Paul Dyson, with the help of images from Mick Pope, looks back at the events of 1868 when Yorkshire’s fast bowlers were the major factor in their good season.

Having been declared unofficial ‘champion county’ in 1867, Yorkshire were very much hoping that they could repeat the feat once again. The nucleus of their team was still present but, although they still played only seven games, their fixture list was now a much more challenging one.

Yorkshire’s season began in late June with Surrey’s visit to Bramall Lane, Sheffield. The visitors made 222 and this was, surprisingly, more than enough for them to win by an innings, the home side making only 71 in their first innings, James Southerton taking a total of 11 wickets.

Trent Bridge was the next venue, in early July, and a heavy defeat for the hosts with George Freeman dominating the first two innings of the game. Firstly he top-scored with 53 in Yorkshire’s 213 and then took five for 25 as Nottinghamshire were swept aside for a mere 60. The home side followed on but, thanks to Tom Emmett’s six for 45, Yorkshire needed only six for victory.

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