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Thread: Best Test

  1. #46
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178 View Post
    **** off does Pietersen get associated with that Test.

    Nah.. his and Flintoff's batting on the first day is what got me to watch the bloody test in the first place. You can be bitter abt KP all you want, I know many many fans feel the same way about that test.
    We miss you, Fardin. :(. RIP.
    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    In the end, I think it's so utterly, incomprehensibly boring. There is so much context behind each innings of cricket that dissecting statistics into these small samples is just worthless. No-one has ever been faced with the same situation in which they come out to bat as someone else. Ever.
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  2. #47
    International Vice-Captain a massive zebra's Avatar
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    I'm going to nominate four very early classics and another in which the greatest of cricketers showed off his unrivalled genius both as a batsman and a captain:

    Only Test: England v Australia at The Oval, Aug 28-29, 1882

    Wisden Report:

    Before entering into any of the details of the play in this match, the compiler desires to place before the readers of Wisden's the names of the rival teams and their Batting and Bowling Averages in First-class Matches from the commencement of the season to the time they engaged in this memorable struggle.

    The averages of the Australian Team have been compiled from the twenty-five first-class matches played by the Colonials from the commencement of their tour until they entered the cricket field to contest All England. The matches omitted in the calculation are those the Colonists played against Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, and Gentlemen of Scotland.

    The averages of the England eleven have been compiled from the whole of the First-class matches in which each member of the side participated from the beginning of the season up to the time they met the Colonists in the grand contest at the Oval, including, of course, the batting and bowling of each member of the team against the Australians themselves. The batting and bowling of Barlow, Ulyett, and Peate in the matches they played in Australia in the early months of 1882 are not, of course, included. The full scores and bowling summaries of all the first-class matches played in England in 1882 appear in this book, and as the full scores of only two minor contests (beyond those played by the Australians), viz., M.C.C. and G.v. Leicestershire, and Orleans Club v. Rickling Green, are printed in this annual, there can be no mistake as to what are generally accepted as First-class encounters.

    The following averages, which may be relied upon for accuracy, have been compiled at considerable sacrifice of time by Mr. Henry Luff, to whose zeal and untiring exertions the compiler is in a great measure indebted for the correctness which will be found to characterise the bowling analyses and averages in this edition of Wisden's Almanack.

    Batting averages in First-class matches from the commencement of the season to date:

    AUSTRALIA ENGLAND
    Mr. W. L. Murdoch 36.22 Mr. A. P. Lucas 38.3
    Mr. T. Horan 31.16 HON. A. Lyttleton 35.1
    Mr. H. H. Massie 27.31 Mr. C. T. Studd 34.12
    Mr. A. C. Bannerman 23.21 W. Barnes 30.36
    Mr. J. M' C. Blackham 21.19 G. Ulyett 30.22
    Mr. G. Giffen 21.6 R. G. Barlow 29.25
    Mr. G. J. Bonnor 19.21 Mr. A. G. Steel 29.18
    Mr. S. P. Jones 15.12 Mr. A. N. Hornby 29.9
    Mr. H. F. Boyle 11.7 Dr. W. G. Grace 24.1
    Mr. T. W. Garrett 9.20 M. Read 24
    Mr. F. R. Spofforth 9.20 E. Peate 11.18
    Bowling averages in First-class matches from the commencement of the season to date:

    AUSTRALIA ENGLAND
    Mr. H. F. Boyle 12.77 R. G. Barlow 11.53
    Mr. F. R. Spofforth 13.87 E. Peate 11.118
    Mr. T. W. Garrett 27.2 G. Ulyett 14.23
    Mr. C. T. Studd 16.9
    Mr. A. G. Steel 20.4
    W. Barnes 35

    It will be observed that in every instance the batting average of each member of the Australian team is lower than that of the English batsman placed opposite him, and that the bowling averages of the two men who had the largest share of the trundling for England are both better than either of those of the two bowlers who sent down the largest number of overs for Australia.

