Googly, wrong 'un

Sometimes called a bosie, after Bernard Bosanquet, the Middlesex and England bowler who is credited with inventing it around about 1897, a googly is a delivery that is difficult to bowl well but, when it is, can be a surprise wicket-taker. If the bowler can master its intricacies he will be able to bowl a ball that, from the viewpoint of a right-handed striker, seems to be a conventional leg-break. Only after it pitches will the bemused striker discover that it is, in fact, spinning the other way - like an off-break (the reverse of all this will happen if the striker is left-handed, of course). By then it may well be too late to re-adjust to be able to play it or prevent it hitting the stumps. No wonder batsmen 'goggled' at a googly when they first encountered one, or why Australians often refer to a googly as a wrong 'un. Bosanquet said that he'd invented it as a result of playing a Victorian game in which the object was to bounce a tennis ball on a tabletop in such a way that one's opponent couldn't catch it. He obviously mastered the skill.