Second Test match

England v Australia 1888

Played at Kennington Oval,Monday, Tuesday, August 13, 14. England won by an innings and 137 runs. The Australians played the same team as in the match at Lord"s but England made three changes, Wood keeping wicket instead of Sherwin, Mr. Shuter playing instead of Mr. Steel, and Sugg replacing Mr. O"Brien. This game it was, more than any other, which took from the Australians their chances of rivalling the fame of the team that came over six years before. Whatever the results of the less important games had been, if the McDonnell-Beal combination could have beaten England twice out of the three times, the tour would have been regarded in Australia, and with a great deal of justice, as a triumph. Acknowledging this to the full, we may say that the thorough way in which the Colonial team were beaten at the Oval proves beyond doubt that the renown of the eleven of 1882 is undiminished.

The Australians again won the toss, and they went in first on a splendid wicket with everything in favour of long scoring. Yet by lunch time on the first day the match was practically over, and at half-past three the Australians were all out for 80. McDonnell was out in Peel"s first over, and when Trott joined Bannerman, Peel gave way to Briggs. This change got rid of two wickets, the Lancashire man knocking down Trott"s off stump in his first over, and in his next over clean bowling Bonnor. Edwards and Bannerman played very slow cricket indeed, and the score was up to 40 when Barnes took Lohmann"s place. This brought about a separation, as in Barnes"s first over Bannerman was out to a grand one-handed catch by Lohmann in the slips. Seven wickets were down for 50 when the luncheon bell rang, and Barnes and Briggs were the bowlers afterwards, the last three wickets putting on 30 runs. Briggs bowled superbly, while Wood at the wicket, and Lohmann, Peel, Grace, and indeed the whole team in the field, performed their task to admiration.

Those curious in statistics pointed out how often the number 13 recurred in this innings of Australia. It was played on the 13th of the month, Bannerman, Trott, and Ferris scored 13 runs each; Edwards scored twice 13, and Jarvis and Worrall, the only other men who made any runs at all, scored 13 between them, so that the total of the innings, without the two extras, was six times 13. The Englishmen went in shortly before four o"clock, and for a few minutes there was a good deal of anxiety. W. G. Grace was easily caught at third man and Ulyett was caught at the wicket, two men being out with only 6 runs on the scoreboard. Directly after this, however, runs came fast, and, thanks chiefly to the admirable stand made by Abel and Barnes, the score was 185 for five wickets, when play ceased for the day. Barnes had played a first-class innings of 62, and Abel was 65 not out.

On the Tuesday Abel increased his score to 70, an innings without a fault, which included nine 4"s as its principal hits. Sugg played very fluky cricket indeed, and Peel was ninth out at 259 for a capital 24. Wood now joined Lohmann, and played a defensive game, while the more famous Surrey man gave the spectators a display of brilliant, fast, and dashing hitting which has not often been surpassed. He made 62 runs in fifty-five minutes without a chance or even a bad hit, and yet so freely and vigorously did he score from all the Australian bowlers that his figures included only one single, while there were six 2"s, three 3"s, and no fewer than ten 4"s. This last wicket put on 58 runs, and gave the Englishmen an overwhelming advantage. The Australians began their second innings with McDonnell and Bannerman, and the Australian captain scored 32 out of 34. After his departure the result was only a question of time. The English bowling and fielding were both exceedingly good, and Wood at the wicket surpassed himself. Although there were one or two mistakes they were not serious enough to affect the game, and the Australians were all out at ten minutes to five for 100, thus being beaten in a single innings with no fewer than 137 runs to spare.

Peel bowled remarkably well, but the feature of the innings was the bowling of Barnes, who in twenty-nine overs took five wickets for 32 runs-a splendid performance with the ground still in excellent condition. The crowd followed the game with great attention, and applauded heartily the few good things that the Australians did, while they naturally and very properly rewarded with the cheers so dear to public men, the magnificent all-round cricket of the winners. We have praised the Colonial team for what they did at Lord"s, but the confidence and the abounding energy were this time on the side of England, and it was worth going miles to see how freely and with what skill our representatives acquitted themselves. The game was, of course, unequal, but the interest never flagged, and the activity and determination were as conspicuous when Wood threw out Ferris from short leg, when the game was almost over, as it had been when Lohmann made his first grand catch in the slips on the Monday morning. With McDonnell, Turner, and Blackham taking three of our men"s places, what a wonderful eleven of the World could have been formed.

© John Wisden & Co