The England team for the 1899 Trent Bridge Test (courtesy: Wikimedia Commons) Back, from left: Dick Barlow, Tom Hayward, George Hirst, Billy Gunn, JT Hearne, Bill Storer, Bill Brockwell, Valentine Titchmarsh Middle, from left: CB Fry, KS Ranjitsinhji, WG Grace (c), Stanley Jackson Front, from left: Wilfred Rhodes, Johnny Tyldesley
The England team for the 1899 Trent Bridge Test (courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Back, from left: Dick Barlow, Tom Hayward, George Hirst, Billy Gunn, JT Hearne, Bill Storer, Bill Brockwell, Valentine Titchmarsh
Middle, from left: CB Fry, KS Ranjitsinhji, WG Grace (c), Stanley Jackson
Front, from left: Wilfred Rhodes, Johnny Tyldesley

Lord’s was bathed in bright sunshine on the Monday, July 31, 1899. The crowds had begun to build up well before the scheduled start of play. The 51-year-old WG Grace, the Grand Old Man of English cricket, walked out to toss with Joe Darling, skipper of the visiting Australian team. Steve Neal gives a beautiful account of the events that followed that day in his book Over and Out.

Calling correctly, WG, never one to miss the opportunity of batting first, arrived at the wicket along with the fresh-faced 26-year-old young man born in Port of Spain, Plum Warner. There was a rude awakening for the assembled spectators as first The Champion (3) and then Warner (10) were both back in the pavilion with the score reading 14 for 2. Ernie Jones, the Australian fast bowler, seemed to be all over, first catching the great man off Monty Noble and then clean bowling Warner. Charlie Townsend, having made his England  debut in the second Test of the current series, was now joined by KS Ranjitsinhji of Sussex, and MCC went in to lunch without any further alarms.

Having scored 32, Townsend was caught of the bowling of Hugh Trumble, bringing left-handed veteran Francis Ford to the wicket. Ford (9) soon fell to the sheer pace of Jones, the total reading 123 for 4. At this point, Albert Trott, born in Melbourne, and having played 3 Tests for Australia against England on the English tour to Australia  of 1884-85 but now a professional in England, was forced to stub out his cigarette and forsake his cards, and move out of the confines of the ‘professional’ or ‘bowlers’ pavilion’ at Lord’s onto the ground, bat in hand.

Trott’s fifth-wicket stand with Ranji was worth 65 in a mixture of contrasting styles. On the one hand, the silken, wristy grace and oriental charm of Ranji, on the other, the no-nonsense batting of the Australian, long of arm and leg, and sporting a luxurious and intimidating moustache. Trott was no stranger to the wiles of the Australian bowlers, having played with and against several of them in the past. Darling brought on Trumble, an erstwhile Victoria teammate of Trott, from the Pavilion end.

Trott hit one clear over the ropes towards the ‘professional’ pavilion, one of his professional colleagues throwing it back onto the field. A short while later, Trott deposited a quicker delivery from Trumble into the top tier of the Pavilion (it was reported at the time that the ball had still not reached its full height when it had hit the masonry).The Australian skipper took Trumble off and turned to Noble to take up the attack with his mixture of of-breaks and medium-paced deliveries. Taking stock of the situation, the skipper and his bowler took some time to set the field with meticulous care.

This is Neal’s description of what followed next: “His long arms stretch towards it and he hits. From the moment the ball leaves his bat, he has no fears for its future. He puts a hand on his hip and watches the ball rise until it is no more than a pea in the sky and it seems like it will go on forever, but it strikes one of the long chimneys of the pavilion and bounces over the other side. It’s gone. He half bows, half nods to the applause of the crowd. Those in the crowd that day will remember two things: the ball going over and their own roar when it happened. The Australians fidget and give uncomfortable laughs. Someone fetches another ball.”Trying to repeat the shot, Trott was caught on the third man boundary by Darling for 41. This turned out to be the only known instance of a player hitting a ball over the Lord’s pavilion.

