NORFOLK’S SPLENDID INNINGS. A Record Score at Lord’s
NORFOLK’S SPLENDID INNINGS A Record Score at Lord’s Stephen Musk Published in August 2017 by Red Rose Books Original A5 card wrappers. (iv) + 28 pages, illustrated. Limited edition of 30 copies, signed and numbered by Stephen Musk. That Norfolk ran up the huge total of 695 when playing against MCC in July 1885 is relatively familiar to followers of cricket in the late Victorian era. At the time, it was the highest score ever made at Lord’s. Norfolk’s first three batsmen each scored a century and the third wicket did not fall until the total had reached 509. This booklet describes this fascinating match in detail, using contemporary sources, and also places it in the context of the early history of the third Norfolk County Cricket Club, which was less than 10 years old. Whilst this match was being researched, it became clear that the various sources did not agree on every point. In fact, they differed in a large number of ways. These included not only relatively obscure matters such as batting and bowling orders, the number of boundaries hit, and the fall of wickets but also crucial areas such as individual scores of one batsman, the bowling analyses and even the identity of several of the players (two of who were playing under assumed names). The various bones of contention have been taken in turn and, wherever possible, a definitive decision has been reached as to which is likely to be the truthful version. In the light of this experience, the author suggests that uncorroborated match scores from this era should be treated with caution - as ‘best guesses’ rather than as the certain truth.