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Henry Blofeld talks to Peter Hayter

Ten to Win… And the Last Man In: My Pick of Test Match Cliffhangers

Winter Weekend 2021, 

Henry Blofeld led the commentary on Test Match Special for five decades, before retiring four years ago. He was inspired to delve into past triumphs and near-misses of historic matches when re-reading Newbolt’s 1892 poem Vitai Lampada, about a cricketing schoolboy’s commitment to duty, both on the pitch and in the field of battle.

Ten to make and the match to win—

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play and the last man in.

Blofeld brings to life 30 Test Match cliff-hangers, ranging from the match-winning bowling of Australia’s F. R. Spofforth against W.G. Grace’s England in 1882, via the first tied Test between Benaud's Australia and Worrell’s West Indies in 1960, to the never-say-die batting of Ben Stokes in 2019. He revisits less celebrated matches such as South Africa's hard-fought first Test win in 1906, a crucial innings from Denis Compton in 1948, and a match-saving performance by a young Alan Knott in Guyana in 1968.

He talks to cricket writer Peter Hayter who has ghost-written books with Ian Botham, Phil Tufnell and Marcus Trescothick.

Henry Blofeld talks to Peter Hayter