The Third Test of the tour, in which England - well on top when an innings had been completed on each side - were victorious by no fewer than 338 runs, will go down to history as probably the most unpleasant ever played.
So hostile was the feeling of the Australian public against Jardine that on the days before the game started people were excluded from the ground when the Englishmen were practising. As Jardine won the toss and England batted first nothing out of the common occurred to begin with, but later on, when Australia went in and Woodfull was hit over the heart again while Oldfield had to retire owing to a blow he received on the head, the majority of the spectators completely lost all hold on their feelings. Insulting remarks were hurled at Jardine, and when Larwood started to bowl his leg-theory he came in for his share of the storm of abuse. Not to put too fine a point on it, pandemonium reigned.
A passage of words between Pelham Warner and Woodfull in the dressing-room increased the bitter feeling prevalent in the crowd, and the dispatch of the cablegram protesting against body-line bowling served no purpose in whatever endeavours were made to appease tempers already badly frayed by the various happenings.
Altogether the whole atmosphere was a disgrace to cricket. One must pay a tribute to Jardine. He did not shrink from the line of action he had taken up; he showed great pluck in often fielding near to the boundary where he became an easy target for offensive and sometimes filthy remarks; and above all he captained his team in this particular match like a genius. Much as they disliked the method of attack he controlled, all the leading Australian critics were unanimous in their praise of his skill as a leader.
England made a dreadful start, four wickets going down in an hour for 30 runs and the score being 37 at lunch, but then came a stand which turned the course of the game and put England on the road to ultimate success. Leyland and Wyatt, if enjoying a certain amount of luck, batted, in the circumstances, uncommonly well while adding 156 in about two and a half hours. Leyland, who in the end played on, hit 13 fours in an innings which included many fine off-drives. Wyatt, whose hitting to square-leg brought him two or three sixes, left soon afterwards, but Paynter - included in the side for Pataudi - and Allen added a useful 32 runs, so that at the end of the day England had 236 on the board with seven men out. On the next morning Paynter continued to bat marvellously well, and Verity, who took Bowes's place in the England team, defended so manfully that the stand for the eighth wicket realised 96 runs in about two and a quarter hours. Paynter pulled and drove well, while his cutting and leg-glancing were almost as good.
England were all out soon after three o'clock for 341 and followed this up by getting down the first four Australian wickets for 51. It was during this time that Woodfull, ducking to avoid what he thought would be a rising ball, was hit on the body. Later, Ponsford and Richardson added 58 in the last seventy minutes, but Australia wound up 232 behind with six wickets to fall. Ponsford played a fine fighting innings, cutting very well and meeting the leg-theory form of attack in able style. He and Richardson put on 80 runs and Oldfield stayed for just over two hours when his active participation in the match was closed by a blow on the head by a ball from Larwood.
Australia finished their innings 119 behind, and although with one wicket down for 85 England lost Sutcliffe cheaply they stood, at the close of play, 204 runs ahead. On the fourth day, England placed themselves in such a position that they could not very well lose, and realising that their team was going to be beaten the Adelaide public who went to the ground were not nearly so noisy and insulting. Both Leyland and Wyatt made useful scores; Verity supplemented his 45 in the first innings with 40, while Jardine, Hammond and Ames by first-rate cricket all played important parts in carrying England towards victory. England wound up with six men out for 296 and were thus 415 runs ahead.
As the wicket showed definite signs of wear, the outlook for Australia was very gloomy. Jardine batted four hours and a quarter and did great work in wearing down the bowling. Hammond and Leyland accomplished some bright and fearless hitting, and altogether it was a very good day for the Englishmen. Ames and Verity adding 98 runs in just over two hours England in the end put together a total of 412 so that Australia were left to get 532 to win.
Before the fifth day's play ended, the home side lost four of their best batsmen for 120 runs and to all intents and purposes the game was as good as over. Australia in their last innings had Fingleton and Ponsford out with only 12 runs on the board, but then came an excellent stand by Woodfull and Bradman, 88 being put on in an hour and a quarter. Bradman was in first-rate form, hitting a six and ten fours, but just when he was becoming dangerous Verity caught him from a hard return.
On the last day of the match Richardson and Woodfull defended stubbornly for a time, but they were separated at 171, and then Allen and Larwood quickly finished off the innings for 193. The greatest praise is due to Woodfull who for the second time in his career in a Test match carried his bat through the innings. He was in for nearly four hours, making most of his runs from strokes on the leg-side. Throughout the match the Englishmen fielded well, while Allen bowled splendidly.