Fifth Test Match

Ailing England slump again

England virtually lost before play began for a car accident in which Loader and Statham were hurt ruled these two out of consideration.

Benaud, with four fast bowlers given him by the Australian selectors, put England in and his policy was fully justified -- the first occasion victory had attended a captain who put his rivals in since J.W.H.T. Douglas did so in 1911-12.

Lindwall broke Grimmett`s long-standing Australian record of 216 Test wickets, and wicket-keeper Grout equalled Don Tallon's record of twenty victims in an England- Australia series.

May's worries with his players' injuries came to a head in this game, for during the course of the match both Bailey and Laker became unfit to bowl. England left out Lock and gave Mortimore his chance. Also, with Watson breaking down with groin trouble when bowling in the nets the day before, Dexter came into the side.

Bailey was out in Lindwall's first over and May fell at 13. Both were victims of balls which kicked, Bailey falling at slip and May at gully to his rival captain. Fortunately for England, Richardson was at his best. Getting well behind the ball he met the fast bowlers firmly and by lunch he and Cowdrey had advanced the score to 53.

A good low slip catch sent back Cowdrey but another breakdown, with Graveney, who made some good strokes, Dexter, Swetman and Richardson quickly falling, put heavy responsibility on Mortimore. When he lost Richardson, who batted well for three and a half hours, Mortimore, after surviving early mistakes, drove and pulled confidently and shared with Trueman in an unbroken partnership to the close of 63.

England's expectations of a reasonably good total were soon dashed next day when Trueman skied a return catch off the second ball which lifted from the pitch that had sweated again through late uncovering after showers. England were out for the addition of 14 runs to the overnight 191 for seven. Mortimore took out his bat after one more scoring stroke -- a glance for three off Benaud, who disposed of Trueman and Tyson for six runs in his first fifteen deliveries.

Australia, once more, were given a useful start by McDonald and Burke. Both had uneasy moments against Trueman and Tyson, and McDonald received the benefit of the doubt when after he had glanced Trueman to the fine-leg boundary his leg-bail was noticed to be on the ground. Swetman, who had been standing well back, appealed. Wright, the bowler's umpire, referred the matter to Townsend, the umpire who replaced the retired McInnes, and a not-out decision was given.

The opening pair were together for nearly eighty minutes before Burke fell at short square-leg and fortunes changed dramatically when Trueman, with the third and fourth balls of his eighth over, had Harvey caught at wicket and O'Neill, for a duck, at gully.

McDonald and MacKay struggled against Trueman to tea, but afterwards May, to general surprise, re-opened with Laker, whose fitness had been in doubt because of a high temperature and sore throat, and Bailey. With their chief menace removed, the Australian fourth pair settled down and, though not hurrying, gained a grip which Trueman, recalled twenty minutes from the close, failed to shake off despite bowling a series of bumpers.

McDonald, whose driving, cutting and glancing brought him the majority of his runs, needed two more runs for his hundred when Trueman bowled the last over of the day but he failed to get them. Mortimore, in his first Test bowl, kept a steady length in sending down four overs for eight runs.

The third day began promisingly enough for England with Graveney diving at forward short-leg and brilliantly catching MacKay, but McDonald, after reaching his century, was let off behind the wicket off Laker when 103. He went on to make another 30 runs and bring his stay to five hours and forty minutes before he chopped a catch to slip. He hit seven 4's.

Instead of the new ball bringing England gains, the fast attack suffered severe punishment at the hands of Benaud and Grout, who used the hook as his main scoring stroke, in a lively stand of two and a quarter hours. England's groundwork during this partnership was often slack and Grout made the most of field placings which allowed him to exploit his favourite stroke with impunity. He hit eight 4's.

Trueman sent back Lindwall and Meckiff in one over, but Benaud, with Rorke last man in, monopolised the strike and Australia reached 351 before their captain skied a catch which Swetman took at short square-leg. Laker bowled many good overs and Mortimore took his first Test wicket at a cost of 17 runs.

England needed 146 to avoid defeat in an innings and when Lindwall, without a run on the board, yorked Bailey and beat Grimmett's record of 216 Test wickets the enthusiasm of the Australians and their supporters overflowed. The scenes were repeated when Lindwall had May caught at slip and England, overplayed during one of their worst days of the tour, finished 124 behind with eight wickets standing.

With defeat staring them in the face, England made a great effort on the fourth day. Cowdrey trounced Davidson with perfectly timed strokes and hit seven 4's before he was run out from a swift throw by O'Neill from point.

Benaud, who because of a torn muscle had not intended to bowl before lunch, put himself on just before the interval and beat the painstaking Richardson. Swetman fell lbw, but Graveney cut Davidson and averted and innings defeat. Graveney defended soundly and with stylish drives and glances passed his previous best score of the series before Harvey smartly caught him low at slip. Trueman began quietly, but after Rorke had sent back Mortimore and Tyson, Trueman brought the crowd to their feet by taking 14, including three 4's, in an over off Davidson and by hitting Benaud and Rorke for two other boundaries. Then the young right-hand fast bowler beat him and ended the innings. Grout kept wicket splendidly and by catching Dexter and Tyson equalled Tallon's record of twenty wickets against England.

Australia wanted only 69 runs to win and McDonald, in company with Burke, scored all 15 obtained before the close. The end of the series soon came on the fifth morning, for Australia won without any trouble, scoring the remaining 54 runs required in fifty minutes.

The lighthearted and jubilant crowd, most of them admitted at half-price, swarmed on to the pitch and surrounded McDonald who hit seven 4's in his brisk 51. The game, which ended just before one o'clock, drew a total attendance of 134,297 and receipts of £A25,461.

© John Wisden & Co