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(Easter Monday: 5 April). We have learned of the death yesterday evening of the great Surrey & England bowler. He was neither born in nor played for Hampshire but sometimes the greatest cricketers warrant a tribute and the picture shows him bowling at Portsmouth in 1957 (umpire Winston Place). Note the very full (old) Rugby Stand for this mid-week first game in the annual Pompey week. Surrey – in the middle of seven consecutive titles – hammered Hampshire. They scored 386-6 dec (May 97) and dismissed Hampshire twice for a combined total of 351 of which Roy Marshall scored 56 and 111. This was all the more remarkable as he had a stitched face from an injury in the previous game. Marshall played against Bedser eight times and scored this century and five fifties as well as taking 6-36 when Hampshire won in 1956. Of this particular innings in 1957, his captain Desmond Eagar said “Certainly no finer display of batting had been seen in Hampshire since the war” (H. Handbook for 1958)
Sir Alec took 5-21 in his first match against Hampshire in 1946 when Surrey won by 9 wkts in two days at Guildford. He also took 7-38 and 3-7 in another victory (Oval) in June 1954 and 9-106 in the match at Portsmouth in 1956. He captained Surrey against Hampshire in his last couple of years including an enthralling draw at Portsmouth in 1959. In his final appearance against Hampshire he held two catches and dismissed Peter Sainsbury in a match that rain reduced to a single day. It was probably the only way you might get Alec Bedser to play one day cricket. In recent years he visited the Rose Bowl with the Surrey Committee. We shall miss him when Surrey next appear.
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