    A perusal of these statistics must in the first place create a feeling of surprise that when the two elevens met there was the slightest probability of the English one being defeated. Secondly, no sensation but one of the highest admiration of the achievement of the Australian team can be felt when the result of the match is considered; and thirdly the figures prove, if figures prove anything, that the inevitable result of a series of encounters between the two elevens would be victory for the Englishmen in a very large proportion of the matches; and they further offer the strongest protest to the oft-raised cry of the decadence of English cricket.

    With these few remarks the compiler proceeds to give a short account of the contest, leaving the reader to attribute the Australian victory to the fact that the Colonists won the toss and thereby had the best of the cricket; to the fact that the English had to play the last innings; to the brilliant batting of Massie; to the superb bowling of Spofforth; to the nervousness of some of the England side; to the glorious uncertainty of the noble game; or to whatever he or she thinks the true reason.

    Monday. Murdoch beat Hornby in the toss and deputed Bannerman and Massie to commence the innings. Massie was clean bowled by a yorker on the leg-stump at six. At 21 Murdoch played a ball from Peate on to his wicket, and, after adding a single, Bonnor was clean bowled middle stump. Horan came in, and then, at 26, Bannerman was splendidly caught by Grace at point, left hand, low down, having been in an hour and 5 minutes for 9 runs. Horan was bowled, leg-stump, at 30. Blackham joined Giffen, and, with the total unchanged, was bowled with the second ball he received. Garrett was the new batsman, and a double change of bowling was found necessary before the newcomer was well caught at long-off just after luncheon. At 50 a splendid ball from Barlow just took the top of Boyle's wicket. Jones came in and rain fell for a few minutes. At 59 Blackham skied a ball and was caught, and Spofforth, the last man, joined Jones. The Demon hit a 4, and then Jones was caught at third man, the innings closing for 63. At 3.30 Grace and Barlow started the first innings of England. Spofforth bowled Grace at 13, and Barlow was caught atforward point for 18. With Lucas and Ulyett together, the score was raised to 50 after half-an-hour's play, but at 56 the latter ran out to drive Spofforth and was easily stumped. At 59 Lucas was snapped at the wicket, and one run later Studd was bowled with a bailer without scoring, and half the wickets were down for 60. Read joined Lyttelton, and just when the score reached the total of the Australian innings the latter was caught at the wicket. Barnes came in and scored a single and a 4 and was then bowled by a breaking ball. Steel became Read's partner and 26 runs were added before Steel pulled a ball into his wicket. Eight wickets were down for 96 when Hornby came in. Read made a cut for 3 and Hornby scored a single, bringing up the 100. With only one run added, however, Hornby's leg stump fell, and the innings closed about five minutes before the call of time.

    Tuesday. Massie and Bannerman commenced the Australians' second innings at 12.10, the Colonists being 38 to the bad. 30 went up after about 28 minutes' play, two bowling changes having been tried. At 12.45 the balance of 38 runs was knocked off. Barnes relieved Studd at 47, and from his first ball Lucas badly missed Massie at long-off, the batsman then having made 38. 50 was hoisted after 40 minutes' play. It was not until the score reached 66 that loud applause greeted the dismissal of the great hitter, bowled leg stump by Steel. Massie had made 55 out of 66 in 55 minutes, and his hits consisted of nine 4's, two 3's, three 2's, and seven singles. Bonnor took the vacant wicket, but at 70 his middle stump was knocked clean out of the ground, and Murdoch came in, but immediately lost Bannerman, caught at extra mid-off, with the total unchanged. Bannerman had played with great patience for an hour and ten minutes for his 13. Horan joined Murdoch, and the bowling was changed, with the result that the incomer was easily caught. Giffen, who took this place, was out in the same way, and the fourth and fifth wickets were down at 79. Blackham came in, and when the score had been hit up to 99 rain fell, and luncheon was taken.

