Date: 10th July 1976
Venue: Old Trafford,Manchester, 3rd Test match
Backstory: Faced with one of the most formidable pace attacks in Test history,England recall 45-year old Brian Close. England gain credible draws in the first two Tests, but the gulf between the sides opens up at Old Trafford as England crumble to 72 all out in the first dig, then are left to “chase” 552 to win.
The Story: With a cracked, variable track, Close and Edrich have 80 minutes to play out until the end of Day 3. The West Indies attack have a point to prove after being kept at bay for so long in the series. As the light closes in Holding, in every sense of the word, goes for the jugular. It is enough to give Andy McNab
What follows is trademark Close. He ducks and swerves at the last possible moment from a barrage a short-pitched bowling. When the ball does strike him, it is met with his typical Yorkshire glare – and nothing else. No grimacing, no worried looks an above all else no fear, Close could be behind a desk pondering his latest businees lunch. It is a red rag to the seething Holding.
England, of course, lose heavily, but only after a defiant 108-ball 20 from Close and an equally impressive 24 from Edrich see them well into the 4th Day. Holding goes so far with his attack that he is warned, and even his captain admits that he went too far.
That innings proves to be the last for Close in England colours. It is unlikely he would have wanted to go out any other way than with a cluster of bruises and an angry fast bowler cursing his name.
Quote - ”"Our fellows got carried away. They knew they had only eighty minutes that night to make an impression and they went flat-out, sacrificing accuracy for speed. They knew afterwards they had bowled badly.” – Clive Lloyd.