Recalling the days, when David Hookes Smashed a 34 Ball Century in Domestic Cricket. Shaun Graf was at the Adelaide Oval when David Hookes clattered a hundred of 34 balls. This was the fastest century in the history of Australian domestic cricket. This piece appeared in the October 2002 edition of Wisden Asia Cricket. Shaun Graf played 11 One Day International for Australia and was part of the Victoria team that was at the receiving end of David Hooke’s onslaught.
He spoke, that South Australian David Hookes was left frothing at the mouth after his opposite number. Graham Yallop chose to extend the Victoria innings till the end of the second session on the fourth and final day. South Australia was left to score 272 runs in 30 over’s.
Victoria’s declaration was a token, the time remaining a formality-or so it seemed then-and the situation was perfect for spectators to exit early. But there was one huge factor many failed to consider: Hookes’s anger. He promoted himself as an opener (he normally played at No. 5) and took it out on us bowlers.
We had already felt the impact of his bat when he hammered 137 in the first innings, scoring a century between lunch and tea. Yallop’s 151 in the second innings against Rodney Hogg and West Indies import Joel Garner was a blessing for Victoria, but the delayed declaration turned out to be a curse as it brought out the beast in Hookes.
When he was just 20 and still to make his foray into first-class cricket, Hookes had hit six sixes in an over in a match in London. And it was primarily his reputation as a plunderer that delayed Yallop’s declaration here. David Hookes opened the innings with Rick Darling and pulled the first ball from Peter King high over midwicket and onto the roof of the members’ stand.
The impact of leather against the tin roof resounded around the ground. King, who got 5 for 88 in the first innings, went on to be battered out of the attack with figures of 2-0-38-0. In the carnage of the opening over’s bowled by Rod McCurdy and King, I distinctly remember fielding at the deep backward point when a shot from Hookes thundered to the boundary before I could get to the ball- and it was barely five yards away from me. I remember Yallop coming over to me at the end of King’s second over and telling me that I was next in the line.
David Hookes became an instant celebrity in one over, who has died after suffering head injuries in an assault. Became an instant celebrity when he struck England captain Tony Greig for five successive boundaries in the 1977 Centenary Test. The blond left-hander had forced his way into a strong Australia side, taking 29 runs from an over by Victoria leg-spinner Colin Thwaites during his maiden century for South Australia.
David Hookes, 21, his bat held together by scraps of white tape, showed no sign of nerves in posting a half-century despite a verbal baiting from the towering England captain. “When a youngster comes into a big match like the Centenary Test, obviously everybody’s looking to see how the captain of the opposition will try to put him off,” Greig commented. “But I can tell you that Hookesy handled himself very well.”
Tony Greig, who was a television commentator based in Sydney, said Australians reminded him every day of the way the 21-year-old Hookes had brought spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to their feet. Hookes was an automatic signing for Kerry Packer’s rebel World Series Cricket circuit which split the international game in 1977-78.
But his career was badly affected when West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts broke his jaw with a vicious bouncer and he never fulfilled at Test level the potential he had shown in his maiden Test. After World Series Cricket was dissolved, Hookes played 23 Tests for Australia, averaging a modest 34.36. His last Test against India in December 1986, was Steve Waugh’s first.
The Australia captain retired last month after the fourth Test against India. The fifth-highest run-scorer in the Australia interstate four-day competition with 9,364 runs in 120 matches including a highest score of 306 not out, Hookes retired from first-class interstate cricket in 1991-92 with an average of 47.78. He holds the record for the fastest century in Australia interstate four-day cricket, taking 34 balls to reach his hundred for South Australia against Victoria in 1982-83.
He capitalized on the short boundaries square at South Australia’s Adelaide Oval and relied heavily on his hand-eye co-ordination rather than precise footwork which may explain his relatively unimpressive Test average. David Hookes went on to become a lively radio commentator and Victoria state coach, complaining that the national selectors were favoring Waugh’s home state, New South Wales.
When they give out the baggy blue cap in New South Wales, they give you a baggy green in a brown paper bag as well to save making two presentations,” Hookes said. A forward thinker to the end, one of 48-year-old Hookes’s last acts in the game was to appoint 20-year-old leg-spinner Cameron White as Victoria’s one-day team captain. The Hookes-coached Victoria side led the four-day competition and will need no extra motivation to win the state’s first domestic four-day title since 1990-91.
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