Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/349

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

many of Mr Butler's balls shot and broke in that day, whereas those of a similar bowler now seem comparatively harmless. Then to play wrong was to be out: now many a bowler, if he has not the commanding height of a Richardson, may be played almost anyhow. At any rate, the new stroke of playing a straight ball of a fast bowler round to square-leg could not have been practised formerly, because what the ball might do after the pitch was too uncertain.

Out of the three other victories of Oxford at this time, the first, in 1873, when Oxford won by 3 wickets, was mainly due to the batsmen, and especially to Mr Ottaway and to Mr C. E. B. Nepean, who was most unlucky in not having played for Oxford before: in this, his only match, however, he revenged himself by scoring 22 and 50. The second, in 1874, when Oxford scored 265, and won by one innings and 92 runs, also showed the excellence of the Oxford batsmen. The third, in 1875, brings us to another remarkable bowling performance, and another curiosity in cricket. The two elevens were very evenly matched. In the end Cambridge went in to make 174 runs, and got as far as 161 for 7 wickets, with Mr W. S. Patterson and Mr H. M. Sims well set. Thereupon the Oxford captain, Mr A. W. Ridley, went on to bowl his under-hand slows. He bowled Mr Patterson, who had made 18, with his first ball. Mr Macan now joined Mr Sims, and made a single, which Mr Sims followed up with a four over Mr Ridley's head. Then a leg-bye and a no-ball were obtained from Mr T. W. Lang, the Oxford bowler at the other end. The score now stood at 168, when Mr Sims, who had made 39, was finely caught off Mr Lang by Mr Pulman, fielding at long-on, in the direction of the Members' gate. Mr A. F. Smith was last man, and played two of Mr Ridley's slows; but the third beat him. Oxford thus won by 6 runs. This third exciting victory also gave her one victory in hand against Cambridge.

4. As usual, Cambridge again began to come to the front. It is curious that as Oxford in the five years from 187 1 to 1875, so Cambridge in the five years from 1876 to 1880 won four victories, interrupted by one defeat, and that defeat, too, following after the first victory in each case. In 1876, in spite of Mr W. H. Game's 109, whereby he scored the first century ever made for Oxford, and saved his side from being beaten in one innings, Cambridge won by 9 wickets, and once more equalised the victories. Then in 1877 Oxford again went ahead, winning by 10 wickets in a match distinguished by the 117 (not out) of Mr F. M. Buckland, and by the happy ease with which the brothers