The visit of Nottinghamshire to Cardiff in 1932.

In August 1932 at the Arms Park, Harold Larwood and Bill Voce experimented with `Bodyline` bowling, prior to their winter tour with the M.C.C. to Australia. It was the final Championship match of the season, and with the touring party having already been announced, the game with Glamorgan gave the Nottinghamshire bowlers a final chance to practice with fast leg-theory before travelling “down under” for the Ashes series against Don Bradman and the other gifted Australian batsmen. Based on their efforts at the Arms Park, the experiment was a complete failure as Maurice Turnbull scored a quite superb double-hundred, and shared a fine partnership of 220 for the second wicket with Dai Davies, who in turn made a solid century.

A cigarette card of Maurice Turnbull who made a famous double-hundred against Notts at the Arms Park in 1932. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

This followed Nottinghamshire`s first innings of 386, which gave their captain Arthur Carr what he thought would be enough runs on the board to try out `Bodyline` bowling, with its ring of legside catchers. Short ball after short ball was delivered by Larwood and Voce, but Turnbull and Davies remained undeterred, and hit boundary after boundary.

Turnbull was, by far, the more aggressive of the two Glamorgan batsmen. Despite the barrage of short rising deliveries up towards his ribcage, the Glamorgan captain hooked, pulled and cut the ball with great power, putting at times the spectators under greater risk of being hit than himself, as the ball sped to, and over, the boundary ropes time and again.

In all, Turnbull`s magnificent double hundred contained two sixes and twenty four fours, and hugely impressed the large contingent of cricket writers who had travelled to the Arms Park knowing of the intentions of the Nottinghamshire bowlers to practice with `Bodyline`. As one journalist later wrote, “if fast leg theory had been judged on what Turnbull and Davies did to it at Cardiff, there would have been no storms later on in Australia.”

In fact, Turnbull had the last laugh on the final afternoon as Nottinghamshire ended up battling to avoid defeat. Seam bowler Ted Glover took three wickets as the visitors slumped to 62-4, before a couple of chances were then spilled allowing Willis Walker and Frank Shipston to save the day for the rather embarrassed Nottinghamshire side.

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