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Remembering The Birthday Boy - Bob Massie

1972 Lord's test match between England and Australia will be always remembered as Bob Massie’s match. The young Bob Massie, born on 14th April 1947, made his debut in that match and put himself in the record books.

Last updated: 14.04.2020
Remembering The Birthday Boy Bob Massie | Sports Social Blog

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The 1972 Lords test match between England and Australia will always be remembered as the ‘Bob Massie’s match’. The young Bob Massie, born on 14th April 1947, made his debut in that match and put himself in the record books thanks to a brilliant performance.

Bob Massie was part of the 1972 Ashes touring party due to some good performances in Australian domestic cricket. It was not a good time for Australian cricket. They did not win the previous 12 tests and lost seven out of those. Against England, their last win came in 1968. The media was against them and the Australia captain Ian Chappell was desperate to bring a change in fortune.


Before the second test at Lords, Chappell brought Massie to open the bowling with Dennis Lille, another player from Western Australia. Under an overcast sky, Massie showed his magic. He got Geoff Boycott as his maiden test wicket. He also got Mike Smith and Basil D’Oliveira to make England 97 for 5. Massie bowled a 20-over spell and started to get cramps. He was rested by Chappell and Tony Greig and Alan Knott Utilized the chance to put 96 runs in their partnership. However, Massie returned and duly broke the partnership. He continued his good work and got the entire last four Australian wickets after that. In total, he took eight wickets for 84 and England were all out for 272.

Australia did not have a good start but Greg Chappell scored 131 with handy contributions from Ian Chappell and Rod Marsh to give them a 36 runs lead.

Massie was even more devastating in the second innings and not many English batsmen had an answer to his swing and pace. They were 31 for 5 and later 81 for 9. A 35 runs partnership in the 10th wicket helped the score past 100. Massie got another eight wickets and finished with 16 wickets for 137 runs. It was the record for best bowling analysis on debut which was later broken by Narendra Hirwani against West Indies.

Australian batsmen completed the chase of 81 with ease and Massie became remembered forever in the Ashes history for his once in a lifetime performance.

Bob Massie - 16/137 on Debut at Lords in 1972


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