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Clifford Roach - first West Indian opening bat to score Test half-century

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24 Mar 2013 09:08 #127152 by chairman
CRICKET: West Indies cricket before 1950 – now that is a long time ago. And if the question is asked as to who was the first West Indian cricketer – an opening batsman at that to score a half-century in Test cricket? Is it one of the famous ‘W’s” - Worrel, Weekes or Walcolt?

No, should be the answer. It is by a cricketer by the name of Clifford Archibald Roach who is not familiar to Sri Lankan followers.

Roach introduced himself to Test cricket by being run out for a ‘duck’ in the first-ever Test between England and West Indies at Lord’s in 1928. He did better in the second innings of this game, scoring 16 before being caught by Percy Chapman off Maurice Tate.

In the next Test, he hit 50 in the first innings, a knock which drew unstinted praise from critics who saw the effort at Manchester. Then, in the second innings, Roach, who looks the part of a duck when he walks to the wicket – waddle and all – got the second of many ducks he was to “farm” in his astonishing career.

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24 Mar 2013 10:00 #127165 by chairman
In scoring that fifty at Manchester, he became the first West Indian opening bat to notch a half-century in Test and even though the islanders were beaten by an innings in each of the Tests of that series, the chroniclers could not take their pens and minds off “....that fearless opening batsman who had no respect at all, for Harold Larwood”....! Other critics had much more to write and say about Roach when the MCC came to the Caribbean in 1930.
The Trinidadian opened the series by cracking 122 – first century in a Test by a West Indian – at Bridgetown. This, by the way was a memorable game for another “great” in West Indian and world cricket – George Headley, who scored 176 in West Indies second innings.
Came the next Test, at Port-of-Spain, on Roach’s own hunting ground, Queen’s Park Oval, Roach, b Voce O, Roach c Sandham, b Voce O! That was Clifford Roach’s contribution to his team’s innings in the only Test match England won.

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24 Mar 2013 10:22 #127175 by chairman
So, the selectors decided to omit him from the side scheduled to meet the Englishmen in the third Test at Bourda. When the hot-tempered Guianese got wind of the team – pickers’ intentions, they hotly declared: “If Roach is not playing, we’ll boycott the blooming Test.....”
So Roach was retained. He chose this occasion to play the greatest knock of his flamboyant career, belting the England attack for 209 runs and sharing in a stand with Headley (who hit the first of his two-in-a-match 100s).
As long as this recorder of cricketing achievements lives, Roach’s knock at Bourda will remain fresh in memory. Gough Calthorpe knew not where to place his men to staunch the flow of runs.
Later, one of the England players, discussing that memorable day’s play declared: “We could understand Headley; he hit the ball with power and precision and even though we could find no ready answer to his batting, it was always possible to get him out. But not Roach. He was a law unto himself. Voce, Haig, Rhodes, nobody at all could tame him...”!
Roach formed two bowlers who could tame him when he revisited Lord’s with G.C. Gant’s West Indies team in 1933. Gubby Allen bowled him for a duck and Sutchliffe caught him off Macaulay’s blowing to complete his second “Test Pair’.
As on the 1928 tour, Roach had happier hunting at Manchester, hitting 13 and 64 in a game which went down into the books as an all-in “bodyline” battle between Douglas Jardine, Learie Constantine and Emmanuel Martindale. Jardine came out winner, having hit 127 defiant runs.
The third Test, at the Oval belonged largely to England. England won by an innings.
But not all of the honours went to Marriot (who bagged 11 wickets), Bakelvell (who blazed a century) and Charles Barnelt (who belted a late – order 52). No all of the plaudits were not reserved for these match winners.

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24 Mar 2013 12:32 #127194 by chairman
Roach, furious at being dismissed for only eight in the first innings, justifiably humiliated at West Indies paltry total of 100, marched to the middle in the second innings with vengeance in his brave heart.
The first fall he received from Nobby Clark was cuffed for one of the most vicious sixes seen in the vicinity of he Gasometer!Roach’s slaughter of the England bowlers ended when Marriot won an appeal for lbw.
For the rest of that day and for the rest of the week, nobody talked about anything else than Roach’s initial attack on the England bowlers in West Indies second innings.

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24 Mar 2013 13:45 - 10 May 2020 17:41 #127199 by chairman
In between the goings-on in the West Indies in 1930 and the England tour of 1933, West Indies went to Australia for the first time. Roach began well, scoring 56 in the opening Test at Adelaide, but never quite settled down in the other Tests.He would up his career during the MCC visit to the Caribbean in 1935, scoring a modest 9 (c Paine b Farnes) and 10 (not out). But the best of Roach was seen, not at Adelaide, Manchester or even British Guiana, where he made that astonishing 209 – nor at the Oval, where he blazed 180, including 100 before lunch, in 1933!No, Roach’s greater knocks came during Inter-Colonial Tournaments at home.
Clifford Roach is among the greatest West Indies cricketers, one of the best stroke – making opening batsmen ever to face a new ball. He blazed the tail which later traversed by other West Indian players.

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Last edit: 10 May 2020 17:41 by chairman.

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10 May 2020 17:45 #381899 by chairman
Clifford Archibald Roach (13 March 1904 – 16 April 1988) was a West Indian cricketer who played in West Indies' first Test match in 1928. Two years later, he scored the West Indies' first century in Test matches, followed two matches later by the team's first double century. Roach played for Trinidad, but before having any great success at first-class level, he was chosen to tour England with a West Indies team in 1928 and scored over 1,000 runs. When England played in the West Indies in 1930, he recorded his ground-breaking centuries but had intermittent success at Test level afterwards. He toured Australia in 1930–31 and returned to England in 1933, when he once more passed 1,000 runs, but was dropped from the team in 1935. Within three years, he lost his place in the Trinidad team. Roach was generally inconsistent, but batted in an attacking and attractive style. Outside of cricket, he worked as a solicitor. Later in his life, he suffered from diabetes which necessitated the amputation of both his legs.

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10 May 2020 17:46 #381900 by chairman
Roach was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad,[1] and attended St Mary's College, for whom he played football.[2] He played his early cricket on matting pitches in Trinidad,[notes 1][5] and represented Maple, a cricket club for middle-class players.[6] He was coached by George John from an early age.[7] He made his first-class debut for Trinidad in February 1924, when he scored 44 and 22 against British Guiana.[8] He did not play for Trinidad again until 1926, when he faced the touring Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in two games without much success. Despite another unproductive match for Trinidad in January 1927, this time against Barbados,[8] Roach was named in the Trinidad press later that year as a likely candidate to join the West Indies team to tour England in 1928. Already judged a leading batsman in Trinidad, other factors cited in his favour included his fielding, given that West Indian teams had been inconsistent in that discipline, and an ability to bowl.[9] That December, he passed fifty for the first time in first-class matches, when he scored 84 runs for a combined Trinidad and Guiana team. The latter match was played to assist in selecting a team for the forthcoming West Indian tour of England; Roach played a further two such games without success in early 1928.[8] Even so, he was chosen in the touring party; previews again suggested his fielding and ability to bowl played a part in his selection.[10] Meanwhile, he trained as a solicitor, and successfully took his examinations shortly before the tour began

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18 May 2020 11:02 #382031 by ketchim

chairman wrote: Clifford Archibald Roach (13 March 1904 – 16 April 1988)
Later in his life, he suffered from diabetes which necessitated the amputation of both his legs

This is a horrible conclusion for a sportsman ~
may Allah restore his legs n the Hereafter !

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