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The Australian Eleven: A nine-day wonder

The Australian Eleven: A nine-day wonder

The 1878 tour was a spectacular success for the Australians. On 27 May, the colonial team beat a strong Marylebone Cricket Club team on their home ground at Lord's. In a match which lasted only five hours, the Australians won by nine wickets.

pdf Australia vs Marylebone Cricket Club 1878 scorecard (PDF 3707kb)

Punch magazine was inspired to write that:

A black and white photograph of the 1878 Australian cricket team. There are thirteen men in the photo. Five sit on the floor in the foreground of the image. One sits on a chair behind them, in the middle of the group. Seven stand behind him in a row. All except for one in the middle of those standing wear cricket clothing, including brimless or baggy caps.The man not wearing cricket clothing is wearing a suit and hat. The men at each end of the standing row wear batting pads on their lower legs. All of the men are in front of a dark photography studio backdrop. The names of the men appear at the bottom of the photo in a border area.
The Australians came down like a wolf on the fold,
The Marylebone Cracks for a trifle were bowled;
Our Grace before dinner was very soon done,
Our Grace after dinner did not get a run.

'Our Grace' referred to England's legendary batsman, WG Grace, who on this occasion was out for four and a duck.

Right: The 1878 Australian team.
Courtesy: Battye Library.

Two images of an English cricketer in the 1880s. In the left image the black and white photograph of the cricketer is seen mounted on a rectangular piece of what appears to be cardboard. There is a section missing from the cardboard directly below the photograph. The cricketer in the photograph stands at a batting crease, holding a bat which points back toward the stumps. He wears light-toned trousers, shoes, a shirt and a cap. He also wears a pair of batting pads on his lower legs. In the background beyond the edge of the cricket field can be seen a building with a steeply pitched roof. The cricketer has a large beard and looks directly at the camera. The right image is a close-up of the photograph in the left image. A signature can be seen in the bottom right corner. It says 'W G Grace'.

Right: This photograph shows legendary English batsman WG Grace at the crease in the 1880s. National Museum of Australia.

Take a closer look at WG Grace's photo
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A black and white artwork showing the city of Sydney welcoming the return of the 1878 Australian team. In the foreground is a large crowd gathered at the edge of Sydney Harbour. In amongst the crowd are two horse-drawn cabs, facing from left to right in the image. On the water can be seen numerous small boats. Two larger passenger ships can be seen to the right of the image. Across the water on the far shore can be seen some of the settlement of Sydney. At the far right of the image can be seen people who have climbed up what appears to be the mast of a vessel moored at the water's edge.

Right: When the 1878 Australian team arrived in Sydney, after almost eight months away, an enormous flotilla and 20,000 people turned out to welcome them home. Courtesy: La Trobe Picture Collection.

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