Cricket 1902

402 CRICKET : A WEEKLY RECORD OF THE GAME. S ept . 11, 1902. Turning to the other counties, we find Sussex comfortably filling the first place, which is all the more remarkable because of the defection of Ranjitsinhji and Pry in some of the later matches, and the failure of both these famous batsmen to play up to their great reputations of previous years. True, Ranjitsinhji has an average of 66 for the c iunt.y, and Fry of 41, but the former made considerably more than half his runs in two innings (the match beirg drawn in each case) while the latter did none of those brilliant performances which elecnifiedthe cricket world in 1901 and 1900. If both bats­ men had done themselves justice, the coirnty might very likely have made even the Yoaksbiremen go all the way before gaining the championship. For all round the team has been much stronger than usual. Tate was undoubtedly one of the greatest bowlers of the year, and although in his one match against the Australians he did not do wonderful things, and was therefore described as outclassed by many critics, he wns a man to be reckoned with by any team under the sun. Even Trumble and Trumper have failed to distinguish themselves sometimes, and it does not seem just to judge a man by what he does in any one match. Later in the season Cox did some fine things, and Relf proved himself a most useful man. In batting, Vine was wonderfully consistent, and while the two veterans, Newham and Brann, who came into the team as stop-gaps, greatly distinguished themselves, the younger generation is pushing rapidly to the front. After Sussex comes Notts, who have had a very good season as things go. Pew things have been more remarkable this year than the consistent way in which Arthur Shrewsbury has made a lot of runs. He has always possessed the most perfect sang froid, and whether the game is going well with his side, or badly, it is ail the same to him ; he comes to the wickets with the intention of staying there, and a bowler has generally to do something particularly clever to induce him to shift. Against the Australians he was as imperturbable and also as successful as against other bowlers, and as he is still a first-rate point, it is little short of wonderful that a place was not found for him in a Test match. His old companion, William Gunn, has also been in great form, and although A. O. Jones has not kept up his reputation of last season, either with the bat or the ball, several other mem­ bers of the team have done finely. Wass proved to be a tower of strength as a bowler, and was well backed up by Hallam. Surrey were unfortunate in many ways. Por once Hayward on whom they so much relied failed them, and although in the later part of the season he made a good many runs he was not the Hayward of Old. But for the ever resourceful Abel the team would not have come out as high as fourth in the table. The rest of the batting was variable, and at times it broke down altogether. The younger members of the team did not, as a whole, play up to the expectations which had been formed of them, and from first to last it was never safe to rely on a decent score. In the middle of the season when they were badly wanted Brockwell and V. F. S. Crawford had to stand down owing to injuries ; but they both did well at times. Captain Bush on several occa­ sions gave a most excellent account of himself, and was especially good under difficulties. At the very end of the eeason Dowson came prominently to the front with the bat. In bowling the county was weak. True on his day Lockwood showed himself to be the best bowler in the world, but he was often not quite sound. The old bowlers all did well now and then, but there seems no one coming on likely to take their place, unless it be Clode, who has from time to ti ne showed signs of great promise. Fielding is still one of the weak points of the team as a whole. Disappointment has been the share of Lancashire this season, and hardly a man on the side has quite done himself justice. Garnett, who did so well last year and then failed so badly in Australia, only played in four innings. Much had been hoped of Barnes after his great success in Australia previous to his accident, but although he was sometimes effective he never seemed to have entire confidence ia himself, and hardly ever gave one the impression of being a great bowler. The other bowlers were not very formidable as a rule. Financially, the Warwickshire season has not been a success owing to the per­ sistent way in which the weather spoiled the home matches. Willie Quaife and Devey are the only men in the team who can congratulate themselves much on their season’s work, for although Kinneir has often done well, he was far less suc­ cessful than iu 1901. In the early part of the season even Quaife seemed to have dropped off, but he got into his stride later, and some of his innings were as good as any he has ever played. Har­ greave has improved so much as a bowler that he is generally conceded as one of the best men of the day. Field did well also. One cxnnot but feel that Kent ought to have done rather better, for although they won eight matches they managed to lose the same number. But although Burnup, Dillon, Day, and Marsham all distinguished themselves, the two latter did not play very often, while Mason and Alec Hearne were not in their usual form. In bowling too the county was very weak. The brunt of it fell on Mason and Blythe, and they both did well, but received little support. Although Somerset only come in the middle of the Championship Table, a tie with Kent, they have had a season on which they will be able to look back with satisfaction, for they have done great and exciting things. They beat Middlesex by one wicket in their first match of the season, and followed this up by losing to Sussex by three wickets only after a desperate struggle. Iu the middle of June they had a glorious week’ s cricket in the North, beating Lancashire by 9 runs and Yorkshire by 34 runs. They lost two other matches by a small margin, three and four wickets, and won two by an equally small margin—two and three wickets. So that a very little extra good luck might have given them several more victories, and for the matter of that a little extra bad luck might have caused them several more defeats. There was very little big scoring by the team, and not a single man made a hundred during the season. Braund and Cranfield with the ball and Braund and Palairet with the bat had much to do with the success of the team. Of the other counties it is not necessary to say much, except that Derbyshire men have reason to congratulate themselves over their season’s work. They have got well out of the tail end of the list, and have at last learned how the sweets of victory taste. In E. M. Ashcroft, Ollivierre, Lawton and L. G. Wright, they have four very fine batsmen, while Bestwick and Hulme are very capable bowlers. The young blood shows great promise, so that the county may do even better in the next few years. Middlesex, who ought to have one of the strongest teams in England, have dropped from second place to twelfth. G. W. Beldam is about the only man who has scored consistently through the season, and even he has had one or two bad periods. Albert Trott and J. T. Hearne have been terribly disappointing with the ball this year, and the only sign of hope is that Beldam is developing into a very useful bowler. With some of the finest cricket­ ers in England in the county, Middlesex can get no regular team, and if the new men do not come off instantly, they do not get much encouragement. Essex have been brought very low. But in their case it is not for want of looking for meD, or giving them a good trial, so much as bad luck, that this year has been a season of failures. Perrin and McGahey still hold their own, Kort­ right has developed into a fine batsman, while Fane and Lucas have been very useful. Sewell was given a long trial, but only showed glimpses of what his form is likely to be when he once gets going; he will be heard of yet. The bowling is terribly weak just now. Leicestershire did not do very well, but the team is promising in every way, and in the nature of things it ought to be very strong indeed in two or three years. There remain Hampshire and Gloucester­ shire, both of which met with sad experiences. But there may be better times in store for each of them. “ KOM1C K R IC K E T .” Copies of the Score Card of Dan Leno’s Match, played at the Oval yesterday, may be had post free, 2d., by applying to M e r b i t t a n d H a t c h e r , L t d . , 168, Upper Thames Street, E.C. T HE ELEVENTH AU STRALIAN TOUR, 1902. Price One Pe< ny. Containing portraits and biographies of the players. Full details of all the Test Matches from 1877, and a list o f players who have taken part in previous tours. Copies can be obtained at all the leading county cricket grounds, bookstalls, or post free, l$d, Cricket Office, 168, Upper Thames Street, E.C.