OXFORD UNIVERSITY CRICKET.
By Thomas Case.
I. EARLY HISTORY OF THE CLUB, AND UNIVERSITY MATCHES DOWN TO 1862.
The first Oxford and Cambridge match was played at Lord's in 1827, but was drawn owing to wet; the second was played on the Magdalen ground, Oxford, in 1829, when Oxford won by 115 runs; the third was played at Lord's in 1836, and Oxford again won by 121 runs; the fourth was played at Lord's in 1838, with the result that Oxford won for the third time by 98 runs. From that year the match has been played every year, and at the present moment Cambridge has won 31 and Oxford 28 times. From the beginning only three matches have been drawn—in 1827, 1844, and 1888—all on account of wet.
The fact that the match was played only thrice in the first ten years (1827-36), shows that at first the contest between the universities was rather of a haphazard kind. There are other proofs that it had not then gained anything like its present importance. In the early matches we sometimes find men absent. Thus in 1836 two Cambridge men were absent in the second innings; in 1838 one man was absent in the second innings of Oxford, and one absent in each innings of Cambridge. In 1839, when Cambridge won in one innings, Oxford played with ten men only. Fancy a man nowadays daring to be absent, or only ten men on a side present, in a university match!
Another curious indication of carelessness is the multitude of extras. In 1846, in Oxford's second innings of 200 runs there were 36 byes, 21 wides, and 6 no-balls, making 63 extras; and