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When Barratt was celebrated

Ted Barratt bowled unchanged for 29 four-ball overs and took all the 10 Australian wickets for just 43 runs. Australians scored just 77 runs in total.

Last updated: 02.09.2019
When Barratt was celebrated | Sports Social Blog

Going back 141 years, 2nd September 1876 was a memorable day for English left arm bowler Ted Barratt. This was the early days of England-Australia rivalry and after the 1st Test match in 1977 at MCG, a touring Australian team was in English soil. They were playing matches with various counties, clubs and districts and also against the MCC. Although none of those matches got the Test status, there were some thrilling encounters. The Australian team also played matches against teams formed by only county professionals or the ‘Players’ as well as against the ‘Gentlemen’. 

On 2nd September, the Oval was the venue for the match between Australia and the Players. 140 years back run scoring was not easy and sub hundred scores were a regular occurrence. The Australians batted first and quickly were in trouble thanks to Barratt. Barratt was a player from Surrey and was playing in his county home ground. He bowled the first over of the Australian innings and also the last. In fact he bowled unchanged for 29 four-ball overs and took all the 10 Australian wickets for just 43 runs. Australians scored just 77 runs in total. Charles Bannerman, whose record of scoring highest percentage of runs in a completed Test innings during the 1977 inaugural Test is still unbroken, again made a good contribution and astonishingly scored 51 out of those 77 runs (66.23%). He was one of the only four batsmen to open their account as seven batsmen scored ducks. Barratt’s all ten wickets had some help from the fielders as seven of those were caught and three stumping. 

Getting all ten wickets in an innings is a special feat and Barratt was celebrated. The Australians got the ball mounted in silver and gifted it to Barratt. They also gifted him five pound which would have been equivalent to 540 pound in current days. 

But even Barratt’s phenomenal effort was not enough to get a win for the ‘Players’. They took a 5-run lead by scoring 82 in their first innings as ‘The Demon’ Fred Spofforth took 7/37. Australia’s second innings total was 89 and Players required only 85 runs for a win but they were bowled out for 76 and lost the match by just eight runs. Spofforth again took five wickets in the second innings and finished with 12 wickets in the match. But despite the loss, this match remains memorable for Barratt’s effort as the next English bowler to take ten wickets in an innings against Australia was Jim Laker who did it twice in 1956.

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