First Test match

Australia v England 1907-08

Played at SYDNEY, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, December 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19. Australia won by two wickets.

A. O. Jones being in hospital at Brisbane, the captaincy of the England team for the First Test match devolved upon Fane. George Gunn was called upon for the first time and with the idea of strengthening the batting, R. A. Young was picked as wicket-keeper, in preference to Humphries. The match proved a great attraction, the takings amounting to £3,000. On the second day the crowd numbered 32,000. Winning the toss, the Englishmen stayed in for four hours and ten minutes for a total of 273. At one time they seemed likely to make a far bigger score, but some of the batsmen found Cotter's pace too much for them. George Gunn's batting was as nearly as possible faultless. Making his runs in two hours and a half, he hit 20 fours and his only mistake was a hard chance at third man, when 108. At the end of the afternoon the Australians had scored 50 for one wicket and on the Saturday they exceeded the English total by 27 runs. Clem Hill played a splendid innings never, being at fault till Gunn caught him at third man.

In England's second innings all the honours went to the two Notts players, Gunn and Hardstaff putting on 113 runs together for the fourth wicket. At one point a big total seemed in prospect but after the tea interval six wickets fell for 34 runs. The innings ended early on the fourth morning for 300. The Australians were left with 274 to get. They lost Trumper, Hill and Macartney for 27 runs, and when at five o'clock rain caused stumps to be drawn, the score stood at 63 for three wickets. On the Wednesday the state of the ground made play impossible, and on the following morning everything pointed to a win for England. The wicket recovered surprisingly well, but it was the general opinion that the English bowlers ought to have done better during the first hour. The finish of the match was exciting to a degree. When their seventh wicket fell the Australians still required 89 runs to win. Carter, who played a fine innings, was out at 218 and then Cotter and Hazlitt amid great enthusiasm hit off the remaining 56 runs in less than 40 minutes, Australia gaining a glorious victory by two wickets.

© John Wisden & Co