The above incident was one of several groundbreaking events in 1899. For the first time in England, a 5-Test series was played, each of three days’ duration. Two more English venues, Trent Bridge and Headingley, were added to the English list of Test grounds. Dr WG Grace bid adieu to Test cricket at the ripe old age of 51. Victor Trumper and Wilfred Rhodes made their Test debuts in the same match. AEJ Collins, the 13-year old schoolboy, astounded one and all with an individual score of 628* in a Junior House match at Clifton College, then the highest in any form of documented cricket.

Ranji wove its oriental magic and, for the first time in the history of First-Class cricket in England, a batsman finished with 3,000 runs for the season: he got 3,159 runs at an average of 63.18. The prince did it again in 1900, scoring 3,065 runs at 87.57.

On May 29, Surrey began their championship game against Somerset at The Oval. Surrey piled up 811. There were centuries from Tom Hayward (158) and Vivian Crawford (129), while Bobby Abel carried his bat for 357*, till date the highest individual score at which anyone has carried his bat in the history of First-Class cricket. Somerset had the mortification of conceding a victory by an innings and 379 runs.

Although the Australasian Cricket Council were the titular administrative body for all cricket in the region, preparations for the Australian tour to England in 1899 began under the auspices of the Melbourne Cricket Club, the august body appointing Darling, Syd Gregory, both aged only 28 years, and the 193-cm Trumble (referred to fondly by Warner as the “that great camel Hughie Trumble”) as the selectors for the touring party. The originally selected 13-member group was to be led by Harry Trott, elder brother of the afore-mentioned Albert. Unfortunately, ill health befell Trott and the responsibility of leading the team devolved on Darling (nicknamed ‘Paddy’ because of his perceived resemblance to the Australian prize-fighting boxer, Paddy Slavin), one of the most conscientious of men, and one with firm convictions about ethical behaviour on and off the cricket field. Major BJ Wardill was to accompany the team as manager.

Despite scoring 873 First-Class runs from 9 innings with a highest of 292* in 1898-99 (and 562 more from only 3 innings for Paddington in Sydney Grade Cricket), Trumper, a promising 21-year old New South Wales batsman, had not been chosen originally for the tour. Noble had been a strong advocate for Trumper’s candidacy, but he was not one of the selectors. At this point, only the NSW man Gregory was en rapport with Noble on the issue of the inclusion of Trumper in the touring party. It is reported that Darling had not been very keen to include the NSW man initially.

Intending to raise funds to finance their English tour of 1899, the selected members of the team played a series of 3 games against The Rest at Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. Playing for The Rest, Trumper showed his undoubted class in these games, with 6 and 46 at Sydney, 46 and 26 at Melbourne, and a beautiful 75 at Adelaide, and prompted the selection panel to include him as the 14th member of the team.

Trumper was initially picked as the assistant to the Manager on reduced emoluments of £200 instead of the £700 that the others of the team had been contracted for. In The Complete Illustrated History of Australian Cricket, Jack Pollard mentions that Trumper’s duties on the tour were to include helping with the laundry and mail, and collecting autographs for the English cricket fans. In his summing-up of the tour, Sydney Pardon stated: “By common consent the tenth Australian Team formed the strongest combination that had come from the Colonies since the great side captained by Mr. W. L. Murdoch in 1882.”

Arriving at London, the members of the Australian team moved into what was to be their London headquarters for the duration of the tour, the Inns of Court Hotel, in late April and began five days of practice at Lord’s. Of the 35 First-Class matches played on the tour (including 5 Tests), the touring Australians won 16 (including a Test), drew 16, and lost only 3.

The second game of the tour, against Essex at Leyton, brought the tourists up against the vagaries of the English weather and pitch conditions, and resulted in their first defeat on the tour. Under overcast skies and on a heavy pitch, ‘Sailor’ Young (4 for 42 and 7 for 32) ran through the batting in both innings, the visitors being all out for only 73 in the second innings. Despite the heroic efforts of Trumble (8 for 79 and 4 for 52), Essex won by 126 runs, Trumper scoring 0 and 3 in his first match on English soil.

