At Birmingham, June 6. Australia won by 2 runs, a thrilling victory gained off what would otherwise have been the penultimate ball of the match. Had Hendrick hit it for 3, England would have won; as it was, Marsh caught him. A few overs earlier, with Gatting in punishing form after a chancy start and Botham scoring freely, England, needing 250 to win, had time and wickets in hand. At the start of their 50th over they were 224 for five. But Hughes held an awkward skier at mid-off, to get rid of Botham, Humpage could not get going, and when in the last over Gatting looked to have hit Lillee over deep extra-cover for 4, Lawson took a marvellous catch. With three wickets and a useful 29 not out as well, Lawson could have been Man of the Match. Instead, Gatting was. For the first time in a big match the new Edgbaston covers (cost £50,000) proved their worth, saving perhaps two hours" play after a heavy midday storm. Takings were £51,500 and the attendance 13,250.
© John Wisden & Co