The fourth Test match decided the rubber, Australia winning by 308 runs. Fortune was dead against the Englishmen. By means of splendid bowling - Crawford mixing up his pace with remarkable skill - and very fine fielding they got the Australians out on a perfect wicket for 214, and then had to bat themselves on a pitch ruined by heavy rain. From this disaster they never recovered. Hobbs, seizing every chance, hit up 57 in 70 minutes before the wicket got to its worst, but no one else could look at Saunders and Noble. Leading by 109 the Australians had an hour's batting before stumps were drawn on the second day. They lost Trumper, Noble, and McAlister for 28, Trumper for the second time failing to get a run, but Gregory and Hill played out time, carrying the score to 49.
On the intervening Sunday the ground dried, and on Monday the Australians had quite a good wicket to bat on. They rose to the occasion and although their fifth wicket fell at 77 they had at the drawing of stumps scored 358 with two wickets still in hand. Armstrong was the hero of the day, playing with perfect judgment for 114 not out. Up to a certain point he was very cautious, but when he had mastered the bowling he hit with great power. He was out next morning for 133, his innings having lasted nearly four hours, and fifty minutes. The Australian total reached 385. The Englishmen wanted 495 to win. It was not to be expected that they would make such a number but, with the wicket still in good order, they ought to have made many more than 186. Probably the hopelessness of the position affected them, and they had to play some fine bowling from Saunders.
© John Wisden & Co