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Toss: England. Test debuts: England - G.O.B.Allen.
Beating England, after a memorable struggle, by seven wickets Australia took an ample revenge for their overthrow a fortnight previously at Trent Bridge. The batting of the Australians and particularly that of Bradman will assuredly live long in the minds of those who saw it but, while giving the visitors the fullest praise for winning so handsomely after having to face a first innings total of 425, it is only proper to observe that to a large extent England played right into the hands of their opponents. Briefly, the Englishmen lost a match, which, with a little discretion on the last day, they could probably have saved. The result of this encounter had a strong bearing on the rubber for, if England had made a draw and the Leeds and Manchester games ended as they did, the final match at the Oval would have been limited to four days. It can with truth be said, however, that the England bowling in no other game not only looked but actually was so entirely lacking in sting and effect.
Records went by the board. Australia, in putting together a total of 729 before declaring with only six wickets down, broke four - the highest score by Australia in England, 551 at Kennington Oval in 1884; the highest score by England in this country, 576 at the Oval in 1899; the highest score by Australia, 600 at Melbourne in 1924; and the highest score in the whole series of Test Matches, 636 by England at Sydney in December, 1928. Bradman himself, with a score of 254, played the second highest individual innings in the whole series of Test matches between England and Australia, while Duleepsinhji, not only made a hundred on the occasion of his first appearance in a Test match against Australia but scored the highest number of runs ever obtained by an England player in these matches at Lord's. There was one other notable point, A.P.F. Chapman, after leading England to victory six times, captaining the losing side. As some set off against that he enjoyed, for the first time in his career, the distinction of making a hundred in a Test match. In addition to Duleepsinhji, J.C.White and G.O.Allen came into the home team, Sutcliffe - owing to injury - Larwood and Richard Tyldesley standing down.
Chapman again won the toss and England, batting for five hours and fifty minutes, scored on the first day 405 runs for nine wickets. This, seeing that with the score only 13 Hobbs was out and that despite some delightful driving by Woolley and Hammond three wickets were down for 105, was a distinctly fine performance. Duleepsinhji and Hendren obtained the first real mastery over the attack, adding 104 runs in ninety minutes. The batting of these two after lunch was delightful, Duleepsinhji driving with fine power and Hendren scoring by cleverly executed strokes to the on. Chapman and Allen failing, the game took a strong turn in favour of Australia and, while the 200 had gone up with only three wickets down, six men were out for 239. Duleepsinhji, however, found a valuable partner in Tate who hit so hard as to make 54 out of 98 in seventy minutes with eight fours - chiefly drives - as his most important strokes. Duleepsinhji seemed certain to play out time after he had lost Robins at 363 but at quarter past six, with the score at 387, he was caught at long-off. It seems ungracious to say it, but Duleepsinhji was guilty of a bad error of judgment. He had twice driven Grimmett to the boundary in glorious fashion and in the same over lashed out wildly. Batting for four hours and three-quarters he gave a magnificent display. When the occasion demanded it he exercised restraint and at other times hit beautifully all round the wicket, having twenty-one fours among his strokes. His innings was not faultless, for at 65 he was missed at short-leg by Woodfull from a very simple chance, while at 98 he was let off by Wall at third slip. Had Duleepsinhji been patient and stayed in until the close of play there is no telling what would have been the subsequent course of events.
The next morning another 20 runs were added and then Australia, by skilful and judicious batting, remained in for the rest of the day and scoring 404 for the loss of only two batsmen left off no more than 21 runs behind - a very great performance. Tate bowled with great pluck and determination but, generally, the England attack was indifferent, Allen especially being innocuous and expensive. The Australians batted to a set plan, Woodfull and Ponsford steadily wearing down the bowling for Bradman later on to flog it. Nearly three hours were occupied over the first 162 runs, but in another two hours and three-quarters no fewer than 242 came. While in the end Bradman made most runs very great credit was due to Woodfull and Ponsford who, when England's bowling was fresh, put on 162 for the first wicket. Curiously enough the partnership terminated almost directly after a break in the play while the members of both teams were presented to the King in front of the pavilion, Ponsford, who had batted very soundly, being caught at slip. Woodfull, who was always restrained but who showed rare judgment, stayed in until twenty minutes past six, having withstood the attack for five hours and a half. His defence was remarkable and he scarcely ever lifted the ball but he enjoyed one great stroke of fortune. Just before the King arrived, Woodfull, with his score at 52 playing forward to Robins, dragged his foot over the crease. Duckworth gathered the ball and swept it back to the stumps but omitted to remove the bails. That little error cost England dear. Bradman, who went in when Ponsford was out and the bowling had been mastered, seized his opportunity in rare style and, hitting all round the wicket with power and accuracy, scored in two hours and forty minutes 155 runs and was not out at the close. The Englishmen fielded well and often brilliantly.
On the Monday, Australia kept England in the field for another four hours and a half and added 325 runs for the loss of four more batsmen before declaring their innings closed at the tea interval. The partnership between Bradman and Kippax which did not end until ten minutes to three when Bradman was caught right-hand at extra-mid-off, produced 192 runs in less than three hours. In obtaining his 254, the famous Australian gave nothing approaching a chance. He nearly played on at 111 and, at 191, in trying to turn the ball to leg he edged it deep into the slips but, apart from those trifling errors, no real fault could be found with his display. Like Woodfull, he scarcely ever lifted the ball and, while, his defence generally was perfect, he hit very hard in front of the wicket. Altogether he batted five and a half hours, his chief strokes being twenty-five fours, three threes, and twenty-six 2's. Kippax, who was in for three hours, left three runs later at 588, but England's troubles were not over, Richardson and McCabe adding 55, and Oldfield and Fairfax 57 in the last forty-five minutes before the closure was put into force. For their huge total Australia batted ten hours and ten minutes.
England thus found themselves requiring 304 runs to escape an innings defeat. At their second attempt they lost Hobbs at 45 and Woolley at 58 but in the last forty minutes Hammond and Duleepsinhji added 40 runs. The score was up to 129 the next morning before Hammond left but when, shortly before twelve o'clock, the fifth wicket fell at 147 England looked like losing in an innings. Indeed, but for an unaccountable misunderstanding between Richardson and Ponsford, this would probably have happened. Chapman, before he had scored, mishit a ball and the two fieldsmen mentioned stood and watched it fall to the ground between them. Eventually settling down, Chapman hit in rare style, being especially severe on Grimmett. Allen, too, batted with marked skill and aggression and 125 runs were added before he was out. It was about this time that, with a little care and thoughtfulness, England might have saved the game for at the luncheon interval, with, five men out, they had cleared off all but 42 of the arrears. So far from devoting their energies to defence they continued hitting away, adding another 113 runs in an hour and a quarter afterwards but losing their last five wickets. Chapman, eighth to leave at 354, obtained his runs in just over two hours and a half. Four sixes and twelve fours were among his strokes. He drove and pulled with tremendous power in a very wonderful display. A foolish call by Robins cost a valuable wicket when White was run out and the innings closed just before half-past three for 375.
Australia thus had to make only 72 to win but in twenty minutes there was much excitement. Ponsford was bowled at 16, Bradman caught low down at backward-point at 17, and Kippax taken at the wicket at 22. Visions of a remarkable collapse arose but Woodfull, exercising sound generalship by taking most of Robins' bowling himself, tided over an anxious period and by five o'clock he and McCabe had obtained the remaining runs. In the course of the four days, 110,000 people watched the cricket, the takings being roughly £14,500.
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