With the leading team ln the various mades of the cricket championships prac&ajly having a mortgage on the premier Position, very little interest is now being taken in the matches, and probably the competitions will be closed about Easter j l "" c " kland has made its name
Vow that Auc in the cricket world of the Dominion, 1! would suggest to the governing body the advisability of fostering country cricket. I Tn -tie various districts in the Auckland province there is any amount of raw ma-, terial to work on, and I venture to pro- ( ■ohesy that if the country players were often a chance to meet the town teams fccasionally, that in the near future Auckland would get a lot of assistance in their i representative matches. This especially! applies to the bowling department, wnich ( is usually strong in country cricket, and' the unearthing of a bowler or two would , le invaluable to the province. Look at I the assistance given the Auckland | Bnghy Union by country players. At one time it was looked upon as a picnic for a football team to visit the country, but this state of affairs has gradually changed, and eventually it was found that Jack was as good, and sometimes better, than lus master. Probably the Cricket Association is hampered for the want of funds, but still I think some effort ought to be' made in the direction named for ihe sake of cricket throughout the province. The first grade match between Parnell and Ponsonby on Victoria Park on Saturday provided little unusual in the way of an exhibition of cricket during the first junkigs of the day. The subsequent innings—that of Ponsonby—certainly did. was amiss with the West End men I cannot imagine, and although they were undoubtedly playing in wretched j jight, I cannot understand why that j sioukl have resulted in such a display. iWoods, Sneddon, Hobson, Francis, j Jaoobsen, and Gavin followed one an- j other to the pavilion almost before .their respective -predecessors had unstrapped ifjhe pads from their shins, and the j Aggregate score of the whole six stands at the amazing total of 12—one five, iEree twos, a single, and a duck, j Kavanagh (9) was still at the wicket | when stumps were drawn, but one of file Parnell men ('Hutehings) had fouri urickets to his credit for seven runs. Be- | cords like this are very frequently met ivrifiE aunongst the smaller and minor clans. They are rarely met with in j •senior grade cricket. '
jparaeU's score of 132 was compiled mith few incidents of note, the outstanding feature being the fine score 'of E. V. Sale, who, by free and 6teady batting, reached 45 before he was caught out by Bobinson off Woods. E. J. Qreville was jun out after raising 21, these two batsmen alone succeeding in surmounting the twenty mark.
North Shore, the leaders for the djampionship, have put themselves in vrhat seems an impregnable position in their match with the Eden Colts, b.y scoring 285 in their first innings last Saturday. This splendid result was not to be foreseen on the opening of the afternoon's play, for two wickets were down with only 21 on the scoreboard-, •jhuehalf the side was out for 112. An(other -wicket fell for an additional 16 runs, and then a remarkable stand was tnaie which added over a century.
The game was noticeable chiefly for fa-o partnerships, which turned what promised to be an indifferent innings bto a hriHiant one. With two wickets down for & score of runs, Hadden and Prime defied the bowling in a way that gave confidence to the team's supporters. Hadden played a far quieter game than his Jessop-like attitude threatened rod scoring was slow. Hadden had made 42 when he was neatly caught in ike slips by Gordon off Taylor, and Jrkne lost his wicket under the same
tiroumstances a few balls later. He iadms.de 39, and the partnership had brought the score from 21 to 98—a useful stand.
It was after the sixth wicket was down, however, that the batting of the afternoon occurred, Philson and Dacre being the heroes of a magnificent partnership. Despite frequent changes they made light of the bowlers' attacks, and the score reached 249 before Philson was bowled by Francis for 60. The same bowler sent Dacre out after he had made 74, Woodwardi who succeeded Philson, made a good show, but aJter Dacre went he had no support, and was not out for 21 when the innings closed just after six o'clock
'Francis, who took the wickets of the iwo most successful batsmen, had the best of the bowling averages, dismissing three men for only 26 runs.
