Tiger Duo Tackle The Windies
Tiger Duo Tackle The Windies.
On the 3rd of March 1978 the Richmond Cricket Club once again had the great honour of providing the Australian Cricket Team with two of its favourite sons. Jim Higgs and Graham Yallop were chosen to play as a duo on the Test arena, this time against the mighty West Indies on the Queens Park Oval at Trinidad in the Caribbean.
The right arm leg spinner Higgs, selected for the first of his Twenty Test Matches, was to join polished left hand batsman Yallop, who was playing the fifth of his thirty nine Tests, in what was the first match in a five Test series.
In a lead up game against the Leeward Islands, Higgs produced the outstanding figures of 12 wickets for 162, and played a major role in an Australia's victory. Yallop was also in good form as only a month prior he hit a stylish 121 on the Adelaide Oval in the Fifth Test against India.
The Windies asked Australia to bat and their trio of exciting pace bowlers, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Colin Croft, tore through the visitor's line up reducing them to a disappointing total of only 90 runs. As well as great bowlers the home side were able to send out as their first five in the batting order, some of their greatest ever Test batsmen. Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, Alvin Kallicharran and Clive Lloyd led the charge, and in the Windies first innings total of 405, that imposing group collecting 356 of them.
Higgs with 4 wickets was Australia's leading bowler, followed by fellow spinner Bruce Yardley and paceman Jeff Thomson, who took 3 each. In the Aussies' second innings only Graham Yallop with 81, and Craig Serjeant 40, held up the Windies for any length of time. Andy Roberts took 5 wickets and a total of 209 was once again not nearly enough, the home team cruising to victory by an innings and 106 runs.
The West Indies retained the Frank Worrell trophy winning the series 3-1, but Higgs with 15 wickets in 4 Test Matches and 42 wickets in 9 games overall, was a highly impressive tourist. Yallop in 8 games scored 660 at an average of 55 with 317 of these coming in his 4 Tests. Seven months later when the Australian team next went into action at Brisbane against England, it was Graham Yallop playing in only his 9th Test, who was the captain.
Higgs and Yallop played together in the same Australian Test team on another 14 occasions, and up to 2013 they complete the club's proud record of having two players on the Test arena at the same time. You will recall on previously recorded occasions the Richmond Cricket Club had Jim Hodges and Tom Kendal (1877), Ernie McCormick and Leo O'Brien (1935), Doug Ring and Bill Johnston (1948) and now Jim Higgs and Graham Yallop (1978), playing as a Test duo.
It was no surprise that Jim Higgs and Graham Yallop were selected in the Tiger's Cricket Team of the Century and Hall of Fame, a record of the outstanding service they gave to Richmond, Victorian and Australian Cricket can be found on the Tiger's Hall of Fame Web page.
To complete the Richmond Test record the club also sent 4 cricketers, Sam Morris (1885), Dave Smith (1912), Paul Reiffel (1992), and Cameron White (2008) to the Australian Team. At a later date I will speak about these players and their interesting history.
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