Archive for Headingley

Boycott’s Hundredth Hundred

Posted in Cricket, History with tags , , , , on August 11, 2017 by telescoper

And now for something completely different.

Forty years ago today, on 11th August 1977, during the first day of Fourth Test against Australia at Headingley Geoffrey Boycott drove a delivery from Greg Chappell to the onside boundary to reach his century. He thus became the first player to reach one hundred first class hundreds in a Test Match at his home territory at Leeds (in the Midlands).

I wasn’t at the match but I did watch it on TV and I remember seeing that shot, which almost hit the non-striking batsman (Graham Roope), as it happened. It was an interesting experience looking back because few people were in doubt that Boycott would get a hundred that day. It seemed to be an historical inevitably.

Boycott went on to make 191 out of an England total of 436. As always for a Boycott innings, it was based around a solid defence and immense concentration, and he didn’t score quickly by modern standards, but he did hit 14 boundaries on the way to his century (and 22 in the innings overall) and I remember him playing some lovely shots.

The frustration of the Australians of having to bowl at Boycott for so long was almost palpable and when they came out to bat it was as if they had lost the will to live. They were all out for 103 in the first innings and, following on, could manage only 248. England won by an innings and 85 runs.

There’s been a lot of media coverage of Geoffrey Boycott’s hundredth hundred but for myself I’ll just say that it’s nice that the occasion reminded me of that wonderful summer of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, during which Virginia Wade had won Wimbledon, and England regained the Ashes.