On this day: Gary Sobers shines with his all-round brilliance at Leeds

The inaugural edition of the Wisden Trophy between England and West Indies was played in 1963 which was won by the Caribbean team (3-1). The second edition of the Wisden Trophy was also hosted by England in 1966 where the West Indies team made a solid start. They won the first Test at Old Trafford by an innings and 40 runs while the 3rd Test in Nottingham saw the visitors registering a 139-run victory.

Having retained the Wisden Trophy with a lead of 2-0 by 3rd Test, the West Indian team aimed to clinch the series by winning at Headingley. Their captain Garry Sobers started with both bat and ball in the first three matches. He smashed 160+ knocks in the first two Tests and followed it with a 94-run knock and a 4-wicket haul in the 3rd Test. Sobers walked out to bat at 154/4 in Leeds after he had elected to bat first.

Hundred runs in a session!

Less than 60 overs were possible on the first day of the match due to rain where West Indies made 137/3. On the second day, Sobers put on a crucial partnership with Seymour Nurse to put the visitors in a commanding position. The Caribbean team skipper moved to 49 off 108 balls by lunch interval as West Indies reached 247/4. Post lunch, Sobers continued to stabilize the West Indian innings as he raised his 3rd century of the series in 186 balls.

After reaching three figures, Gary Sobers began to find boundaries at will and reached the 150-run mark just before Tea break. He faced only 55 deliveries between his 100 and 150. In the session between Lunch and Tea, Sobers scored 103 runs from 134 balls by smashing 16 fours. In this process, Sobers became only the 2nd West Indian to amass 100 runs in a session between Lunch and Tea. Frank Worrell had also scored 114 runs between Lunch and Tea against England in the 1950 Nottingham Test.

Sobers’ series!

Sobers scored 22 runs from 18 balls in the 3rd session before he got out scoring 174 off 260 balls with 24 boundaries. He added 265 for the 5th wicket along with Nurse who went on to score 137 in the team’s total of 500/9. England was bundled out for 240 on the 3rd day where Sobers claimed a 5-wicket haul. England was forced to follow-on where they managed only 205 while Sobers picked up three wickets.

West Indies ended up losing the final Test by an innings margin but clinched the series by 3-1. Garry Sobers aggregated 722 in 8 innings across the five matches in the series. He scored runs at an average of 103.14 with help of 3 hundreds and 2 fifties. The left-hander also ended up as the 3rd highest wicket-taker of the series claiming 20 wickets at an average of 27.25.

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