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Now, from the amount of played : the result was 75 runs correspondence that ensued on per hour. Was it, then, correct the subject of slow play and criticism to call the 64.93 runs stonewalling, in illustration of per hour of the Australians which the match under con- “stonewalling”? If 75 runs sideration was frequently cited, per hour in the opening stages one would naturally suppose of a game represents excellent that there was a vast difference play, surely 10 runs less per in the rate of the scoring by hour in playing for a draw the two teams. Let us see.
is not deserving the adverse Take, first of all, the match comment it received in this recorded above. For equitable case. comparison, we must pass by Not in this match alone, but that portion of England's inn- all through, the popular error ings in which wickets were appears to have been that the almost thrown away in the Australians scored slowly. But scoring of 91.06 per hour, and from tables which I have comkeep only their superb batting piled with the utmost care I for 315 runs for the loss of a subjoin a portion, from which single wicket. Up to this it will be seen that, on the point, it is admitted, the game average, actually they scored was played as it ought to be faster than their opponents.
AVERAGE RATE OF SCORING PER HOUR BY ENGLISH PLAYERS WHOSE
AGGREGATE TOTAL OF RUNS HAS REACHED 100 OR OVER.
Mr G. L. Jessop
Time batting. Total
Average runs per hour. 67.55 59.65 55.67 50-60 50.44 46.50 46:33 45.88 45.64 43.46 43:45 43:43 42:06 41:53 40:02 39.60 39.19 37.99 37.50 35.29 34.67 34.22 33:51 33:42 33:30 30:13 29.64 28.36 28.13 27.21 27.09 26.00 23.25 17.41
Many writers on the game tion to my figures for a moment have made bold statements longer. In the whole tour the about the slowness of the play Australians batted 201 hours 4 of Australia, which were not minutes for 14,289 runs, includsupported by figures, and could ing extras–71.06 runs per hour not have been. One of the best on the average. The players opknown of these stated in an posing them batted 186 hours article published at the end of 14 minutes for 13,056 runs, inlast season that he could only cluding extras–70.01 runs per refer to the doings of the Aus- hour on the average. The visitralians with a magnificent tors were the faster scorers by vagueness," an admission amply 1.05 runs per hour. borne out at the end of his
paper Again, glancing at the Test when he referred to the Aus- matches. England's slowest tralian team as comprising eight was at Nottingham, when play“ Barlows and Scottons. The ing to save the game : 155 runs reader can judge for himself made in 3 hours 15 from the tables given above. minutes. That yields an aver
One comparison I will estab- age of 47:69 runs per hour ; lish — between Hayward and and I may remark that this Noble. Hayward, it will be record of slow play would have seen, scored at the rate of 27.09 been still more remarkably low runs per hour, Noble at the rate had not it been for Ranjitof 2574 per hour. So far as I sinhji's innings of 93 in 2 have ever read or heard, Hay- hours 41 minutes. The Ausward's scoring was
re- tralians furnished their slowest ferred to as “slow," but rather play in the fourth Test game, universally as “sound cricket.” at Manchester, when they Noble, on the other hand, was batted 7 hours 7 minutes for notoriously, in popular opinion, 346 runs. This gives an aver“a stonewaller.' And yet age of 46:27 runs per hour. I Hayward was the faster scorer ought to observe, however, that by only 1.35 runs per hour! the Australians never reached
Regarding the popular im- England's highest rate of scorpression of the slow cricket of ing in the Test matches, which the Australians, I invite atten- was that at the Oval in the
game so fully recorded above. the superiority of the AustralThe Australians' fastest scoring ians was most marked. And in Test matches was in their first let me submit two special first innings at Lord's, when tables of bowling analyses they made 421 runs in 6 hours which, with figures supplied 14 minutes 67.54 runs per from other tables compiled by hour on the average.
me, cast an interesting light on Turn now to bowling, where this department of the game :
SHOWING AVERAGE NUMBER OF BALLS BOWLED TO TAKE A WICKET.
(a) By English Bowlers who bowled one hundred overs or more.
