Page:Cricket, by WG Grace.djvu/144

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136
CRICKET.

to my batting skill; and my fears vanished as I realised the fulness of it. You may guess how I laid on after the first over or two to wipe out the eighty runs which were required to pay off the two pounds. I commenced my second innings at three o'clock on the second day. The first wicket fell for 35, then my brother Fred joined me, and we raised the total to 275 before we were parted; and scored 240 in two hours and a half. After the first hundred runs, I forgot all about the bet. At the end of the day's play, the total was 353 for three wickets; my score being 200 not out. I had a great reception when I reached the pavilion, Lillywhite being particularly warm.

"I'll trouble you for five pounds on account," he said.

"All right, Lillywhite, here it is," I replied; "but if you do not let me off for the rest of the bet, I shall knock down my wicket first over to-morrow!"

He made a virtue of necessity and cried "Quits!" I added 17 runs to my score next day.

No part of my cricket experience has given me more pleasure than my batting success in benefit matches. I always hoped to do something extraordinary on those occasions; and it is particularly gratifying to me to-day to remember that I nearly always accomplished it.

George Parr played his last match that year. He had been before the cricketing public for 27 years; and he finished his brilliant career at Trent Bridge on the 29th, 30th, and 31st May, in a manner worthy of his best days, scoring 32 not out, and 53 for Nottinghamshire v. Fourteen Gentlemen of Nottinghamshire.

In the Gentlemen v. Players' matches, the former had the best of it, winning one, while the other two were drawn slightly in their favour.

Amongst the counties, Gloucestershire held its own.