Champions – W 3, D 1

Captains – J Grundy and G Parr

Notts finally broke the domination of Surrey in 1862 and were declared Champions - the Southern County had been almost unbeaten for nearly a decade. In the two meetings of Surrey and Notts however, Notts proved victorious once and the second game was drawn. Notts also beat the powerful Cambridgeshire Eleven twice.

The first county match of 1862 was against Cambridgeshire at Fenner’s, a new opponent although the Cambridge Town Club had been opposed in 1834. Cambridgeshire elected to bat and made 96 all out with George Wootton taking 6-33. With the help of Richard Daft (32), Notts gained a narrow lead of 4 runs, as George Tarrant took 6-46. The outstanding feature of the game was an innings of 66 by Tom Hayward – a perfectly masterly exhibition of hitting and defence as the home team made 148 all out. Notts needed 145 to win, Richard Daft made 40 but Notts slipped to 104-7 but got home as John Jackson (37 not out) and debutant William Horsley (13 not out) added an unbroken 41 for the eighth wicket. Henry Perkins took 5-48 for the losers. Horsley of Southwell who had won the selection after winning the batting prize in the Colts match. Nearly all his cricket was played in the Southwell area, where he followed the occupation of a tailor. Notts had another three debutants in this fixture. Wicket-keeper Sam Biddulph from Hyson Green, who held the position of first choice keeper until 1875 when he became ill with kidney trouble and who died the following year aged 35 years. Charles Daft, Richard’s elder brother was another newcomer. A defensive batsman, he played for the Commercial Club for about 30 years. Finally, John Smith of Gotham was a useful all-rounder. He played three First-Class matches for Notts but then moved to Bradford where he died in 1868 aged 33 years.   

The county travelled to London for the match with Surrey, where rain washed out the first day at the Oval, and introduced another wicket-keeper, Frank Moore, because Sam Biddulph was injured. Moore caused a bit of a problem during the match, He was not out at lunchtime and went back to his digs for a meal, thinking the lunch interval was an hour, when it was only forty minutes. When play was about to resume Daft was dispatched to hurry him up and found him seated in an armchair enjoying a pipe. When told there were thousands of spectators wondering what had happened to him, he ran like a madman back to the Oval, arriving at the wicket just in time. Notts made 172 in their first innings with Jackson hitting 59. Surrey replied with 108 (Cris Tinley 6-49, Jackson 3-11). Notts were 7-0 in their second innings when stumps were drawn.

Both the home fixtures were victories with George Parr returning to the line up. Cambridgeshire were beaten by an innings and 39 runs with Cris Tinley taking 15-78 in the match. Notts made 231 with James Grundy 76 not out and Alfred Clarke making 57. Cambridgeshire 45 (Tinley 8-12) and 147 (Tinley 7-66) lost in two days. Surrey were then defeated by five wickets. Cambridge Blue Augustus Bateman made his only appearance for Notts in this fixture and hit the highest score of 63, adding 129 for the second wicket with James Grundy (60). Bateman was dismissed by a fine one handed catch made by William Caffyn as he ran among the spectators. Notts got to 224 in their first innings. Surrey had earlier been bowled out for 133 (Wootton 5-53) and made 187 in their second innings. Notts needed 97 to win, Richard Daft finishing unbeaten on 37. The photo accompanying this article was taken during this game and is the earliest surviving team photograph of a Notts team. 

Parr (45 runs @15.00), who missed the further two county games, had succeeded to the Notts captaincy in 1856 on the death of William Clarke,  but the best batting years of the Radcliffe cricketer were now behind him. Richard Daft (148 runs@29.60) was regarded as the best batsman in the Eleven and indeed, in this pre-WG Grace era, was regarded as the best in England. Jackson (174 runs @58.00) topped the batting averages with James Grundy (159 runs @31.80) second. Alfred Clarke  (116 runs @23.20), son of Old William, had a good batting average in 1862, but his forte was fielding in the deep.

Cris Tinley (30 wickets @8.77) bowling lobs came top of the bowling. The most feared of the bowlers was so-called ‘Demon’ Jackson (12 wickets @17.33) from Wellow,  the fastest bowler of the day. Wootton's (18 wickets @13.67) medium pace left armers were also of great value.

Of the other matches in 1862, James Grundy was given the North v South match at Lord’s as a benefit. “During his 12 seasons with MCC Grundy has conducted himself so uniformly well, that he has earned for himself the soubriquet of ‘James the even-tempered’” thus ran the press notice before the match. The Gentlemen of North against those of the South was again played at Trent Bridge in August, the press stated that ‘the ground is in a beautiful state owing to the effort of Mr Hickling and Harry Hall’.

July 2020