Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/432

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

was drawn, the only loss being at the hands of Cambridgeshire, who won easily by an innings and 48 runs. On the strength of such an excellent season's work Middlesex tried conclusions with England at Lord's at Whitsuntide the following year, but "W. G." upset all chances of the metropolitan county with an innings of 75, and capturing 8 of the Middlesex wickets for 50 runs.

At the close of 1868 speculating .builders made their appearance and drove the club from their ground at the Cattle-Market, and for the next three years Middlesex was without a home. At Lord's, however, in 1871, though the M.C.C. contributed a first innings of 338 by the aid of some of the finest players of the day, including "W. G." and John Smith of Cambridge, who scored 161 while together for the first wicket, yet Middlesex won in an innings. The result came about in this way: Mr Walter Henry Hadow, the old Harrow boy, played a marvellous innings of 217, Middlesex totalling a first and only innings of 485. In the second venture the M.C.C. was dismissed for 92, Mr Edward Rutter, a capital slow left-hand bowler, obtaining six of the M.C.C. wickets for 43 runs. Mr Rutter was an old Rugby boy, and was the first left-hand bowler to place all the field on the off-side. He played in the famous tie match between Middlesex and Surrey in 1868.

In 1872 Middlesex established its headquarters at Prince's Ground, Chelsea, the first county fixture played at Prince's being against Yorkshire, who won after a keen struggle by 2 wickets.

It was while at Prince's that the county commenced to play Oxford University. In June 1874 the encounter was begun and ended on the same day—the only experience of this kind Middlesex have had. Quite another story has to be told of the 1876 match, for Middlesex, batting first, scored 439, "I. D." making no without a chance, Burghes 104, and Montagu Turner 82. Not in the least dismayed, the Oxonians replied with 612, which remained their record until 1895. Thereupon Middlesex began cutting and driving again with two such fine forcing batsmen as C. I. Thornton and C. E. Green, who only put on 120 in an hour, while when stumps and the match were drawn the total was 166 for 4 wickets. Thus 1217 runs were totalled for 24 wickets—a record for an aggregate at that date. One of the Oxonians on this memorable occasion was A. J. Webbe, who had the previous year made his début as a Middlesex player, in conjunction with his brother, H. R. Webbe, and undoubtedly the acquisition of such a man as "A. J." was the one consoling incident of 1875, for Middlesex never won a match that year.