5th Test with less success, with 2/99 and 0/55. West Indies narrowly escaped defeat and a 2-0 series loss here.

Now we come to the Gavaskar calypso:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V2UUuKcIeA

Note this stanza in which our friend Uton Dowe figures:

“Govindraj and Durani
Solkar, Abid Ali
Dilip Sardesai and Viswanath
They make West Indies bowlers
Look like second raters
When those fellas came out here to bat
West Indies tried Holder and Keith Boyce
They had no other choice
They even try with Uton Dowe
But ah sure that they sorry they bring him now

Anyway, he played 2 more Tests. Against NZ in the first Test of the 1971-72 series, he took 3-75 and 1-46 and was not seen again in the Test side for that series. Incidentally that 5-Test series was all-drawn. This is the 4th and last time this has happened, and the only such series not involving India.

He was to play one more Test, which was against Australia in 1972-73. This time he took 1-96 and 0-72, while Keith Stackpole took a particular liking to his bowling:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63100.html

It was not surprising that this ended up in his Cricinfo profile:

Prone to being wildly erratic, he was mauled by Keith Stackpole to such an extent in the Jamaican Test of 1972-73 that the crowd erected a series of banners proclaiming an 11th commandment: “Dowe shalt not bowl.”

He did not play international cricket after that. But he should have the satisfaction of having his name immortalized in a calypso and an entry in any book of famous cricketing slogans.

A more detailed account of cricket calypsos (the 1950 one and the 1971 one) can be seen here: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/down-memory-lane-the-cricket-calypsos-of-1950-and-1971/

Ken Higgs R.I.P.

Ken Higgs, who played 15 Tests for England in the mid-1960s, died on September 7 aged 79. Highlights of his career can be seen here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/14189.html

He played a role in what may be called one of the greatest fightbacks in Test cricket.

In 1966 the all-conquering West Indies team captained by Gary Sobers had won 3 of the first 4 Tests (two by an innings, another by over a hundred runs). When Brian Close was pulled out of near-oblivion as captain, the 5th Test started predictably.

In reply to WI’s 268, England got to 166/7. Then followed one of the greatest tail-end recoveries in all Tests:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62995.html

Graveney and JT Murray put on 217 for the 8th wicket, while the no 10 and 11 (K Higgs and JA Snow) scored fifties apiece in a stand for 128 for the 10th wicket, bringing the total up to 527. Stung by this unexpected resistance, West Indies made 225 and lost by an innings and 34 runs.

Higgs also held the record for the best 4-wicket analysis in Tests jointly with Pervez Sajjad from the mid-60s onwards. Their 4-5 was surpassed by Graeme Cremer’s 4-4 a few years ago. Here are the best 4-wicket innings analyses in all Tests:

best-4-wkt-hauls

Anyway, Higgs could enjoy his joint world record for over 47 years.

From the Indian Railway timetables of 1975

The All-India Railway Timetable was the “Bible” of a section of railfans until 1976 when it was replaced by “Trains at a Glance”. The Indian Bradshaw started sometime in the 19th century and appears to have vanished a few years ago. And then there were the timetables of the individual zones. Unlike the All India RT and Bradshaw, they carried the zonal maps as well. They survive today as a sort of hybrid, an example being the Western Zonal Timetable which includes the Central, Western, West Central and North Western Railways.

Today, however, we look at some extracts from the maps attached to the Southern and South Central Railway timetables issued in November 1975. It is instructive to compare them with the maps of the present railway systems in those areas.

First, the inset showing the Madras area:

madras-area-1975

Notes: Many more stations have come up on these suburban sections since 1975.

See the MG lines extending up to the Tondiarpet yard. It was a bit startling to observe a YG next to the BG tracks while travelling north from MAS in the late 80s.

Madras has long become Chennai, while Madras Park and Madras Chetpat have since been contracted  to Park and Chetpat. (However they are listed as Chennai Park and Chennai Chetpat in the RBS tables). Not the first time that official names in the Railway’s own databases are not the same as the names on the signboards.

The Villivakkam- Anna Nagar branch came and went in the 2000s.

This map shows Veysarpadi which was and still is a cabin and not a station. Vyasarpadi Jeeva station came later.

And the mapmaker forgot the existence of Madras Beach station, where once MG lines met an outlying BG line.

The Hindi signboards in this area are curious in that they use Hindi transliterations of Tamil words rather than Hindi words. Today we have:

Chennai Beach : Chennai Kodikirai in Hindi

Chennai Fort: Chennai Kotte

Park: Punga

Also, Egmore is revealed to be the Anglicized form of Eshambur.

The Hyderabad area:

hyderabad-area-1975

Notes: Husain Sagar Jn was a functioning station at that time, while James Street station vanished soon afterwards and was revived with the MMTS in the 2000s. Many new stations appeared when the MMTS started. Today Husain Sagar has a large signal cabin while the platforms of the long-vanished station can still be seen.

The short-lived Telapur-Patancheru branch appeared some years later and has now vanished. If you keep your eyes open you may see the abandoned station of Telapur west of Lingampalli, from where the branch departed to the north. There is some talk of reviving this branch as part of the MMTS.

Note the forgotten siding to Trimulgeri, which was more commonly spelt as Trimulgherry.

An intensive suburban system with YDM2 diesels served the MG suburban sections running north and south of Secunderabad. Now, of course, you will not see any MG line within a few hundred km of the Hyderabad area.

 

High scores at No 11

In the general batting mayhem of the 3rd ODI between England and Pakistan at Nottingham, it did not go unnoticed that Mohammad Amir on the losing side scored 58 at No 11 which was the first 50 by a No 11 in an ODI. The previous record was 43 by Shoaib Akhtar in the 2003 World Cup.

As we can see from the scorecard , Amir was joint top scorer in the innings with Sharjeel.

We take this occasion to look more closely at scores by No 10 and 11 batsmen in all 3 formats.

Tests:

45 and above at No 11:

No 11 high scores.

Note that the top 4 scores have come after 2000.

There is even a listing of No 11s who have top scored in the innings:

No 11 top score

The highest score of 98 here was made by AC Agar on his debut. The lowest (14) also came in recent years, when Australia moved from 21/9 to 47.

At No 10, there have been 4 centuries and a ninety:

No 10 high scores

And there are numerous centuries at No 9. The highest is 173 by IDS Smith for NZ v Ind in 1989-90, followed by 169 by SC Broad in this famous Test. The highest for India is 90 by FM Engineer vs NZ in 1964-65.

We now move to ODIs:

Highest by No 11 (30 and above):

No 11 highest

Highest score by No 10 (50 and above):

No 10 highest

Note that Amir also held this record for over two years before Rampaul took it.

At No 9, the highest is 92* by AD Russell for WI vs Ind in 2011. For India, it is 69 by Jai P. Yadav in the same match as IK Pathan (above).

As we will see, tailender scores are considerably lower in T20Is.

Top scores by No 11 (in double figures):

No 11

Only 4 No 11s have crossed double figures. The highest for India is 5* by Ishant Sharma v SL in 2009-10

Top scores by No 10 (20 and above):

No 10

The highest for India is 19* by S Sreesanth v NZ in the 2007 World Championship.

At No 9, the highest is 46 by Anwar Ali for Pak v SL in 2015. For India, it is 33* by IK Pathan v SL in 2008-09.