First Test

Australia v England

At Brisbane, December 10, 11, 13, 14, 15. Drawn. Back trouble kept McKenzie out of Australia's side and England were without Cowdrey. Russell was fit to play, but he split his right hand while fielding, and Boycott, who had been kept out of all but two of the first-class games by stomach trouble and sciatica, moved up from his intended position at number six to open with Barber. He seized the chance to re-establish himself in that position for the series by playing two sound innings.

Rain cut the first day's play to two and three-quarter hours and washed out the second.

Except briefly midway through the England first innings, a definite result was always out of the question, for Australia batted nearly nine and a half hours in the first innings, which ran into the fourth day.

Fine, lively bowling by Brown, who took the first three wickets for 45 in 12.6 overs, reduced Australia to 125 for four. Lawry and Walters then added 187 in even time. Lawry, obdurate as ever, batted seven hours, his stubborn defence punctuated by outbreaks of leg-side hitting and drives through extra cover, which brought him twenty 4's in his 166.

Walters, who became the ninth Australian to score a century in his first Test, and that in particularly testing circumstances, confirmed his class by his mature batting in an innings lasting five hours twenty-two minutes. With his quick footwork he played Barber's leg breaks particularly well. In one over he hit Barber for four 4's and later hooked him for 6. He also drove Titmus over mid-off for 6 and, in addition, hit eleven 4's.

England, unsettled by the leg spin of Philpott and the pace of Hawke and Allen, lost four wickets for 115, but Parks, who drove Veivers straight and to the off for three 6's, played such a fine attacking innings that his side afterwards was not in serious danger. Parks hit 52 in a stand of 76 with Barrington in sixty-eight minutes off 66 balls.

Barrington batted over three hours for 53, and Titmus played so resolutely and well for two hours, forty minutes that England did not follow-on 163 behind until mid-afternoon on the last day.

In the final innings Boycott, batting throughout the three and three-quarter hours, supplied the solidity while Barber, Edrich and Barrington, each of whom hit one 6, attacked successfully. Barber made his 34 off 37 balls in forty-five minutes, and Barrington, by contrast with his first innings, batted only fifty-four minutes for 38.

© John Wisden & Co