Roy wielded the willow

Roy McLean was an exhilarating, if maddeningly inconsistent, middle-order batsman who brought much-needed dash and colour to dour South African sides during the 1950s.

Roy McLean was an exhilarating, if maddeningly inconsistent, middle-order batsman who brought much-needed dash and colour to dour South African sides during the 1950s.

He was a notoriously bad starter, with 11 ducks in his 40 Tests, but once settled he could score rapidly against the best with ferocious hooking and cutting.

A typical McLean innings was his 142 against England at Lord's in 1955, made from 196 balls against Fred Trueman, Brian Statham, Trevor Bailey and Johnny Wardle. He rode his luck, being dropped several times, but it was a display of aggressive batting which included a six and 21 fours.

An instinct to attack from the start meant that he always gave bowlers a chance and his 2120 test runs were made at a modest average of 30. But if other South Africans of the period, such as the dogged opener Jackie McGlew, were more effective, McLean gave greater pleasure.

McLean was born in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, in 1930. He represented Natal at both cricket and rugby.

He played his first Tests during the tour of England in 1951. In 1952-53 he was a member of Jack Cheetham's side that halved the series in Australia.

His first Test century came against New Zealand at Durban in 1953-54, and he toured England again in 1955. He followed his 142 at Lord's with a rapid 50 in a run chase at Old Trafford, helping his side to victory with nine balls to spare.

Roy McLean was born on July 9 1930. He died on August 26, aged 77. - The Times of London

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