6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Cricket? I love it!!, 13 Nov. 2013
Having moved to a small English village some 12 years ago, I had my first encounter with cricket! The village is very passionate about the game and has two pretty good teams. I have have been learning the ins and outs (!) and bought this book as it looked really interesting and I thought I might learn something more .. Anyway, to the book itself..
"Masterly Batting by Patrick Ferriday and Dave Wilson is subtitled '100 Great Test Centuries', though once you start reading it quickly becomes apparent that it's intended to be the greatest. This is confirmed by the section entitled Measuring Stick, which details ten categories on which each innings is assessed. The actual algorithm isn't shown, though there is quite a lot of detail in the discussion of each category, which include match impact, bowling attack and conditions.
But the main part of this book is the articles on each innings chosen for the top 100. The first part lists the innings ranked 51-100 and has just a page on each, the second covers innings 26-50 and no byline is shown for those, however there's a section at the back which lists each author's work. As Eric D Morley would say, the innings are presented in reverse order. There are no photos, but that doesn't really detract from it. Also there's no index or contents, though the latter would act as a spoiler.
The most significant section is entitled "Pinnacle" and has longer pieces (six or seven pages) on the top 25 innings, each listing the author. SOme of my favourite cricket writers are featured, such as David Frith (writing on Neil Harvey) and Stephen Chalke (Herbert Sutcliffe). Those batsman will show that all eras are represented, again there's a table at the back showing how many come from each era, which cover the time span 1884-2012. That section at the back also lists which grounds are most featured, which countries and also the most successful batsmen (not too suprisingly Bradman and Lara are tops).
The writing is great, really brings to life each innings, especially in the final section, though there are many different styles (about a dozen or so different writers) which I must admit don't all appeal to me, but that's just personal taste.