W.G. Grace Scores his Hundredth Hundred
There is no doubting that W.G. Grace must have been one of the finest athletes ever produced by this country: leaving aside his cricketing prowess, he played top flight football for Wanderers ; was a national 440m hurdles champion; and when he tried other sports such as golf and bowls proved more than capable in them too. But it is as a cricketer that he is remembered, with perhaps his finest hour coming very near the end of his career: 1895, when he was in his late forties, proved to be his Indian Summer season.
It was in a match in Bristol against Somerset that Grace, playing for Gloucestershire , reached the milestone of 100 hundreds. A full toss bowled by Sammy Woods gave Grace the chance to hit a boundary and make his century; the full toss helpful as it is said that Grace was more nervous as he approached the goal than at any other time in his career. It says much about the man that he then went on to score 288; and that in that May he became the first batsman to hit 1000 runs in a calendar month (not having batted until May 9 either). When Grace finally retired he had made 126 first class centuries with a technique that set the mould for the modern game.
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