Second Test match

England v New Zealand 1937

At Manchester, July 24, 26, 27. England won by 130 runs. Though England triumphed in the end by a comfortable margin, they stood in grave danger of defeat at noon on the third day when seven men were out for 75. Then New Zealand committed shocking fielding mistakes for which there was no forgiveness. F. R. Brown, who rescued England from a perilous position, was dropped four times and the eighth and ninth wicket partnerships yielded 111 runs. Consequently, instead of wanting about 160 to win, New Zealand faced the task of making 265 in the fourth innings and their batsmen found this beyond their powers.

England, in an effort to strengthen the bowling, made four changes, Goddard, Brown, Wellard and Smith replacing Gover, Verity, J. H. Parks and Voce, while New Zealand brought in Gallichan for Roberts, who was suffering from a strained shoulder.

Throughout the three days the weather was cold and depressing and at various times showers held up the game. From England's point of view the most satisfactory aspect of the cricket on Saturday was the success of Hutton in hitting a century in his second Test and the scoring of a hundred runs before England lost a wicket. The three-figure opening stand set up by Hutton and Barnett was the first for England since R. E. S. Wyatt and D. Smith made 128 against South Africa at Leeds in 1935.

Staying over an hour and a half, Barnett overshadowed Hutton in freedom of stroke play and hit splendidly through the covers before he misjudged the flight of the ball and was caught at mid-on. Had the outfield been faster, Barnett undoubtedly would have scored more runs. Hutton's score was only 34 when Barnett left, but afterwards the young Yorkshireman revealed plenty of strokes. He reached 50 in two hours, but he doubled his score in the next eighty minutes. Except that he lifted a ball to cover when 75, Hutton made all his strokes soundly. Drives and clean hits through the covers brought him most of his runs which included eight 4's.

Hardstaff, who with Hutton put on 128 for the second wicket, did not shape so confidently as in the first Test. Slow bowling appeared to trouble him, but occasionally he flashed out a drive in his own effortless way. Nor was Hammond in his best form, although he and Paynter stayed together nearly an hour and added 65. At one point England had 296 runs on the board with only three men out, but the later batsmen hit recklessly and six wickets fell for 62 more runs before the first day's play ended. Smith, who with Wellard, was playing in his first Test, hit the only six of the day - a terrific drive at the expense of Gallichan - and made other powerful strokes.

There was little rain over the weekend, and England, declaring first thing Monday morning, found the pitch and outfield much quicker. By one o'clock, thanks mainly to Wellard's fast bowling, half the New Zealand side were dismissed for 119. Vivian alone looked comfortable and for two hours he batted extremely well, excelling with the drive. When 20 Vivian offered a very hard chance off Goddard to Robins behind the bowler and England's captain dislocated the index finger of his bowling hand. Immediately afterwards Robins, fielding in the slips, stopped a crisp cut from Vivian and split the third finger of the same hand. He left the field and though he soon returned he could not bowl and did not send down a ball in the match.

New Zealand appeared to be in a sorry plight when Vivian left, but Hadlee, who had accomplished little up to that stage of the tour, rose to the occasion. Hitting anything pitched up to him, he punished all the bowlers. If he made a few streaky strokes at the beginning of his innings, Hadlee did little else wrong until he slipped in forcing a ball off his legs and trod on his wicket. He scored 93 out of 137 in two and a quarter hours and was very unlucky in failing to reach a century. A grand display such as he gave deserved that reward. His chief hits were ten 4's.

Page played a valuable restrained innings by staying while the sixth wicket put on 99, but once Hadlee left New Zealand were soon out. Wellard was the most impressive England bowler in this innings. He worked hard, kept a splendid length in making the batsmen attempt strokes, and bowled with plenty of life. Smith pitched a shorter length and did not cause much trouble to batsmen who were content to watch him carefully.

England went in again after half-past five, and, trying to force runs in inferior light against sound bowling, were soon in trouble. Barnett, Hutton and Hammond were out for 29 and further disasters were probably avoided when Paynter successfully appealed against the light with the total 37 for three wickets. Tuesday provided an abundance of thrills. England resumed batting in excellent conditions, but Paynter, after playing a defensive game quite foreign to his usual style, left at 46 and Hardstaff, attempting a leg glance, played on. By this time England were in distress and New Zealand pressed home the advantage quickly by disposing of Robins and Wellard. As previously stated, that meant seven wickets were down for 75 and England stood only 152 runs ahead.

It was at this stage that Brown joined Ames in a stand which yielded 72 in fifty minutes. The Surrey amateur began with three sparkling drives to the boundary, and was badly missed off Cowie by first slip. Next Brown, when 17, was dropped off Dunning by square leg and he offered further chances to Dunning and Vivian before, at 186, Cowie knocked down his off stump. If lucky, Brown, by his powerful driving and clean cutting, put a different complexion on matters. Actually he scored 57 out of 111 in seventy minutes and besides a 6 off Gallichan hit eight 4's. The steady batting of Ames at the crisis was of great value, and as in the first innings, Smith provided entertainment with some hard smiting which included a magnificent 6 over the sight screen at the expense of Vivian. The New Zealand bowling honours went to Cowie, who in the match dismissed ten men for 140 runs. He always bowled at the stumps and considering he was sometimes handicapped by the slow pitch and wet ball, his was a masterly performance.

As four hours remained, New Zealand had ample time to hit off the 265 runs they needed to win. Vivian and Moloney gave them an excellent send-off, but at 50 Moloney, called for a single and then sent back by his partner, failed to get home before Paynter returned the ball to Wellard, the bowler, who broke the wicket. From that point the fortunes of the match rapidly changed in England's favour. Goddard, who could not turn the ball on Monday, found the wearing pitch responsive to his off-break. Going on at 54, he bowled until the end of the match and, completely baffling the opposition, he took six wickets for 29 runs. Apart from Vivian, who was fourth out at 94, Donnelly alone offered real resistance, and England gained a somewhat fortunate victory shortly after five o'clock

This was the first definite result to a Test match played at Manchester since England beat South Africa in 1929 by an innings and 32 runs. Owing to the bad weather the attendances were small, scarcely 15,000 people, including members, being present during the three days.

© John Wisden & Co