    Resuming at 2.45, after another shower, Blackham was well caught at the wicket without any addition to the score. Jones filled the vacancy and a single by Murdoch sent up the 100. At 114 Jones was run out in a way which gave great dissatisfaction to Murdoch and other Australians. Murdoch played a ball to leg, for which Lyttelton ran. The ball was returned, and Jones having completed the first run, and thinking wrongly, but very naturally, that the ball was dead, went out of his ground. Grace put his wicket down, and the umpire gave him out. Several of the team spoke angrily of Grace's action, but the compiler was informed that after the excitement had cooled down a prominent member of Australian eleven admitted that he should have done the same thing had he been in Grace's place. There was a good deal of truth in what a gentleman in the pavilion remarked, amidst some laughter, that Jones ought to thank the champion for teaching him something. Spofforth partnered Murdoch, but was bowled middle stump at 117. Garrett came in, and very shortly after, a very smart piece of fielding on the part of Hornby, Studd and Lyttelton caused Murdoch to be run out at 122 for a very careful and good innings of 29. Boyle was last man in, but failed to score, and the tenth wicket fell at the same total at 3.25.

    England, wanting 85 runs to win, commenced their second innings at 3.45 with Grace and Hornby. Spofforth bowled Hornby's off stump at 15, made in about as many minutes. Barlow joined Grace, but was bowled first ball at the same total. Ulyett came in, and some brilliant hitting by both batsmen brought the score to 51, when a very fine catch at the wicket dismissed Ulyett. 34 runs were then wanted, with seven wickets to fall. Lucas joined Grace, but when the latter had scored a 2 he was easily taken at mid-off. Lyttelton became Lucas' partner, and the former did all the hitting. Then the game was slow for a time, and 12 successive maiden overs were bowled, both batsmen playing carefully and coolly. Lyttelton scored a single, and then four maiden overs were followed by the dismissal of that batsman - bowled, the score being 66. Only 19 runs were then wanted to win, and there were five wickets to fall. Steel came in, and when Lucas had scored a 4, Steel was easily caught and bowled. Read joined Lucas, but amid intense excitement he was clean bowled without a run being added. Barnes took Read's place and scored a 2, and 3 byes made the total 75, or 10 to win. After being in a long time for 5 Lucas played the next ball into his wicket, and directly Studd joined Barnes the latter was easily caught off his glove without the total being altered. Peate, the last man, came in, but after hitting Boyle to square-leg for 2 he was bowled, and Australia had defeated England by 7 runs.

    1st Test: Australia v England at Sydney - Dec 14-20, 1894

    Wisden Report:

    This was probably the most sensational match ever played either in Australia or in England. Going in first, the Australians made a poor start, losing three wickets - all bowled down by Richardson - for 21 runs. Iredale and Giffen, however, put on 171 for the fourth wicket, and Giffen and Gregory 139 for the fifth. Giffen's splendidly played 161 lasted a little over four hours and a quarter.

    At the close of the first day the score stood at 346 for five wickets, and in the end the total reached 586, Gregory and Blackham scoring 154 together for the ninth wicket. In recognition of his wonderful innings of 201 a collection was made for Gregory, the sum subscribed on the ground amounting to a hundred and three pounds.

    In face of a score of 586 the Englishmen had a dismal prospect, but they set to work with the utmost resolution and kept the Australians in the field from Saturday afternoon till the following Wednesday. Still, though they ran up totals of 325 and 437 - Albert Ward taking the chief honours in each innings - they only set Australia 177 to get.

    At the close of the fifth day 113 had been scored for two wickets, and the match looked all over. Drenching rain in the night, however, followed by bright sunshine, completely altered the condition of the ground, and Peel - well backed up by Briggs - proved so irresistible that the Englishmen gained an astonishing victory by 10 runs.

