At Leeds, May 22. England won by six wickets. Toss: England.
England set the tone for the early part of the summer, overwhelming an under-prepared Australian side with a vibrant all-round performance. Even the announcement of the squad caused excitement; it included both Hollioake brothers, though 19-year-old Ben was omitted from this match, along with Crawley, Giles and Silverwood. When the game started, on a gloomy Yorkshire morning, they seized the initiative at once through a menacing opening spell by Gough. Then Ealham and Croft, who conceded only 16 in ten overs, turned the screw with the help of some outstanding fielding - Atherton and Ealham held spectacular one-handed catches, while Bevan, Australia's top scorer with 30, was efficiently run out by Thorpe. Chasing 171 to win, England's upper order did their best to fritter the advantage away by collapsing to 40 for four. But Thorpe was more composed; he built a commanding, unbeaten partnership of 135 with Hollioake, who finished the match with a pulled six off Gillespie.
Man of the Match: A. J. Hollioake. Attendance: 16,141; receipts £460,013.