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England won the fourth Test match by six wickets, so being successful in the rubber and regaining The Ashes.
They arrived in Brisbane in a fairly comfortable frame of mind, having proved victorious in two of the three Tests already decided, and their cricket in this game proved from first to last better than that of the Australians.
Once more Jardine captained his side with remarkable skill, his management of his bowlers and his placing of the field being worthy of great praise. In this respect he certainly outshone Woodfull, who had under his command three new men, while in the England side Voce, who was unwell, stood down for Mitchell. Bromley and Darling were brought into the Australian eleven as left-handers likely to counteract the effect of Larwood's leg-theory bowling, and Love kept wicket as Oldfield was not well enough to take his usual place behind the stumps.
The Australians at times seemed to have more than a reasonable chance, but they failed to drive home a temporary advantage, and generally speaking they did not appear to be a well-balanced side, while there is no doubt that nearly all of them were overawed by Larwood. The match will always be memorable for the great part played in the victory of England by Paynter. Suffering from an affection of the throat, he left a sick-bed to bat, and put together a splendid innings of 83, while he enjoyed the additional satisfaction later on of making the winning hit with a six.
Woodfull again won the toss, and this time took in with him to open the Australian innings Victor Richardson. This move proved highly successful, for both men left the balls on the leg-side severely alone and thanks to their opening partnership of 133 Australia on the first day stayed in all the afternoon to make 251 for the loss of three wickets. This was indeed a good beginning for Australia. The English fielding was not so smart as in former matches, but Jardine made a fine catch to dismiss McCabe, while Mitchell justified his inclusion by bowling Woodfull late in the day. Richardson after lunch made some splendid hits and Bradman carried on the good work, being not out 71 when stumps were pulled up. Larwood did not take a wicket, but Verity kept an uncommonly good length while having only 32 runs hit off twenty-two overs. Woodfull played a characteristic innings, being in four hours for his 67. On the second day, the Australian innings closed a little after lunch time for 340, the last seven wickets thus falling for the addition of 89. In getting rid of Australia for less than 400 runs, the Englishmen could congratulate themselves. Larwood did great work in taking four wickets, bowling Bradman at 264 and Ponsford at 267. The quick dismissal of these two renowned batsmen meant a great deal to the visiting team. Bradman did not play at all well in the closing stages of his innings, drawing away more than once from Larwood's bowling. After that there was little of note in the batting. Darling and Bromley each made a few runs, the latter hitting out in rather care-free style. For the rest of the afternoon, Jardine and Sutcliffe occupied themselves in scoring 99 runs together without being separated. The third day did not go quite so well for England, for at the close England had eight men out for 271 and thus were still 69 runs behind. Everyone who went in reached double figures, but the batting of the Englishmen generally was timorous and many balls which looked to be perfectly safe to hit were allowed to escape. This negative kind of batting following the opening partnership of 114 runs, was disappointing. Hammond took an hour and a half to get 20; Wyatt was forty-seven minutes over 12; Leyland forty-five minutes for a similar number; Allen twenty-six minutes for 13,and Ames an hour and twenty-two minutes for 17. Against this Larwood hit up 23 out of 39 in thirty-three minutes. Paynter, ill and weak, obviously could not force matters, but he was 24 not out at the close of the day, and on the next morning he gave a superb exhibition. He scored the runs by a variety of splendid strokes while Verity kept up his end in manly fashion. Paynter was not dismissed until England were in front, and in the end England gained an advantage of 16 runs.
At Adelaide, Paynter and Verity put on 96 at a critical period; at Brisbane they added 92 runs in about two hours and thirty-five minutes. Paynter's display of patient and skilful batting was certainly one of the greatest examples of pluck and fortitude in the history of Test cricket. He was in for nearly four hours, and sent the ball ten times to the boundary. As near as possible England were batting ten hours for their total of 356, which on the face of it seemed absurd.
In the last two and a half hours of the day, however, they atoned for this by some splendid bowling and fielding so that Australia lost four wickets in their second innings for 108 and wound up only 92 runs in front. Richardson led off in rare style, and Bradman batted brightly before falling once more to Larwood at 79. For the second time in the match Mitchell dismissed Woodfull. Apart from Darling, who at a very critical point lost his wicket through a misunderstanding with Bromley, nobody did anything of consequence on the fifth day and soon after lunch Australia were all out for 175. Once more, the Australians showed what a long tail they had to their team, the last five men scoring between them only 16 runs.
England were thus left with only 160 to get, but with five scored Sutcliffe was out. Leyland then joined his captain and the two men stolidly played themselves in. There was one period of over an hour when Jardine did not score, playing in this time no less than eighty-two deliveries. Altogether he was in for two hours and ten minutes, he and Leyland adding 73 runs, and play ceased with the score at 107 for two wickets. On the last day the flags all round the ground were at half-mast owing to the death that morning of Archie Jackson. Hammond left at 118 and Leyland 20 runs later, but then Paynter and Ames hit off the balance and soon after the match was won rain came on and poured steadily for twelve hours. Nothing could have been finer than Leyland's batting. He only hit when it was safe to do so and by his strong defence and watchful methods he prevented the Australian bowlers from getting on top at what was after all a crucial period.