Second Prudential Trophy Match

ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA 1977

At Birmingham, June 4. England won by 101 runs. The three pace bowlers Lever, Old and Willis took most of honours in England's decisive victory which gave them a winning 2-0 lead in the series. Lever had a remarkable bowling spell of four wickets in 15 balls at a cost of two runs which wrecked Australia hopes of beating England's 171 made in 53.5 overs.

Lever, who also made 27 to help lift England from a lunch score of 90 for seven, first bowled Chappell whose head went up as he drove at a half volley. He then brushed aside Cosier, Hughes and Marsh to leave the innings in ruins and Australia were all out 70 in 25.2 overs, the lowest score since the competition began in 1972.

Both teams batted badly. There was more excuse for England, asked to bat a cloudy morning on a well grassed pitch to face Thomson, suddenly declared fit after an elbow injury. But Thomson did no damage. That was done by the medium pace bowlers Chappell, who took four for 12 in his first 29 balls to finish with five for 20 and Cosier (five for 18) who had done little bowling previously on the tour. True the ball was swinging and moving off the pitch but Cosier must have been astounded at the way in which he swept through the middle order with his in swingers. Chappell, always a good bowler in England conditions, was far more testing and began the rout by removing Amiss and Randall with successive balls. As conditions eased Old and Lever showed that runs could be made, the Yorkshireman without deserting his normal attacking game. Lever lasted 27 overs without looking in any real discomfort.

Australia struggled from the moment Willis's second ball bounced extravagantly to have Davis caught in the gully. Willis, cheered on by his home crowd, went on to knock out Serjeant's off stump while Lever, bowling a full length but doing nothing exceptional was still too much for rest of the specialist batsmen who seemed to lose heart at Chappell's dismissal. When Robinson and Bright threatened a rally Old produced a perfect breakback that bowled Robinson after which resistance ceased. Attendance 11,312; receipts £23,307.

© John Wisden & Co