For many years John Arlott reviewed cricket books for Wisden. In each new volume, towards the back, he would cover the year's output - 70 books, or 62, 68 etc. He started doing this in 1950; the last Wisden carrying his notices was the one for 1992, not long after he died. That's 43 volumes worth of brief book reviews. Think about it.
Anyway, why I'm telling you this is that when he had a number of books to review covering the same Test series, Arlott would pick a particular episode from that series and give a short quote showing how the episode had been described in each book. I thought of this in posting about the death of Fred Trueman recently.
This present post inaugurates a new normblog series in which, following the same practice, I go back to moments that stand out in my memory from Tests I've followed. By 'followed' I don't necessarily mean actually watched - just followed in one way or another.
But the first such moment is from a Test I actually did watch, the first: South Africa against England at the Wanderers cricket ground in Johannesburg in February 1957. It was shortly before lunch on the third day and I was walking round the perimeter, I think to get to the players' entrance so that I could take a photo or two as they came off. Neil Adcock - that's Neil Amwin Treharne Adcock - was bowling to Peter May - that's Peter Barker Howard May - and I stopped to watch a delivery or two. Pessimist then, as I am still, with regard to all sporting matters, I was expecting May's innings to go on and on. But Adcock bowled him. Whoopee!
May, although not at his best, stayed three hours ten minutes before playing on in the last over before lunch on the third day. - Wisden 1958No question about it - Peter May was out.
May was out in the over before lunch, with Adcock brought back to bowl it. He was beaten by the pace of a fine ball that hustled him into a cross-bat defensive shot made too late to do more than graze the ball as it passed through to the stumps. - Charles Fortune, The M.C.C. Tour of South Africa 1956-1957
Adcock came back for the last over of the morning and May, who had been offered only one chance to drive in an hour, hit outside a ball very well up, that came in and bowled him. Goddard and Tayfield by their restrictive control had prepared the ground. - Alan Ross, Cape Summer and the Australians in England
Compton was bogged quite down against Tayfield and then, five minutes before lunch, Adcock replaced Goddard. May played the first four balls comfortably off the back foot. The next was further up and May, apparently anxious because of the stagnant scoreboard, hit across it and deflected the ball into his wicket. - E. W. Swanton, Report from South Africa
We made up for this bit of bad luck when Adcock was brought on for the final over before lunch and May, in going for a drive, got an inside edge to see the ball wreck his wickets. - Roy McLean, Pitch and Toss
[For links to the other posts in this series, see here.]