Early in the 2019 season Tom Kohler-Cadmore equalled two long-standing first-class fielding records in the space of two consecutive matches. Paul Dyson looks at his records and how they compare with those of the past.
Yorkshire began its 2019 Championship campaign with two away games. The second of these was against Hampshire in Southampton. Yorkshire scored 554 for seven declared then bundled out the hosts for 302 and 208 to chalk up their first win of the season and by an innings to boot. Gary Ballance scored one of his five centuries in his record-breaking sequence and there were four other half-centuries. Steve Patterson took a total of six wickets and Ben Coad five, but these figures were superseded by the slip catching of Tom Kohler-Cadmore. He took three catches in Hampshire’s first innings and added four in the second to equal a Yorkshire record which was first set in 1897 and has also since been matched by only four other players, as the following shows:
SEVEN CATCHES IN A FIRST-CLASS MATCH FOR YORKSHIRE
J Tunnicliffe (5+2) v Leicestershire Headingley 1897
J Tunnicliffe (5+2) v Leicestershire Leicester 1900
AB Sellers (5+2) v Essex Leyton 1933
EP Robinson (6+1) v Leicestershire Bradford 1938
A Lyth (3+4) v Middlesex Scarborough 2014
T Kohler-Cadmore (3+4) v Hampshire Southampton 2019
John Tunnicliffe was Yorkshire’s first great slip fielder. His height and reach enabled him to get to catches which many other players would not be able to contemplate. Three times he took at least 60 catches in a season; this included 70 in 1901 and this remains the Yorkshire record although in was equalled by Phil Sharpe in 1962. Tunnicliffe ended his county career with a colossal total of 665 victims, this being 79 ahead of Wilfred Rhodes who played in 883 matches compared with Tunnicliffe’s 472. The latter’s ratio of 1.40 catches per match is well ahead of the other five fielders to take over 500 catches, Sharpe’s 1.27 placing him in second position.
Brian Sellers was skipper of the 1930’s team which won seven Championships in nine seasons and he placed considerable emphasis on fielding, himself setting an outstanding example. Adam Lyth is without any doubt the oustanding Yorkshire slip-fielder of the modern era. He passed the 200-mark during the 2019 season and now has a total of 219 catches for the county in first-class cricket. His nearest rival amongst those whose career started after the reduction in the Championship in 1992 is Anthony McGrath who snaffled 168 catches. Lyth’s ratio of 1.36 catches per match places him ahead of Sharpe but still behind Tunnicliffe whose legendary status is confirmed even more. The other ‘great’ of the modern era is David Byas (1986-2001); his 351 catches in 268 games came at 1.30 per match.
It will be noticed from the above table that the feat by Ellis Robinson included six catches in the first innings of the match in which he took seven and this stood as a unique Yorkshire record until being equalled by Kohler-Cadmore this year. After his feat against Hampshire, he had next to play in the Royal London Cup competition but following this Yorkshire’s next port of call in the Championship was Canterbury where they were due to meet a newly-promoted Kent. The White Rose county were dismissed for 210 and then conceded a first-innings lead of 86 but it might well have been more but for Kohler-Cadmore’s catching; his six victims not only equalled Robinson’s 61-year-old record but helped keep Yorkshire in the match. Another century from Ballance meant that the hosts faced a target of 384 but the visitors were not held up for long, ultimately, and gained their second win of the season – by an impressive margin of 172 runs.
Robinson was not known as one of Yorkshire’s greatest ficlders but he did take 189 catches in his 208 games. In the Bradford match his off-spinners complemented the left-arm spin of the great Hedley Verity, as they did throughout most of his career. Five of Robinson’s six first innings catches came from the bowling of Verity whose seven for 18 spun Leicestershire out for 62. Robinson’s sixth catch came from his own bowling. Yorkshire duly won by an innings, Robinson taking the final wicket.
Kohler-Cadmore ended the 2019 season with a total of 33 catches in 15 first-class matches. How this compares with the best from the shortened seasons is now shown.
MOST CATCHES BY A FIELDER IN A FIRST-CLASS SEASON FOR YORKSHIRE SINCE 1992
Catches Matches Catches
D Byas 1995 42 20 2.10
D Byas 2001 38 16 2.37
A Lyth 2014 36 17 2.11
T Kohler-Cadmore 2019 33 15 2.20
D Byas 1992 30 17 1.76
So Kohler-Cadmore has equalled both Yorkshire records for most catches in a match and most catches in an innings. His career total for his new county stands at 38 in 24 matches – a ratio of 1.58. Can he continue this momentum and eventually be mentioned in the same breath as Tunnicliffe, Sharpe, Byas and Lyth?