August 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, l0th (1878)

The Canterbury week

THE CANTERBURY CRICKET WEEK OF 1877 was commenced on the Bank Holiday in splendid weather, but for the remainder of the week success had to fight against weather of bad form; nevertheless, the attendances on the great days were excellent, the best authority on this subject stating the assemblage on the showery and rough Thursday was the largest that had ever gathered together there on a Ladies' Day. All agreed that, in high character and county influence, the gatherings of 1877 on old St. Lawrence were never surpassed. The daily admission charge was one shilling throughout the week, and daily were the ladies gratified by music's sweet sounds being sent forth by the Royal Artillery or the Cavalry Depôt bands, and had the weather kept at fair after Monday, there can be no doubt but that the week of 1877 would have been far away the most successful ever played at Canterbury, as the county balls were brilliantly patronised and the theatre nightly crowded by the maids, matrons, and men, who form the far-famed Aristocracy of Kent

The published programme gave KENT (with two given men) v. ENGLAND as the opening match, to be followed by KENT v. M. C. C. and G., and finished with GENTLEMEN OF KENT v. I ZINGARI -- an excellent match selection, appropriately providing a week's cricket that should have been contested by the very best talent for England and Kent. But the contingencies of the game again pushed from position the time-honoured I. Z. match; and other reasons prevented Mr. A. N. Hornby, Mr. J. M. Cotterill, Richard Daft, Jupp, Pooley, Pinder, and others playing for England.

The playing portion of the ground had been enlarged by the famous embankment being moved back a few yards, the critics being unanimous in terming this an improvement. Every possible attention had been paid to the wickets and the ground; indeed, all that could be done was done to ensure a week of good cricket, and if, by comparison, the six days' play failed to come up to some of the past Canterbury cricket weeks' high standard, the reason must be found in--whatever the reader pleases.

The most successful bit of bowling during the week was

Overs.Maidens.Runs.Wickets.
Mr. W. G. Grace's 27-120116

bowled after luncheon on the Thursday, against Kent.

The palm for brilliant hitting and the best batting display, in two innings in a match, during the week, was unanimously given to Mr. Yardley's 47 and 61, for Kent v. England.

The merit of playing the best and highest innings in the week was Mr. F. Penn's for his 135 v. England.

The hit of the week was made by Mr. Crutchley, in his 34 for M. C. C. and G.

And the awards for the most successful fielding displays during the six days were due to Capt. Kingscote, who, as M. C. C. wicketkeeper against Kent, stumped 3, caught out 5, and threw out another; and to Mr. W. Foord-Kelcey, who, as point for Kent in the same match, caught out the first four M. C. C. wickets that fell.

MONDAY, THE FIRST DAY, BANK HOLIDAY, was a first-class fine day for cricket, and the attendance was large to witness the week fairly started with

KENT, with Mr. W. G. Grace and Mr. A. W. Ridley, v. ENGLAND.

Bank holiday emergencies prevented the Railway men coming up to time at Canterbury that morning, and when at 12.25 Kent began the batting, Mr. W. Grace, Watson, and others had not arrived. Mr. Ridley and Mr. MacKinnon first used the bat to the bowling of Lockwood and Mycroft. With the score at 28, Mr. MacKinnon was bowled; at 52, Mr. Ridley was caught out; and at 55, Mr. Penn was out from a splendid one hand catch by Shrewsbury. Then a hearty Kentish cheer greeted Mr. W. Grace's walk to the wickets, but who -- so the critics chronicled -- had a narrow escape from lbw the first ball he received. This escape he shortly after squared up by making 10 runs (two 4's and a 2) from one over of Ulyett's; and he and Lord Harris hit the score from 55 to 138, when his Lordship left for 35; and at 151 Mr. W. Grace was clean bowled by Emmett for 50, an innings that the critics refused to grant a first class certificate to. Mr. Yardley was then in brilliant hitting form, and, by a 4 (cut), a 4 (drive), and a 4 (drive), made 12 from one over of Ulyett's, but when 208 was made, Mr. Yardley was caught and bowled, his 47 being the distinctive batting feature of that day's play, so brilliantly was it hit, and so rapidly made by six 4's, three 3's, &c. Mr. Yardley went to wickets with the score at 138; he left them with it at 208, and was lustily cheered. For the rest, Mr. F. H. Mellor (of the Cambridge University Eleven of 1877) was out at 211, Mr. Foord Kelcey at 216, and young George Hearne and Mr. Absolom both at 229, and so the innings ended at twenty minutes to five, the 229 runs having been made from 118 overs and three balls, W. Myoroft's bowling having settled six wickets.

