Test match

Australia v England 1878-79

The ground was largely attended, 7000 being present before the day was out. His Excellency the Governor, and Lady Bowen, and Lady Harris, were among the company who filled every place of vantage for witnessing the match, deemed by all one of the most important of the programme. Lord Harris won choice, and, after due thought, chose his side should bat, but his decision had hardly been given when rain fell freely for a short period. Mr. Lucas and Ulyett commenced the batting; and so unfortunately was it commenced and continued, that the second ball delivered Ulyett played on before a run was scored. With the score at six Mr. Webbe was bowled; at 10 Mr. Lucas was bowled; and at 14 Mr. Hornby was bowled.

Lord Harris stayed well, but when Mr. Royle had made three single's, Spofforth's bowling captured three wickets with three successive balls - the victims being Mr. Royle, Mr. Mackinnon, and Emmett, seven wickets being then down for 26 runs. Mr. Absolom was next in; he forthwith played his old, old game of knocking the ball all over the ground, and with Lord Harris, increased the score to 89, when Garrett bowled his lordship for 33 - a good innings; but Mr. Absolom continued hitting hard for the honour of the old land, until a capital catch at long field by A. Bannerman closed his score for 52, and England's innings for 113, Spofforth's bowling having taken 6 wickets (4 bowled) for 48 runs. Mr. Absolom's 52 was the biggest thing done with the bat for England in the match; his hits included five 4's, and both he, and his chief, Lord Harris, were as warmly, as they were deservedly, applauded.

Charles Bannerman and Murdoch began the Australian batting to the bowling of Ulyett and Emmett. Murdoch was soon settled. Charles Bannerman was out for 15, at 30; and when 37 had been scored Horan was had at wicket. Then A. Bannerman and Spofforth got together; Bannerman was missed by Mr. Hone at wicket before he had made a run, and Ulyett missed both batsmen, so they stayed together until 'time' was called, the score then standing at 93, Spofforth not out 35; A. Bannerman not out 23. (One of the team wrote home: "In fact I have seen more mistakes in these two matches in Melbourne than I expected to see in the time we were out. I can only account for it in the strong light here, the sky being so deep a blue that it dazzles our eyes, and you cannot judge a catch at all.")

Next day at noon the match was resumed, and when Spofforth had increased his score by four he was had by cover point. Garrett made 26, and was out at 131. And at 158 one of Mr. Hornby's grubs bowled Allan. Boyle stayed and helped A. Bannerman to make up the 200, the hoisting of which numbers elicited loud cheers, but shortly after Mr. Royle caught out Mr. Boyle for 28, mainly made by five 4's. Blackham and Kelly made brief stays, and when there was but one wicket to fall A. Bannerman played the ball on, and so was out for 73, the largest score hit in the match, and (after the chances) a fine innings that included eight 2's, four 3's, and seven 4's. Emmett bowled 59 overs for 68 runs, 7 wides, and 7 wickets.

The Englishmen's second innings was commenced by Mr. Lucas and Ulyett, to the bowling of Spofforth and Allan. They had made 26 runs, when Mr. Lucas was out from a capital catch by Boyle. Ulyett, Mr. Webbe, and Mr. Hornby were then quickly done with, four wickets being down for 34 runs; but Lord Harris and Mr. Royle stayed a bit; Mr. Royle was the first to leave, and just prior to 'time' Lord Harris was caught out for 36 - another good hit of batting, and the top score of that innings.

On the third day the English innings was resumed by Mr. Mackinnon and Mr. Absolom; neither stayed, but Emmett and Mr. Schultz did, the latter making 20, Emmett taking his bat out for 24; and so the score was hit to 160, and the one innings defeat averted by these two batsmen. The runs required by the Australians to win then made by Charles Bannerman and Murdoch, England defeated by ten wickets.

© John Wisden & Co