Surrey were Yorkshire CCC’s first-ever opponents in 1863 and the two counties have been very keen rivals ever since. Paul Dyson looks back at a match at The Oval in the 19th century before the official County Championship had begun. The photo of Martin Bladen (later Lord) Hawke, taken in 1885, is courtesy of Mick Pope.

July 26, 27, 28, 1883, Kennington Oval: Yorkshire 181 (MB Hawke 60) & 251 (E Lumb 60*, T Emmett 50); Surrey 166 (J Shuter 52*, GP Harrison 4-58) & 226-8 (JM Read 94*, R Abel 60, GP Harrison 4-53). Match drawn.

This was an absorbing game full of contrasts, especially in the batting. All four innings featured collapses and recoveries and Surrey were left clinging on to avoid defeat over the last few overs of the match. Yorkshire should have won comfortably but a hand injury to Joe Hunter, their wicket-keeper, during Surrey’s first innings meant that a deputy was needed. Louis Hall took over for the remainder of that innings but when Surrey batted again the ‘keeper was Ephraim Lockwood and he ‘made several blunders’ allowing the home team to escape from a position of 114 for seven when they were still 152 runs behind Yorkshire.

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