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Wisden on the Ashes
Australia v England1882
Again, Wisdendid not carry a full review of Australia’s 1882tour of England – the practice of summing up tours like that began with the next visit, in 1884. However, there is a long report of the solitary Test played – the epic encounter at The Oval that Australia won by seven runs and which spawned the legend of the Ashes.
Although the report is little more than a catalogue of dismissals, it does convey some of the “intense excitement” which surrounded the climax of the match, in which England,
How it all began: the spoof obituary in the
Sporting Times after Australia won at
The Oval in 1882.
set only 85to win, subsided from 51for two to 77 all out and defeat. As the tension mounted, one spectator died of a heart attack, while another reputedly chewed through the handle of his umbrella.
After the match Reginald Shirley Brooks, a young journalist, placed a mock obituary in the Sporting Times, lamenting the death of English cricket and announcing that the body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. Sport’s greatest rivalry thus grew out of what was little more than a jolly jape: English newspapers started saying that the next England tour of Australia, scheduled for the following winter, would be a quest to recapture the Ashes. From tiny acorns. . .
Only Test At The Oval, August 28, 29, 1882. Australia won by seven runs.
The compiler proceeds to give a short account of the contest, leaving the reader to attribute the Australian victory to the fact that the Colonists won the toss and thereby had the best of the cricket; to the fact that the English had to play the last innings; to the brilliant batting of Massie; to the superb bowling of Spofforth; to the nervousness of some of the England side; to the glorious uncertainty of the noble game; or to whatever he or she thinks the true reason.
Monday: Murdoch beat Hornby in the toss. Massie was clean-bowled by a yorker on the leg stump at six. At 21 Murdoch played a ball from Peate on to his wicket, and, after adding a single, Bonnor was clean-bowled middle stump. Then, at 26, Bannerman was splendidly caught by Grace at point, left hand, low down, having been in an hour and five minutes for nine runs. Horan was bowled, leg stump, at 30 . Blackham joined Giffen, and, with the total unchanged, was bowled second ball. Garrett was the new batsman, and a double change of bowling was found necessary before the newcomer was well caught at long-off just after luncheon. At 59Blackham skyed a ball and was caught, and Spofforth, the last man, joined Jones. The “Demon”
All rights reserved. You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this content in any form or by any means. Early Days: 1876‒77 to 1882
hit a four, and then Jones was caught at third man, the innings closing for 63. At 3.30 Grace and Barlow started the first innings of England. Spofforth bowled Grace at 13, and Barlow was caught at forward point for 18. The score was raised to 50after halfan-hour’s play, but at 56Ulyett ran out to drive Spofforth and was easily stumped. At 59Lucas was snapped at the wicket, and one run later Studd was bowled with a bailer without scoring, and half the wickets were down for 60. Read joined Lyttelton, and just when the score reached the total of the Australian innings the latter was caught at the wicket. Eight wickets were down for 96when Hornby came in. Read made a cut for three and Hornby scored a single, bringing up the 100. With only one run added, however, Hornby’s leg stump fell, and the innings closed about five minutes before the call of time.
Tuesday: Massie and Bannerman commenced the Australians’ second innings at 12 .10, the Colonists being 38to the bad. Thirty went up after about 28minutes’ play. At 12.45the balance was knocked off. Barnes relieved Studd at 47, and from his first ball Lucas badly missed Massie at long-off, the batsman then having made 38. It was not until the score reached 66that loud applause greeted the dismissal of the great hitter, bowled leg stump by Steel. Massie had made 55out of 66in 55minutes, and his hits consisted of nine fours, two threes, three twos, and seven singles. Bonnor took the vacant wicket, but at 70his middle stump was knocked clean out of the ground, and Murdoch came in, but immediately lost Bannerman, caught at extra mid-off, with the total unchanged. Horan joined Murdoch, and the bowling was changed, with the result that the incomer was easily caught. Giffen, who took his place, was out in the same way. When the score had been hit up to 99rain fell, and luncheon was taken.
Resuming at 2.45, after another shower, Blackham was well caught at the wicket without any addition to the score. At 114Jones was run out in a way which gave great dissatisfaction to Murdoch and other Australians. Murdoch played a ball to leg, for which Lyttelton ran. The ball was returned, and Jones, having completed the first run, and thinking wrongly, but very naturally, that the ball was dead, went out of his ground. Grace put his wicket down, and the umpire gave him out. Several of the team spoke angrily of Grace’s action, but the compiler was informed that after the excitement had cooled down a prominent member of the Australian XI admitted that he should have done the same thing. There was a good deal of truth in what a gentleman in the pavilion remarked, amidst some laughter, that “Jones ought to thank the champion for teaching him something”. Spofforth partnered Murdoch, but was bowled middle stump at 117. Garrett came in, and very shortly after, a very smart piece of fielding on the part of Hornby, Studd and Lyttelton caused Murdoch to be run out at 122for a very careful and good innings of 29. Boyle was last man in, but failed to score, and the tenth wicket fell at the same total.
England, wanting 85runs to win, commenced their second innings at 3.45. Spofforth bowled Hornby’s off stump at 15, made in about as many minutes. Barlow joined Grace, but was bowled first ball at the same total. Ulyett came in, and some brilliant hitting by both batsmen brought the score to 51, when a very fine catch at the wicket dismissed Ulyett. Thirty-four runs were then wanted, with seven wickets to fall. Lucas joined Grace, but when the latter had scored a two he was easily taken at mid-off. The game was slow for a time, and 12successive maiden overs were bowled, both batsmen playing
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