Page:Cricket, by WG Grace.djvu/127

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119
COUNTY CRICKET

Club to the Cricketers' Fund exclusively; but a fund has now been formed which shall be called 'The Marylebone Professional Fund,' which shall have for its object the support of the professional players who, during their career, shall have conducted themselves to the entire satisfaction of the Committee of the M.C.C."

The first match on its behalf was played at Lord's on the 10th and 11th of June, between an Eleven of England and Middlesex County, and was largely attended. I had the pleasure of playing for England, and helping to speed the good cause. It was the first time Middlesex had played against England, and the result was far from encouraging to the county; for it lost by an innings and 25 runs. Mr. A. Lubbock was top scorer with 129, and I supported him with 75; and while we were together runs came at a great pace. So far Mr. Lubbock had shown that he was likely to take a high place in batting honours at the end of the season, his hitting and defence in the matches he had already played being consistently good.

At Lord's on 17th and 18th of June, North of the Thames v. South of the Thames was substituted for the old North v. South Match, and the wrench between Northern and Southern players was, for a time, complete. The match was one of the curiosities of a remarkable scoring season. Batting generally had so much improved that a total score of 400 runs created as little surprise as a total of 200 had done a year or two previously. The season, so far, had been dry, and favourable for tall scoring, and before the match commenced the opinion prevailed that this match would prove no exception. But the weather has spoiled many a match, and it spoiled that one for three innings were completed on the first day for a total of 195 runs. The South batted first, and were all out in an hour and seventeen minutes for a paltry 32. Wootton