July 24-26 1884
A Moral Victory
Sussex did remarkably well in their match against the Australians at Hove in July 1884. Australia batted first and most players established themselves at the wicket but one the lob bowler Walter Humphreys came on to bowl, wickets began to tumble. Humphreys took six for 97 as Australia made 309. The Sussex innings did not begin well, and a first innings deficit seemed likely until G.N.Wyatt came to the wicket, to be joined one wicket later by the wicket-keeper Henry Phillips. The pair put on 182 for the eighth wicket with Wyatt eventually making 112 and Phillips 111, to help Sussex record a score of 396. Humphreys then took five Australian wickets in their second innings as the visitors were reduced to 144. Sussex needed to make 57 in their second innings to win the match and record a first ever defeat of the Australians by the County however after they had made 25, stumps were drawn with Sussex still needing 33. Sussex had the moral victory. A collection after play raised 21 guineas.
On display in the Museum
On display in Gallery One of the Museum is the bat with which Phillips scored his 111, the scorecard for the match (above), as well as a photo of Phillips, Humphreys and Wyatt (see left).
Phillips was one of five undertaker brothers. He was born in Hastings in 1844 and began his eighteen year career with Sussex in 1868. In 1871 he stumped eleven batsmen and caught thirteen in five matches and in the following season he dismissed eleven Surrey players in a match at the Oval. It is said that in 1873 he was such a good wicket-keeper that he was the first to do away with a long-stop. When he stopped playing in 1886 he was awarded a benefit which produced £900.
Walter Humphreys was born in Southsea in 1850 and began his Sussex career in 1871 as a batsman. It was not until nine years later, in 1880, that he started to develop his lob-bowling which brought him considerable success. He took a hat trick against the Australian touring team in 1880 with one of his victims being A.C.Bannerman who played 28 times for Australia. He again took Bannerman’s wicket in 1888 when he bowled him in the visitors’ second innings. In all Humphreys took nine wickets in a match that Sussex won, recording their first win over the Australians.
Humphreys toured Australia in 1894/5 but he was past his best and did not play in any of the Test matches. He scored 5,806 runs for Sussex in his career and took 682 wickets.