Third Test Match

Australia v England

Australia won by eight wickets with more than a day and a half remaining. Until England collapsed badly at the start of their second innings the game was fought out evenly and a fine struggle seemed in prospect.

England had to leave out Graveney, who developed a virus infection on the eve of the match, and re-introduced Parfitt. Murray was preferred as wicket-keeper to Smith. Australia omitted Burge and Mackay; Shepherd and Guest made their Test debuts.

Dexter won the toss for the first time, and after Sheppard left at four, England batted carefully. Pullar and Dexter added 61 in eighty-five minutes, and Pullar and Cowdrey put on 67 in one hundred minutes. Pullar, on a slow pitch and outfield, found it difficult to get the ball away and stayed almost three and a half hours for 53.

The brightest and best batting came from Cowdrey and Barrington, who shared a stand of 69 in fifty-six minutes. After tea they made 40 in twenty-three minutes, taking the total to 201 for three.

At that stage England looked well placed, but Davidson and Simpson caused a collapse, seven wickets being down for 221. Cowdrey batted two hours, forty minutes for a well-played 85.

Titmus and Trueman took the total to 256 by the close and next morning increased their partnership to 51, but England were out for 279. Simpson finished with five for 57, easily his best in a Test Match.

A fine diving leg-side catch by Murray quickly accounted for Lawry, but he hurt his shoulder while falling and a little later left the field. Parfitt went behind the stumps for the rest of the match.

Simpson and Harvey put Australia well on top with a second wicket stand of 160, although Harvey was never comfortable and gave chances when 2 and 32. Titmus ended the partnership and put England back in the game with a remarkable spell of four wickets for 5 runs in 58 deliveries. He turned the ball only a little, but baffled the batsmen by clever variation of pace, flight and length.

Australia ended the second day at 212 for five, Simpson having batted four hours for 91. Titmus remained menacing after the week-end's rest, and Australia were only 1 run ahead when the ninth wicket fell. They turned the tables with a last stand of 39 between Shepherd and Guest and never again lost control. Titmus had final figures of seven for 79, the best by an England slow bowler in Australia since J. C. White took eight for 126 at Adelaide in 1928-29.

Australia, 40 ahead, virtually won the game when Davidson, in a magnificent spell with the new ball, dismissed Pullar, Dexter and Sheppard in 25 balls. Cowdrey fell to Benaud's first delivery, which lifted, and England were still 3 behind with four wickets gone. Simpson, who had a fine all-round match, helped in the collapse by holding three successive catches at first slip.

Nobody could stop the rot and at the end of the third day England were 86 for six. Murray, handicapped by his damaged shoulder, made no attempt to score and batted seventy-four minutes before obtaining his first run. He stayed one hundred minutes and took out his bat for 3.

The four remaining wickets went for 18, Davidson finishing the innings with two wickets in six balls. He returned the excellent figures of nine for 79 in the match. England's 104 was their lowest total for four years.

Australia had the modest task of scoring 65 to win, and, despite a short delay through rain, the game was over thirty-six minutes after lunch. When the total was 63 hundreds of youngsters, thinking the match had ended, swarmed over the ground chasing souvenirs and had to be sent back by the police and the umpires. Three hours later persistent rain set in and continued for most of the night and next morning. Benaud's two wickets enabled him to become the leading Australian wicket-taker, beating Lindwall's 228.

The attendance was 166,626 and the receipts of £A39,924 17s. were a record for Sydney. The first-day gate of 54,476 was the highest on the ground since 1928, and more than 50,000 were present on the second day.

© John Wisden & Co