(Third One-Day Match)

ENGLAND v. AUSTRALIA

At Birmingham, August 28. England won by two wickets. Wood, the Lancashire all-rounder, who was brought into the England team in place of Hampshire, was the key figure in this closely fought match. England controlled it for most of the day but in the end had to struggle desperately for the 180 runs they needed.

Wood, the Man of the Match, was mainly responsible for Australia's poor start. He hit the stumps direct to run out Ian Chappell, dived to catch Greg Chappell one-handed at midwicket and with the ball took the wickets of Sheahan and Walters. Stackpole held Australia together. He was seventh out at 127 after batting 42 overs for 61. Then the tailenders gathered in some useful runs.

Boycott and Amiss sent England away with a stand of 76 in 22 overs and batted so confidently that victory looked a formality. Then, after Amiss left, Lillee took a hand dismissing Close and Boycott in quick succession. After four men had gone for 104 Fletcher and Wood added 39, but when they fell to rash strokes the game was wide open again.

Knott and Woolmer failed as the pressure mounted and eight men were out for 172 as Snow joined Greig. The Sussex all-rounder decided on desperate measures and with two boundaries in an over from Massie finally settled an enthralling match and the destination of the trophy. As Arthur Fagg was taken ill on the morning of the match, Alan Oakman, the Warwickshire coach and previously a first-class umpire, deputised at short notice. Attendance 18,000. Receipts £13,145.

© John Wisden & Co