HD Ackerman
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Foxes Flashback - HD Ackerman

Highest Leicestershire Individual innings (15th July 2006) HD Ackerman 309* v Glamorgan at Cardiff

For those of us of a certain age, the unchanging record was the highest score by a Leicestershire batsman,  the innings of 252* by Sammy Coe in 1914. Firstly, it was not a very high score to be a record, why even a Northamptonshire batsman had managed a triple century, but it had remained in the book for 80 years. Only Yorkshire’s record had lasted for longer, though probably best not to ask who George Hirst had scored his runs against in 1905.

Phil Simmons beat this in his first innings for the county in 1994 (how well I remember rearranging my morning at work to be there). Brad Hodge took over in 2003 with the first triple.

HD Ackerman, always known by his initials, though his first name was the same as his father,  Hylton Ackerman, the burly Northamptonshire opener. Dad was as close as anyone could be to winning an international cap; selected for a test tour that was cancelled. ‘HD’ went four better, playing four test matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1997/98, without achieving any big scores. Several more appearances for South Africa A  and an average of over 50 did not bring promotion to the Test team.

He was Leicestershire captain in 2005, though his best season by far was 2006, scoring 1,800 at an average of 75, and included the innings at Cardiff, and also a double hundred against Northamptonshire. Only one batsman (Nigel Briers in 1990) has scored more runs in a season for Leicestershire in the last 60 years. Overall, his 5,700 runs at 47.50 makes him one of the best overseas players in the club’s history, comparable only to CS Dempster for those who played more than two seasons.

HD’s monument innings against Glamorgan lasted 570 minutes, faced 446 balls and he hit 39 fours and a six. During the innings he shared a partnership of 160 with Paul Nixon for the 6th wicket and 112 for the 7th with Claude Henderson, before they were bowled out for 568.

It was disappointing that HD’s great innings did not bring about victory, but Glamorgan made a spirited reply, with future New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum scoring 160.

Leicestershire had a first innings lead of 111 and needed quick runs to set up the chance of victory. HD had to bat again, and in scoring 62 supplanted Maurice Hallam and became the scorer of the highest number of runs in a match for Leicestershire.

The declaration was too cautious and did not leave enough time to bowl Glamorgan out a second time, and stumps were drawn at 174-7.

Highest Innings by a Leicestershire batsman (progressive list)

140 W Tomlin (v Middlesex at Lord's) 1894
182 AE Knight (v Sussex at Leicester, Grace Road) 1900
190* AE Knight (v London County at Aylestone Road 1902
229* AE Knight (v Worcestershire at Worcester) 1903
252* S Coe (v Northamptonshire at Aylestone Road) 1914
261 PV Simmons (v Glamorgan at Grace Road) 1994
302* BJ Hodge (v Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge) 2003
309* HD Ackerman (v Glamorgan at Cardiff) 2006


Richard Holdridge - Club Historian