At Melbourne, February 17 (day/night). Australia won by seven wickets. The opening match produced a close struggle until Kerr and Jones, both 23, swept Australia to victory with an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 157. The new floodlights and England's first appearance in the country for two years proved the main attraction of the tournament. Putting Downton in first so as to fit another batsman, Cowdrey, into the middle order, England, after winning the toss, reached 150 for three in 35 overs. Lamb was in particularly good form. But they lost their way when he, Cowdrey and Gatting were out in quick succession. Australia were then given a good start by Wessels, who was soon into his stride under the powerful new lights. The loss of Wessels, Hughes and Border in the fourteenth and sixteenth overs had brought England back into the game when Jones joined Kerr. Gaining in confidence with every over these two went on to win the match with 22 balls to spare. Australia were fined £440 for bowling only 49 of the 50 overs expected of them before six o'clock. The match started at 2.30 and finished at 9.58, Australia's victory being greeted by a firework display.
Man of the Match: R. B. Kerr. Attendance: 82,494.
© John Wisden & Co