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Ponsford, William H
Bill, Jeff
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
North Fitzroy, Melbourne
Test: 1924 - 1934
First Class: 1920 - 1934
Australia (Country)
VIC (Regional)

Bradman and Ponsford in 451 run stand (Oval)

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Bill Ponsford: Record breaking stands with Bradman 

Ponsford, William H

Bill Ponsford was born on October 19, 1900, North Fitzroy, Melbourne. He died aged 90 on April 6, 1991 in Kyneton, Victoria.

Ponsford was a strong, stocky right handed batsman who used a heavy bat which was fondly-termed "Big Bertha" because of its 2lb 10oz weight. He had a well developed leg side game, with a good technique against spinners. 

He formed a formidable opening partnership for VIC and at Test level with Bill Woodfull, later his Australian captain.

Playing in just his third first-class game, he batted for eight hours to score a record first class score of 429 for Victoria against Tasmania at Melbourne in 1923. In December 1927, he became the only batsman to better his own world record score in first class cricket, scoring 437 against Queensland.

Ponsford made his Test debut against England in Sydney in 1924. He scored 110 and 128 in his next Test at the MCG.

He struggled later in his career against the pace of Harold Larwood during the 1928-1933 period. By the time the England tour of 1930 took place, Ponsford had been replaced as the number one run-machine by Don Bradman.

On the 1934 Ashes tour, Ponsford scored 181 at Leeds and put on a world record 388 with Bradman for the 5th wicket. He went one step better in his last knock. He scored 266 at The Oval whilst adding a world record 451 runs for the 2nd wicket with Bradman in his final Test in 1934. 

Ponsford played baseball at a state level and was captain of VIC in 1925.

Ponsford was the first player in history to make two scores of more than 400 in first-class cricket. Brian Lara later joined him in this exclusive club. 

In 1986, the Melbourne Cricket Ground's western stand was named after Ponsford in tribute to the great batsman's contribution to the game.

Source: CricketCrowd Staff Reporter 

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