First Test Match

England v Australia

At Brisbane, November 30, December 1, 3, 4, 5. Drawn. For the first time in Australia-England matches, a Test at Brisbane failed to produce a definite result.

Australia eventually went reasonably close to winning, but England deserved to draw for their good fighting performance. Smith made his England debut, being preferred as wicket-keeper to Murray. He was the only newcomer to Test cricket in the match.

Benaud won the toss, but with some moisture in the pitch Australia began badly against Trueman, who, in his fiftieth Test, bowled with sustained hostility. He dismissed Lawry, O'Neill and Burge and also held two catches, having a hand in five of the first six wickets which fell for 194. At one point his figures were three for 29.

Booth and MacKay led the recovery. By the close of the first day Australia were 321 for seven, the seventh wicket producing 103. With the pitch easing Booth played a lovely fluent innings, full of neat drives, cuts and glides. His 112, which included fourteen 4's, took three hours, thirty-seven minutes.

Next morning, MacKay and Benaud took their partnership to 91, and although Knight finished with a spell of three for 10, Australia's last four wickets added 210.

Pullar and Sheppard, both missed early, gave England a useful start with 62, but the appearance of Benaud changed the situation. He dismissed both, and although Dexter played a fine innings of 70, including ten 4's, in two hours, he also bowled him before the close when England were 169 for four.

England made a good fight for the lead on the third day. Smith, sent in as overnight stop-gap, helped Barrington add 51, and Barrington and Parfitt put on 77. Further resistance came from Parfitt and Titmus in a stand of 64, but England finished 15 behind. Despite their care for most of the time several players were out to rash strokes. Benaud finished with six for 115.

Parfitt batted just over four hours and Barrington held out for five minutes under four hours. England's total was their highest against Australia at Brisbane since 1928-29 and their best in a Test in Australia since 1946-47.

The pitch became extremely slow and Australia were never able to score as quickly as they hoped in the second innings. Simpson and Lawry occupied three hours over an opening stand of 136, but brisk fifties came from O'Neill and Harvey. Lawry's 98 took four hours, twenty minutes.

Benaud declared first thing on the last morning setting England to get 378 to win in six hours. They never stayed with the clock, but did well up to a point. Pullar, missed at the wicket when 13, helped Sheppard in a partnership of 114, the first opening three-figure stand by England in Australia since 1946-47.

Dexter, not quite so dominant at first, later hit fiercely and missed a century by one run. He batted two hours, forty-seven minutes and hit thirteen 4's. He and Barrington put on 66 at a run a minute, but the new ball curbed them, and when Dexter, Barrington and Parfitt left in quick succession Australia had a chance of winning.

Benaud crowded nine men round the bat in the hope of taking the last four wickets in twenty-seven-minutes, but Titmus and Knight held out. Attendance 61,986. Receipts £A26,811.

© John Wisden & Co