G. H. Hirst took one wicket with every 35.06 balls bowleil.
41.60 H. Young
43.69 Mr G. L. Jessop
47.82 Mr C. L. Townsend
54.54 W. Mead
55 Mr W. M. Bradley"
58.28 Mr W. G. Grace
62.50 A. E. Trott
65.69 W. Attewell
75 J. T. Hearne
79.84 Mr F. S. Jackson
In compiling these figures, 137.20 balls were bowled per only the runs made off the hour on the average. bat are counted, and of the Australian bowlers delivered wickets those only that were 26,939 balls for 12,464 runs and credited to the bowlers.
584 wickets-which yields an English bowlers delivered average cost of 21:34 runs per 27,451 balls for 13,669 runs wicket. To secure a wicket, and 452 wickets—which yields 46:12 balls were bowled. And an average cost of 30.24 runs 144.65 balls were bowled per per wicket. To secure a wicket, hour on the average. 60-73 balls were bowled. And, Or, placing the performances taking in the element of time, side by side :
Here, it seems to me, is the time than can another class, key to “slowness” in cricket. then we want the bowlers who If a certain class of bowlers can can bring about the faster fall dismiss batsmen in a shorter of wickets, even if they should prove a little more expensive in mainstay of his county in bowlthe doing of it. When slow ing, many of the opposing
, play is under discussion, it is wickets must have fallen at this invariably the batting that is Glancing through last considered. Were all bowling year's bowling averages, I find of the same style, it would be that the English bowlers who reasonable to look to the bats- have taken wickets with the men to try to produce faster fewest deliveries are W. H. cricket. But to any one who Lockwood and Albert Trott, has watched the game closely, with 36.77 and 37:10 deliveries it is apparent that where on the average respectively. bowlers aim chiefly at length Now if these two bowlers were and direction, scoring is made performing regularly together, difficult. I have read a great it would be impossible for the deal about the decline of Notts resulting cricket to be unincricket owing to the cautious teresting. Though the batting methods of her batsmen. To showed nothing sensational, me it seems due less to her style the fall of wickets would be of batting than to her style of sufficiently rapid to keep the bowling. In my experience of spectator from being bored. cricket at Trent Bridge, during Success in taking wickets the last ten years, I have never quickly depends much on the seen any visiting batsmen do devices in pace, flight, and break wonders in the way of fast practised by the bowlers to prescoring. Let any adverse critics vent batsmen getting set; and of Arthur Shrewsbury and Wil- most often it is when batsmen liam Gunn bowl a few overs to are set that the game becomes these batsmen, and they will tiresome to watch. I well refind that bad length balls will member a remark made by an most surely be hit for four with old professional cricketer who greater precision than could be saw Albert Trott bowl for the shown by reputed big hitters.
first time at Lord's. It was, I have never had the privi- “He bowls too many of a' sorts lege of seeing Alfred Shaw at to be a good un."
It is really his best. But I have seen by their bowling of two or William Attewell bowl by the three sorts that Trott and hour such an awkward length, Lockwood are so formidable just a little short of the “blind to batsmen; and the more their spot,” that any batsman at- style of attack is followed the tempting to force runs off him better for the game. would almost have been throw- Of the various alterations ing away his wicket. Is it fair, in the laws of the game sugthen, to blame batsmen for gested with a view to increasscoring slowly? From the files ing its attractiveness, that of of Wisden I have taken out the lb w rule appears to me Attewell's figures in county decidedly the best. The net championship matches for Notts, boundary, which is being given and I find that with every 58-58 a trial at Lord's, is, I am afraid, balls he delivered he has taken an essentially wrong change ; a wicket. As he has been the and as a matter of fact, so far,
within my knowledge, the ex- batsmen declare that it would
He mine whether the ball pitched answered: “I don't believe in in a line from wicket to wicket, backing up with one's legs, but than whether it would have hit I will have to learn to do it. the wicket.
Nor can I
see Nearly all the great batsmen anything in
the argument often save their wickets in that that leg-break bowlers would way.” soon get their men out leg- I am sure we are all agreed before. If the batsman did that when Victor Trumper was not place himself in a straight getting runs, no alteration in line from wicket to wicket, he his style of play was to be could not possibly be out 1 bw. desired. I am aware that some leading
· The rule proposed would not be new, but only a return to an old one. See ‘Cricket Scores, 1730-1773.' By H. T. Waghorn.