Clive Rice was one of the greatest all rounders to play the game. He was originally from South Africa and his career overlapped with South Africa’s absence in world cricket during the 70s and 80s and hence he could not play test cricket. However, in the county and South African domestic cricket, he was a giant. In First class cricket, he scored 26331 runs at 41 with 28 hundreds, 930 wickets at 22 with 23 five-wicket hauls, and 401 catches, mostly in the slips. He also led brilliantly and made two very strong winning teams like Nottinghamshire in County Championship and Transvaal in the South African domestic competition.
Among his many special performances for Nottinghamshire, a very special one occurred on 4th July 1981. Nottinghamshire team travelled to Hampshire and the team met at the Dean Park, Bournemouth for a County championship match. It was a moist pitch; Rice lost the toss and hence had to bat in a not so favourable condition.
There were disasters from the beginning. The openers Tim Robinson and PA Todd could add only one run before Todd was gone. Rice came to bat with 19 for the loss of two wickets and started to look confident and scoring runs. But he did not find any company from the other end. Time Robinson was the only other player who reached double digits as he scored 10. The number five, six, seven in the batting order together scored 10 runs (4, 4, 2) contributing in partnership of 53 runs with Rice. Rice was playing like he was batting in a different pitch. He reached 50 but both number 8 and 9 scored ducks. However, the most significant partnership between Rice and number 10 batter and wicket keeper Chris Scott happened next. The duo added 53 runs off which Scott contributed 6. Rice reached a brilliant record breaking 100. It was a wonderful solo performance. Soon Nottinghamshire was all out for 143 and Rice remained not out for 105.
It is the lowest first class total to include a hundred and Rice’s contribution of 73.4% is still a record.