Second Test match

England v Australia 1926

Played at Lord's Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, June 26, 28, 29. Drawn. In marked contrast to the dismal experience at Nottingham, the Test match at Lord's was favoured with splendid weather on all three days, while, so great was the public interest in the struggle, that even with the gates closed on Saturday when several more thousand people could have been safely admitted, the ticket holders and those passing through the turnstiles numbered 72,976 in all.

The game, although drawn, produced a great batting triumph for England who going in against a total of 383, headed that score by 92 runs and lost only three wickets. Australia, indeed, were only saved from disaster by a masterly display on the part of Warren Bardsley, who, carrying his bat right through the tourists' innings, put together a score of 193 - the highest individual total ever registered in a Test match at Lord's. Compelled, owing to the failure of so many of his colleagues, to exercise great restraint, Bardsley did not really attempt anything in the nature of a drive until after three o'clock in the afternoon and he took nearly two hours to make his first 50, but even if he did not begin too well his skill in timing and glancing the ball on the leg side and in cutting square and late was most marked. Altogether he batted rather more than six hours and a half, gave a chance at the wicket when 112 and hit thirteen 4's, eight 3's, and twenty-three 2's. In carrying his bat right through an innings, he accomplished a feat which in Test matches had been performed only twice previously - by J. E. Barrett at Lord's in 1890 and by Abel at Sydney in 1891-92 - and in making 193 he obtained the second highest score in any Australia and England match in this country.

Collins made a sad mistake at the start of Australia's innings in dealing with a ball from Root, but Macartney, while beginning and finishing quietly, batted brilliantly at one period and helped Bardsley to add 73. Woodfull, Andrews, Gregory and Taylor, however, all failed, with the result that there were six men out for 208 while, had Strudwick taken the chance Bardsley offered, there would have been seven wickets down for 215. Bardsley escaping, Richardson, without becoming really master of the situation, helped to put on 74 and then Ryder remained to assist in adding 56 during the last hour of the day. The England attack, if never deadly, came through a severe ordeal with distinct credit, for its quality was well maintained. The fielding, while sound, rather lacked dash in some instances but no-one could have worked more brilliantly than Hendren. Carr, Chapman, Kilner, Larwood and Sutcliffe all strove untiringly. The King was present for two or three hours in the afternoon and all the players enjoyed the honour of being presented to His Majesty.

Early on Monday morning it was discovered that, someone having connected the hose with the water supply, water had saturated a considerable area of the ground and had wetted a narrow piece of turf in the middle of the pitch. This happening might, of course, have been very serious, but it did not delay the resumption of the game for more than ten minutes. Australia carried their score of 338 for eight wickets to 383, Oldfield assisting in a partnership of 41.

Facing a total of nearly four hundred, England had a formidable task in front of them but Hobbs and Sutcliffe rose to the occasion in masterly fashion, withstanding Australia's bowling for three hours and a quarter and raising the total to 182. In putting on over a hundred for the first wicket they accomplished a performance which had rewarded their efforts in Australia upon four occassions. The two batsmen, with Hobbs completing his 50, brought the score up to 77 in seventy minutes before lunch. Afterwards matters still went so well with England that 150 was on the board in about two hours, but subsequently Hobbs held himself back in such strange fashion that he took an hour to raise his score from 90 to 100. Admittedly the leg theory bowling was very accurate and the fielding keen, yet it is difficult to think that, whatever the nature of the attack on a good wicket, Hobbs could not have pushed along more vigorously. Overshadowed at first by Hobbs, Sutcliffe afterwards carried off the honours in an admirable 82 which included eleven 4's. Following upon Sutcliffe's dismissal, Hobbs at 219 fell to a brilliant running catch. Batting for five hours, Hobbs, in scoring his first 90 runs, was seen at his best, but afterwards played like a tired man. His 119 - only his second hunred in a Test match against Australia in this country - included fourteen 4's. During the last hour on Monday Woolley and Hendren hit up 78, and England left off with 297 on the board and two men out. Next day England in two hours and a half before lunch added 178 runs and lost only Woolley's wicket. To begin with Woolley and Hendren increased the total to 359, their partnership producing 140 runs, and then Hendren and Chapman without being separated put on 116 more. Woolley played a delightful innings which was quite free from fault, and had thirteen 4's as its chief strokes. Hendren making his first three-figure score in a Test match against Australia, batted splendidly. Playing himself in carefully, he afterwards missed no chance of punishing a loose ball and hit eighteen 4's.

England at lunch time with the wicket in good order were only 92 runs ahead but, to the general surprise, Carr declared. What idea the England captain entertained was difficult to discover. The course he took merely gave the Australians batting practice. Certainly a catch in the slips soon disposed of Gregory, but Collins, content to keep his end up, stayed nearly two hours and a half for 24. Happily for the spectators what threatened to be a very dull finish was redeemed by a delightful display of batting on the part of MacArtney who scored all round the wicket, gave no chance and hit twelve 4's. In the course of the three days only eighteen wickets went down and 1,052 runs were obtained.

© John Wisden & Co