A.R. Morris


A.R. Morris 105 v EnglandBack to boards

Left-handed opening batter Arthur Morris emerged as something of a prodigy in the early 1940s, becoming the first man to score hundreds in both innings of his First Class debut when he was just 18.

The War robbed him of some of his formative years in the sport, but he earned his Test debut in the 1946 Ashes and became a star of the Australian side, seen as the second most important batter behind Sir Don Bradman.

Over the next nine years he would be a constant Ashes fixture, averaging over 50 against England, and developing something of a rivalry with Alec Bedser, who dismissed him on 18 occasions in Test cricket, a record that stood until the early 21st century when Glenn McGrath dismissed Michael Atherton for a 19th time.

His century at Lord’s came in the summer of 1948, as part of the Invincibles tour led by Bradman. Morris would top-score in the series, with three hundreds and three 50s, including quite magnificent 182 in a record-breaking chase at Headingley, which would secure the series.

At Lord’s, Morris and opening partner Sid Barnes both made it onto the Honours board as Australia trounced their hosts by 409 runs. Morris recovered from the loss of Barnes early on in the first innings to smash 105, particularly delighting in cover driving the English bowlers to the boundary, and setting up a first-innings score of 350. Ray Lindwall’s 5-fer earned the tourists a lead of 135, before Barnes piled on the misery with 141 in the second innings. Ernie Toshack completed a quartet of Australians on the honours board with 5 wickets of his own in the second innings, as England put up very little resistance.

Later in the tour Morris was the man at the non-striker’s end when Bradman was famously bowled for a duck in his final Test innings – he didn’t seem too distracted by the landmark dismissal, making 196 in that innings and later taking a stunning catch to wrap up the 4-0 win for Australia.

He would go on to be Australian vice-captain for a large part of his Test career, retiring in 1955 with a Test average of almost 47. It was against the old enemy though that he always seemed to be at his best, 8 of his 12 Test tons coming against England, including that memorable one here at Lord’s.