On this Day in 1948, Donald Bradman scores a duck in his Farewell Test

Sir Don Bradman Last test
The England team pay tribute to Donald Bradman the Australian captain, playing in his last Test Match. (© Getty Images)

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On this day in 1948, Sir Donald Bradman nicknamed ‘The Don’, was dismissed for a duck in the final match of his career. Coming into the match he was averaging well over hundred -101.39 to be precise. In his last innings, he just needed to score 4 runs to become the first player to retire with a three digit batting average in the history of the game.

It was the 5th Test match of the Ashes series in England, which witnessed a lethal bowling performance from the pacer Ray Lindwall as the home side was folded out for 52 in their first innings. Australian skipper, Bradman came to the crease to a standing ovation after the strong opening stand of 117 runs.

In the commentary box, Rex Alston handed it over to a young John Arlott as per Cricketcountry he said, “The crowd settles down again — they’ve got 40 minutes left to play and Bradman is now taking guard. Hollies is going to bowl and John Arlott shall describe the first ball, so come in, John.”

Arlott took it from there on having his words in emotion, “Well, I don’t think I’m as deadly as you are, Rex, I don’t expect to get a wicket. But it’s rather good to be here when Don Bradman comes in to bat in his last Test. And now, here’s Hollies to bowl to him from the Vauxhall End.”

Also read – Stats: Instances of players completing double centuries with a six in Tests

But ‘the Don’ was dismissed for a second-ball duck off the bowling of the leg-spinner Eric Hollies and the commentator said, “He bowls, Bradman goes back across his wicket, pushes the ball gently in the direction of the Houses of Parliament, which are out beyond mid-off. It doesn’t go that far as that, merely goes to Watkins in the silly mid-off. No run, still 117 for one. Two slips, a silly mid-off, and a forward short leg close to him as Hollies pitches the ball up slowly and …he’s bowled…Bradman bowled Hollies … nought …and what do you say under these circumstances? I wonder if you see the ball very clearly in your last Test in England, on a ground where you’ve played some of the biggest cricket in your life and where the opposing side has just stood around you and given you three cheers and the crowd has clapped you all the way to the wicket. I wonder if you see the ball at all.”

The one who had scored runs all over the world found it hard to score 4 runs in the final match of his career as he fell 4 short of 7000 Test runs.

England had already lost the series and made a lot of changes in the series and there were 4 changes in the team for this match. There had been a good chance of Hollies not featuring in this match at The Oval.

A batting average of 50 is considered to be the symbol of a highly efficient and successful batsman. Sir Donald Bradman’s average in Test matches reached 50 with his 3rd innings and stayed above 50 for the rest of his career which talks about the kind of temperament, consistency and run he had throughout his career in different conditions.

Also read – Stats: Players who have achieved the double of a century and a 5-wicket haul in the same Test

Here are some of the marvels Donal Bradman recorded in his short career:

  • Highest individual Test batting average of 99.94, considering the players who have played at least 15 Test matches.
  • Highest Test batting average for a 5-Test series 201.50 which was against South Africa in 1931-32.
  • He equals the record for the most number of triple centuries (2) by a cricketer.
  • Highest 5th wicket partnership of 405 runs with Sid Barnes being his partner in 1946-47.
  • Only Test batsman to score more than 5,000 runs against an opponent (5028 v England).
  • Joint record for scoring 500 or more runs 7 times in a Test series.
  • Scored the most runs in a single day’s play 309 v England, in Leeds on 1930.
  • Bradman is the only batsman to score 6 consecutive Test centuries.
  • He is the fastest Australian cricketer to reach 1000 runs in Tests.
  • He scored 12 double centuries in Tests, the highest ever.