1937 (Part Two) A win over
Part Two: A win over
New Zealanders remember the occasion in 1978 when finally a Test victory was achieved over England, but members of the 1937 side would often recall how close they came in the second Test at Manchester when poor catching let them down.
Lynn McConnell continues his look at the 1937 tour of
It is hard to believe the build-up the side was presented with for the match. A game against second-class opposition would hardly be seen as the ideal build-up for a Test match nowadays. But that was what the team did, not only playing
In the second Test,
"This was where we had lost our matches. The chances in the slips were hard, but Englishman or Australians would have held them. It was heartbreaking to see the match slip through our fingers," Wallace said.
Needing 265 to win the game,
The disappointment of the Test loss was not evident when the side batted first against
"Donnelly gave a chance or two, but nevertheless played a most meritorious innings. When in form, as he was at this stage of the tour, he is a brilliant batsman, and a beautiful player to watch, as he hits the ball very hard," Wallace said.
The next match was to provide an unhappy pair for Eric Tindill. It was played against Glamorgan at Swansea's St Helen's Ground, where Tindill had been part of the 1935-36 All Black team that was beaten by Swansea which played two schoolboys, Haydn Tanner and Willie Davies at scrumhalf and flyhalf.
"A big crowd turned out to watch us, but we were not at our best. The travelling had been heavy and to play a test, then travel half the night and be expected to take the field fresh next morning [fielding twice in succession made it harder] was nothing short of absurd," Wallace said.
Going into the final innings, New Zealand were 442 runs behind, but on reaching 71-3 by stumps on day two, the lasted only 40 minutes on the third morning when all out for 110, a loss by 332 runs. A draw followed against Warwickshire but in the final match before the third Test against Essex, Jack Dunning took a six-wicket bag and Hadlee scored his first century of the tour as
An unofficial match was played against Sir Julien Cahn's side before the Test which featured all the international players Cahn had attracted to
The rest of the tour became something of an anti-climax with the main work completed. Wallace broke his thumb during the second innings of the Test and Page and Hadlee also suffered injuries that needed treatment while the team beat Combined Services by nine wickets. A draw was played out against Hampshire and then in a tight finish against
Cowie had Doug Wright in all sorts of trouble and when he finally hit the ball onto his wickets, the bails were not dislodged and they recovered to score the winning runs. In the next match, against
A match against an All-England XI selected by Sir Pelham Warner was played at Folkestone with the All-England side scoring 464.
Lowry's uneven selection policy had its inevitable outcome when a row broke out before the All-England match. Lowry was clearly a larger than life figure but not especially supported by all of the side.
An easy win followed against Minor Counties before the last match in
Wallace summed it up in one paragraph. "The match was against Gentlemen of Ireland at the Rathmines ground and was marked by sensational cricket. They were out for 79, and, feeling very happy, we then went in and were dismissed for 64. In they went again and Cowie simply paralysed them, taking six wickets for three runs. Their whole side was out for 30, and we got the 46 for a win the same day, the first of a three-day match, with the loss of only two wickets. This was the first time for many years that a first-class cricket match anywhere had finished in one day."
The delight of two days off proved momentary however, as Irish officials asked Lowry to help them meet their commitment to paying spectators who had paid to watch the second and third days. Lowry agreed and in the two days,
The side then had 13 days off before sailing for home, via