Fourth Test Match

Boycott and Snow combine to bring England victory

Great batting by Boycott and superb fast bowling by Snow on a pitch taking spin, which was too slow for other pace bowlers, were too much for Australia. The latter were conclusively outplayed after the first day, on which their spin caused an English collapse helped by bad strokes. Boycott made 77 out of a first-wicket stand of 116 off 31 overs. Brilliant stroke play brought him eleven 4's. Though he fell to a catch on the boundary when hooking a long hop, England passed 200 with only two wickets down. In the next thirty-three minutes they lost four wickets while 18 were scored, and Mallett had remarkable success with his off breaks. In his first eight overs after tea he took three for 6.

England's later batsmen, however, hit back bravely, the last four wickets adding 119, and the rally was continued by the bowlers, Underwood being mainly responsible for the last six Australian wickets going on the third morning for 47. The only stand for Australia in the match was 99 by Redpath and Walters. Redpath played much more soundly than Walters, who was dropped at first slip when 3. Redpath also gave a slip catch, though a much more difficult one, when he was 6. Lever was the unfortunate bowler on both occasions.

In the second innings England lost their first three wickets for 48, during which time Boycott ran out Edrich. He made amends during stands of 133 with d'Oliveira and 95 with Illingworth. Both partners played excellently while Boycott ruthlessly broke the Australian attack. He played to a schedule which allowed Illingworth to leave over nine hours for Australia's second innings, staying six hours fifty minutes and hitting twelve 4's. The England bowlers needed less than half that time, and only Lawry, who stayed throughout an innings of four hours and a quarter of stern defence, could live against Snow. And he faced few of Snow's deliveries on the final day, when Snow took five for 20 in eight overs. His seven for 40 was his finest Test performance. The pitch was without pace, but on occasions Snow made the ball kick viciously from a worn patch and had his opponents apprehensive from first to last.

© John Wisden & Co