Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/431

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
409
MIDDLESEX.

and O'Brien, Middlesex following on with 218 to the bad and winning by 138 runs. A reverse at the hands of Lancashire was the only defeat sustained in 1865, a season in which Mr C. F. Buller made 105 not out in a victory over Surrey. Richard Daft, in his 'Kings of Cricket,' says that Mr Murdoch, the famous Australian, closely resembles Buller in style. The record of 1866 still stands out as the most brilliant that has yet been credited to a Middlesex eleven. Out and home matches were played with Lancashire, Surrey, Notts, and Cambridgeshire, these two last-named counties being met for the first time.

The opening match against Cambridgeshire was played on soft wickets, and, thanks to Tarrant's expresses, Middlesex was defeated in one innings; but of the other matches six were won easily, and the return with Notts drawn. A signal success attended the team on their first visit to Trent Bridge. After totalling 221 against J. C. Shaw and Wootton, of which R. D. Walker claimed 90 and V. E. Walker 58, they disposed of a fine Notts eleven for 88 and 66, Tom Hearne's fast mediums obtaining twelve wickets and R. D. Walker's slow rounds the remaining eight. Still more sensational were the two victories over Surrey. At Islington the county made 402, to which Tom Hearne by fine hitting contributed 146 and V. E. Walker 79. The fast left-handers of Hewitt, a Nottingham man living at Bow, proved correspondingly successful, for in the first innings of Surrey he clean bowled seven men and caught the other three, the upshot being that Surrey only made 108 and 122. The return match at Kennington found the whole of the Surrey eleven taking a turn with the ball while their opponents were amassing a total of 455. J. J. Sewell went in first for Middlesex, and after being missed first ball made 166, hitting the Surrey bowlers all over the field. Mr V. E. Walker added 74 not out, and, despite the efforts of Mortlock, whose figures were 41 and 106, Surrey was beaten by an innings and 70. Cambridgeshire had just been treated in a similar fashion; so that of the six Middlesex victories four were obtained without the county having to bat a second time. The all-round success of Tom Hearne, now forty years of age, was remarkable. In ten completed innings he obtained an average of 35 for the county, and took forty-six wickets at 13 runs each. Notwithstanding the opposition of some croakers, he was included in the Players' team at Lord's, and effectually silenced his detractors by making 122 not out, which he followed up in the same week with 47 and 41 at the Oval. He was celebrated for his fine drives and leg-hits, and was a noted exponent of "the draw." That he must have been a dead shot with the ball, too, is evident from the fact that during the Notts match at Islington he shied at and killed a pigeon as it flew across the ground.


Hearne had the bird stuffed, and it is still in his possession. I had the privilege of inspecting this curio at the Imperial Victorian Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1897.

In 1866 Middlesex had a splendid record. Matches were played against Lancashire, Surrey, Notts, and Cambridgeshire, and six were easily won, while the return with the lace county