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During the winter of 1891-92 a band of English cricketers, under the captaincy of Mr. Walter Read, visited South Africa, and had, from a cricket point of view, a most successful tour. Though, with one exception, opposing odds, the Englishmen did not meet with a single reverse, and of the twenty matches played thirteen were won. The remaining seven games were left unfinished, and except, perhaps, in one instance, the draws were all in favour of the visitors. With some few exceptions, the form shown by the South African cricketers was very moderate; but their batsmen were subjected to a very severe test in being opposed to the bowling of Ferris, J. T. Hearne, Martin, Pougher, and Alec Hearne. Against such variety of attack it is no matter for surprise that the colonial batsmen gave but a poor account of themselves, and the extent of their failure may well be gathered from the fact that the averages of these five bowlers ranged from less than six to under nine runs a wicket. The wear and tear of the tour apparently had an effect upon the bowlers, as in the English summer of 1892 Mr. Ferris, J. T. Hearne, and Martin, who in South Africa took between them 507 wickets, were less effective than in former seasons.
In batting Chatterton, the Derbyshire professional, quite distanced his colleagues, and throughout the tour he played consistently good cricket. In thirty-one innings he scored 955 runs, and had the splendid average of 41.12. Mr. George Brann, Mr. W. L. Murdoch, and Alec Hearne also did themselves justice, and Wood, the Surrey wicket keeper, aided by a big not-out innings of 134, came out fourth on the list. Mr. Walter Read had-for him-an indifferent record, and there is little doubt that the anxieties connected with the tour affected his cricket. Financially the trip was a failure, but, apart from an unpleasant incident at the close, the cricketers were cordially received.
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