Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/151

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129
BOWLING.

Let us now, rather from the bowler's point of view, work through an innings of a typical side. Here is the "Order of going in" as written out and posted by the captain:—

1. Stockwell. 5. H. H. Rush. 9. G. Altmann.
2. Cain. 6. Hareless. 10. Forrest.
3. Netherland. 7. L. J. Lock. 11. Dickson.
4. Strawyard. 8. Keywood.

Stockwell and Cain leave the pavilion, and are greeted with cheers appreciative of what they have done and are going to do. Stockwell looks like a soldier—bronzed, upright, and manly. He holds his head up with an air that means business. Cain is a curious little fellow with a slow, jerky gait, and a serio-comic cast of countenance. But he is all there—a tough nut to crack, and a general favourite. He takes block. "Does it cover 'em both, Tom? Thank you." He looks round to see where the fieldsmen are placed, finds them in normal positions, settles himself, and indicates by his manner that he is ready. "Play!"

The bowler, fast right-hand with a long run, sends down four good-length balls on the off-stump, to which Cain plays carefully forward without scoring. The fifth ball of the over is a full-pitch—evidently an attempt at a yorker—-which is forced gently but firmly past the bowler. One run only, as there is a long-field almost straight behind the wicket.

The bowler at the other end is medium-pace left-hand. His first two balls are good-length pitching, rather outside the offstump, and breaking away ever so little. Cain shapes twice for a cut, but lets both pass without making a stroke. He snicks the third ball off his leg-stump for three. Stockwell then takes his guard, and stands in his own determined attitude to receive his first ball. It is slightly over-pitched on the off-stump, and is driven hard and clean to the boundary. The last ball of the over is a yorker, well bowled and just stopped in time. Both batsmen continue scoring, each in his own style, for several overs. By this time both have found out something. Cain is a slow, patient, steady bat, with not the remotest intention of risking his wicket. Nothing can tempt him to have a go. But he is apt to lunge out at good-length balls rather prematurely, has a weak half-hearted stroke between the slips, and does not find a fast, short, quick-rising ball much to his taste. He is inclined to retire slightly towards short-leg, and "spar" at fast, straight balls. So the fast bowler decides to try him with an over or two of his fastest balls, rather short of good-length, and vary-