Third Test

Australia v England

Toss: England.

Illness put Simpson out of the Australian side again, and Booth, as in Brisbane, was the captain. On a pitch which turned more and more in favour of spin bowlers the toss was the decisive event.

Barber's greatest innings of the tour and his opening stand of 234 with Boycott made certain that England would not lose the advantage of batting first. Again Australia paid a heavy price for dropping Boycott early.

He was missed at backward short leg off the luckless McKenzie when he was 12. In two hours before lunch he and Barber made 93 off 36 overs. In the next two hours before Boycott at last fell to Philpott's leg spin they added 141.

When Barber was second out at 303 he had batted four minutes under five hours and hit nineteen 4's in an innings of magnificent aggression, a match-winning innings.

His wicket started Hawke on a splendid new ball spell which swept aside England's middle batting. In eight overs he took three for 14, and with his first ball on the second morning he also dismissed Brown.

Despite his fine bowling -- seven for 105 in conditions which did not materially help pace -- England made an unassailable total, for Edrich scored a second successive Test century in almost four and a quarter hours. Finally Allen, who made his not out 50 in eighty-eight minutes, and Jones put on 55 for the last wicket in 12 overs.

On a wearing pitch Australia were always struggling after a second-wicket stand of 81 by Thomas and Cowper. Thomas revealed his wide range of beautiful strokes while making 51 of those runs with seven 4's in just under one and three-quarter hours. Cowper by contrast batted four hours, ten minutes for 60 and meekly played his side into the hands of the English fast bowlers, Jones and Brown.

On his return to the side, after recovering from muscular trouble, Brown took three wickets in his first over with the new ball at 174 and finished with five for 63.

In the follow-on the off spin of Allen and Titmus was decisive on a broken pitch. The longest stand was 46 for the first wicket by Thomas and Lawry, but Walters was again responsible for the best batting. For two hours he played the turning ball with rare skill, and so for the third time running he came off splendidly when his side were in difficulties.

Sincock, the left-arm spinner who was brought in to increase Australia's attacking spin on the Sydney pitch, had an unfortunate match as a bowler, but in both innings he batted with admirable determination.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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