Fifth Test match

Australia v England 1907-08

Played at SYDNEY, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, February 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27. Australia won by 49 runs.

Although Australia had already won the rubber the last Test match was contested with the utmost keenness. It produced a tremendous fight, the Australians, as in the previous games, showing an extraordinary power of recovery, from a bad position, and winning by 49 runs after being 144 behind on the first innings. A lot of rain had fallen in Sydney, and Jones on winning the toss put Australia in to bat. Up to a certain point his policy was abundantly justified. Thanks to some fine bowling by Barnes, Australia's first innings was finished off in a little over two hours and a half for 137, and then, on an improving pitch, England before the drawing of stumps scored 116 for one wicket, Hobbs and Gunn being not out with 65 and 50 respectively.

On the second day there was very little cricket, a heavy downpour after lunch causing play to be abandoned at half-past four. The Englishmen lost two more wickets and added 71 runs, Gunn being not out 77. More rain fell on Sunday, and on Monday nothing could be done until half-past three. Feeling sure that the pitch would become very difficult before the end of the day, Jones gave instructions to have the innings finished off without loss of time, and the last few wickets were thrown away. Gunn, in scoring his 122 not out, played beautiful cricket for nearly five hours. The Australians had forty minutes' batting and scored 18 runs without loss, Noble and O'Connor showing most skilful defence. The Englishmen, however, were greatly dissatisfied that Noble was not given out caught at the wicket in the first over.

On the fourth day, Trumper, making ample amends for some previous failures, played a magnificent innings. After scoring a single he might have been caught by Rhodes at short mid-on, but the chance was not an easy one. Thenceforward he was always at his best. Hitting 18 fours, he scored his 166 in four hours and five minutes, the number of runs put on during his stay being 317. He pulled the game right round and at the end of the afternoon the Australians were 213 runs ahead with four wickets in hand.

Owing to more heavy rain play on the fifth day did not begin until one o'clock. The Australian innings closed for 422, the Englishmen being left with 279 to get to win. This was a terribly heavy task on the damaged pitch, and before the end of the afternoon the game was as good as over, six wickets being down with 162 runs still required. The wicket rolled out well on the last morning and during the partnership of Rhodes and Jones for the eighth wicket it seemed quite possible that England might win. However, when the two batsmen had put on 53 runs together Jones was bowled. The ninth wicket added 22 runs, and the tenth 31, the side fighting hard to the end. In this last stage of the game the great features were Rhodes's batting and the deadly bowling of Saunders.

© John Wisden & Co