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A Clean Sweep

A Story & Poem by Beryl Bowden

Vic 92, and wife Stella in happy retirement at Port MacQuarie

Vic 92, and wife Stella in happy retirement at Port MacQuarie

During a cricket match between Stroud and Booral sometime in the early nineteen- fifties, Vic Wilson took all ten Booral wickets. Unfortunately, no records have survived, though it is known that Mervyn Green captained Stroud and Arthur Single was Booral’s captain.

The day in question, Booral won the toss and captain, Arthur Single, decided they would bat.

Stroud’s captain Mervyn Green, threw the ball to Vic Wilson for him to open the bowling. It was not long before Vic started to send the batsmen back where they had come from. Most of the wickets he took were due to his ability to ‘swing’ the ball. This often resulted in a ‘nick’ to ‘slips’ where Joe Farley’s excellent fielding in that position, did the rest.

Arthur Single was a man of mature age who loved his cricket. On leaving the wicket after Vic bowled him round his legs, he remarked, ”It was the best ball he had ever faced!”

At one point in the game, when Vic hadn’t taken a wicket for a couple of overs, Mervyn thought he would take him off, but when he took three wickets in quick succession, he left him on!

Vic had taken all nine wickets when, the last man in, Allan Webster, approached the crease. Vic remarked, “I haven’t hit the stumps since I bowled Arthur. I wonder if I can still do it?”

He clean-bowled Allan, first ball!!

The Rout

by Beryl Bowden

A young man name of Wilson
A native son of Stroud,
One day on the cricket field
Did his teammates proud.
A man of medium stature
Not regarded small,
The day of which I’ll tell you
Vic stood ten feet tall!

A bowler of ability,
An asset to Stroud’s team,
He bowled like Dennis Lilley
Just as fast and twice as mean!
To start the game a coin was tossed
And much to Stroud’s dismay,
‘We’ll bat.’ said Booral’s captain
‘We’ll surely win today’!

The captain gave young Vic the ball
And said, ‘Just do your best.’
The outcome of his action
He never could have guessed!
The batsman stood and quivered
As Vic took the ball and wheeled
Then thundered down toward him
Dust flying from his heels!

The poor wretch didn’t see the ball
That took his middle stump.
‘A lucky one.’ He muttered
As he passed the grinning ump’.
Next batsman fared no better
As, just for variation
Vic sent his off stump spinning,
To his teammates jubilation!

One by one he mowed them down
That proud young team of Booral.
The crowd went wild with cheering.
Merv cried. ‘We’re a moral!’
‘Can he do it, can he do it,
Can he set the team to rout?’
They whispered to each other,
‘Can he bowl the whole team out?’

This question proved prophetic
As, with relentless ease
Young Vic took all ten wickets
In his eagerness to please.
They chaired him from the field that day
His proud and happy team.
The opposition stood and clapped,
Such a feat they’d never seen!

Though he may never play at Lords,
This country boy named Vic,
That day is long remembered
When he gave Booral ’the stick’!!!

Apart from Vic and Mervyn some other Stroud players were: Joe Farley, Ted Murray, Ken Bowen, Eric Pereira and Gordon Davey.

Members of Booral’s team included: Max Single, Alec Blows, Alan Webster, Wallace Lowe, and Billy Wilson.

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4 Comments on “A Clean Sweep”

  1. Beryl Bowden December 25, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    Thanks for your good wishes Dianne.Lovely to hear from you after all these years.Happy Christmas to you and yours

  2. Diana Torrance (nee Webster) December 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    Thanks for a great story about my Dad getting clean bowled first ball. I love your stories Mrs Bowden.

    • Beryl Bowden December 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Glad you like my stories Diana. I enjoy writing them.

      • diana torrance (nee Webster) December 13, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

        Hi Mrs Bowden I wish you, Tony, Lyndell, Anne and all the family a very merry Christmas and look forward to reading more of your stories in the new year.

        Best wishes to all.

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