The first win of the tour came against Surrey at The Oval, and it was made possible by an epic effort by the right arm medium-paced bowler Bill Howell, who, with figures of 10 for 28 in the Surrey first-innings total of 114, the best figures by any Australian in First-Class cricket till date, ensured an easy victory for the tourists. The Australians won by an innings and 71 runs after Howell added another 5 for 29 to his earlier tally.

It is believed that the church of St Mary the Virgin, the Parish and Civic church in the Lace Market of Nottingham,was originally a place of Royal worship, described as “within the King’s lordship” with about 75 acres of land,  and thought to be important enough as an edifice to be mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086. As with other places of worship of antiquity, a settlement gradually developed around it over a period of three hundred years or so until it grew to become an important habitation in the East Midlands, close to the river Trent. In 924 AD, when Edward the Elder, son of the legendary Alfred the Great, captured the area surrounding Nottingham, he thought it necessary to build a bridge across the Trent to facilitate passage between the two parts of the kingdom, the “Cintra Trentam” (South Bank) and the “Ultra Trentam” (North Bank).The adjacent areas became intimately associated with the legend of Robin Hood and the lace manufacturing trade of England over time.

It seems from old records that there used to be an ancient inn close to the southern end of the bridge, in the small village of West Bridgford, on the banks of the Trent. According to Peter Wynne-Thomas, cricket gradually took root on a level, grassy area within the town’s race course, known as The Forest.

It seems that the first semblance of inter-county cricket had been played in The Forest between the counties of Nottinghamshire and Sussex in 1835. William Clarke, the enterprising captain-cum-manager of the Nottinghamshire team, realising that a business opportunity would be his for the taking, married the landlady of the inn, now generally known as the Trent Bridge Inn, in 1837. By dint of hard labour, Clarke laid out a cricket ground in the meadow adjoining the inn. Clarke gradually fenced the area in and used it to promote cricket and other non-cricketing activities, arranging matches, and putting up the players in his own inn. The focus on cricket thus gradually shifted from The Forest to Clarke’s new ground, by now known, because of its proximity to the bridge, as the Trent Bridge ground.

The subsequent history of the development of the ground and, indeed, of Nottinghamshire CCC, is a long and involved story. Suffice it to state that history was made on the ground on June 1, 1899, when the very first Test on the ground, the first of the Ashes series of 1899, began.

The establishment of English cricket made a paradigm shift from the usual practice of allowing the local Cricket Associations the privilege of selecting the teams to represent England in the Test matches played at the respective venues. For the first time, the rudiments of a formal selection policy were put into place and a panel of selectors was nominated under the chairmanship of Lord Hawke, and charged with the task of selecting the England team(s) for Test matches. WG, the cornerstone English cricketer of the times, was one of the panel of selectors. Bill Lockwood, Tom Richardson, and Charles Kortright not being available for selection for the England team on issues surrounding fitness and form, it was decided that George Hirst would open the attack at Trent Bridge.

Australia blooded two debutants in this Test, Trumper and all-rounder Frank Laver. England capped Rhodes, a promising, keen-eyed 21-year old slow left-arm orthodox spinner and right-hand batsman from Yorkshire. Australia scored 252, JT Hearne and Rhodes taking 4 wickets each. Trumper began his Test career with a duck.

England replied with 193. Jones captured 5 for 88, four of his victims being bowled. He gave Grace a torrid time, reportedly hitting him several times on the ankle, knee, and chest, and as the legend has it, sending a ball through his venerable beard to the indignation and alarm of the most revered English cricketer of the times. Australia declared their second innings at 230 for 8 on the final day, setting England 290.

It was a sad procession for the home team, with wickets falling at 1 (Grace scoring a single off the bowling of Jones in what was to be his last symbolic gesture in Test cricket), 1 (Stanley Jackson), 10 (William Gunn), and 19 (CB Fry dismissed by Trumble for 9). It should have been 40 for 5, but Darling put down Tom Hayward at short leg when the batsman was on only 12. A short while later, noticing that Ranji, then on 30, was out of his ground, Laver dislodged the bails with an expertly executed underhand flick and the crestfallen batsman began the long walk back to the pavilion.

