Unique Cricket Match.
Observer, Volume X, Issue 585, 15 March 1890, Page 14
Unique Cricket Match.
LAEIES V. GENTLEMEN.- LEFT-HANDED PLAY. The cricket match, ladies v. gentlemen, took place at Mount Boskill on Saturday afternoon. It having somehow got about that the gentlemen were to bat with broom-handles and the lady trundlers were to bowl with flat-irons, a much larger number of visitors than usual attended ; and although the mention of flat-irons bespoke a little mine of wealth for surgeons, strange to say not one of them put in an appearance. But it was all a mistake about the broom-sticks; also about the irons. Past memories of both instruments of torture forbade their introduction on the cricket field, and the enthusiastic benedicts procured pick-handles insteadlittle bits of things about 201bs each ; and the lady trundlers, to make things equal, bowled with the ordinary leather. The conditions were that the gentlemen were to bowl, bat, and field with the left hand, and a penalty was attached to every wilful or accidental infringement of the rule. The ladies went to the wicket 3 first, and faced the bowling of Messrs Ewington and Eoberts; and what with bee-line wides, byes, no balls, penalties for righthand forgetfulness, and sundry hits, they succeeded in putting together 30 odd in their first innings. The left-handed fielding of the married men was alone worth going to see. Point and cover-point would suddenly and simultaneously feel themselves called upon to field an easy chance; slip and long slip would join in ; then all four would throw themselves helplessly over the place, turn somersaults and pick up grass and things by the roots, have one scored against them for doing something with the right hand, and return to their places amidst the tickling laughter of the ladies waiting to go in. The male wicket-keeper, Mr R. Nesbit, had a bad time all the afternoon. Every turn of the wrist or attempt at thimble- rigging at the wickets was taken note of by the ladies-in-waiting, and greeted by them with such playful little snaps as ' Just look at that ' — ' There he is again ' — ' He's always at it ' — ' Oh, he is a cheat ; you can see it in his face,' etc. But JNesbit Biniled away the soft impeachments, and bore it all with abashed modesty. The gentlemen in their first innings scored a few more than the ladies in theirs. Messrs Boberts, Cook, Ewington and Harvie did good execution with the pickaxe, and gave the ladies some severe leather- hunting. The lady fielders were placed in proper position and with good judgment by their captain, and their fielding was fairly good. Saturday's fielding proved that a lady's dress is about equal to a yard and a-half of wire netting for leather-stopping purposes. Modus operandi : The ball approaches the lady ; the lady bows low to the ball ; it strikes the dress, and becomes instantly lost to view amongst the folds, draperies, and other things, seen and unseen, that go to make up the feminine attire ; and that ball is as dead as if it were in the ha.ds of the wicket-keeper. The second innings of both sides went off as merrily as a picnic, and when stumps were drawn at six o'clock the scores siood — gentlemen, 56, with three wickets to fall ; ladies, 50. The umpire performed his trying duties well, and to each and every yearning appeal from the ladies to take back the dread word ' out,' he only smiled and said he couldn't. Near the end that unhappy umpire was surrounded by the whole host of them ; the smile gave way to startled looks, and his hair also had an agitated expression ; the overs lengthened out to about 15 balls instead of the orthodox 5 ; but the game was won, and the benedicts were jubilant. Owing to the success of this match, a return one will doubtless be played. Mr and Mrs Ewington did all in their power to make the afternoon pass pleasantly to players and visitors alike.