County Championship – W 3, L 4

Captains – G Parr/ R Daft

The Notts Committee arranged the county’s most ambitious programme so far for 1864. The matches against Surrey were revived and those against Yorkshire and Kent retained. Before the county programme began, Sir Robert Clifton of Clifton Hall took a Nottingham team to France, where a match was played against Paris in the Bois de Boulogne.

In the absence of George Parr and his party (they did not get back from Australia until 13 June), Notts included the third of the Tinley brothers, Vincent was 36 at the time of this, his only inter-county game for Notts versus Kent at Trent Bridge. A useful all-rounder, who bowled both medium pace and lobs and could also keep wicket, he was hardly required as Grundy with 9-19 dismissed for Kent for 62 and then there was a second wicket stand of 96 between Charles Daft (46), a brother of Richard, and Charles Brampton (56) as Notts scored 224 all out. Kent were bowled out for 124 in their second innings with Alfred Shaw taking 6-31. Notts winning by an innings and 38 runs inside two days, which upset the executive who lost £60 on the match as a result. Also making his one-and-only appearance for Notts in this fixture was Michael McIntyre, eldest of the three brothers who played for Notts.

George Parr, Cris Tinley and John Jackson were in the Notts team for the second game, against Yorkshire at Trent Bridge. Yorkshire made 125 and gained a first innings lead of a single run, Will Slinn taking 6-19. George Anderson, the Ripon born right-hander was stranded on 99 not out as the Tykes made 236 all out in the second innings. Slinn took another six wickets (for 34) in the second innings as Notts were dismissed for 138, Notts losing by 99 runs. This was immediately followed by a drubbing from Surrey at the Oval. The home side hit 468. Heathfield Stephenson (119) and Thomas Lockyer (108 not out) both making hundreds and though Notts managed 283 (Shaw 64, Richard Daft 56) they still followed on. Second time around they made 188 (Charles Brampton 82, Lockyer 6-44). Surrey winning by 10 wickets.

The MCC had arranged for a North v South match to be played at Lord’s beginning on 18 July, but unable to obtain representative teams, the club fell back on a match between Notts and Cambridgeshire, Notts, who were without Parr and Biddulph due to injury, just saved the follow-on, 122 (Cris Tinley 6-49) to 59 (George Tarrant 7-30). Cambridgeshire made 113 all out in their second innings (James Grundy 5-36, Cris Tinley 5-51). Notts needed 177 to win, but fell to an 18 run defeat being bowled out for 158 (Jackson 36) as the match was completed with a day to spare.

After three defeats, Notts found consolation at Crystal Palace. Notts made 143 and obtained a first innings lead of 19 with Grundy taking 7-53. In the second innings, Richard Daft batted well to hit 78 on a bumpy wicket and then Kent were bowled out for 110, Notts winning by 73 runs.

The most exciting game of the summer was the visit of Surrey to Trent Bridge. Little Tom Sewell, viewing the wicket before play began prophesied ‘We shan’t get many runs, and I shall make top-score’. He was proved right, for batting at No. 10 for Surrey he made 37 out of 127.  Notts had earlier made 107 (Brampton 40, George Griffith 5-46). Notts could only make 83 in their second innings (Griffith 6-38). Surrey only needed 63 to win in the last innings and had reached 40-1, when Grundy came on and bowled seven maidens, taking five wickets in the process, including three in five balls. Edward Dowson, the number four batsman survived and when the last man William Shepherd, came to the wicket, five runs were still required. It took six overs to make those final five runs,  Surrey won by one wicket, Grundy finishing with 6-20. Notts ended the summer with a seven wicket win over Yorkshire at Great Horton Road, Bradford. Yorkshire 183 (Cris Tinley 5-36) and 112; Notts 263 (Richard Daft 80, Jackson 52, Roger Iddison 5-84) and 33-3.

Richard Daft was leading run scorer with 334 runs @27.83 with Brampton scoring 243 runs @18.69. Grundy (46 wickets @10.28) topped the bowling averages. Cris Tinley took 24 wickets @13.83, George Wootton 22 wickets @18.22 and Jackson 17 wickets @19.82.

In early October they were involved jointly with Kent in a match against Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, a match described as ‘utterly without interest’ because of a feud which had developed between some of the professionals. Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire won by an innings and 4 runs.     

1864 saw the beginning of careers in county cricket for two young Notts players who were soon to become household names.. Alfred Shaw was born in Burton Joyce in 1842. In his first seasons with Notts he played for his batting but through the 1870s developed into the most accurate of medium pace right arm bowlers, and became a true Notts great christened by Richard Daft as the ‘Emperor of bowlers’. The second cricketer to come out in 1864 was William Oscroft, one of a very large family of cricketing Oscrofts from Arnold, but decidedly the best. Richard Daft said he was about the hardest hitter of the ball he knew. In his early years however, he was weak against slow bowling and when those trundlers discovered this, his average dropped appreciably for several years.

Other debutants, included amateur  Alfred Fewkes, the Commercial Club wicket-keeper, who played in the Lord’s match against Cambridgeshire. William Williams, a local solicitor from Arnold, had appeared for the Gentlemen of the North v Gentlemen of South in 1862 and played occasionally for the County from 1864 to 1875. Another John Smith, this time from Ruddington, played twice in 1864. He was already 28 and spent most of his cricketing life away from Nottingham, having professional engagements chiefly in Lancashire.

Financially the County Club was flourishing, making a profit of over £50 in 1864 and having a bank balance in excess of £300.

July 2020