JUBILEE OF FIRST MATCH
BANNERMAN'S GREAT INNINGS
Tuesday last saw the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the first test match, which was played in Melbourne on March 15, 16, 17, and 18, 1877. Since that memorable game 113 matches have been contested on the playing fields of Australia and England. What
glorious memories those 113 games in all re- call in the minds of many Australians and Englishmen.
Still hale and hearty is Charlie Banner- man, the hero of that first great trial of strength between England and Australia. To have played the first ball bowled in a test match, and got the first century in the first test match can never be paralleled.
Test cricket 50 years ago was not nearly as strenuous as it is nowadays. The hours of play in the first game were from one o'clock till five. Going in first for Australia —Dave Gregory having won the toss—Ban- nerman made 125 not out in a total of 166
for six wickets on the opening day. The next day he took his score to 165 before he
received a tremendous crack on the head from bowler Ulyett, and was forced to re- tire. Australia's total reached 245, the other nine batsmen made 72 between them, and there were eight sundries. England replied with 196, and the second innings of Aus- tralia produced only 104, but Tom Kendall got 7 for 55 in England's second innings, and Australia won by 45 runs, England's second knock only realising 104.
The Victorian Cricket Association suitably recognised Bannerman's great match-winning effort by initiating a subscription list and a purse containing £83 7s 6d was handed to
On the Melbourne Cricket Ground only one Australian—Clem Hill—has exceeded Charlie Bannerman's score in a test match. Exactly 20 years later, 1897, Hill made 188 after Australia had lost six wickets for 57.
It is a coincidence that Clem Hill was born in Adelaide while the first test match was in
progress in Melbourne, and on Thursday last the greatest of all Australian left-handers celebrated his fiftieth birthday.
T. Y. Garrett, who also took part in the first test match 50 years ago, is still in the best of health. He made second top score in the first innings, 18 not out.