    4th Test: England v Australia at Manchester - Jul 24-26, 1902

    Wisden Report:

    The fourth of the Test games produced one of the most memorable matches in the whole history of cricket, the Australians, after some extraordinary fluctuations of fortune, winning by three runs. At the end of the first day they looked to have the game in their hands, and at the end of the second it seemed equally certain that they would be beaten. Superb bowling and fielding pulled them through at the finish, but they would probably be the first to admit that fortune was very kind to them, five or six hours' rain during Friday night making the task of the Englishmen in the last innings twice as difficult as it had promised to be. In the opinion of most people England ought, despite the damaged pitch, to have won the match, but defeat by three runs after such a tremendous struggle certainly carried with it no discredit. Nothing that English cricketers did against the Australians last summer - not even the victory at The Oval in the final Test match - was more brilliant than the way in which they recovered themselves on the second day, turning an apparently hopeless position into one that suggested an easy win. In picking twelve men for England the Selection Committee left out Fry and Jessop, restored Ranjitsinhji to the place he had not been able to take at Sheffield, and brought in L. C. H. Palairet and Tate. As Fry had failed in three matches it was only right to drop him, but it was a mistake not to play Jessop as his absence, apart from all question of run-getting, sadly weakened the fielding on the off-side. On the morning of the match another blunder was committed, Tate being played in preference to Hirst. The condition of the ground - very soft and slow after a lot of rain - offered some excuse for the course adopted, but it meant playing a bowler pure and simple in preference to a first-rate all-round man, and the result proved anything but happy.

    The Australians derived great advantage from winning the toss as up to lunch time the ball did nothing at all on the soft turf. Trumper, Duff and Hill, made splendid use of their opportunities, but it must be said that the English bowlers did very poor work, pitching so short that it was often an easy matter to pull them. By magnificent hitting Trumper and Duff scored 135 in an hour and twenty minutes for the first wicket and when lunch time came the total without further loss had reached 173, the Australians seeming already on the high road to victory. After the interval Rhodes got rid of Trumper, Noble and Gregory in quick succession, but Darling punished him tremendously and while in with Hill made an invaluable stand for the fifth wicket. With only five men out for 256 the Australians seemed sure to make considerably over three hundred, but the last few batsmen could do nothing against Lockwood, and the innings ended for 299. It should be stated that owing to the soft ground Lockwood was not tried at all until the score had reached 129. Duff, Hill and Darling all played fine cricket, but the chief batting honours rested with Trumper, who scored his 104 without making a mistake of any kind. His pulling was a marvel of ease and certainty. The wicket had been drying fast since luncheon and the Englishmen on going in to bat could do little or nothing against Trumble and Saunders, five wickets going down in three-quarters of an hour for 44. Jackson and Braund then played out time, the total at the drawing of stumps being 70.

    Friday was England's day, the cricket shown by the home side, apart from one lamentable blunder in the field, being magnificent. To begin with Jackson and Braund pulled the game round into quite a respectable position, carrying the overnight score of 70 to 185 before they were separated. Altogether they put on during their partnership 141 runs. It was a splendid performance, for although the wicket had improved a great deal and was in good condition, runs were very hard to get, the Australian bowlers being always able to get break on the ball. Lunch time had nearly arrived, when Braund, in stepping out to drive Noble, turned on to his wicket a ball that would have missed the off stump. A better morning's play all-round was not seen during the whole season. Braund made a wretched stroke with his score at 58 but otherwise his innings was quite beyond reproach, the way in which he punished Armstrong on the leg side being most refreshing. After luncheon Jackson did not get much support, but he played a great game himself, seizing every opportunity of scoring and forcing the hitting in the most skilful way while the last two men were in with him. In fourth wicket down on Thursday, with the score at 30 he was the last man out, England finishing up with a total of 262 or only 37 runs behind. He was at the wickets nearly four hours and a half, playing all the time with superb judgment and skill. When he had made 41 he might have been caught and bowled by Saunders from a very hard return and at 123 he was missed by Gregory at cover-point from the simplest of chances, but these and one or two hits that luckily fell out of harm's way just after luncheon were the only blemishes in his innings.

