There was a tight finish to a Championship match at Trent Bridge almost 100 years ago and Paul Dyson takes a look back over it. The photo of Abe Waddington appears by courtesy of Mick Pope.
July 18, 20, 21, 1925 at Trent Bridge: Yorkshire 386 (R Kilner 90, E Robinson 58*, W Rhodes 57, E Oldroyd 54, TL Richmond 4-87) & 142-4dec (H Sutcliffe 50); Nottinghamshire 312 (WW Whysall 81, W Walker 74, AW Carr 53, W Rhodes 4-60) & 103-9 (A Waddington 6-59). Match drawn.
Nottinghamshire were one of only two counties to play against Yorkshire CCC in its inaugural season of 1863 and so are long-standing opponents, only Lancashire having played more games against the White Rose county. They were a very strong county in the pre-official Championship era, winning as many as ten ‘titles’ in the 27 seasons according to one historian but had won only one Championship since the cut-off year of 1890, that coming in 1907. However, their form had improved since the Great War, the county having been runners-up twice and never being lower than eighth in the relevant six seasons. Yorkshire, however, were county champions, it winning the title for the 13th time in 1924 and completing a hat-trick in the process. The hosts came into this match in very good form having won nine and lost only two of their first 15 games. Yorkshire, though, were in outstanding form, winning 16 and losing none of their 20 matches played so far. The victories included nine by an innings and 12 came in successive matches.
Yorkshire won the toss and batted but lost two early wickets including Percy Holmes for a duck. The middle order, however, batted very consistently, all of numbers three to eight scoring at least 35. Roy Kilner made 90 and there were other half-centuries for Edgar Oldroyd, Wilfred Rhodes and Emmott Robinson. The highest partnership was 151 for the fifth wicket between Rhodes and Kilner and after the last three wickets had fallen for just 17 runs Robinson was left not out on 58. The runs came at a good rate – 3.45 per over – and Len Richmond, Nottinghamshire’s best bowler, took four for 87.
The start of the second day’s play coincided with the start of Nottinghamshire’s first innings. It followed a very similar pattern to that of Yorkshire’s innings in that two early wickets were followed by solid contributions from the middle order. Opener William Whysall top-scored with 81; he shared in a stand of 91 with skipper Arthur Carr for the third wicket and 81 with Willis Walker for the fourth. The tail did not contribute greatly, the last six wickets falling for 90 and the last two batsmen were both stumped by Arthur Dolphin off the bowling of Rhodes, three of his four wickets falling in this manner. The visitors had a lead of 74 and had extended it by a further 24 runs for the loss of one wicket by close of play.
Although quick runs was the order of the day for Yorkshire at the start of day three, they found the going tricky. Nottinghamshire’s bowlers restricted their scoring-rate to one which was much slower than that of their first innings, opening bowler Fred Barratt conceding only 23 runs from his 13 overs. Sutcliffe compiled a half-century mainly in the company of Morris Leyland as they shared 68 for the third wicket. The declaration came with four wickets down and the hosts were set 217 to win. In keeping with the previous three innings in the match two wickets fell early but once Nottinghamshire had reached 64 for two a serious collapse set in. This was mainly the work of Abe Waddington who took three of the first four wickets to fall; although opener George Gunn (49) was holding the innings together Waddington returned later to bowl him and the home side were clinging on. Seven wickets had fallen for 39 runs but time was against Yorkshire and, with nine wickets down, the game came to an inconclusive end. Waddington finished with six for 59.
After this game Nottinghamshire won six more matches and finished in fourth place – an improvement of three positions on the previous year. Yorkshire, meanwhile, won only five more matches but went unbeaten through the entire season and finished champions again winning 21 of their 32 matches; their fourth successive title created a new record for any county.
Man of the match:
Unusually, Abe Waddington was 26 when he made his debut for Yorkshire but this was because of him having to wait for the end of the First World War. Part of this had seen him serving on the Somme and, tragically, Major Booth, already a county player, died in his arms. Once he had been given his opportunity Waddington wasted no time in proving his worth to the side; he took exactly 100 wickets in his first season of 1919, when he was awarded his county cap, and 141 one year later, this remaining his best season.