Third Test match

England v Australia 1893

When the fixtures were made at Lord's in the previous December it was distinctly agreed that all the counties should give up whatever men were required for the three great Test matches, but unfortunately the arrangement was not adhered to, and in this, the last match of the rubber, F. S. Jackson and the other Yorkshiremen, who might have been included in the England team, were all playing against Sussex at Brighton. Furthermore, Lockwood, owing to a strained leg, could not play, but for all that the side pitted against the Australians was a very powerful one. Richardson filled the place of Lockwood - an honour to which the performances of the new Surrey bowler fairly entitled him - whist the eleventh place was given to Brockwell.

There was a surprisingly moderate attendance at Old Trafford to witness the opening stage of the game, in which the Australians, after completing an innings for 204, got two English wickets down for 54. At the start, Lyons hit out freely, but when he left, Bannerman and Giffen played very cautiously. Four of the best men on the side were out for 73, but then came an invaluable stand by Bruce and Graham, the former playing the most stylish and attractive cricket of the day. The two Victorians added 56 in three-quarters of an hour, and afterwards Trumble assisted Bruce to put on 64 more runs. Bruce was seventh out at 174 for a grand innings of 68, which earned him applause from all parts of the field. The innings was then quickly finished off, Richardson showing a very gratifying result for his labours. There was a most disheartening commencement to the England innings, Grace running out Stoddart before a run had been made. This disaster to England had a very prejudicial effect upon the batting, which was afterwards marked by extreme care rather than attractiveness. Shrewsbury and Grace looked like playing out time, but shortly before the close the Notts professional was caught at deep square leg.

Next day there was a tremendously keen and interesting struggle. Up to lunch time the cricket was perhaps open to the charge of dulness, but afterwards it became brilliant and exciting, the skilful batting of the Englishmen finding its counterpart in the smart fielding and steady bowling of the Colonials. Grace and Gunn began well, carrying the score to 73 before the former was bowled off his pads, but then came a particularly stern fight. Giffen and Turner pitched very short to Gunn, who ran no risks, and it took that batsman and Ward three-quarters of an hour to add 20 runs. W. W. Read, too, stayed for some time, but just when he appeared likely to score well, he was out to a good ball, and half the wickets were down for 112. Brockwell remained with Gunn, and at lunch time the score was 145 for six wickets, Gunn, who had been in close upon two hours and three-quarters, being not out 44. So far nearly two hours and a half had been occupied in making 91 runs, but afterwards the game underwent a remarkable change, 98 runs being obtained in an hour and a half.

Briggs did little, but while MacGregor was in Gunn hit out in grand form, and the crowd became quite enthusiastic when there seemed a prospect of the Australians' score being headed. Before this was achieved, however, MacGregor was out, but Richardson rendered Gunn most valuable assistance, helping to put on 42. Mold, who came in before Gunn had reached his hundred, succeeded in keeping up his wicket until the Notts batsman had achieved that great feat. The innings came to an end immediately afterwards, Gunn carrying out his bat for 102, a really grand innings, lasting four hours and ten minutes. Of the value it was to the side there could be no two opinions. It was his seventh hundred in first-class cricket during the summer, and the third hundred hit for England against the Australian team of 1893. The arrears were cleared off by the Australians without loss, Lyons scoring 33 out of 56 in thirty-five minutes, and when play ceased 93 runs had been obtained for three wickets.

On the Saturday the weather was not so favourable, but the wicket lasted very well. The Australians had four men out for 99, but then Bruce joined Bannerman and hit so brilliantly that 54 runs were obtained in forty minutes. Just afterwards Bannerman was very badly missed at slip with his score at 50, but there were eight wickets down for 182. Then there was a distinct chance of the Englishmen winning, but Turner and Blackham batted with great pluck, and before the innings closed a victory for England was practically impossible. Bannerman deserved great praise for his innings of 60, in making which he was at the wickets three hours and fifty-five minutes. England had 198 runs to get to win, and only two hours and a quarter remained for cricket. Grace and Stoddart were the batsmen, and, making no attempt to hit off the runs, they, by their excellent play, seemed likely for a considerable time to leave the game much in favour of England. Together they put on 78 runs for the first wicket, and within half an hour of the close the hundred went up with only one man out. England then looked like leaving off with an immense advantage, but at this point Grace was dismissed, and shortly before time Trumble bowled out Gunn and Ward with successive ball. Thus at the finish England had six wickets to fall and wanted 80 to win, the draw, in which the match terminated, being rather in favour of the old country.

© John Wisden & Co