    Excitement was at its highest point when shortly after four o'clock the Australians entered upon their second innings, everyone feeling that the result of the match might depend on the next hour's play. As it happened Lockwood's bowling was even more remarkable in quality than Jackson's batting had been, and the game went entirely in England's favour. Trumper, Hill and Duff were out for ten runs, Trumper being caught at slip by Braund at the second attempt, and the fourth wicket would have fallen at sixteen if Darling had not been missed at square leg off Braund's bowling by Tate. If the catch had been held it is quite likely, as Lockwood was bowling in such wonderful form, that the Australians would have been out for a total of fifty or sixty. As it was, Darling and Gregory stayed together for an hour, their partnership producing 54 runs. Gregory was the first to go, and Darling left at 74. The Lockwood, who had been indulged with a rest, got rid of Hopkins and Noble, and when the time came for drawing stumps eight wickets were down for 85. The Australians were only 122 runs ahead with two wickets to fall, and it is only reasonable to assume that if the weather had kept fine during the night, England would have won the match comfortably enough. Rain poured down for five or six hours however, and on Saturday morning the position had completely changed. Owing to the state of the ground nothing could be done until shortly after twelve, and for the addition of a single run the Australian innings ended, England being left with 124 to get to win. For Lockwood, as a bowler, the match was nothing less than a triumph, his analysis for the two innings coming out at eleven wickets for 76 runs. Finer bowling than his on Friday afternoon can rarely have been seen.

    As no one could tell how the wicket would play, the Englishmen entered upon their task under any anxious circumstances. At first, however, everything went well, MacLaren and Palairet scoring 36 runs in fifty minutes, and being still together at lunch time. Still, though they started so well, the difficulty they experienced in playing the bowling made one apprehensive as to what would happen after the interval. Palairet was bowled at 44, and then with MacLaren and Tyldesley together runs for a few overs came so fast that England seemed likely to win hands down. However, at 68 or only 56 to win, Tyldesley was caught in the slips. Another misfortune quickly followed, MacLaren, after playing very fine cricket for an hour and a quarter, hitting out rashly at a ball from Trumble and being caught in the long field at 72. At this point Ranjitsinhji was joined by Abel, and after the latter had been missed by Saunders at mid-on, a slight shower stopped the game for a quarter of an hour. The weather looked very threatening and it was clear, on cricket being again proceeded with, that Abel had received strict injunctions to hit. He played a game quite foreign to his ordinary methods, and for a time got on very well. Ranjitsinhji, however, was altogether at fault and did not seem to have the least confidence in himself. He was always in front of the stumps in trying to play Trumble, and at 92 he was leg-before-wicket to that bowler. With six wickets in hand and only 32 runs wanted, England still seemed sure of victory, but from this point everything changed, Trumble and Saunders, backed up by superb fielding, bowling so finely that in fifty minutes five more wickets went down for 24 runs. Abel was bowled in trying to drive; Jackson was caught at mid-off from a full pitch Braund beautifully stumped, and Lockwood bowled, the eighth wicket falling at 109. With fifteen runs required, Rhodes joined Lilley and in three hits, one of them a big drive over the ring by Rhodes the score was carried to 116 or only eight to win. At this point, Lilley, from a fine hit, was splendidly caught by Hill at square-leg, the fieldsman just reaching the ball when running at full speed. Heavy rain then drove the players from the field and there was a delay of three-quarters of an hour before the match could be finished. Tate got a four on the leg-side from the first ball he received from Saunders, but the fourth, which came a little with the bowler's arm and kept low, hit the wicket and the match was over, Australia winning by three runs. Trumble and Saunders bowled extraordinary well, combining a lot of break with almost perfect length, and the fielding that did so much to win the match was unsurpassable.

    5th Test: England v Australia at The Oval - Aug 11-13, 1902

    Wisden Report:

