Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/372

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

said to him, "I am going in to lunch with your boys, sir, and will see that they don't eat too many tarts." "To whom have I the pleasure of speaking?" "Sir," drawing his massive figure up, and in the deepest of deep tones, "I am the President of the Cambridge University Cricket Club!" He was always present at this match, anxious to discover promising talent for the University, and invariably occupied the same seat, in a corner of the roof of the old pavilion: on the occasion of the Inter-University match he used to hold a kind of levée here, at which all old "blues" were expected to present themselves. At Cambridge no stranger could enter the pavilion except on Mr Ward's personal invitation, which was always backed by a glass of sherry. One httle hobby of his was to pronounce "bowled" as if it rhymed with "howled," in the old-fashioned style; and he invariably corrected any one who pronounced the word in modern fashion. Nor would he permit any one to speak of the ground, after the University had acquired it, as "Fenner's." "This, sir," he would say, "is the Cambridge University Cricket-ground." Cambridge cricket and Cambridge cricketers lost a staunch and hearty friend when Arthur Ward was taken away; and visiting elevens, who were always treated by him with the most sumptuous hospitality, missed him just as much.

The Inter-University match was first played in 1827, and was renewed fitfully and sometimes at long intervals, so that in 1839, when the fifth struggle took place, Cambridge scored her first victory, Oxford having thus far won three matches and the first having been drawn, or not played out, the Dark-blues having by far the best of things. It is curious that in the whole series of sixty-two matches only three should have been unfinished, and that one of those three should be the very first played. Cambridge, then, scored her first win in 1839, and by the handsome majority of an innings and 125 runs. In the light-blue ranks were C. G. Taylor, one of the first amateur batsmen of the day, and J. H. Kirwan, the fast bowler. Of Taylor it is recorded that he was one of the last amateurs to play in a tall hat, and that he lost his wicket in a Gentlemen v. Players match because his hat fell on his wicket, thus terminating a long and fine innings. In this match the Oxford captain, G. B. Lee, took 9 out of the 10 Cambridge wickets, and nearly a quarter of the whole score was provided by "extras," "wides" contributing 46 and "byes" 24 to the Cambridge total of 287. C. G. Taylor scored 65. Another win fell to Cambridge next year, this time by 63 runs—a handsome victory in a match where the aggregate