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Eton v Harrow - Preview Published: 19 June 2014

An appeal for a Harrow wicket during the 2011 fixture
An appeal for a Harrow wicket during the 2011 fixture

Saturday June 21 will see the longest running schools match between Eton College and Harrow School being keenly contested on the main pitch at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Harrow will be keen to set the record straight after losing by five wickets last year, as Eton successfully chased down the 201 they were set.

The match itself is the oldest fixture of its kind to still be played at Lord’s, culminating in a rich history of fierce competition and many tight encounters over the last couple of centuries.

From 1805 to 1981 saw the teams battle over a two innings fixture, and in the matches gone by there have been memorable innings and scores, including Eton posting 502 in 1923. In 1982, the fixture was turned into a one-day match, and then once again in 1999 as it was limited to 55 overs.

There have been a number of players who have used this match as a springboard to go on to play cricket at county level, and in some cases play internationally, most recently Alex Louden, Nick Compton and Gary Ballance who went onto represent England.

In 1822, Herbert Jenner turned out for Eton for the first time and described as one of the finest wicket keepers, went onto become president of the MCC in 1833, and continued playing cricket until he was 74.

There have been many close encounters between the two rivals, with 1910 witnessing one of the most exciting turnarounds seen by this fixture, as Eton managed to defend a meagre total of 55.

Harrow entered the match unbeaten throughout the season and was confident of adding Eton to its list. They looked on course to complete a comprehensive victory as they posted 232 in its first innings, before bowling Eton out for 67 meaning the college was 165 runs behind, and then found themselves reduced to 169 for nine in the follow-on, before the last pair put on 50 between them to post Harrow a target of 55.

Eton Captain Fowler, who scored a strong 64, went on to produce a fine bowling performance by taking eight wickets, which reduced Harrow to 32 with one wicket to spare, before they took the last wicket and won the match by nine runs.

On the 200th Anniversary Match, Harrow stole the show as they maintained this time their unbeaten record, unlike in 1910, as they successfully chased down Eton’s 176 within 39 overs.

Both teams enter the 176th contest at Lord’s looking to build on a steady start to the season with Harrow School recording two wins from its first three fixtures, while Eton College have played eight matches this season winning two and losing three.

There will be full online commentary of Saturday's match on lords.org.


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