Second Test match

Australia v England 1911-12

It was in the second Test match that the Englishmen, with a victory by eight wickets, first revealed their full strength. Up to this point they had not impressed the critics that they were anything more than an ordinarily good side, and few people in Australia thought they were at all likely to win the rubber. The match was won at the start, some marvellous bowling by Barnes giving England an advantage which, though seriously discounted at one point by weak batting, was never wholly lost. On Australia winning the toss and going in, Barnes led off by bowling five overs, four maidens, for one run and four wickets. Bardsley played a ball on to his wicket, Kelleway was out lbw, Hill clean bowled, and Armstrong caught at the wicket. In this way, four of the best Australian wickets went down for eleven runs. With six men out for 38, the Australians were in a desparate plight, but Ransford saved the situation by his fine defence, and thanks chiefly to a capital stand by Hordern and Carter, the total in the end reached 184, the innings lasting nearly three hours and three-quarters. At the close of play England had scored 38 runs and lost Hobbs's wicket.

On Monday there was a big attendance, over 31,000 people being present. Before play began, Mr. Warner, who was getting better after his illness, went out to inspect the wicket, and had a great reception when the crowd recognised him. The Englishmen were batting all day. Rhodes and Hearne took the score to 137 before the second wicket fell, but at a quarter to six the innings was all over for 265. Out fifth at 224, Hearne made his 114 without a mistake of any kind. He hit eleven 4s and was at the wickets three hours and three-quarters. Apart from him and Rhodes, the batting was very disappointing. Going in on Tuesday against a balance of 81, the Australians made a very bad start, losing four wickets for 38 runs. Armstrong, however, played finely, and received such good support that, at the end of the day, the total, with eight wickets down, had reached 269. Armstrong hit fourteen 4s and gave no chance. On the fourth day England won the match in most brilliant style. The Australians added 30 runs, leaving England 219 to get. Rhodes left at 57, and then Hobbs and Gunn practically won the match, carrying the score to 169 before Gunn was caught by the wicket-keeper. On Hearne going in the remaining runs were hit off without further loss. Hobbs played one of the finest innings of his life. He scored his 126 not out in just under three hours and a half, and did not give a chance of any kind. His hits included eight 4s.

© John Wisden & Co