Captain – William Clarke

‘The following two matches have been made between Mr Houghton, proprietor of Kennington Oval and Mr Clarke, the celebrated slow bowler: 3 July, North v South; 17 July, Surrey v Notts’. This announcement in the Nottingham Review of 11 April 1851, at least gave some cheer to those who deplored the absence of Notts matches, even though it meant that there would be no important inter-county fixtures at Trent Bridge. The leading Notts cricketers stayed in London for the best part of July.

Following the North v South game at the Oval, in which George Parr’s 54 gave the North a comfortable win, came England v Kent at Lord’s, North v South at Lord’s, the Surrey v Notts match and last the Gentlemen v Players. Although now 52, Clarke still dominated the play in these games, taking 32 wickets in the first four, but Notts had acquired a new bowling star, who with 28 wickets in the five matches, was treading on Clarke’s heels.

Jemmy Grundy made his debut for Notts in the Surrey game. Born in 1824, he had played in Notts local cricket from an early age. It was not however until 1851, when he was engaged as a ground bowler at Lord’s, that Grundy, now 27, was known to cricket spectators generally. A very accurate medium-pace round-arm bowler, he liked bowling against the wind.

When Cris Tinley cried off at the last minute, William Clarke included his son Alfred in the Notts Eleven for the Surrey game - a 'very intelligent man and a most agreeable travelling companion', as Caffyn notes in his book. George Parr nicknamed him ‘Bradshaw’, since he was in charge of the travel arrangements for the All England Eleven. His greatest cricketing asset was his ability in the deep field, but he was also a fair batsman. Notts lost this first-ever match to Surrey by 75 runs with a day to spare, their batting failing utterly in the first innings, registering just 48 (Daniel Day 7-22) and the main praise in the reports was given to the wicket-keeping of Charley Brown, who stumped three in Surrey’s second innings of 106, Grundy taking seven wickets in the match. Notts made 104 in their second innings, George Parr top scoring with 23. Thomas Sherman, with figures of 7-45, caused most of the damage.

August 2020

Scorecard and stats can be seen here