    Australia having already won the rubber, the fifth and last of the Test matches had not at starting the same importance that would under other circumstances have attached to it, but it produced a never-to-be-forgotten struggle and a more exciting finish, if that were possible, than the one at Manchester. In face of great difficulties and disadvantages England won by one wicket after the odds had been fifty to one on Australia. Some truly wonderful hitting by Jessop made victory possible after all hope had seemed gone, and Hirst and Rhodes got their side home at the close. In its moral results the victory was a very important one indeed, as no one interested in English cricket could have felt other than depressed and low spirited if all the Test matches played out to a finish had ended in favour of Darling's team. In making up the English side the Selection Committee restored Jessop and Hirst to the places they ought to have filled at Manchester, and for the first time in the series of games gave a place to Hayward, Ranjitsinhji, Tate and Abel being left out. Hayward had done enough to deserve a trial, but, as it happened, he proved a great failure as a batsman and was by no means lively in the field. The Australians of course kept to the team that had been victorious at Sheffield and Old Trafford. The wicket, though a trifle slow from the effects of recent rain, was in very good condition, and the Australians, staying in for the whole of the first day, made the highly satisfactory score of 324. At one time they did not seem likely to do nearly so well as this for, though Trumper and Duff scored 47 for the first partnership, there were four wickets down for 82 and five for 126. The change in the game was brought about by Hirst, who for a time bowled in quite his form of 1901. Duff was out to a marvellous catch by the wicket-keeper standing back, Lilley jumping a yard or more on the leg side and holding a ball that would have gone for four. Noble and Armstrong by putting on 48 runs considerably improved the Australians' position, but with seven wickets down for 175 the outlook was none too promising. However, all these disasters were so well retrieved that the three remaining wickets added 149 runs, an invaluable partnership by Hopkins and Trumble putting on 81. The batting was very painstaking, but an unlucky mistake by Lilley at the wicket when Trumble had made nine had, from England's point of view, a deplorable effect on the game.

    If the weather had kept fine the Englishmen would not on an Oval wicket have been afraid of facing a score of 324, but the bad luck that had handicapped them at Sheffield and Manchester still pursued them, heavy rain during the early hours of Tuesday morning making a great difference in the pitch. Under the circumstances they did not do at all badly to score 183, but apart from some bright hitting by Tyldesley there was nothing remarkable in the efforts of the early batsmen. At lunch time six wickets were down for 83, and it seemed certain that the side would follow on and be beaten. Braund and Hirst made a great effort, the latter hitting with the utmost freedom, but when he left the total had only reached 137, England still wanting 38 runs to avoid going in again. Thanks, however, to a bad blunder by Hill, who palpably missed Lockwood at long-on when that batsman had made eleven, the follow-on was saved, the innings ending for 183 or 141 runs behind. Braund was often beaten by balls that missed the wicket, but in staying in for an hour and a half he did invaluable work for his side. Trumble bowled throughout the innings in splendid form and took eight wickets for just over eight runs apiece. Possessing such a big lead the Australians looked, when they went in for the second time, to have the match in their hands. They opened their innings with a great misfortune, Trumper throwing away his wicket in attempting a foolish run, and for the rest of the afternoon the batting was marked by such extreme care that at the drawing of stumps the score, with eight men out, had only reached 114, two hours and three-quarters being occupied in getting these runs. The wicket was still rather difficult and Lockwood bowled very finely. Hill was out to a magnificent catch low down in the slips in one hand by MacLaren, and Noble bowled off his pads by a ball that he did not attempt to play with his bat.

