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An Aussie and "the biggest six ever" at Broadhalfpenny Down

After a summer of absorbing Ashes series tests for both the men’s and the women’s teams it seems that the classic sporting rivalry between England and Australia is continuing with the women’s World Cup football.

On Broadhalfpenny Down last weekend the annual visit of the Australian High Commission CC resulted in a win for the Brigands. Not too much hype about “Bazball” in that match but the Down has it’s own piece of history and an Australian connection with a well hit six.

The date is 10th September 1961 and the Brigands are hosting one of the very first visits of the Lord’s Taverners to Broadhalfpenny Down. The Taverners had the usual mixture of well-known names from the world of entertainment, Harry Secombe of the Goon Show, and professional cricketers, Rahman Subba Row, Dennis Silk and Australian fast bowler Ray Lindwall.

Lindwall was the fast and furious opening bowling partner of Keith Miller in the 1948 Australian side captained by Don Bradman which completed their tour without losing a game.

Years later, while working in London, Lindwall appeared for the Taverners and in the 1961 match at Broadhalfpenny Down opened the bowling from the beech copse end – downhill with his inimitable smooth approach.

Opening the batting for the Brigands were Mike Ainsworth (Worcestershire) and Lieutenant Wally Rothwell of the Royal Australian Navy who was training at HMS Mercury. No slouch Rothwell, who was certainly good enough to have played first class cricket.

It was Lindwall’s 8th over – Rothwell on strike – a shortish ball, but still very fast, which stood up nicely to be hammered away over the boundary, over the Bat and Ball car park and into the top of the trees beyond where, it was said, the ball was still going up!

Written across the scorebook that day was the inscription “Biggest six ever seen at BHD – and off an Australian Test bowler too!”

Lindwall finished with 0 for 68 off 12 overs and made exactly 68 when he batted. Rothwell had made 65 out of 89 when the first wicket fell. “Bazball” – well, certainly a forerunner, as on the day Brigands made 307 for 8 declared and Taverners were all out for 304 and there were 16 sixes!

Written by Broadhalfpenny Brigands President, Bryan Burns. If you'd like more from memory lane, please like and comment on this story.

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