Peter Denning (cricketer)

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Peter Denning
Personal information
Full name Peter William Denning
Born (1949-12-16)16 December 1949
Chewton Mendip, Somerset, England
Died 17 July 2007(2007-07-17) (aged 57)
Taunton, Somerset, England
Nickname Dasher
Batting style Left-handed
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Role Opening batsman
Domestic team information
Years Team
1969–1984 Somerset
First-class debut 28 June 1969 Somerset v Glamorgan
Last First-class 30 June 1984 Somerset v Northamptonshire
List A debut 6 July 1969 Somerset v Lancashire
Last List A 9 September 1984 Somerset v Nottinghamshire
Career statistics
Competition First-class List A
Matches 269 280
Runs scored 11559 6792
Batting average 28.68 28.06
100s/50s 8/69 5/32
Top score 184 145
Balls bowled 157 21
Wickets 1 0
Bowling average 96.00
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 n/a
Best bowling 1/4
Catches/stumpings 132/– 94/–
Source: CricketArchive, 13 October 2009

Peter William Denning (16 December 1949 – 17 July 2007) was an English first-class cricketer who played for Somerset from 1969 to 1984. He was known to Somerset cricket fans as 'Dasher' due to his "pace over the ground",[1] and he was also known for an unorthodox stroke called the 'Chewton carve' or 'Chewton chop', a stroke that cut the ball away between the slips and the covers.[2] Denning was a left-handed top order (often opening) batsman and scored 1,000 runs in a season on six occasions.[2]

Cricket career[edit]

Denning was born in the village of Chewton Mendip in Somerset,[3] where his father was the butcher. He was educated at Millfield, where he was captain of cricket and also played tennis, rugby and football.[4] He later studied at St Luke's College, Exeter (now part of the University of Exeter), and qualified as a teacher.

He made his first-class cricket debut for Somerset against Glamorgan in June 1969.[5] He played much of his career as an opener in partnership with Brian Rose.[2]

He joined Somerset when they were struggling. However, Somerset later became a strong one-day side with Brian Close as captain and a team containing three world-class players in Viv Richards, Ian Botham and Joel Garner.[6] He was awarded his Somerset cap in 1973. He made his top score, 184, against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. He hit two centuries in the match against Gloucestershire in 1977,[7] and his 145 in a one-day game against Glamorgan in 1978.

His most prolific year came in 1979, when he made 1,222 runs at a batting average of 42.13. It was a memorable year for Somerset as well as they won the Gillette Cup and Sunday League under Rose's captaincy. Denning was a good limited overs player having the ability to run quick singles.[6] The following year, in partnership with Ian Botham, he added 310 for the fourth wicket against Gloucestershire at Taunton in 1980, which remains a record for Somerset.[8]

He was a member of the Somerset team that won the NatWest Trophy in 1983. He won seven man-of-the-match awards in the one-day game.[7] Denning retired in 1984 after suffering problems with a cartilage and became a grain merchant in Somerset.[9]

Denning died of cancer in Taunton in 2007.[6] He is survived by his wife and two daughters. Brian Rose, Denning's former opening partner and Somerset Director of Cricket paid the following tribute to his former team mate: "To me Peter epitomised all that should be good in a professional cricketer. He was hard, stubborn and made it difficult for the opposition – especially when he growled at them. His sad death is a tremendous loss to Somerset cricket."


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