Page:Cricket, by WG Grace.djvu/77

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
69
MY EARLY CRICKET DAYS.

much for him, and he was compelled to approach Mr. Williams and make the request. Mr. Williams put his hand in his pocket and produced notes to the amount, much to the surprise of the Bristol captain, who had to make the humiliating confession that he had omitted to bring his part.

Such a scene as followed has not often been witnessed at the beginning of a match. Mr. Williams and my father waxed indignant; and did not hesitate to tell the Bristol captain that his conduct was far from gentlemanly, and unworthy of so manly a game; and they declined to go on with the match until the amount was produced. The whole team could not raise the sum among them; but a few watches and what money they had in their pockets were accepted as an equivalent, and deposited in safe hands.

Thornbury won the toss.

"What shall we do, doctor?" asked Mr. Williams.

"We may as well bat," said my father: "it is a one-innings match, and we shall have the best of the wicket."

Mr. Williams and my father went in first, and my uncle and Henry bowled. There was no tempting my father to hit; for he had made up his mind to keep up his wicket. At the end of an hour and a half, when Mr. Williams was bowled, the score was 60, of which he had made 45 in brilliant fashion. My father was not out 12, and they had run three byes. Half an hour later the innings was at an end: the total 75, my father not out 17.

The match began rather late in the day, and it was 3.30 when Bristol began to bat. With the exception of my father, there was not one of the Thornbury lot who had ever been known to bowl, and it was thought the match would be over by 5 o'clock. It was over earlier than that.