Perhaps cricket’s greatest ‘one-hit wonder’, Perth-born Bob Massie hadn’t yet played a Test Match for Australia when he was picked for the 1972 tour of England.
He made his Test debut at Lord’s having missed out on the first Test at Old Trafford, which England won by 89 runs. No one could have guessed what drama lay in store. Massie’s tour had got off to a flying start when he took 6 for 31 in helpful conditions against Worcestershire. But an appearance at the Oval had been less inspiring and when he played his third match of the tour against MCC at Lord’s, he pulled up injured in only his second over. He was out for almost four weeks and only had two games to get back into his stride before the Lord’s Test. In his last run out against Essex, match figures of 4 for 114 were no more than respectable.
His Test debut came on what Richie Benaud described as “a beautiful batting track”, but you wouldn’t have thought it to see England batting. Massie took advantage of cloudy conditions to swing and seam the ball both ways at a little above medium pace and take 8 for 84 in the first innings and 8 for 53 in the second. He became the first – and so far only - Australian to take 15 wickets in a Test Match. His match figures of 16 for 137 were a record for a Test debutant until India’s Narendra Hirwani bettered them by one run in 1988, which remain a record for a Test at Lord’s. Massie played only five more Tests and never took another five-wicket haul. On tour in the West Indies the following spring he struggled with illness and tried to modify his action. His career fell away completely and by 1974 he had lost his place in the Western Australia side. Nevertheless, for ‘Massie’s Match’ he will always be a legend at Lord’s.