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England 454 and 168 for 2 beat Australia 435 and 182 by eight wickets
Runs again came much more freely than in the previous Test matches. Darling was out trying to drive Verity, and then Lee came in to hit the ball with great power and incidentally to drive Larwood. After defending splendidly for 2 hours and 18 minutes, Oldfield was brilliantly thrown out by Paynter, and then came some useful hitting by O'Reilly and Alexander. It was estimated that England missed 14 chances during the innings, but many of them were very difficult. Larwood again bowled splendidly and deserved better figures, but Allen was handicapped by a strained side. When England batted Jardine never really settled down, but Sutcliffe and Hammond got completely on top of the bowling and it was a surprise when the Yorkshireman was out for a chanceless 56 just before close of play. Hammond was in delightful form, still he gave two possible chances in the slips. When stumps were drawn England had scored 159 for 2, Hammond 72 not out, Larwood 5 not out. Hammond and Jardine protested against Alexander for running up the wicket after delivery.
When the game was resumed in perfect conditions Larwood scored much more readily than Hammond and reached his 50 in 77 minutes. In the meantime Hammond played with great care and was in for nearly three and a half hours before being lbw. He hit twelve fours and had the distinction of being the only batsman to score two hundreds in this series of Test matches. Joined by Leyland, Larwood continued to bat splendidly, but after hitting Lee from successive balls for 2, 4, 6 and 2, he was caught off the next ball, having batted for two hours and eighteen minutes with one 6. one 5 and nine 4's as his best strokes. Leyland, hardly at his best, ran himself out, and then there was a quiet spell before Ames, too, was run out. Wyatt and Allen made a useful stand for the eighth wicket, and when the former was caught by Ironmonger at 418 stumps were drawn, Allen being 25 not out. Of the new Australian bowlers, Alexander was expensive, but had one or two chances missed off him. Lee did well with his slow off-breaks and he also suffered from dropped catches.
Allen resumed his innings with Verity as his partner, but the Yorkshireman snicked a ball to Oldfield. Allen hit well with Voce in and was unfortunate to miss his 50, Bradman bringing off a magnificent catch. Australia made another disastrous start, Richardson bagging a pair by being well caught by Allen off Larwood's second hall. Bradman then came in to partner Woodfull and proceeded to play an innings which was noteworthy for some beautiful strokes - and some most unorthodox ones. He tried to force Larwood's leg balls to the off and made some highly dangerous strokes, but it was Verity who bowled him after he had been batting for 97 minutes. Bradman hit nine fours. With the dismissal of Bradman at 115, there was a bad collapse, caused chiefly through Verity, who flighted the ball cleverly and appeared'to be taking advantage of the heel marks made by Alexander. O'Brien fell to a catch in the slips McCabe, who was unwell, was caught in the gully, and Darling left at 148 and Oldfield at 161. Woodfull was the next to go, being beaten by Allen's pace. He had batted nearly three hours for an invaluable innings which contained five fours. At the beginning of his innings Woodfull batted much more freely than usual, but when the collapse began he concentrated on defence. Verity bowled splendidly, but Larwood was handicapped by a swelling on his foot and was off the field from 3.30pm. England had 25 minutes' batting and Jardine, 6 not out, and Wyatt, 5 not out, played out time.
Ironmonger quickly found a spot caused by Alexander's run on the wicket, and when Jardine and Leyland, who was bowled off his pads, were out for 43, Australia appeared to have a chance, but Hammond and Wyatt took the score to 70 for 2 at lunch. After the interval Hammond proceeded to attack the bowling and made some tremendous hits, an on-drive off O'Reilly being one of the biggest hits ever seen on the Sydney ground. Wyatt, too, forced the game well and there was a very bright finish with Hammond hitting Lee for a glorious six. The Gloucestershire batsman was in his best form and, apart from his two sixes, hit six fours. Wyatt played remarkably well for three hours and a quarter and had much to do with the victory. Although he appeared to have lost some of his nip, Ironmonger was the only bowler to cause any trouble, O'Reilly appearing to be rather stale after his exertions in the previous Test matches. Lee made a promising first appearance against England, spinning the ball and maintaining a good length.
© The Cricketer
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