The Long and Winding Hannon – Dalby

Oliver Hannon Dalby took 60 balls to get off the mark

Tony Bishop

Consider, Robin, Sancho Panza, Ernie Wise, Art Garfunkel, Stan Laurel or Jack Leach. All magnificent in their own way, but their stories are massively enriched and, in some cases defined, by association with Batman, Don Quixote, Eric Morecambe, Paul Simon, Oliver Hardy and Ben Stokes.

So, it may be too, with Warwickshire's Oliver Hannon – Dalby, who dug his trench and settled in for an endless war of attrition against the Surrey's heavy artillery, selflessly supporting Michael Burgess as he relentlessly advanced to a career best 178. The epitome of Gary Nayloresque 'good number 8' values, his was highest score in first-class cricket by a Warwickshire No 8.

But make no mistake though, the real hero was Hannon – Dalby, who faced 67 balls and stoically occupied the crease for more than 20 overs before scoring his first run. For ball after ball his imposing 6' 7" frame lunged, skipped and swayed with a Smithsonian or Labuschagne like flourish for every ball defended.

Strategically, one might wonder why, given the inevitability of the draw, but that would be to detract from the brilliant single -minded determination of the double-barrelled defender. Hannon- Dalby's Warwickshire Wall was built on foundations so strong, that it became the 7th all – time longest First Class knock without scoring.

It could have been longer too. There were many who felt that the single to long leg that finally caused the scorers to awaken was in fact a leg bye, awarded in sympathy as a run by Umpire Robinson.

Perhaps, to understand the motivation, it is worth a look at the Hannon Dalby celebration as Burgess passed his century, but on and on he went after that, to be the last man standing as Warwickshire finally ran out of road on 531. And with that, he took his place alongside the likes of Shekhar Joshi, Godfrey Evans and Stuart Broad in the pantheon of epic defenders.

Runless Wonders

Player

Match

Runs

Shekhar Joshi

Baroda vs Bengal 2006

120

Stuart Broad

England vs NZ 2013

103

Geoff Allott

Nz Vs South Africa 1999

101

Godfrey Evans

England vs Australia 1947

97

Doug Watson

KwaZulu-Natal v Boland, 2002

96

Miguel Cummins

West Indies Vs India 2019

96

Oliver Hannon – Dalby

Warwks vs Surrey 2022

94