Page:Cricket, by WG Grace.djvu/92

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84
CRICKET

On the 31st August, 1st and 2nd September, of the same year, I played my first match against first-class professional bowling. The All-England Eleven played Twenty-two of Bristol, at Durdham Down, on those days, and I was eager to measure my strength against players who ranked so high. Nine years had elapsed since the All-England Eleven played its second match at the back of the Full Moon Hotel, and great changes had taken place in the team. Clarke, the founder, was dead, and Bickley, owing to ill-health, was unable to play. Willsher, H. H. Stephenson, Anderson, Julius Caesar, and A. Clarke had played in 1855; but Tarrant, Hay ward, Jackson, Tinley, and the others we had not seen. It was well known that cricket in Bristol had made great strides in the last half-dozen years; how much, we could not say. The team representing the All-England Eleven was considered as strong as the two previous ones, and the result would indicate the extent of our improvement.

E. M. was our captain, and had now played for and against the All-England Eleven; Messrs. Sewell, Daubeny, and Bramhall had good local reputations, and altogether the Twenty-two was representative of cricket in the neighbourhood. Personally, I was anxious to do well, and practised diligently with bat and ball for weeks before. I knew right well that the contests in which I had played the last year or two were not to be compared with the contest on this occasion.

E. M. showed that the All-England bowling had no terrors for him; for he began hitting the first over, and made 37 altogether. One hit rather amused us. It went almost straight up and mountains high to Jackson, the bowler. "I have got it!" said Jackson, running up the pitch; but thinking he had misjudged it, he ran a