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Chapter 14: Test Match Extra-Special

We’re now able to return to Lord’s, where a resumption of play in the test match between England and Australia is imminent. Your commentators are Andrew Kipp, Tim Winter, David Smith and John Knackton. So, over to Kippers, Winters, Smithers and ... John Knackton.

Welcome to our BBC long wave audience. We expect a re-start in ten minutes, and perhaps it is appropriate that we have that period available to us, as we were just discussing a letter we have received from a listener in Sri Lanka. I think the best thing I can do is pass on this short, fascinating communication in full. It reads:

Dear Gentletators

I am a British expatriate, long resident here in Colombo and an avid follower of Test Match Special. Your recent comments concerning unusual events in cricket reminded me that I have in my files a note handed to me by my local garage owner and mechanic, Mr Roshan Bhattericharga, who received it many years ago from a mariner in Trincomalee. This document describes a number of oddities, beginning with strange dismissals. I am aware that there are various ways in which a batsman may be returned to the pavilion. However, the above-mentioned paper relates a few weird ones, not included in the standard list. First, there is the case of one Percy Whelkin of Hove, who in 1891 threw a large net over the slips and was adjudged out ‘enmeshing the field’. Second, a certain Norman Gung of Market Drayton – the non-striker at the time – was sent packing in circumstances I would prefer not to relate, the verdict being ‘handled the umpire’.

Another case involved Yorkshireman Tom Longpiece, who scored eight runs by wedging a ball under his chin, from where it finally spilled out ahead of him to hit the stumps, producing a self-run-out. There are other odd cases, but I will note only that of Thomas Spoon of Middlesex, who in 1902 used his bat to smite the wicket-keeper

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