Adding another modicum of drama to an already eventful period of play, umpire Dick Barlow, not convinced about the appeal for run out, recalled Ranji: “You’re not out”. Darling was flabbergasted at Barlow’s verdict and, at the end of the Test, reported the umpire to Lord’s, prompting Lord Harris to promise that Barlow would be dropped from the roster for the rest of the series.

Hayward went on to score 28 and to share a 63-run stand with Ranji before he was bowled by Trumble. At the other end, Ranji played the innings of a lifetime, full of sublime leg-side strokeplay, executing some shots that were essentially his very own. When the Test ended undecided, the England total stood at 155 for 7 with Ranji on 93*, and another glorious chapter had been added to the annals of the Golden Age of cricket. Commenting on the innings, Wisden said: “Never probably did a batsman, in the endeavour to save a match against time, play such a free and attractive game as he did during the last forty minutes he was at the wicket.” The news placards along the roads proclaimed: “Ranji Saves England”.

The Nottinghamshire crowd had not been very sympathetic towards Grace, whose bulk and years were both proving to be a handicap to his movements on the field. They had another grouse. It was generally felt that Arthur Shrewsbury, the local stalwart, should have been given the honour of leading the England team out during the inaugural Test on his home ground. Sadly, the 44-year-old Shrewsbury was not selected for the Test, nor for any of the Tests of the entire series.

On the other hand, Grace was finding it increasingly difficult to get his hands down quickly enough to stop the ball in the field, and was being genuinely perturbed by the pace and hostility of Jones. Perhaps he realised this himself. “It’s all over, Jacker, I shan’t play again,” he is supposed to have remarked to Jackson on the train journey back from Trent Bridge at the end of the Test.

But a man of WG’s stature does not just walk away from something that had been his very life for the best part of 45 years, from the time he had witnessed his first cricket match in 1854 as a six-year old. In his autobiography, Fry, who had been co-opted into the English selection panel, writes that even when the selectors had met at the Sports Club, St James’s Square, London, to pick the team for the Lord’s Test, WG had appeared to be somewhat undecided about his future as a Test cricketer. Apparently, the first question that WG had put to Fry was whether Fry felt that Archie MacLaren should play at Lord’s. Fry had promptly answered in the affirmative, and WG had remarked, “That settles it.”

The autobiography, Life Worth Living: Some Phases of an Englishman, goes on to shed more light on the situation. It seems that the real [unspoken] implication of the question put to Fry had been something like this: “Shall I, WG Grace, resign from the England eleven?” Fry, who had owed his own inclusion in the team to the good graces of WG, and who had been under the impression that MacLaren was about to be included in the team at the expense of some other batsman, had, in effect, given the casting-vote that had ended WG Grace’s Test career. From contemporary reports, it seems that WG had never resigned formally from the England team, although the thought had often crossed his mind around this time.

England rang the changes in the team personnel for the Lord’s Test, making as many as five changes. MacLaren had not played First-Class cricket in the season till then. Even then, he not only replaced WG in the batting order, he was also named captain. It was to be his 13th Test and 4th as captain. Charlie Townsend replaced Gunn, Gilbert Jessop replaced Hirst, Dick Lilley displaced Bill Storer behind the stumps (a versatile man this Storer, with 232 First-Class wickets to his credit in addition to his 17 centuries, 377 catches, and 54 stumpings), and Walter Mead replaced Hearne.

England were quickly reduced to 66 for 6. Then the arrival of Jessop put a temporary brake on the downward spiral of the innings. The Australians then squandered an opportunity to make further inroads into the England innings by missing a run out against Jackson with the total reading 70. The seventh-wicket pair of Stanley Jackson (73) and Jessop (51) added 95 valuable runs to the total. Even so, the innings realised just 206. Jones was the stand out performer with figures of 7 for 88.

