Laker’s Nineteen

lakers-nineteen

Surrey & The Ashes: Part 7

Having been unbeaten in England in the summer of 1948, Australia returned Bradman-less in 1953 and England were keen for revenge. They got it, winning the Ashes back before retaining them in Australia the following winter.

In the 1956 Ashes, England had a shot at a historic triple – a feat they hadn’t achieved since the 1890s. In the fourth Test Surrey spinner Jim Laker did his bit to ensure history was made.

1956: Laker’s Nineteen

A right-arm offbreak bowler, Laker played almost his entire career with Surrey. At the time Surrey were unbeatable, winning seven consecutive County Championships from 1952-58. But it was at Old Trafford for England in 1956 that he had his finest hour.

Coming on as first change he initially bowled from the Warwick Road end, but it was at the Stretford end that he did his damage. In a devastating spell on the second afternoon Laker took 7 for 8 in 22 balls.

At the close of day two, Australia had lost 11 wickets (ten of them to Laker). But this was Manchester, and the weather was destined to play a part in the story. That night the rain came. By the morning of the final day Australia were still just two down. The miracle nearly never was.

With four hours play still possible in the match, the sun began to shine. So did Laker.

In the second innings he took all ten. It was the first time it had ever been done in a Test Match. Astonishingly it was the second time he had done it against the Aussies that summer (the first coming in a tour match for Surrey at the Oval).

But most impressive of all were his match figures. 19 wickets for 90 runs; two more than anyone else has achieved in any first class cricket.

2-1 up with one to play, England had secured the Ashes, making it three in a row for the first time in 60 years. It’s only happened once since – in 1981 (thanks Beefy) – but in 2013 England will be hoping to do it again. You don’t want to miss it.

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BE THERE

Ashes tickets are always hugely sought after. Being a Member of Surrey CCC will put you at the front of the queue.

As a Member, you’ll enjoy priority access to purchase tickets from December 1st. County Members can buy up to eight tickets and Championship Members two across the first four days.

And that’s just the beginning. County Members also receive free entry to every Surrey home game in every competition, while Championship Members get entry to Surrey’s home games in the LV= County Championship and CB40 competitions.

So, to be part of another unforgettable Ashes summer at the Kia Oval, contact membership@surreycricket.com or call 0844 375 1845.

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