    On Wednesday morning Lockwood quickly obtained the two outstanding wickets, bringing the Australian innings to a close for 121, and then England went in with 263 wanted to win the match. Tuesday's cricket, while the turf was still soft after rain, had damaged the pitch to no small extent, and up to a certain point the batsmen were so helpless against Saunders and Trumble that the easiest of victories for Australia appeared in prospect. Three wickets fell to Saunders for ten runs and but for Gregory missing Hayward badly at short-leg there would have been four wickets down for 16. Even as it was half the side were out for 48 and the match looked all over. At this point Jackson, who had gone in third wicket down, was joined by Jessop and a stand was made which completely altered the game. At first, however, Jessop's cricket was far from suggesting the wonderful form he afterwards showed. When he had made 22 Kelly missed stumping him and at 27 he gave a rather awkward chance to Trumper at long-off. At lunch time the two batsmen were still together, Jackson, who had played superb cricket, being 39 and Jessop 29. After the interval Jackson was far indeed from keeping up his previous form, being repeatedly in difficulties and giving a palpable chance to Armstrong at slip. Jessop, on the other hand, settled down at once, and hit as he only can. At one point he scored four 4's and a single off successive balls from Saunders. The partnership had added 109 runs in sixty-five minutes when Jackson was easily caught and bowled. Jessop went on hitting for some little time longer, but at 187 he closed his extraordinary innings by placing a ball gently into short-leg's hands. He scored, in just over an hour and a quarter, 104 runs out of 139, his hits being a five in the slips, seventeen fours, two threes, four twos, and seventeen singles. All things considered a more astonishing display has never been seen. What he did would have been scarcely possible under the same circumstances to any other living batsmen. The rest of the match was simply one crescendo of excitement. Hirst played a great game and, after Lockwood's dismissal at 214, received such help from Lilley that victory gradually came in sight. The score was advanced to 248, or only fifteen to win, and then from a good hard drive Lilley was finely caught at deep mid-off. Rhodes as last man had a trying crisis to face, but his nerve did not fail him. Once, however, he nearly lost his wicket, Armstrong at slip getting a catch in his hand, but, being partly overbalanced, dropping the ball. Hirst went on imperturbably, scoring again and again by means of cleverly placed singles, and at last he had the extreme satisfaction of making the score a tie. Then Rhodes sent a ball from Trumble between the bowler and mid-on, and England won the match by one wicket. Hirst's innings was in its way almost as remarkable as Jessop's. So coolly did he play that of his last fourteen hits that scored thirteen were singles, whereas in the early part of his innings he had hit half-a-dozen fours. Darling is not often at fault in the management of his bowling, but he leaned too heavily on Saunders and did not make enough use of Noble. Trumble, bowling from the Pavilion end, was never changed during the match.

    England tour of Australia, 3rd Test: Australia v England at Melbourne, Jan 1-7, 1937


    Wisden Report:

    England were not disgraced even though the margin was a large one: outside influences had much to do with the result. The faith of Australians that their side, in which Brown, Darling, Rigg and Fleetwood-Smith appeared, in place of Chipperfield, O'Brien, Badcock and McCormick, would atone for the two previous disappointments was reflected in the attendances. All records for attendances and receipts in a cricket match were broken. On the third day alone there were 87798 people present- the takings were 7405- and the aggregate attendance for the match was 350534 and the full receipts 30124.

    As things turned out Bradman won the match for Australia when he won the toss and his tactics influenced the result. On the second day he took the unusual procedure in a played-to-a-finish Test Match of declaring his first innings closed and sent England in to bat on a pitch from which the ball often reared up almost straight and at other times kept low. It is important to mention that on the first day, when Australia were batting, the wicket was lifeless and unhelpful to spin bowlingand yet England got down six wickets for 130 and would probably have done still better had not rain set in and led to the bowlers being handicapped by the wet ball. Next day rain held up a resumption of the match until after lunch. The difficulties of the wicket quickly became apparent, and batsmen experienced such an unhappy time that in about three hours thirteen wickets fell.

    England after losing nine wickets for 76, also declared so that for the first time in Test cricket each side closed its first innings.

    It is possible England would have done better had Allen's declaration been made earlier but, as one authority put it, the England captain could not be expected to possess second sight. At the close of play on the second day, one Australian- O'Reilly- had been dismissed for three runs and a Sunday without rain enabled the wicket to recover so that when Australia took up their second innings again the conditions were more favourable for batting than at any previous time in the match.

    Following the dismissal of Fingleton from a weak stroke after he had promised great things, McCabe was Australia's hero on the first day. Towards the end of the afternoon, with six wickets down, McCabe suddenly found his best form and revelled in a hectic ten minutes of big hitting, in which he was joined enthusiastically by Oldfield. The England bowlers were steady all day and the field gave nothing away.

    Play on the second day, Saturday, was sensational throughout. On the "glue pot wicket" Australia's apparently feeble total of 200 assumed formidable proportions. Leyland was the one real success for England. Hammond scored more runs, and made some daring if desperate shots with a close ring of fieldsmen almost within touch of his bat; Leyland never seemed in difficulties. Both men were out to extraordinary catches by Darling at short-leg; just as Rigg had fallen to Verity on the first day- catches that would have been missed ninety-nine times out of a hundred.

