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— 17 May 2017

Roses matches have a history dating back, originally, to 1849 but the official series began in 1867 and Paul Dyson looks back at an extraordinary match in the latter part of the 19th century.

August 7, 8, 1893 at Old Trafford: Lancashire 64 (R Peel 4-15) & 50 (R Peel 6-24, E Wainwirght 4-8); Yorkshire 58 (J Briggs 6-35, AW Mold 4-20) & 51 (J Briggs 5-25). Lancashire won by five runs.

This match was between the top two in the County Championship; Surrey had won each of the first three official titles but it looked as the competition would soon have a new winner. Overnight rain had preceded the Bank Holiday and a heavy morning storm meant that play could not start until after lunch. Despite the conditions a crowd of over 25,000 turned up to watch and, also despite the conditions, Lancashire decided to bat on winning the toss. The thinking behind this was that the pitch was slow and not likely to improve.

The home side batted cautiously, making ‘very little use of their opportunities’ (Wisden) but run-making was always difficult and the side soon collapsed to 22 for five, whereupon rain stopped play. A stand between Albert Ward, whose 19 took almost two hours, and George Baker later added 34 but the final five wickets fell for a mere eight runs and, after 135 minutes, the hosts were all out for a miserable 64. The wickets were shared between the only three bowlers who bowled – Bobby Peel (4), Earnest Smith (3) and George Hirst (2).

When Yorkshire batted the pitch seemed to be more challenging for the batsman and the visitors soon lost three wickets for eight runs. There was then a stand of 14 between Jack Brown and John Tunnicliffe but this remained the highest of the innings. Johnny Briggs took all of the first five wickets to fall and Arthur Mold, a fast bowler, was the only other to be used, the last four wickets falling for only three runs. The innings lasted less than two hours and the spectators had seen a day’s play which had consisted of 129 runs and 20 wickets in only four hours and 20 minutes.

On the second day showers gave way to sunshine and this combination made the pitch ‘more difficult than ever’ (Ibid.). Lancashire started promisingly with an opening partnership of 18 but Peel then had both Archie MacLaren and Ward caught by wicket-keeper David Hunter then the next two batsmen were both caught by Tunnicliffe in the slips to make the score 37 for four. Ted Wainwirght was then introduced into the attack for the first time in the match and he caused such havoc that he took four for eight in seven overs and the hosts lost their last six wickets for a miserly nine runs. The innings had lasted 90 minutes.

Yorkshire now needed 57 to win and, but for two controversial incidents, might well have done so. The first occurred before the first wicket had fallen. Stanley Jackson was hit on the pad and set off for a run. Arthur Sellers, his partner, thought that he had been given out and so did not move. Not only was Jackson run out, after an opening stand of 24, that Sellers was so upset that he soon lost his own wicket and Yorkshire had slipped to 29 for four. Smith and Wainwright then added 12 together which meant that Yorkshire needed another 16 with six wickets left. Smith struck a ball to cover-point and skipper Syd Crossfield took a low catch. Smith, and ‘a large proportion of the spectators’ (Ibid.) thought that the catch was not clean but he was given out. Briggs and Mold took the remaining wickets quickly, either side of lunch and the game’s final collapse of six for ten saw the Red Rose triumph by a nail-biting five runs and the game finish 25 minutes after the break.

Despite this defeat, Yorkshire won the County Championship for the first time, winning 12 of their 16 games. Lancashire finished second with nine wins from the same number of games but had to wait only four more years before claiming their first title.

Men of the Match

A cheerful cricketer with a most positive outlook, Johnny Briggs was one of the best slow left-arm bowlers of his era taking 118 wickets in 33 Tests. He toured Australia on no fewer than six occasions and on his one trip to South Africa took 15 for 28 in the Cape Town Test of 1888/89. Against Australia at Lord’s in 1886 he took 11 for 74 when England won by an innings.

Born in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, Briggs made his debut for Lancashire at the age of 16 and soon took the first of his eventual total of 2,221 wickets. As a cricketer, he was much more than just a bowler; an aggressive right-handed batsman he drove strongly through the covers and his 14,092 first-class runs included ten centuries. He was also a brilliant fielder in the covers where he covered the ground quickly.

His demise was most unbefitting for one of Lancashire’s most popular players. During Headingley’s first-ever Test of 1899 he suffered an attack of epilepsy. Sadly, he had to retire from playing but returned briefly in the following season before breaking down once more. He was admitted to an asylum in Cheadle, Cheshire and died there in 1902.


Results (home and away)
Played Yorkshire Won Lancashire won Drawn Abandoned
Official County Championship 216 59 36 121 1
Non-Championship 52 22 19 11 0
Totals 268 81 55 132 1

Highest innings totals

Lancashire 537 Old Trafford 2005 Away 517 Headingley 2007 Yorkshire 610-6dec Old Trafford 2014 At home 590 Bradford 1887

Lowest innings totals

Lancashire 30 Holbeck 1868 At home 39 Old Trafford 1874 Yorkshire 33 Headingley 1924 Away 51 Old Trafford 1888 51 Old Trafford 1893

Highest individual innings

Lancashire 225 GD Lloyd Headingley 1997 At home 200* RH Spooner Old Trafford 1910 Yorkshire 252 DS Lehmann Headingley 2001 Away 251 A Lyth Old Trafford 2014

Highest wicket partnerships

Lancs 258 (3rd) PJ Horton (149) & SG Law (206) Headingley 2007
258 (3rd) PJ Horton (152) & Mohammad Yousuf (205) Headingley 2008
Yorks 323 (1st) P Holmes (125) & H Sutcliffe (195) Sheffield (BL) 1931

Best bowling in an innings

Lancashire 9-41 AW Mold Huddersfield 1890 At home 9-62 H Dean Liverpool 1913 Yorkshire 9-23 GH Hirst Headingley 1910 Away 9-25 JH Wardle Old Trafford 1954

Best bowling in a match

Lancashire 17-91 H Dean Liverpool 1913 Yorkshire 14-80 E Peate Old Trafford 1880

Hat-Trick K Higgs Lancashire 1968

Most dismissals in an innings by a wicket-keeper

7 (all ct) LD Sutton Lancashire Headingley 2008 6 (5 ct 1 st) JG Binks Yorkshire Headingley 1962 6 (all ct) DL Bairstow Yorkshire Old Trafford 1971 6 (5 ct 1 st) DL Bairstow Yorkshire Headingley 1980

Most dismissals in a match by a wicket-keeper

10 (all ct) WK Hegg Lancashire Headingley 1994 9 (all ct) DL Bairstow Yorkshire Old Trafford 1971 9 (8 ct 1 st) WK Hegg Lancashire Old Trafford 1993

NOTE: Hegg’s total of 10 is the highest-equal against Yorkshire by any opponent. It is also the record for any wicket-keeper in first-class cricket at Headingley.

One hundred runs and ten wickets in the same match

JG Briggs 115; 8-113 & 5-96 Lancashire Old Trafford 1892

A century and five wickets in an innings in the same match

GH Hirst 15 & 156; 6-83 & 0-11 Yorkshire Old Trafford 1911
CM Old 100* & 0; 4-38 & 5-47 Yorkshire Old Trafford 1978
M Watkinson 138 & 0; 2-24 & 5-105 Lancashire Old Trafford 1990
AU Rashid 157*; 5-97 & 1-55 Yorkshire Headingley 2009
AU Rashid 159*; 3-77 & 5-117 Yorkshire Old Trafford 2014