Cricket has returned to our screens in recent weeks but at MCC, the Heritage & Collections team has once again delved deep into their archives to simulate a Test match between some of the greatest players to ever grace Lord’s.
Based on each player’s profile and career statistics - including batting and bowling averages and strike-rates - a one-off match is simulated based on randomly determined playing conditions. A detailed scorecard is produced, which we have turned into a full match report to replicate the action.
England Honours Board XI v West Indies Honours Board XI
As we currently enjoy the England v West Indies series, it’s time to take a look how a match between some of the team’s greatest ever players may have panned out at the Home of Cricket.
Team selection is based around performances at Lord's, with at least one appearance on the Test or Limited-Overs Honours Boards required. Teams must include a captain, two openers, a wicket-keeper and at least four frontline bowlers.
Michael Vaughan won the toss for this England XI and chose to bat first on a decent looking pitch at Lord’s. Even with the likes of Bob Willis, Fred Trueman and James Anderson in his seam attack, there was no real question in his decision despite the fact that Clive Lloyd could include a battery of famed seamers in his West Indies XI line-up.
England got off to a terrible start, losing Graham Gooch second ball of the innings for a duck as Joel Garner found a way through the Essex man’s defences.
A century stand between Len Hutton and Wally Hammond helped England recover and temporarily blunt the West Indian seamers, but Garner struck before lunch to remove Gloucestershire’s Hammond lbw for 76. His fall sparked a flurry of wickets as England lost four for only 38.
Yorkshireman Hutton remained firm against a fearsome West Indian attack that included Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Walsh and Michael Holding alongside Garner, as he and Alec Stewart put on 50 for the sixth wicket.
Hutton reached an excellent century shortly after tea before being bowled by Walsh for 102, with the score 241 for 6. He didn’t quite reach the heights of his 196, which he made against the Windies at Lord’s in 1939.
Stewart continued to a half-century and the Surrey ‘keeper put on 50 with Trueman for the seventh wicket, before the latter became Garner’s fifth victim for 25.
The England tail managed to eek the score past 300 and took advantage of some poor West Indian fielding, which saw Marshall have both Derek Underwood and Anderson dropped off his bowling, to make 327 all out.
Despite the score looking slightly under-par, Vaughan will have been pleased to his side recover from 171 for 5. Garner ended the innings with a haul of 6 for 75, the exact same figures the Bajan took against Australia in Guyana in 1984.
Lloyd’s West Indian side batted for an over at the end of day one before Chris Gayle was run out early on the second day by Willis.
England’s tails weren’t up for long though as a wonderful partnership of 187 between Gordon Greenidge, who moved serenely past three figures, and George Headley swung the match firmly in the Windies’ favour.
Another run out saw Headley fall for 83 although England won’t have been pleased to see Vivian Richards striding through the Long Room to join Greenidge.
The pair put on 77 before the medium pace of Gooch broke the partnership, and Greenidge departed for a magnificent 140 shortly before the end of play which saw the West Indies close on 277 for 3. He of course fell well short of the unbeaten 214 that he famously made at Lord’s in 1984.
Richards and Garfield Sobers helped the Windies into the lead on day three and the pair were building well when Ian Botham struck to remove Richards for 78 before lunch, with the score now 350 for 4.
Sobers was joined by skipper Lloyd and the pair both enjoyed let-offs in the afternoon session, as they were put down by Kevin Pietersen and Vaughan respectively. Both batsman passed 50 and put on a century stand as a wicketless session frustrated England, with the score now 456 for 4.
Sobers moved to a fine century from 203 balls but Lloyd fell victim to Trueman for 77. There was still time for another 50 stand between Sobers and Clyde Walcott before the Windies closed the day on 559 for 5, a more than healthy lead of 232 with Sobers unbeaten on 132. Sobers did make two higher scores at Lord’s in Tests; 163 not out in 1966 and 150 not out in 1973.
With the forecast for the final two days having changed to look dubious overnight, Lloyd decided to bat on for only an over on day four and declare on 562 for 5, a lead of 235 over England.
The captain needn’t have worried though, as England crumbled under the pressure of a superb West Indian outfit. Garner removed first innings centurion Hutton for a duck, before Hammond and Gooch both fell cheaply as the visitors reduced the hosts to 37 for 3.
Pietersen and Botham both fell for single figures as the Windies rapidly accelerated their victory charge and when Holding removed Vaughan for 30 and Trueman without scoring in the same over, England were reeling at 73 for 7 as the players took lunch.
Stewart and Underwood restored some English pride in the afternoon session, putting on 43 for the eighth wicket but by that point the result was a formality and England were bundled out for 120 shortly before 3pm, as the Windies sealed victory by the huge margin of an innings and 115 runs. Marshall and Holding both claimed three wickets apiece.
There were some fine West Indian performances in the match but Garner was named Man of the Match, with ‘Big Bird’ taking match figures of 7 for 98.