England batting commenced at five o'clock, Mr. I. D. Walker and Mr. A. J. Webbe starting to the bowling of Mr. W. Grace and Mr. Foord Kelcey. When only 17 runs had been scored, Mr. A. J. Webbe was run out for 8; but steady scientific play by Mr. Walker and Mr. A. P. Lucas brought on bowling changes at both ends, and the score to 60; then Mr. Walker was had at mid-wicket for 38. Mr. Lucas and Lockwood made another fairly good stand, hitting the score to 91, when Mr. Lucas was out for 21; his successor was Mr. G. F. Grace, and when time was called at seven o'clock, the score stood at 105 for three wickets down, Lockwood, not out, 28; Mr. G. F. Grace, not out, 7.

TUESDAY was a wet day. They commenced play at 11.20. Lockwood and Mr. G. F. Grace made the score to 110, when Mr. G. F. Grace was had at the wicket for 12. Shrewsbury was lbw at 133, but Wyld stayed until 162 were booked, when Mr. Foord Kelcey bowled him for 24, including 10 (by two 4's and a 2) from one over of Mr. W. Grace's. Ulyett then faced Lockwood, and the two Yorkshiremen increased the score to 189, when an easy catch at mid-off settled Lockwood for 63 -- a very fine innings, played and hit in his very best form, and made by ten 4's, three 3's, three 2's, &c. Every man who witnessed Lockwood play was of opinion he thoroughly merited the hearty applause the Men of Kent gave to his innings. Emmett did but little. At 209 Ulyett was bowled for 24 by Mr. Absolom, who then, by a splendid left-hand catch from his own bowling, summarily settled Mycroft; and so, at 25 minutes to 2, the England innings ended for 209 runs, made from 142 Kent overs. Rain then set in, and, hopelessly continuing, the stumps were pulled up at about 3.45, and so ended the second day's play.

ON WEDNESDAY, at 11.20, Kent's second innings was begun by Mr. W. G. Grace and Mr. Mackinnon, to the bowling of Mycroft and Mr. Lucas, the wicket being kept by Watson. When 12 runs were scored, Mr Mackinnon was bowled, and at 30, Mr Ridley was caught out at slip. Mr. Grace and Mr. Penn then hit the score to 111, when Mr. Grace was caught out (some yards from the wicket) for 58, well done, and made by eight 4's, two 3's, &c. Lord Harris was next man in, and by free, fine, and fast hitting the score was moved up to 148, when a clipping catch at mid-off by Mr. I. D. Walker got rid of his Lordship for 16. Bad times for England's eleven then came, as on Mr. Yardley facing Mr. Penn, the true Kent hitting was so truly fine, that, notwithstanding Ulyett, Mr. Lucas, Mycroft, Emmett, Mr. W. Grace, and Watson took a bowling turn at them, they increased the score from 148 to 255, when Mr. Yardley was easily caught out at cover-point for 61 - a freely and finely hit innings, made by ten 4's, two 3's, four 2's, and 7 singles (more fourers than singles); 107 runs were put on the score whilst Mr. Yardley was batting. Mr. Penn and Mr. Foord-Kelcey then hit the score to 301, when Ulyett bowled Mr. Penn for 135 - the largest score made in the week's cricket, an especially fine batting display, both of hit and defence, and the unquestionably best played innings of the week. Mr. Penn hit all round well, and gave but one chance, and that a hot one to point when he had made about 120. His hits comprised eighteen 4's, eight 3's, eight 2's, and 23 singles, and, said a sound, practical judge who played in the match, "Mr. Penn's play was quite a treat to look at." Mr. Kelcey was finely caught out by Ulyett for 30, and Mr. Mellor made 20; but at 25 minutes past 5 the second innings of Kent ended for 342 runs, made from 178 England overs.

When the clock stood at 5.45 England's second innings was commenced by Mr. G. F. Grace and Mr. Lucas to the bowling of Mr. W. G. Grace and Mr. Absolom. They had not been long at work before a delightful little bit of cricket was enjoyed by the spectators in witnessing Mr. F. Grace make three 4's from one over of his big brother's; all three hits were spanking drives, two of them sending the ball over the boundary; but in Mr. W. G.'s next over Mr. G. F.'s little game was ended by a catch at long-field, and so fell the first wicket for 18 runs, 14 of which had been made by Mr. F. Grace. They worked on to 6.25; then a rain storm put an end to the play, and the match was left drawn, largely in favour of Kent. 466 overs and 3 balls had been bowled, 32 wickets captured, and 812 runs scored in the three days' cricket.

© John Wisden & Co