Clem Hill (135), Noble (54) and Trumper (135*) then took Australia to 421. Hill and Trumper added 82 runs in 65 minutes in widely different styles of batting, Hill following the robust square-of-the-wicket format and Trumper adhering to a more classical genre. England were then bowled out for 240. The abundantly moustachioed Jones picked 3 more wickets to make it 10 in the Test. Australia won by 10 wickets and went 1- 0.

A story is told by John Stern in The Periodic Table of Cricket about how, upon returning to the pavilion after scoring his maiden Test century, Trumper was told: “There’s a huge, bearded chap at the door demanding to see you, sir.” It was Grace, holding in his hand the bat that he had used in his final Test at Trent Bridge. Recognising a kindred soul in the youth who had just scored an unbeaten century for Australia, WG presented Trumper with the bat that is described in the catalogue of the Victor Trumper Collection as follows: “Dark brown wooden [willow?] cricket bat with only a vestige of a brown leather grip remaining on the black stringbound (sic) handle. ‘V. Trumper / from / W. G. Grace’ is handwritten on the back of the right shoulder of the blade.” At the back of the bat is stuck a yellowed and faded piece of paper bearing the legend: “Last bat used by the / late W. Grace against / Australia in England.” WG felt that the knock of 135* was of such undoubted quality that it had prompted him to present the young Trumper with the bat, modestly noting that it was “the present champion” passing on the baton to “the future champion”.

The names of Yorkshire and cricket have been mentioned in the same breath for over 250 years now, the first recorded instance of the game being played in the county going back to 1751 when local matches were reported to have been played in and around Sheffield, a specific match often being cited. It was perhaps on August 5, 1751, that a game was played at Stanwick, near Richmond, between the Duke of Cleveland’s XI and the Earl of Northumberland’s XI. Sheffield Cricket Club appears to have been formed at about this time and Club matches were played in the late 1750s and early 1760s.

In a match played at Hyde Park Ground in Sheffield in 1833 between Norfolk and a team comprising 11 Sheffield players, the term ‘Yorkshire’ was first used to designate the home team. Interest in cricket was further fuelled by the itinerant All-England XI of professional cricketers as they went around England in the 1840s taking on local teams. With time, Sheffield could boast of several cricket grounds, Darnall (1822), Hyde Park (1826), and Bramall Lane (1855).

The first initiative towards the formation of a Yorkshire CCC was taken through the management committee of Bramall Lane by arranging a meeting held at the Adelphi Hotel in Sheffield on March 7, 1861, during which a Match Fund Committee was formed to raise funds to run the Yorkshire cricket games. Willing members were requested to contribute £1 each to the fund. The response was not found to be as encouraging as hoped for. Michael Ellison, driving force of the committee, did not lose heart, and it was at his insistence that a further meeting was called at the Adelphi Hotel on January 8, 1863, and Yorkshire CCC was formally established.

Membership was unlimited but entailed a cost of 10s 6d per head. Like other county cricket club of the times, the newly-formed Yorkshire CCC relied heavily on financial assistance from wealthy patrons and supporters. Most of the players were freelancers who were contracted for match fees of £5 a game, this to cover services, travel, and accommodation.

The then Mayor of Sheffield, former cricketer Thomas Barker, was named the first President of the club, while the long-serving Ellison became the first Treasurer. The first captain of the Club team was the professional Roger Iddison. The team played their first county match against Surrey at The Oval in 1863, the game ending in a draw.

Cricket came to Headingley a few years later, after the ground was established in 1890. It was the venue of the astonishing feats of the Australians of 1890 under Billy Murdoch, as they made short work of a team called North.

The third Test was played at Headingley. England again made five changes. Willie Quaife and Young both made their debuts, while John Brown and Johnny Briggs came in and Hearne returned to the fold. The men displaced were Townsend, Jessop, Tyldesley, Mead, and Rhodes. There was heavy rain on the evening of June 28,, and the toss was made under overcast conditions at Headingley the day after, Darling calling correctly and deciding to bat first.

