St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - 1876 - First Champion Bat Tournament - Cape Town vs King William's Town
1876 - First Champion Bat Tournament - Cape Town vs King William's Town

About 11.30 on Tuesday, the match between the Cape Town and King William’s Town teams commenced. The captain of the Cape Town team (Mr Ford) won the toss and decided on taking the first innings.

He sent in Steele and Breda to the bowling off Heugh and Phillips. The batsmen commenced very cautiously.

The first hit was made in Heugh’s third over, his first two being maidens, as were also his fourth and fifth.

Phillips’s first four overs were maidens. From this point the scoring improved, and when 18 had been obtained Gillman relieved Phillips. Heugh, however, bowled all through.

Steele was first man out, being neatly caught at cover-point by Donoghue, after a well played innings for 11, made up of twos and singles. Mills took his place; but went almost immediately from a bailer by Gillman - first and second wickets down for 23.

The redoubtable Lieut. Curteis followed, but was soon parted from Breda, who gave another chance to Donoghue at cover point, which was neatly accepted - third wicket for 29.

Van Reenen came next, and played a very spirited innings with Curteis. When he had made seven, and the score reached 46, he was run out. Spring took his place, but was bowled with the next ball from Phillips.

Ford followed, made a hit for 2, ran a few for Curteis, and then allowed himself to be run out. Degacher now joined Curteis, and the play again became lively, the score being increased from 53 to 65, when they were separated by the former placing a catch within Byrne’s reach at slip.

Childe succeeded, but was disposed of by Phillips without making any addition to the score. Melck next faced Curteis, and quickly put eight together, when Phillips sent a shooter into his wicket.

Jones, last man in, played a very spirited innings for 13, and Lieut. Curteis, who went in at the fall of the second wicket, and of whose batting we have already spoken in terms of the highest commendation, was not out for 30, which were splendidly contributed by three threes, three twos, and the remainder singles, very neatly obtained.

The total of the score was 99, which includes 19 byes, but no wides.

Gillman and Fownes were the first men at the wickets for King William’s Town to the bowling of Melck and Van Reenen. The first wicket (Gillman’s) fell for eight, of which he contributed three. (sic)

Heugh succeeded, and when three more had been scored was given out by the King William’s Town umpire for a catch by Steele off Melck. Heugh is quite innocent of having grazed his person or his bat in any way; but, of course, he retired, and this little mistake rid his opponents of a dangerous man.

Phillips now joined Fownes, and the play became extremely lively. The latter, not content with twos and threes, made two hits for four each in succession off Van Reenen’s deliveries. When disposed of by a ball from Melck he retired with 23 to his name. The score at the fall of the third wicket stood at 58.

Donoghue succeeded and, though good at defence, made very few runs. When the score had been brought up to 65, Fownes gave a catch to Ford off Melck, and retired. He had put 24 together quite artistically, so neat and pretty is his style of play.

Blaine succeeded, but made no stand.Byrne did a little better, helping up the score from 66 to 72. Robertson followed and brought it up to 78. Van Reenen, who had been taken off bowling, now succeeded Steele, and almost immediately disposed of Donoghue, who saw three wickets fall; but only made one - 8 for 78.

The next two wickets fell for one, Smith, Ellis, and Gallway having “ducks” to their names. The innings totaled 80, being 19 less than that of the Cape Town team.

The Cape Town players went in for their second innings to the bowling of Heugh and Phillips as before. They were most unfortunate. Breda and Steele were first men in. Only three had been scored when Blaine at long-stop caught Breda.

Spring followed, and when two more were added, was got out in precisely the same way. Curteis followed, and Blaine subjected him to exactly the same treatment. Degacher followed, made two off the first ball delivered to him, and was then bowled by Heugh for two - fourth wicket for nine.

Ford helped the score up to 14, and was then bowled by Phillips. Van Reenen followed, and Steele almost immediately succumbed to a ball from Heugh. A Jones took his place, but the next ball he placed in Byrne’s hands.

Mills now faced Van Reenen, and made a hit for three, bringing up the score to 18 just before the stumps were drawn. The game at this point looked very “fishy” indeed for Cape Town, and betting was in favour of King William’s Town with considerable odds.

The match was continued on Wednesday morning, when Van Reenen and Mills resumed their places at the wickets. Only three were added to the score when Mills’ wicket fell, and Childe took his place.

Van Reenen scored rapidly: he put nine together within a very short time, and was then bowled by Heugh. No further addition was made to the score, the last two wickets falling for 37.

Of these, only 24 were made off the bat, 13 being from extras.

Byrne and Donoghue opened the second innings of the King William’s Town team very spiritedly. Runs were freely put together, and it seemed not unlikely that these two would make up the required number ere they were separated; but in an unlucky moment Byrne attempted to steal a run, and was thrown out ere he could reach the crease.

With the fall of the first wicket the score stood at 31. Fownes followed and helped Donoghue to bring the total up to 37. The latter made 12 chiefly by singles. Gillman made three and Fownes four, when he was bowled by Melck - third wicket for 44.

Heugh followed, and was treated in precisely the same way by the next ball. Off another Blaine gave Ford a catch, three wickets going in succession without any alteration in the score.

Thus three of the best players were got rid of in the most summary manner. Robertson and Phillips next faced each other and made an excellent stand, bringing the total up to three beyond the required number ere they were separated.

The match was thus won by three runs with three wickets to spare.

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