The compiler regrets that the length to which this book has already extended will not permit of his entering fully into the details of the play in a series of matches which have been the feature of the cricket season in England during the past year, and in taking this course he feels that no apology is necessary, inasmuch as an exhaustive account of the Australian's matches was published in book form immediately after the close of the season, whereas no other annual has appeared, or is likely to appear, in which so much space will be found devoted to the leading Counties, the Universities, the Gentlemen of Philadelphia, the M.C.C., and the great matches of 1884, as in the present number of the Almanack.
The programme of the fourth Australian team consisted of 32 matches, 18 of which were won, 7 drawn and 7 lost. In these 32 matches the Australians scored 9,790 runs for the loss of 479 wickets, giving an average of 20.210 per wicket, while their opponents lost 546 wickets for 9,496 runs, or an average of 17.214. The Australians gave away 700 extras, and their opponents only 478. The largest innings scored by the Australians was their 551 against England at the Oval; their smallest completed innings, 60 against Yorkshire. The largest innings played against them was the 481 by M.C.C. and Ground; the smallest, the second innings of an eleven in England, at Birmingham, 26. The Australians won 7 matches in a single innings, and were three times beaten in a single innings. The greatest number of runs which any match produced was 982, the contest being England v Australia, at the Oval. The match at Birmingham, before mentioned, produced the smallest number - 217.
There were five three-figure innings hit by the Australians during the tour, Murdoch making 211 and 132, Griffen 113, M'Donnell 103, and Scott 102, while no fewer than twelve were made against them, W.G. Grace scoring 116 not out, 107, and 101, A.G. Steel 148 and 134, Scotton 134, W. W. Read 117, G. N. Wyatt 112, H. Phillips 110, J. H. Brain 108, Barnes 105 not out, and Barlow 101.
Scott and Cooper were the only members of the team who had not visited England before, and while the former proved an emphatic success, the latter was a decided failure. Scott secured the third place in the batting list with an average of 22-27, but the 7 wickets taken by Cooper cost 46-3 runs each. Murdoch quite maintained his splendid form with an average 30-28 against 30-31in 1882. M'Donnell's rose from 17-16 to 23-29, and Giffen's from 18-9 to 21-2. Bannerman's fell from 22-8 to 19-11, and Bonnor's from 20-15 to 19-6. Blackham batted up to his reputation, and Midwinter secured an average of 19-2. Spofforth, whose wonderful bowling was the feature of the tour, took 216 wickets at an average of 12-50. Palmer and Boyle were more expensive than in 1882, but Giffen bowled with greater success than before. The complete averages will be found appended to the last match.