Second Test Match

England v Australia

England won with an hour and a quarter to spare after a thrilling struggle throughout.

Only on the last day when England won with plenty in hand did one side take command. The rest of the match was a tremendous battle for supremacy with each side gaining and losing the initiative several times.

Australia were unchanged, but England included Graveney and Coldwell for Parfitt and Knight. Dexter lost the toss again, but Australia batted badly on the first day, losing their first six wickets for 164 on a good pitch.

The dismissal of O'Neill, Harvey and Lawry in the course of fifteen balls was the turning point of the day. In hot humid conditions, the England bowlers could not follow up their success, but were well satisfied with the Australian score of 263 for seven. Next morning the last three wickets went for 53.

When Sheppard fell to the fourth ball and Pullar was out at 19, England looked in trouble, but Cowdrey and Dexter shared an excellent stand of 175 in three hours, eighteen minutes. Dexter, for the second Test innings running, was out in the 90's. Cowdrey, missed off a hard chance at slip when 56, was 94 not out at the close of the second day when England were 210 for three.

He and Barrington carried their stand to 60, but both were out in successive overs. Cowdrey's 113 took four and a half hours. Despite a well-played innings by Graveney, England's last six wickets fell for 77 and their lead was restricted to 13. Davidson proved too much for the later batsmen and finished with six for 75.

Australia's hopes of making a big second innings total were soon shattered by Trueman. Bowling extremely fast, Trueman, in a fine fourth over, dismissed Simpson and O'Neill with successive balls. When Harvey was run out going for a fourth run and Burge bowled, Australia were 69 for four.

Lawry and Booth took the score to 105 by the close and stayed together until the last ball before lunch next day. They were extremely slow and added only 92 in three hours. Lawry batted just over six hours for 57, rarely trying an attacking stroke. The pitch was slow, but this did not excuse the refusal to make shots.

Dexter showed wise tactics in holding back Trueman for the tail-enders and with the new ball he caused another breakdown. Booth completed his second century in successive Tests with the last man in and batted six hours, forty-eight minutes for 103.

England, needing 234 to win, lost Pullar overnight to a wonderful catch by Jarman, who held a leg-glide a full stretch along the ground. Next morning, England gained full control. Sheppard and Dexter shared a fine stand of 124 in two hours and three-quarters. Then Sheppard and Cowdrey added 104 in two hours, five minutes. Sheppard, thrown out when going for the winning run, amply redeemed some indifferent fielding and his failure to score in the first innings. He drove exceptionally well for five hours. The Australian bowlers failed to take a wicket on the last day, but Sheppard was dropped at the wicket when 78 and Cowdrey missed at slip when 7.

England thoroughly deserved their first victory in Australia since 1954-55, showing better tactics and more aggression. Only in ground fielding did Australia match them.

The attendance reached 247,831, with almost 70,000 present on the first day. The receipts of £A68,018 were a record for any match in Australia.

© John Wisden & Co