Fifth Test match

Australia v England 1924-25

So far from realising the hope that they might gain a second victory, England were completely outplayed and lost the last Test match by 307 runs. It seemed a good performance to dismiss seven of the Australians for 239 runs on the first day, but the batting improvement that came after half the home side had fallen for 103 was continued to the end. Ponsford and Kippax - the latter playing in his first Test match - put on 105 and so turned the fortunes of the game, but the Englishmen could feel satisfied that on a Sydney wicket only that one long stand was made against them. However, well as Tate and Kilner had bowled, Grimmett, the slow right-hander, came out with a far finer performance, the phenomenal success of the South Australian on first being chosen for Australia, standing out as the great achievement in the engagement and being unequalled in the Test cricket of the tour.

Grimmett in the match took eleven wickets for 82 runs, his individual triumph being so pronounced that practically nothing was needed from Mailey. Sutcliffe in scoring 22 raised his aggregate to 734 and so gained a record in one series of Tests by beating G. A. Faulkner's 732 when South Africa visited Australia in 1910-11. Oldfield by catching Hobbs wide on the leg side greatly influenced the course of the match. The immediate fall of their great batsman affected the whole England team. Then, going for a short run, Sandham lost his wicket through wonderful fielding by Grimmett and Gregory. The fast bowler took a hot return from cover-point and dislocated a finger of his right hand in putting down the wicket, but was able to resume - without, however, enjoying much success. From these disasters England did not recover. When Australia by steady batting added 325 to their lead of 128 England were required to play the best last innings of the Test matches.

Failure to accomplish this caused no wonder. The surprise was that the task should have been so heavy. Australia had seven men out for 207 but Kelleway and Oldfield put on 128 and the fall of the last three wickets at one total did not matter - the mischief was done. England faced their more than formidable task on a pitch which had enabled Tate to beat the record of Barnes by bringing up his aggregate of wickets in a Test match series to 38. As in the first innings a heavy blow came at once. Sutcliffe was beaten in Gregory's second over with three on the board and Grimmett got Hobbs stumped at 15. Bad light added to England's discomfiture and after a night's rain the last five wickets went down for 58 runs. Out of a total attendance of 103,213, 77,035 paid for admission and the takings were £9,519.

© John Wisden & Co