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Ken Higgs, observed an admirer, was a wonderful fast-medium bowler with great stamina, an instantly recognisable curved run and an arse that crossed two postcodes. He played in 15 Tests for England, and, especially in Lancashire, many will profess he should have played more. With his passing, at 79, one of the Red Rose countys cricketing legends has been lost.Higgs was a heart-of-oak bowler, who took pride in his remorseless accuracy and his ability to find swing and cut when conditions offered the slightest encouragement. Few bowlers of his pace - early 80s perhaps - have jarred the bat with such regularity.His England record was a fine one: 71 wickets in 15 Tests at 20.74 each and with an economy rate of only 2.14 runs an over. Better economy for England than Brian Statham, Lancashires prince of parsimony, and at Old Trafford there was no higher accolade than that.Born in Kidsgrove, in Staffordshire, on January 14, 1937, he lived there throughout his Lancashire career. He did not drive and would commute daily to Old Trafford by bus and train. This was an era in which all but a few high-profile batsmen habitually walked for a dismissal if they had edged the ball. Higgs was incensed one day at Old Trafford when David Steele stood his ground after the bowler believed he had found the edge. They were due to return to Staffordshire on the same train from Manchester Piccadilly after the match, but Higgs was resentful enough to catch the next one.He had suggested no particular aptitude for cricket as a schoolboy. He was more taken by football and as a centre half attracted the attention of Port Vale junior sides and was selected for an FA youth tour of Germany in the winter of 1953-54. But military service intervened and gradually his interests shifted to cricket, encouraged in part by watching his brother, Roy, play in the Staffordshire League. When his military service was over, it was not long before he broke into Staffordshires Minor Counties side. The Lancashire coach, Stan Worthington, a former Derbyshire and England allrounder, recommended him to the county, suggesting that he might develop into another Alec Bedser.Higgs quickly proved himself to be Stathams most faithful new-ball partner at Lancashire after making his debut against Hampshire in 1958, taking seven wickets in the second innings. He took 67 wickets that year and 113 in his second, the first of five years in which he was to take more than 100 first-class wickets in a summer. He was not averse to a scathing quip or two if he felt that luck was against him.These were difficult times for Lancashire. They were runners-up to Yorkshire in 1960 but finished no higher than 11th for the next seven seasons. Job insecurity did not help Higgs cricket and there was some talk of his release, until a dramatic recovery of form that led to an England Test debut alongside Statham against South Africa in 1965. It was to be Stathams last Test, but Lancashires pace attack now briefly served country as well as county.Higgs was summoned for the 1965-66 Ashes tour but illness and injury prevented him following up a useful first outing in Brisbane. A subsequent tour to New Zealand brought more fortune, with 17 wickets in three Tests.His best series came against a powerful West Indies in 1966, when his 24 wickets were not only the most by an England bowler but were heavy with top-order wickets: Conrad Hunte, Rohan Kanhai and Basil Butcher to the fore. His 6 for 91 in a drawn Test at Lords remained his best Test figures. A grand effort, Wisden recorded. As many as 23 players represented England as the selectors rang the changes to no avail in a losing series, but Higgs was the only ever-present.But it was an unexpected batting feat that gained most attention that summer as England won the fourth Test, at The Oval - Brian Closes first as captain - by an innings. Higgs shared a last-wicket stand of 128 with John Snow to take England to 527. When Higgs gave a return catch to the spinner, David Holford, the pair were only two runs short of the record last-wicket stand in Tests at the time, one that had stood since 1903. They were entirely oblivious of the fact. Afterwards the newspapers showed them celebrating their feat on the balcony, sipping tea. As Snow was to record in Cricket Rebel, they had intended to pose for the photo with a pint of beer - their chosen reward for thirsty work - only to be informed that it did not set the right tone.Higgs retired after the 1969 season, at 32, with 1033 first-class wickets at 22.90, his departure influenced to some degree by the belief that Lancashire were not paying him his due compared to Farokh Engineer and Clive Lloyd, two of the overseas players who brought a much needed shot in the arm to the county game in the late 1960s. Suitably, for family fallouts, the Old Trafford flags flew at half mast on news of his