1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2006
TOP 10s, greatest 100s and finest 50 type books are always the same -- there are one or two that actually meet the criteria of being great, or top, or best, while the rest are there to make up the numbers. Lodge's effort is an exception though.
Other Lodge `catalogues' have been a bit of a struggle -- Surrey CCC 100 Greats springs to mind, but here he has found some great games from the archives.
Surrey have played thousands of matches, yet Lodge has done a good job of selecting a fine 50. The reader begins the journey of fine matches in 1872 and finishes in 2005.
The scorecards are included with each match summary and provide interesting reading. Look closely and you find the odd gem like Ali Brown's record breaking 268 against Glamorgan in 2002 during a Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy match. Even more fascinating is that despite that heroic effort Surrey only just managed to win by nine runs.
Looking through the round ups of these 50 matches, you almost wish this was a DVD rather than a book. To actually see Pat Pocock bowl those dream two overs against Sussex in 1972 would be more appealing.
With Sussex needing just five runs and six wickets in hand. Then Pocock turned it on. As the day neared its end, the spinner took seven wickets for just four runs in the last two overs, with five coming off the last over, including a hat-trick.
The match was drawn after Sussex looked certain to win. Pocock has been a living legend ever since.
There are some great memories, but lets hope there will be many more close finishes and heroic efforts from the Brown Caps.