Third Test match

Australia v England 1924-25

Toss: Australia. Test debuts: England - W.W.Whysall.

Having suffered two defeats, England needed to win the third Test match to have a chance of success in the rubber. They made a glorious fight, but lost by 11 runs. Fortune proved very unkind or the result must have been different. The luck of winning the toss again was neutralised when Australia lost Collins, Gregory and Taylor for 22 runs and could Tate and Gilligan have gone on bowling, there is no telling what might have happened. Unhappily a sore toe compelled Tate to leave the field and Gilligan strained his left thigh. Tate managed to bowl a little more, but Gilligan did not return to the field, Chapman taking over the duties of captain. Arthur Richardson, who had opened the innings in the absence of Bardsley, played finely, but though Ponsford helped to add 92, six wickets were down for 119. Then, at the crisis, Andrews and Ryder came together and put on 136, while in all the last four wickets realised no less than 370 runs. Ryder carried out his bat after showing remarkable defence and sound hitting for six hours and a half, with the distinction of being the one batsman to play an innings of 200 in this series of Test matches.

How well the Englishmen worked under their disadvantages is shown by the length of Australia's innings - it lasted eight hours and three quarters. Going in late on the second day, England changed their batting order and lost Whysall and Strudwick while 36 runs were scored. Hobbs and Hendren alone became thoroughly set on the third day. Hobbs and Sutcliffe were together for two hours, and on the fourth day Hobbs completed his ninth 100 in Test cricket, but after he lost Hendren, the Surrey batsman received little help. Freeman had been off the field during part of Australia's first innings, but he was able to give Kilner and Woolley some help in the endeavour to dismiss Australia for a moderate total in the second innings. Ryder going in first wicket down again made the highest score for the home country. Torrents of rain in the night altered the conditions so completely that Woolley and Kilner obtained the last seven Australian wickets for 39 runs in an hour, Kilner taking four for 14, and Woolley three for 25. To that extent, England were helped, but they did not have a perfect pitch on which to play the last innings. They required 375 for victory and, reverting to their proper batting order, they struggled to the bitter end, failing to accomplish their task by a matter of 12 runs.

Hobbs and Sutcliffe put on 63 together and Whysall was partner with the Yorkshireman on the fourth evening when the score was 133 for three wickets. Chapman made another stand with Whysall, 89 runs coming at the rate of one a minute. So the struggle went on until play ceased on the Thursday evening with the game in a most exciting position, England wanting 27 to win with two wickets to fall. Gilligan and Freeman were partners and with nine runs added, the England captain left. He had batted an hour and fifty minutes for 31 runs - a remarkable display of patience for a player of his temperament. Freeman also played well, but when he and Strudwick had added six, a catch at the wicket off Mailey brought the innings and match to a close and the Test match honours remained with Australia. There was a scene of tremendous enthusiasm at the finish. The total attendance amounted to 103,617, the number of people paying being 73,572 and the takings realising £10,794.

© John Wisden & Co