First Test Match

ENGLAND v. AUSTRALIA. 1924-25

Played at SYDNEY, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, December 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27.--After a prolonged struggle which established a record by lasting into the seventh day, Australia won the first Test match by 195 runs. Their batting proved far more consistent than that of England and this difference mainly accounted for the result. To emphasise this fact, it may be pointed out that in England's first innings eight men made only 41 runs between them, while in the second the aggregate for six men totalled no more than 14. Australia began well in each innings and their batsmen offered a stout resistance until the very last. Collins and Ponsford, by putting on 190, placed Australia in a happy position and though times came when England's batsmen obtained a mastery, there never seemed any likelihood of Australia being really hard-pressed. Hobbs and Sutcliffe distinguished themselves greatly by starting each innings with a three figure partnership. When they made 157 together, Australia's total of 450 which had occupied eight hours and a half did not appear unbeatable, but of the other batsmen only Hendren played up to form. The next best stand was 33 for the fifth wicket, and though 200 went up with only four men out, the last five wickets fell for 63 runs. Kilner did not play and late in the innings the want of such a capable left-handed batsman was severely felt, particularly as Hearne, Sandham and Woolley had all failed. Arthur Richardson and Taylor were the great batsmen in Australia's second innings. Richardson this time went in first with Bardsley while Taylor was number eight on the list. Mailey helped to put on 127 for the last wicket and, though England had got eight men out for 286, they were set the overwhelming task of making 605 in the last innings. Only once before had a side been asked to do so much, and it was not surprising that England failed after a gallant effort. Hobbs and Sutcliffe gave their side another fine lead, their partnership this time producing 110 runs. Gilligan, like Collins, changed his order, Chapman going in second wicket down, This batsman did a little hitting, and Woolley who followed Hendren played a great innings which brought the aggregate of individual hundreds in the match up to six--three for each side. Freeman helped his Kent colleague to add 128, but this stand came too late to retrieve the situation. Woolley played the most attractive innings of the match. Although troubled by a weak knee, he scored his 123 in two hours and a half, hitting a 6 and fifteen 4's. Gregory and Mailey bowled too well for most of the England batsmen, but they were surpassed by Tate, who did superb work in taking eleven wickets for 228 runs and had exasperating luck in often just missing the stumps. Ponsford and Sutcliffe both enjoyed the special satisfaction of playing a three-figure innings when first appearing in a Test match. Hobbs scored his seventh Test match 100, beating MacLaren's record, and Taylor enjoyed this success for the first time in a match of this kind. Never before had 400 runs been scored in the last innings of a Test match. England fielded most brilliantly and Strudwick showed his best form behind the wicket. Oldfield was extremely good for Australia. The match aroused enormous interest, over 47,000 people witnessing the first day's play. The total attendances amounted to 163,500 and the receipts were £16,300.

© John Wisden & Co