Page:Cricket, by WG Grace.djvu/187

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179
FIRST-CLASS CRICKET.

W. W. Read, Roller and Key, with Lohmann, M. Read, Abel, Beaumont, Bowley, Jones and Wood. The batting and bowling could compare favourably with that of any other county. Lohmann was worth playing for his batting and fielding alone; but his bowling undoubtedly was then, as it is now, the backbone of the team. I cannot remember any county which has been so fortunate with its wicket-keepers during the last twenty-five years as Surrey. Lockyer created a great reputation; Pooley was a worthy successor, and Wood has proved that he might be classed in the same company.

Lancashire was second on the list, and owed its position to its bowling. Watson, Briggs and Barlow had few equals as all-round players; and Mr. A. N. Hornby had lost none of his skill as a batsman, or enthusiasm and judgment as a leader.

Nottinghamshire was compelled to take third place a position lower than it had occupied for many years. Shrewsbury in batting had a fine average for it, having played 18 completed innings for 1,388 runs; average, 77.2: and he was well supported by Gunn and Barnes. His average, with the exception of my own in 1874 and 1876, when I played 7 and 11 completed innings for averages of 84 and 80, is, I believe, far in advance of any other player's average for his county since county cricket was played. Against Middlesex at Nottingham on the 15th and 16th August, he scored 267 in an innings, made without a chance, which occupied him ten hours and a quarter. Before the season was over, he scored over the century on six other occasions for his county; and that year, although he did not play in so many matches as he did in some years, was the most successful in which he had yet played. His display in first-class matches was a fine one indeed, and put in the shade all professional performances:

21 completed innings, 1,653 runs; average, 78.15.