Recalling Malcolm Marshall’s annus mirabilis – the year the Hampshire legend bagged an astonishing Championship wickets haul

In the last 54 years, no-one has taken more County Championship wickets in a single season than Malcolm Denzil Marshall.

In 1982, the West Indian legend bagged an astonishing 134 wickets in 22 three-day games for Hampshire.

That was 49 more than the next best, fellow Caribbean pacemen Sylvester Clarke of Surrey.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was the highest seasonal tally since Kent and England legend Derek Underwood took 143 (23 matches) in 1966.

The nearest anyone has got since is Franklyn Stephenson’s 121 wickets for Nottinghamshire in 1988.

With teams now playing only 14 games, chances are no-one will ever get near Marshall’s total again.

The last player to take a three-figure haul was Mushtaq Ahmed in 2006 (103 in 16 four-day games).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The only Hampshire player to take more wickets in a post-war Championship season for the club is Derek Shackleton, who took more than 134 wickets on 10 occasions (but in an era where counties played 28 three-day Championship matches).

Marshall won the Professional Cricketers Association Player of the Year award in 1982 - one of only two Hampshire players to have won it in the honour’s 49-year existence.

The other was his fellow West Indian pace bowler Andy Roberts in 1974.

1982 Championship season

v Leicestershire (Southampton): 2-56, 0-44

v Notts (Trent Bridge): 3-53, 1-52

v Kent (Bournemouth): 5-84, 1-9

v Surrey (Oval): 3-38, 7-38

v Lancashire (Southampton): 5-48, 3-108

v Somerset (Bath): 3-71

v Sussex (Basingstoke): 4-42

v Gloucestershire (Bristol): 1-39

v Kent (Maidstone): 6-55, 4-54

v Glamorgan: 1-8, 2-46

v Surrey (Portsmouth): 1-66, 4-64

v Glamorgan (Portsmouth): 1-44, 1-43

v Somerset (Bournemouth): 3-47, 5-37

v Sussex (Eastbourne): 7-48, 4-59

v Essex (Chelmsford): 3-54, 6-103

v Worcs (Southampton): 8-71, 3-57

v Northants (Northampton): 2-84

v Gloucs (Bournemouth): 3-48, 5-33

v Yorkshire (Bournemouth): 6-41, 2-44

v Derbyshire (Derby): 6-60, 0-21

v Middlesex (Uxbridge): 4-67, 3-48

v Warwickshire (Southampton): 5-74, 1-63

Six memorable Malcolm Marshall performances during his time at Hampshire.

July 1979 v Glamorgan (Portsmouth)

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Marshall, in one of his first ever appearances at Burnaby Road, claimed his best-ever List A figures for the county.

In a John Player Sunday League game, he returned 5-13 off eight overs as the visitors, asked to chase Hampshire’s 179-9 total, fell 12 runs short on 167-6.

Glamorgan had been 5-3 with Marshall dismissing Alan Jones, John Hopkins and Rodney Ontong.

June 1982 v Surrey (The Oval)

Marshall returned what were then his career best Championship figures to propel Hampshire to an astonishing victory.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With Surrey only requiring 105 in their second innings, Marshall bowled unchanged to return figures of 20.1-6-38-7 as the hosts were dismissed for 101.

He captured the wickets of top four Alan Butcher (5), Graham Clinton (4), Roger Knight (0) and Geoff Howarth (0) as Surrey collapsed to 13-5. They slipped to 37-7 before falling narrowly short of what would have been a remarkable victory for them as well.

August 1982 v Somerset (Bournemouth)

A few weeks later saw Marshall inspire Hampshire to another improbable victory.

He bagged 5-37 bowling unchanged in 16 overs as Somerset, asked to score only 82 for victory, were skittled for 72 at Dean Park.

August 1983 v Kent (Canterbury)

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Marshall produced a superb spell in the semi-final of the NatWest Trophy - even though it was eventually in a losing cause.

He returned figures of 12-6-15-4 as the hosts were bowled out for 173 in 59.2 overs - one-day cricket was a LOT slower in those days than now!

Alas, Marshall’s magic was in vain as Hampshire were routed for 102.

August 1983 v Somerset (Bournemouth)

A year from his 5-37 burst against the same county, Marshall wreaked even more havoc as Hampshire romped to a 10-wicket success.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This time he produced figures of 13.3-4-29-7 on the first morning as Somerset were routed for 76.

July 1990 v Derbyshire (Portsmouth)

Marshall claimed 7-47 as Derbyshire were dismissed for 186 in their second innings at Burnaby Road to lose by 48 runs.