It was a decision that Darling may soon have regretted. On a damp wicket, the England bowlers, particularly left-arm pacer Young and left-arm spinner Briggs, were virtually unplayable.

Amidst all this mayhem, there was one beacon shining brightly for Australia in Jack Worrall. By the time he was the 4th man dismissed, run out, he had scored 76 out of 95 the runs scored while he was at the wicket. The innings ended at 172 as Young took 4 for 30 and Briggs 3 for 53.

Tragedy struck the England camp on the first night of the Test as Briggs, the first man to capture 100 Test wickets, suffered an epileptic seizure severe enough to warrant his being admitted to the Cheadle Royal Hospital (originally the Manchester Royal Lunatic Asylum) for observation and treatment. Briggs took no further part in the Test, and bowed out of Test cricket altogether (he was to pass away in the same asylum on January 11, 1902).

To return to the Headingley Test, England had Hayward (40), and wicketkeeper Lilley (55) to thank for their ultimate total of 220. The Australian second innings began normally with Worrall and Darling putting on 34 for the first wicket. The melodrama began with the fall of Worrall’s wicket, caught in the deep field off Young.

Hill was bowled for a duck off the third ball of a Hearne over. Gregory was caught in the slips by MacLaren off the next ball. Amid mounting excitement, Noble was caught in the slips by Ranji, and all 4 wickets had fallen on the total of 34. It was the fifth hat-trick in Test history and the fourth by an English bowler, after Billy Bates, Briggs, and George Lohmann. In its inaugural Test, Headingley had the honour of hosting the very first hat-trick achieved in England.

Darling was the next to depart, the fifth wicket falling at 39 with Trumper yet to open his account. The 5 wickets had all fallen within a span of just 13 deliveries, and Australia, 48 in arrears on the first innings, appeared to be on the ropes. Considering that England were one key man short among the bowlers, this was a remarkable turn of events. The fight-back came from the lower half of the innings, with Trumper (32), Kelly (33), Trumble (56), and Laver (45) helping to carry Australia to the relative respectability of a total of 224 towards the end of the second day.

With a winning target of 177, England appeared to have a very realistic chance of winning the Test, even though batting one man short, and the last day promised interesting cricket. It was not be, however. The rain came down very heavily throughout Friday night, and play had to be abandoned on Saturday. The third Test, thus, ended in a tantalising draw.

Hill was not available for selection for the fourth Test, having had to undergo an operative procedure for a growth in his nose. The post-operative recovery period proved to be much longer than expected and he lost a considerable amount of weight and missed much of the cricket in the latter part of the tour. Frank Iredale replaced him in the squad. England replaced Briggs with Bill Bradley and John Brown with Bill Brockwell.

For a change, Old Trafford was blessed with fine weather as MacLaren decided to bat first in front of a sizeable crowd, estimated to be in excess of 20,000. They were in for a rude shock when the Quaife, Fry, Ranji, and MacLaren, all went back with only 47 runs on the board. Batting at 6, Hayward then scored a determined 130, helping England recover to 372.

The game followed a pattern quite similar to the English innings on the second day, with the first seven Australian wickets down for a mere 57. Only Noble (60*) put up any semblance of a fight in the face of good bowling by Bradley (5 for 67) and Young (4 for 79). Australia were dismissed for 196, 176 in arrears. According to the laws of the prevalent at the time, they were ‘invited’ to follow on.

In the second innings, the start was more promising for Australia, 93 runs being put on for the first wicket. Noble was fifth out after scoring 89 solid runs. Indeed, Wisden notes that Noble had confronted the English attack for 8½ hours through the two innings and “scarcely made a mistake.” It seems that there had been a period when Noble had not scored at all for about 45 minutes on the 3rd day of the Test, a remarkable study in restraint for a normally stroke-playing batsman. Trumper contributed 63, batsmen lower down the order also contributed their bits so that shortly after 5 o’clock on the second afternoon, Australia felt they could declare the innings at 346 for 7, spread over 460 minutes.

