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Rochester Punch Club cricket team

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The Rochester Punch Club cricket team from Rochester, Kent, was active in 1718 and 1719 when it played against London in one of the earliest known major matches. The match was organised to be played on Monday, 1 September 1718 at White Conduit Fields but it was unfinished then and became the subject of a court case, as a result of which the teams were ordered to play to a conclusion in July 1719 (the exact date is unknown). London eventually won the match by 21 runs. This is the earliest known definite result of a match in cricket history and the game is the earliest known mention of White Conduit Fields as a venue.

Match and lawsuit

The game was unfinished in September 1718 because three Rochester players "made an elopement" in an attempt to have the game declared incomplete so that they would retain their stake money, which was one guinea per man. London was clearly winning at the time. The London players sued for their winnings and the game while incomplete was the subject of a noted lawsuit in which the terms of the wager were at issue. The cost of the case was "reckoned to amount to £200". The court ordered the match to be "played out" and this happened, following one postponement, in July 1719. Rochester with four wickets standing needed thirty runs to win (i.e., probably thirty more, in addition to their "overnight total"), but were all out having scored nine on the day.

References

Rochester Punch Club cricket team Wikipedia


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