Second Test Match

Perth's impressiveTest debut

At Perth, December 11, 12, 13, 15, 16. Drawn. Perth's first Test match was an outstandingly successful promotion. It was perfectly organised, and nearly 85,000 spectators saw it. That number was nearly twice that at Brisbane, and gate receipts in the region of £50,000 were almost three times as large. If not all the cricket was worthy of the enthusiastic people of Western Australia, the match was in the balance until the last afternoon. After Lawry had won the toss and put them in to bat, England again slipped from a position of strength in their first innings, and once more Australia's batting was revealed as fragile.

Boycott and Luckhurst with opening stands of 171 and 60 carried their total in ten opening partnerships to 994. Luckhurst was the leader in the first stand lasting four and a quarter hours. Boycott, so dominating in State games, had not yet got going as well in the Tests, and his stolid 70 contained only three 4's. Though the Perth boundaries are long Luckhurst managed nine in that time, and when bowled by McKenzie's break-back, after 78 overs occupying five hours, forty minutes, he had thirteen. Edrich also batted well and England were 257 for two at the close of the first day.

On the second Edrich ran himself out, and the middle batting failed. McKenzie bowled particularly well in this innings, but he was eclipsed by Snow. On a pitch which, like the one for the previous game was not nearly so fast as it can be on this ground, Snow had appreciably more life than any other quick bowler in the match. In his first 18 balls he took two for one, and early on the third day Australia were desperately placed at 107 for five. They were magnificently rescued by Redpath and G. S. Chappell, who was playing in his first Test. Redpath played thoroughly well, but by no means so surely as his less experienced partner. Redpath was disconcerted by pace; Chappell never was. Slowly but surely they pulled their side round. At tea the total was 240, and afterwards Chappell cut loose. He mauled Snow, Lever and Shuttleworth so severely that 74 were added in ten overs. When Chappell went three overs later, he had hit his last 60 in 13 overs while Redpath collected 25. In all he batted four and a quarter hours and hit ten 4's, while Redpath's innings lasted just over eight hours and included fourteen 4's.

Another indifferent batting performance, which Edrich redeemed with the aid of Illingworth and Knott, put England in peril. Though Boycott played his best Test innings to date they were 152 for five, only 109 ahead and sorely puzzled by Gleeson's varied and accurate spin, and more than five and a half hours remained. Illingworth, however, batted well while 57 were added, and finally he declared to allow Australia two hours, twenty-five minutes for their second innings. To score 245 in that time would have required exceptional batting, but Lawry could have been expected at least to make a token attempt. Only I. M. Chappell made a gesture. Lawry's batting was craven. His second run completed his 5,000 in Test cricket, his third his 2,000 against England. With that he seemed content. After sixty-eight minutes he had made only 6, and Australia spent 21 overs reaching 50. There was not a spark of enterprise about the batting of Lawry or Redpath until Fletcher and Cowdrey bowled their inaccurate leg breaks.

© John Wisden & Co