August 24, 1836 – A century nearly cost Alfred Mynn his leg

August 24, 1836 – A century nearly cost Alfred Mynn his leg

In the pre-match session, Alfred Mynn was hit on the ankle by a cricket ball.

Colour illustration, pic: circa 1850, Alfred Mynn, (1807-1861) (Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Alfred Mynn was famous for his bowling numbers in first-class cricket as the England cricketer accounted for 1038 wickets during his 213-match FC career. The Kent-born player took those wickets at an average of 10.22 the best among the players with 600+ wickets. Mynn took a wicket every 30.81 deliveries which is the 2nd best amongst the players who have over 1000 wickets. The gritty player once featured in a game without caring for a severe injury he was carrying.

The game between North and South in 1936 began on the 22nd August at the Barker’s Ground in Leicester. In the pre-match session, Alfred Mynn was hit on the ankle by a cricket ball and it had to be strapped. He was in no position to take part in the game. However, Mynn decided to play the game and his team South elected to bat first. Mynn’s leg remained strapped on the rain-affected opening day and he wasn’t required to bat. The game which was supposed to begin at 10:00 AM got underway after 4:00 PM.

A century on a single leg

South were reduced to 97/6 at the end of day one and lost two early wickets on the 2nd day morning. Mynn arrived as No.10 batsman with a runner and scored an unbeaten 21 to take his team’s total to 165. Frederick Lillywhite’s five-wicket haul bundled out the Northern team on 110 and thus his team claimed a 55-run first innings lead. Mynn wasn’t affected by the injured leg as he was committed enough to pick two wickets. He dismissed the opposition’s top scorer James Dearman (41) and the last man standing Charles Creswell (1).

As the game progressed, Mynn’s leg started to swell but he wasn’t bothered and walked in at No.5 on the 3rd day. Samuel Redgate, who took five wickets in South’s first innings, added three more to his tally in the 2nd innings and reduced them to 91/3. Mynn’s injured leg was repeatedly bruised by Redgate, who failed to get the better of him. Mynn carried on and ended up scoring an unbeaten 125 to take his team’s total to 314. It was Alfred Mynn’s sole century in FC cricket and the first by any player in this format with a runner.

Nearly lost his leg

Soon after the completion of his innings, Mynn was taken to Angel Tavern in St Martin’s Lane in London. The doctors nearly decided to amputate the leg from the hip. However, Mynn, a religious personality, offered prayers for a couple of minutes. His prayers seemed to have been answered as the doctors asked for him to be shifted to the St Bartholomew’s Hospital where they treated his leg without amputating it. But Mynn but didn’t play the sport until 1938 due to this injury.

Start of a new era

Mynn’s efforts were enough to hand the Southern team a big 218-run win as Lillywhite (6) and James Cobbett (4) shared ten wickets between them to restrict North to 151 while defending a target of 370 runs. This innings by Alfred Mynn holds a great significance in cricket history. The usage of leg-guards (pads) came into effect after what happened to Mynn’s injured leg as he faced the fast and furious pacer Redgate.

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