One Tegrettoable incident occurred towards the end of the innings, when a rising hall caught Buckley, the wicketkeeper, under the eye, necessitating his retirement. He had a decoration worthy of a prize-fighter, but fortunately the eye itself was not injured. SECOND GRADE. With the first round completed, which las been a sort of Marathon affair, as it commenced as far back as October 17, a start was made with the second last Saturday. The day was dull, and not conducive to bright cricket; in fact, the teams that batted* towards the end of the day fared none too well, owing to the Waning light. Most of the teams playing off their own grounds' were short-handed, *hfle the remnants of the City and Eden £ only got as far as the Ferry Office. The return match between Eden A and Darnell A at Edeu Park commenced last Saturday afternoon was the most inter- *&% in the grade. Eden A had first «rike, and ran up the respectable total « 175. Williams put up a capital performance with 78, raised chiefly by aggressive cricket, and scored his runs all the wicket. Hamilton, the exMrrant Eden schoolboy, showed stylish cnckfet in compiling 25, and Taylor conwbnted 21 in a taking manner, some « his off-strokes being well made. The -ight was very bad when Parnell went in during their brief stay at the «ekets they lost two wickets for 10 nins.
Over on the Devonport Domain Parnell ftad first hand against the crack local T*?. and the start was not of a very -ouiaging nature. The wickets com™»=ed to fall very cheaply until the "™jal-of Dufaur. He recognised the |»siaou, and immediately commenced to Tuns ' kee P in & Andrews ver, m the outfield. He soon had 22 to Sauf* " Whea he touelied one t°
«ttfcv wLo follo wed with 23, not out, himself in a creditable manner, tff 0 short womi d up for 80, batting Isr fov 10 ?,-^ 5 the mos t successful bowTrietets f« • Bhore ' ea Pt« ri ng three
North Shore commenced indifferently, but Holland (42) and Oerrutty (45) put a more promising complexion on the game. The former, who has been scoring most consistently, notched 42 by excellent cricket before putting one into Williams' hands. Cerrutty's display was more vigorous, and he survived a chance in the outfield off a lofty hit. The moderate start had a healthy ending and a total of 175 .was realised. Dufaur secured double honours, dismissing six batsmen for 46 runs. Hamlin got the remainder for 46 runs. Grafton won the toss at Devonport, and kept North Shore B in the field during the best part of the afternoon. The opening was most favourable for the fielding side, two wickets falling for six runs. Horspool and Jack cemented a partnership which was not broken until the total reached 01. Horspool was the mainstay of the Grafton batting. After a couple of overs from Mather, he opened out and, restraining himself from rashness, hit splendidly and had hard luck in putting one on to his foot which rolled on to the i wicket.
Jack (36) also scored his runs freely, but was outshone by Horspool. Porch four for 32, Hobday two for 8, and Mather, who bowled exceedingly weli at the start, two for 19.
North Shore have lost six wickets for 63 in their first venture, four out of the six batsmen reaching double figures. Ponsonby, on their own ground, lost nine wickets for 84 against University. V. Plunrmer top scored for Ponsonby with a well obtained 21.
The feature of the innings was the bowling of Budd/ who accounted for five wickets at a cost of under four runs apiece. So far he also holds the batting honour for 'Varsity with a score of 22, not out.
The scoring was by no means brisk on either side, as only 142 runs were registered during the afternoon. SCHOOL GRIOKET. The principal match on Saturday was that between Beresford Street and Normal, but Beresford were easily beaten by seven wickets and over 260 runs. Jones (Beresford) made a determined stand, for his 16, but no one stayed, long with him, and the total reached 30 only. Westbrook did the lion's share for ■Normal, capturing six wickets and making 139 (not out). He bowls a good leg break, mixing the straight ones pretty well. With the bat he punishes hard anything he is sure of.
Robinson (83) ably seconded Westbrook, and again made some big hits. Youd (Ponsonby) has a keen eye, pulling everything round to square leg with great accuracy.
Philip ('Newton West) batted and ■bowled very welL He seems to understand that length is more essential than pace.
Newton Bast failed miserably against Dervonport. Evans bowled well for Newton East, "but the batting "was weak, and the total only reached 13.
Johnson was again the hero of his side, making 53 by good cricket.
j Baggstrom (Parnell), who made 40, ©flowed good defence, -and scored with good strokes.
Dec (Mount Albert) was sniore erratic than usual, bowling- Borne very short ones.
Following are tbf matches and grounds for Saturday, March 20:—
Newton West v. Devonport (Devonport) ; Onehunga v. Normal (Domain); Newton East -v. Mt. Eden (Domain); Grafton v. Remuera (Domain); Epsom v. Mt. Eden B (Domain); Newmarket v. EUerslie (Domain); Beresford v. Ponsonby (Victoria Park); Pitt Street v. Napier Street (Victoria Park); Bayfield v. Nelson Street (Victoria Park); Richmond Road v. Mt. Albert (Viotorie Park)..
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