When the Test ended in a draw, England had scored 94 for 3 in the time remaining, Ranji remaining undefeated on 49. At this stage, therefore, Australia led the series 1-0 with one Test to play. Noble created an interesting footnote in cricket history by scoring both his fifties (60* and 89) on the second day of the Test, becoming the only person to score two separate fifties on the same day of a Test.

Sussex were dismissed for 414 at Hove thanks to centuries by Fry (181) and Killick (104). Trumble took 4 for 75 and Charlie McLeod 5 for 91. Australians lost their first wicket at 62. The next wicket, Worrell (128), fell at 240. Gregory (73) then put up a third-wicket stand of 217. At the other end, Trumper was batting as if unaware of the events of the other end. When the innings was finally declared, Australia had scored 624 for 4. Trumper went in at a 38-minute 300*, the first triple-century by an Australian in England.

This innings caused pleasant fallout for Trumper on a personal level. It convinced the tour committee, comprising Major Wardill, Darling, Gregory, and Trumble, that Trumper’s days of minding the laundry and sending out the mail were finally over, and inspired Darling to raise his emoluments for the tour to the £700 that the other members of the team were entitled to.

There was an interesting sidelight to the drawn match against Hampshire at Southampton in the first week of August, when the Australians allowed ‘Buck’ Llewellyn, the first non-white South African Test cricketer, to turn out for Hampshire. He seized the opportunity in both hands, capturing 8 for 132 in the first innings. Evelyn Bradford, the Hampshire all-rounder, later to become the 2nd Baronet and to be killed in action in World War I, was, unfortunately, called by both umpires for throwing in this game, causing a flutter of excitement.

MacLaren won the toss in The Oval Test, and the estimated 18,100-strong crowd enjoyed a rewarding day of cricket when England undoubtedly called the shots. Jackson (118) and Hayward gave the innings a rollicking start, putting on 185 for the first wicket. Coming in at 3, Ranji, in a remarkable season for him, carried on the good work of scoring rapidly all around the wicket. The total crept up to 300 for only one man out in about 4 hours of batting, sending the spectators into raptures of delight, and giving them the feeling that something special was about to happen that day. The second wicket realised 131 runs before Ranji (54) was caught in the slips off Jones.

Hayward (137) was next to go, at the total of 318. Commenting on Hayward’s innings, the Almanac points out that his first fifty had taken about 2½ hours, his second fifty an hour and twenty-five minutes, and that he had scored his last 37 runs in only 40 minutes. The first day crowd showed their appreciation by raising a collection of £ 131 3s 6d for Hayward.

The skipper then combined with Fry to carry on the task of brisk scoring, the fourth wicket raising 110 in a mere 65 minutes of batting. The second day ended with England well placed at 435 for 4. They eventually piled up 576. The innings ended at twenty minutes to one o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday.

Australia ended the second day on 220/5, their batting being steady rather than ambitious in the face of the huge England total. As on the first day, the skipper of the side, Darling, was dismissed on the stroke of stumps for a well-made 71, leaving Gregory (117) undefeated on 37. The innings ended on a very creditable 352. For England, the principal bowling effort was from Lockwood, now fit and restored to the side, with figures of 7 for 71 (his best bowling analysis till date). Asked to follow on, Australia ended the drawn Test on 254 for 5, the first three batsmen in the order all scoring individual fifties.

It had been a long tour for the Australians, and they took several positives back with them. They had found one undoubted future star in Trumper, Trumble had completed the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in the English season (his tally read 1,183 runs and 142 wickets), and Jones had taken 26 Test wickets. The one point of some anxiety was the continuing ill-health of Hill, one of their major batsmen.

After a farewell dinner on September 11, most of the players headed back to Australia on board the Oruba, leaving Tilbury four days later. Some of the Australians chose to remain behind in England to enjoy a three-week holiday. By the time Australia were scheduled to make their next tour to England, they would become a Commonwealth, their six colonies becoming federated on January 1, 1901.