Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/347

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Oxford, going in the second time to make 125, had lost three wickets for 17, Mr Mitchell went in, and after, it must be confessed, having been almost bowled by the slow round-arm bowler, the Hon. F. G. Pelham, won the match by his splendid not-out innings of 55. In short, Mr Mitchell was captain for three years (1863-65), led Oxford to victory every time, and when he went down took with him the proud memory of having once more placed Oxford one victory ahead of Cambridge.

2. In the following year, 1866, Oxford won again, partly by the 51 of that good bat and bowler, Mr W. F. Maitland, who had an average of 26·1 in these university matches, but mainly by the fine bowling of Mr E. L. Fellowes (recently dead), who in the second innings of Cambridge took 7 wickets, 4 bowled, for 46 runs, and by a narrow margin of 12 runs changed the prospect of defeat into victory. Oxford then, by her four successive victories (1863-66), was two ahead. But these were followed by four successive defeats (1867-70) at the hands of Cambridge. As one of the sufferers in 1867, and as having many friends in the subsequent inglorious years, the author of this history begs to pass over these misfortunes in silence, except the last, the downright disaster of 1870—one of the most extraordinary of the curiosities of cricket. In the second innings of Cambridge Mr Yardley had scored exactly 100, the very first century in university matches, and Mr Dale had scored 67, and been splendidly caught at long-leg by Mr Ottaway with the right hand and over the ropes. Oxford were left to get 178, but by an incredible error of judgment it had been arranged to play up to 7·30! At 7.10 Mr Ottaway was out for 69, but Oxford had still 5 wickets to get 19 runs, and, after losing 2 more wickets, had still 3 wickets to get 3 to tie and 4 to win. Then Mr F. C Cobden, the Cambridge fast bowler, bowled the Cobden over. The first ball gave Mr Hill a run, which would have been 4 but for the fielding of Mr Bourne; the second got Mr Butler caught by Mr Bourne for 0; the third bowled Mr Belcher for 0; and the fourth bowled Mr Stewart for 0. It is true that these gentlemen were two bowlers and a wicket-keeper; nevertheless, the conclusion is that Oxford threw the match away by playing in the dark, and, instead of equalising matters, put Cambridge two victories ahead.

3. Oxford after the disaster of 1870 began to recover lost ground. In the five years from 1871 to 1875, though badly beaten in 1872, she won four times. In truth, there were at this time many good Oxford players, and they were needed to