St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - The 1906 MCC Tourists vs a Port Elizabeth XV
The 1906 MCC Tourists vs a Port Elizabeth XV

Yes, no mistake, it was a team of fifteen players. The team consited of F Hippert, AT Lyons, R Hannam, RA Gleeson, HT Hibbert (captain), HB Smith, 0 Wigg, AE Vogler, G Quirk, H Hussey, J Mullen, E Pritchard, W Glisson, E Oakley and A Buchanan.

Enjoy the match report.

But had it been possible for a full days cricket yesterday the weather could not have been better for it than had it been specially ordered: Brilliant sunshine was o'er the scene of contest and the effects of the recent rains were denoted on the freshness of the turf.

The wicket was in good condition and everything was favourable to good cricket. This, however, was only to anticipated in the smallest degree considering the heaviness of the task set the local team.

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The match in progress

Few expected more than an hours cricket, if even that, and taking into consideration, the number of spectators on the ground to witness the conclusion of the match was surprising, quite three hundred watching the play.

They were provided with an unexpected treat, for the local batting showed vast improvement over that of last Friday and Saturday, while the bowling and fielding of the MCC was no less difficult and keen.

Lyons, whose bowling performance on the Saturday was the most remarkable event so far as the local team was concerned, was destined to add further laurels to his career as a cricketer.

Starting at 11.30 he continued batting till the close of the innings, scoring 31 by pretty cricket, and carrying his bat.

To Buchanan also great praise is due, coming last man when the score was only 69 and with Lyons making the stand of the innings, producing 37 runs, to which in good style he contributed 15. Both player were lustily cheered at the close of the game, which concluded for 106 - leaving the MCC winners of the match by an innings and 77 runs.

Play was resumed punctually to time, Gleeson not out at 6 and Lyons going out to start the batting.

Lees, from the valley end bowled to Gleeson, who put the first ball nicely to leg for three. A single to Lyons brought Gleeson the opportunity of placing Lees through the slips for three, sending forty up. Relf bowled from the Park end.

Only a single from a leg stroke to Gleeson, accrued from the over, while that batsman next took a maiden from Lees. Lyons put Relf past slips to the boundary, then Gleeson gave a very difficult chance in the slips, a run being secured.

A bye having been notched, Lees bowled Gleeson - 48 - 9 - 14. Gleeson had batted very cautiously and neatly for his runs.

Hussey joined Lyons, who got a single to square leg of Relf, then put Lees dangerously into the slips, but cut the next past point for a single, sending 50 up at 10 minutes to 12.

The same batsman put Relf hard through the slips for two, well run. Hussey was clean bowled by Lees in the next over. - 52 - 10 - 0.

Oakley came in and without any addition to the score, after surviving a few of Lees deliveries was given out leg before to that bowler.

Mullin filled the vacancy and tipped the last ball of the over to the boundary past the keeper. Lyons drove Relf to the boundary, sending 60 up, following with a single from a stroke past point while he secured another off Lees, Mullin safely negotiating the remainder of the over.

He cut Lees shortly afterwards to square leg for three, and was bowled by Relf in the next over -65 - 12 - 7.

Pritchard came in and got a single for an off-stroke, while he got Lees to leg for three. Lyons took a maiden from Lees, batting very cautiously.

Pritchard, who had made some nice strokes, was then bowled by Relf. - 69 - 13 - 4.

Buchanan was the last man in, Relfs first ball to him going to the boundary for byes, sending 70 up, while the next went similarly past Board for extras. Lyons got two for a hit to square leg, and one for an overthrow.

Buchanan then put Lees through the slips to the boundary and Lyons from a shot hit got a single smartly run, 80 going up. Buchanan, lifted Relf into the deep field for three, Lyons getting a single from the last ball of the over, and sending 90 up with a pretty cut through the slips to the boundary.

Buchanan having got a single, Lyons made a short stroke, which the fielder overthrowing on the return the batsmen got a run, but narrowly averted being run out.

Buchanan put another through the slips for two. Lees then bowled a maiden to Lyons, Buchanan again getting Relf past slips for a single. Singles to each batsman came off Lees, Buchanan next sending the century up amidst loud applause by putting Lees past point for two.

Hartley at this stage relieved Relf, Lyons putting his second delivery to the pavilion boundary. Lyons got his last ball luckily to leg for two. Biythe relieved Lees, Buchanan being immediately stumped.

The batsmen were loudly applauded as they came to the pavilion, having made a remarkable stand for the last wicket, adding 37 during their partnership.

Lyons' score was 31 not out. Buchanan 15. The innings closed about 5 minutes to one, the total being 106, the MCC thus winning by an innings and 77 runs.

Not all touring teams appreciated the field St George's. Read the MCC's view of the team's week in Port Elizabeth:

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"Port Elizabeth, February 23, 1906. "We have just finished a week's cricket here, in which we played two matches, the first against a Port Elizabeth fifteen, who fielded, however, only 11. We won both matches easily; for we defeated Port Elizabeth by an innings and 70 runs, and the Eastern Province by ten wickets."The ground here is not by any means a good one. The wicket-matting stretched on grass is the most difficult in the whole of South Africa, the ball taking any amount of break and rising at different angles, while the outfield, with its coarse, stubbly grass and its uneven surface, militates against any thing like accurate fielding."There is little to be said about the first match, beyond a most admirable and faultless innings of 98 by Moon. Watching the ball closely and relying almost entirely on strong back play for defence, he every now and then made a fine clean drive or square-leg hit; and the regret was universal when he was Ibw."

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