First Test match

Australia v England 1920-21

Though the first Test Match ended in disaster for them, the Englishmen started uncommonly well, bowling and fielding so finely that the Australians took the whole of the first afternoon to score 250 for eight wickets. The great chance for England came the next day, but it was hopelessly missed. In facing a modest total of 267 the team were in a far better position than they could have expected, and when 140 went up with only three men out the prospect was very hopeful. So dismally did the batting collapse, however, that the innings was all over for 190. Hobbs and Woolley alone showed much ability to deal with the skilful bowling, Hendren, in scoring his 28, being let-off in the slips when he had made a single. For the failure in batting there was no forgiveness. Going in for the second time with a lead of 77 the Australians before the drawing of stumps on the second day scored 46 without loss, and on Monday they carried their total to 332 for five wickets. Following up his 70 in the first innings Collins gave a splendid display, hitting ten 4's and completing his hundred in just over three hours and a half. MacArtney, after a curiously slow start, was very brilliant. The most remarkable cricket of the match came on the fourth day, Armstrong playing a magnificent innings. Getting runs at the rate of 45 an hour, he scored 158 in less than three hours and a half out of the 246 put on while he was in. His hits included seventeen 4's, most of them splendid drives. For their huge total of 581 the Australians were at the wickets just upon nine hours. The Englishmen were left with the impossible task of getting 659 to win and, considering their hopeless position, they did not do badly to score 281.

© John Wisden & Co