death, nearly half a century later.He played two seasons for Rishton in the Lancashire League, but county cricket retained a pull for him and he was persuaded to make a return by Leicestershires chief executive, Mike Turner, and made such a success of it that he took his first-class tally past 1500. He took 4 for 10, including a hat-trick, in the 1974 Benson & Hedges Cup final, and a few years later scored 98 batting a No. 11, during what remains a club record partnership of 228 with Ray Illingworth. As ever, Higgs sweep shot, which he doted upon for his entire career, was to the fore.Illingworth, whose captaincy was to transform Leicestershire after he cut his ties with Yorkshire, wrote later: He was just the type we needed - as strong as a bull, and he never turned it in. He was a bit temperamental at times, because he needed to blow up about twice a season, and then you had to handle him a bit diplomatically, but he has a big heart, and was always willing to put everything into the game with you.After his retirement Higgs became Leicestershires bowling coach, but after four years in retirement, a spate of injuries pressed him into an emergency return against Yorkshire in 1986. Conditions were perfect for swing and seam, and possessed of a statelier heft than ever, he came on second change and returned 5 for 22 in 11 overs at the age of 49, passing the outside edge at will. He was proud of the coaching clinic he had just enacted. I knew hed do that to us, bemoaned Yorkshires wicketkeeper, David Bairstow.Higgs partner for much of that spell was a player at the extreme opposite end of his career. Phil DeFreitas, then aged 20 and in the second season of his first-class career, took four of the remaining five Yorkshire wickets to enhance a reputation that would later that year earn him his first England call-up for Mike Gattings tour of Australia. DeFreitas was one of many who praised Higgs mentoring abilities upon hearing of his death. He taught me so much about the game, he said.Higgs could be a gruff soul, not much given to small talk, and he was no fan of authority, especially when it came with limited knowledge. But former team-mates often spoke warmly of his willingness to offer advice and guidance, and of his strong, uncomplicated team ethic. He just got on with his job, operating around 80mph, but getting enough life from the pitch to jar a batsmans hands and make batting a demanding task. After his retirement he ran a guest house in Blackpool, where further wisdom was offered over the fried breakfasts. 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Pakistan 282 for 6 (Misbah 110*, Shafiq 73, Woakes 4-45) v EnglandScorecard and ball-by-ball detailsA story about the return of one Pakistan player to Lords became a tale about the maiden appearance at the ground of another, as Misbah-ul-Haqs unbeaten century on his first Test in England led his side into a strong position on the opening day. Misbahs correct call at the toss delayed the much-anticipated return to the fray of Mohammad Amir but his efforts ensured this would be still be an occasion for Pakistan - and cricket romantics of every persuasion - to remember.Alastair Cook had also wanted to bat first on a pitch that has had to withstand regular unseasonal soakings over recent weeks and on what turned out to be a fine summers day it was easy to see why. Still, four wickets for Chris Woakes - including bowling nightwatchman Rahat Ali with the last ball of the day - and an impressive showing from the debutant, Jake Ball, meant Englands attack was not entirely quelled by a commanding, 148-run stand between Misbah and Asad Shafiq as an occasionally cloudy afternoon melted into a sunlit evening.At the age of 42 years and 47 days, Misbah became the sixth-oldest man to make a century in Tests. After jogging the single to take him to three figures shortly before 6pm, he gestured to his team-mates on the pavilion balcony before getting down to do a series of push-ups - further proof, if any were needed, of his supreme levels of fitness. He has been the pillar that held up Pakistan cricket in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal that erupted on this ground back in 2010 and it was symbolically apt that he played the same role on the field in their first match back in England since those dark days.There are many threads to the tapestry of this tour beyond the redemptive element of Amirs return, not least Pakistans qualities as a team. The first day of the series immediately flagged that they would provide stiffer opposition than Sri Lanka, the visitors to England earlier in the summer, and while Mohammad Hafeez and Younis Khan would have been disappointed not to build on useful starts, Misbah and Shafiq were not so profligate.Misbah had never before batted in a Test in England, never played more than a few T20 innings at Lords, but he was not going to overawed by his first outing. Eight