    Australia batted all the third day. It was inevitable that Bradman should find his form soon, and he chose the moment of his county's greatest need to do so. Rain feel in the afternoon and between- and during- the showers the England bowlers were handicapped by a wet ball which they wiped with a towel between each delivery. Bradman took full advantage of this and, though not quite his old scintillating self, and eschewing the off drive, he thrilled the crowd and subdued the bowlers. Scoring 270 he played his highest innings against England in Australia. Not until the evening was it revealed that Bradman was suffering from a severe chill. That explained his sedateness. In Rigg he found a splendid partner; a man who had been on the fringe of the Australian XI for a long time and looked good enough a cricketer to have gained a place earlier. Rigg, reputed a poor starter, showed none of this failing, and the free use of his arms and wrists proved his class. Hereabouts came the first glimpse during the tour of the Bradman known to England. It was after a stoppage for rain and he faced Voce. He took 13 off the over (of eight balls) and 2 and 3 off the first two balls of Allen's next over. Another shower cut short the burst of hitting.

    The fact, on the fourth day, Bradman and Fingleton put up a sixth wicket record of 346- actually the highest stand for any wicket in a Test match in Australia- was due to Bradman sending in his tail-end batsmen first. Usually those two players would have been associated for the second wicket. The pitch had become as perfect as any batsman could wish, and though the England bowlers remained steady they had little chance of beating Bradman or Fingleton. One admired the brilliant fielding of the Englishmen all day. Hammond, Worthington, Allen and others were top class, while Robins was magnificent, constantly winning applause from the huge crowd. Only when Robins and Sims were bowling did the batsmen show real mastery.

    Bradman, still suffering from mild influenza, was quickly dismissed on the morning of the fifth day, and immediately after lunch England opened their second innings wanting 689 runs to win. Such a task had never been achieved in Test history but the wicket was still very easy and a dour fight was anticipated. However, Leyland alone of the earlier batsmen, and Robins, towards the end of the day, batted really well. Hammond made a splendid 50 and then was out to a rather careless stroke. The scoring was certainly fast and delighted the spectators, but this was not quite the type of cricket the situation demanded.

    On the sixth morning Leyland and Robins rose to their greatest heights. Previously, Leyland had carried such responsibility that he had repressed many of his most spectacular shots, but this time he exploited them all, his hitting through the covers being reminiscent of his finest innings in England. With Robins out England virtually were all out, and Leyland remained undefeated with a noteworthy 111.

    The Australian team looked better balanced than in the first two Tests. Batting for six and a half hours, Fingleton not only scored his second century of the series- like Leyland- but also saved something like 60 more runs with his fine fielding close to the wicket. Sievers bowled very well, but Fleetwood-Smith's figures, five for 124 in the second innings, were flattered by his dismissing Voce and Sims with the last two balls of the match. Against Hammond, he seemed incapable of bowling a length. Ward failed with the ball and Darling, though fielding well, did not justify his being brought back into the team.

    The Australians never allowed their initial advantage of winning the toss to slip from their grasp. Allen's captaincy was above criticism, for the chance he might have taken in an earlier declaration when the wicket was bad would have looked ludicrous if the weather had changed. He had his men on their toes the whole time, and neither he nor they lost heart through the defeat. Voce and Verity were outstanding England bowlers. The latter kept an immaculate length and allowed no batsman to take liberties with him. It can be recorded with truth that Voce never bowled quite as well as in the first three Tests of this tour. He was untiring in his work and maintained his concentration and deadliness right through each innings.
    Last edited by a massive zebra; 12-04-2016 at 02:42 PM.
    Shady Slim likes this.
    THE ULTIMATE CRICKET WEB ARCADE EGGS CHAMPION

    RIP Fardin Qayyumi (AKA "cricket player"; "Bob"), 1990-2006
    RIP Craig Walsh (AKA "Craig"), 1985-2012

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