Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/116

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public schools: C. M. Wells and C. L. Townsend are brilliant exceptions.

All bowling—fast, medium, or slow—may be delivered either over-arm, round-arm, or under-arm: the term under-hand, though more usual, admits of misconstruction. Bowling is called underarm when the arm in delivering the ball is swung nearly pendulum-wise, very much as it is at the game of bowls. Originally it was the only kind allowed. Nowadays fast and medium under-arm has gone completely out of fashion, and does not require many remarks. Nevertheless, if an under-arm bowler of this description were to appear and bowl a perfect length with lots of twist, as William Clarke is said to have done in the good old days, he would probably severely tax the defence of some of our eminent batsmen. The kind of under-arm balls known as "daisy-cutters," or "sneaks," are only found in village matches. On rough-and-tumble wickets they are not ineffective. In the higher-class club matches, and in first-class cricket, the only kind of under-arm bowling now in vogue is the genuine "lob"—that is, slow or very slow-medium under-arm. The cultivation of this style is not common. If it were, probably many of its virtues would become of no effect. As it is, more attention might be paid to it with advantage. Lob-bowling is always likely to get any batsman out; but it is bound to be expensive, which is a great disadvantage. When runs are of no consequence, and getting wickets is all-important, a lob-bowler is a treasure. At the worst of times he is sure to be very useful as a change bowler, to be put on for an over or two. He depends for getting his wickets chiefly on his fieldsmen, especially the wicket-keeper and the men in the country. He therefore needs to be backed up by good fielding, and also to know exactly how to arrange his field. His great aim is to bowl balls which are difficult to score off unless hit in the air. Batsmen who are weak at playing lobs may, of course, be bowled neck and heels; the stronger brother should be tempted to get himself out by over-keenness to score. In order to keep down runs as far as possible, lob-bowlers should take care that the ball does not hang in the air too long. The trajectory should not be so high that the batsman can get to the ball before it pitches, and hit it along the ground with ease. All the same, the high dropping ball may be used with effect, especially against firm-footed hitters, or indeed any batsmen who do not like leaving their ground. The high full-pitch, too, which falls on the very top of the stumps, is sometimes very effective. Pokey batsmen can nearly always be