months ago, after leading his side to a 2-0 win over England in the UAE, he was contemplating retirement but he eventually decided to carry on in the belief that Pakistan would need him on this tour. It was clear to see why when he strode out with his side 77 for 3, bearded and resolute, a grizzled captain leading his men into uncharted waters and ready to repel all boarders.Lets go to work, was the slogan from Quentin Tarantinos 1992 film Reservoir Dogs and in Misbah and Younis, Pakistan have a couple of experienced wiseguys capable of doing a number on England. You have to go back to the 1990s for the last time Pakistan won a Test at Lords and their chances here relied on an experienced batting order being able to give a much-vaunted attack something to bowl at. England managed to chisel out Younis but, in the shape of Shafiq, there was another, equally determined Mr Green ready to step in and do business.England had resorted to subcontinental bowling plans, with short extra cover and short midwicket, by the time Stuart Broad coaxed a thick edge from Shafiq, on 34, but with only one slip in place the ball flew wide of Cooks despairing dive. A clubbed square cut for four off Moeen Ali - who Pakistan never allowed to settle annd conceded 46 runs from his seven overs - took him to a fifth 50-plus score against England but, with the shadows lengthening a feathered edge off Woakes finally broke the stand.dddddddddddd. Rahat then dragged on to give the persevering Woakes his best Test figures.Misbah and Shafiq might have been separated sooner, when a mix up left both batsmen running to the same end. Gary Ballance, making his own comeback after a year out of the side, threw hastily at the strikers stumps when a lob to the bowler would have done the trick. Pakistan were on 184 for 4 at the time and still going about their recovery from being three down shortly after lunch.Ball nearly claimed a maiden Test wicket with his second ball but eventually removed Azhar Ali, to follow an early brace for Woakes in the morning session. Never mind devil, there was nothing so much as a mischievous imp in the pitch but Ball took that out of the equation with a yorker that knocked Azhar off his feet, though the No. 3 left the field shaking his head after utilising the DRS only for the Hawk-Eye to back-up Kumar Dharmasenas decision that the ball was hitting leg stump by the finest of margins.Misbah began cautiously and he had made 2 from 19 balls when he gloved a Broad bouncer high and wide of wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for his first boundary. A thin inside edge saved him from being lbw to Ball walking across his stumps on 11 and he might have been taken at second slip on 16, when the wayward Steven Finn found his outside edge only for Joe Root to shell a low chance, but he remained unperturbed.He unfurled some more aggressive strokes during Moeens exploratory overs, as well as taking easy runs off Finn. Later in the day, in struck four fours in five balls off Moeen - two sweeps, two reverse-sweeps - to move into the 90s and emphasise his mastery over Englands spinner.Despite Finns struggle, the bowlers did have some success. Memories had begun to drift back to Englands toil in the UAE following another fifty stand between Misbah and Younis when the latter, batting out of his crease such was the docility of the pitch, flicked a Broad delivery straight to midwicket to depart for 33.They had earlier pegged Pakistan back after a 38-run opening stand that involved a little bit of luck alongside some proactive batting from Hafeez. Anticipation of Amirs first involvement had given way to a moment for Ball to savour and he nearly struck in his opening Test spell, Cook generously deigning to review an lbw decision against Shan Masood only for the replays to confirm Dharmasenas suspicion the ball had pitched outside leg.Ball acquitted himself well as the stand-in for James Anderson, pushing the speed gun up towards 89mph and troubling both of the Pakistan openers. Hafeez could have been taken on 11, when a drive at Broad resulted in a thick edge low to the left of James Vince at third slip but he could not hold on one-handed. The same batsman flashed wide of the slips off Ball in the 10th over and Masood followed suit, off Woakes, moments after.Woakes, though, found success shortly before the drinks break, inducing a thin edge from Masood with a delivery than bounced a touch more than expected. He had his second four overs later when Hafeez, who had gambolled his way to 40, finally fell in lackadaisical fashion, trying to flip across the line only to offer a straightforward catch to Bairstow running across towards square leg. Camo China NFL Jerseys Disocunt Football Jerseys Cheap NFL Gear Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Authentic Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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