DateLine: 27th October 2015
Obituary: Lindsay Kline
Lindsay Francis Kline a former Australian left arm spinner, exponent of the 'chinaman' and googly, died at the age of 81 at Burwood Melbourne, on 2nd October 2015. He was born on 29th September 1934 at Camberwell, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Lindsay Kline in a short career spanning four years (1957-61) played 13 Test matches and claimed 34 wickets at an average of 22.82. Fifteen of these wicket were taken at an amazing average of 16.23 in his very first Test Series. This was against South Africa, 1957-58 and included a hat-trick (3 for 18) in January 1958 at Cape Town.
Incidentally, until then he was the fourth Australian to achieve a hat-trick besides being only the second left arm bowler to perform the feat after J. Briggs (England v Australia, 1891-92). Australia won the Cape Town Test by an innings and 141 runs. He was again instrumental in the Aussies 8 wicket victory in the final Test of that series at Port Elizabeth returning figures of 4 for 33 in South Africa’s first innings.
Kline's most successful performance in Test cricket however, was against Pakistan. This performance came when Richie Benaud’s visiting Australian team played the second Test match of the 1959-60 series at Lahore. It was the inaugural Test match to be played at Lahore Stadium (later named Gaddafi Stadium). In fact, after conceding a 245-run lead on the first innings, a second innings partnership of 169 for the third wicket between Saeed Ahmed (166 in 457 minutes) and Shuja-ud-din (45 in 318 minutes) almost saved the game for Pakistan. But then Lindsay Kline bowled extremely well to claim 7 wickets for 75 runs in 44 overs of which 21 were maidens. He single-handedly took Australia to an exciting 7-wicket victory with only 12 minutes to spare. Notably, his victims included all the top Pakistan batsmen including Hanif Mohammad, Imtiaz Ahmed, Saeed Ahmed, Alimuddin, Duncan Sharpe and Waqar Hasan.
During the Indian leg of the same tour, Lindsay Kline helped bowl Australia to an innings victory in the first Test at New Delhi with 4 for 42 in India's second innings.
Almost a year after the Pakistan tour, Lindsay Kline again hit the headlines because of his involvement in one of the most extraordinary moments in Test cricket history. This happened on 14 December 1960, the last day of the first Test of the 1960-61 Series, against the West Indies at Wooloongabba Brisbane. Kline, the last man to face Wesley Hall, with Australia needing only one run to win off the last two balls of the final over. He flicked the seventh ball away to square leg but his partner Ian Meckiff’s wicket was hit by an astonishingly fast return from Joe Solomon. History was created as the match ended in Test cricket’s first ever tie.
Later in the 4th Test of the same series at the Adelaide Oval. Lindsay Kline stubbornly partnered all-rounder, Ken Mackay in a 109-minute last wicket stand to avert certain defeat and force a remarkable draw.
Lindsay Kline also played 88 first-class matches in which he took 276 wickets at an average of 27.39.
Alas! such a great cricketer has passed away.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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