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Eric Dalton

South Africa

Player profile

Full name Eric Londesbrough Dalton
Born December 2, 1906, Durban, Natal
Died June 3, 1981, Westridge, Durban, Natal (aged 74 years 183 days)
Major teams South Africa, Natal
Batting style Right-hand bat

 Batting and fielding averages
class mat inns no runs hs ave 100 50 6s ct st
Tests  15  24  2  698  117  31.72  2  3  2  5  0
First-class  121  180  19  5333  157  33.12  13  24    72  0

 Bowling averages
class mat balls runs wkts bbi bbm ave econ sr 4 5 10
Tests  15  864  490  12  4/59  6/159  40.83  3.40  72.00  1  0  0
First-class  121    3588  139  6/42    25.81        5  0

 Career statistics
StatsGuru Tests filter
Test debut  England v South Africa at Lord's - Jun 29-Jul 2, 1929 scorecard
Last Test  South Africa v England at Durban - Mar 3-14, 1939 scorecard
First-class span  1924/25 - 1946/47


DALTON, ERIC LONDESBROUGH, who died in Durban on June 3, 1981, aged 74, was one of the finest all-round sportsmen produced by South Africa between the wars. Considered fortunate to have been picked for the 1929 South African cricket tour to England, with only nine first-class matches behind him, in which he had limited success, Dalton, by late-summer, was giving every sign of developing into a very good, attacking, middle-order batsman. Against Kent at Canterbury, towards the end of August, he scored 157 and 116 not out, followed by 102 and 44 not out against Sussex at Hove and 59 against Sir Julien Cahn's XI at West Bridgford. On returning to South Africa, Dalton quickly established himself as an extremely fine cricketer. He was an automatic choice for the South African tour to Australasia in 1931-32, where he averaged 32.41 with the bat, his best score being 100 against Tasmania at Launceston. He played in two Tests in Australia and two in New Zealand, in the first of which, at Christchurch, he made 82. By the end of the 1934-35 season he had become one of South Africa's most reliable batsmen, having averaged 54.76 in first-class matches since returning from New Zealand. His bowling, too, came on tremendously during this period: in 1934-35 he captured 25 wickets at 19.08 each with his leg-breaks.

The value of having taken him to England in 1929, when only 22, was reflected in his performances on his return there in 1935. So well did he play that by the end of the tour he had scored 1,446 runs at an average of 37.07, including his First Test hundred at The Oval. With the wickets of Wyatt and Hammond in England's first innings he also contributed valuably to South Africa's famous victory at Lord's, their first over England in England. Despite a decline in form over the next couple of years, he was back to his best for the visit of W. R. Hammond's MCC side to South Africa in 1938-39, averaging 44 in the Test series, including 102 in the First Test at Johannesburg (the last Test hundred to be scored by a South African at the old Wanderers Ground), and, for good measure, hitting 110 for Natal against the Englishmen at Pietermaritzburg and three times taking the important wicket of Hammond, once in the First Test and twice ( stumped) in the timeless fifth. His ninth-wicket partnership of 137 with A. B. C. Langton, against England at The Oval in 1935, still stood as a record when South Africa last played Test cricket.

After two post-war seasons for Natal, Dalton concentrated on golf, a game which he also played with great distinction for many years, winning the South African Amateur Championship in 1950 and representing them in the first Commonwealth Tournament at St Andrew's in 1954. He had taken to golf in Australia in 1931-32 when, having had his jaw broken in the match after making his hundred against Tasmania, he was unable for some weeks to play cricket. His mentor at the time was Ivo Whitton, who, as an amateur, won a record number of Australian Open Championships. Dalton was also a fine bowls player, hard to beat at both tennis and table tennis, an accomplished pianist and the possessor of a fine baritone voice. He led many a sing-song on board the Kenilworth Castle, bound for England in 1929. A lovable character, he made the most of his many talents.
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