Fourth Test match

Australia v England 1884-85

The very close finish recorded in the previous match between Shaw's team and a picked eleven of Australia, caused an extraordinary amount of interest to be taken in this contest, and there could not have been less than 12,000 spectators on the opening day, while 6,000 was the estimated number present on each of the other two days. The Australian team was differently constituted from that which defeated the Englishmen by the narrow majority of six runs, Palmer, McDonnell, G. Giffen and Blackham taking the places of Scott, Massie, Jarvis and Evans. These changes, as the result unquestionably proved, greatly added to the bowling strength of the team without weakening its batting powers to any appreciable extent. The succesful bowling of Giffen in the first innings, and of Palmer in the second, went, perhaps, as far towards achieving an eight wickets' victory for Australia, as the magnificent hitting of Bonnor. On the first day 11 wickets fell for 280 runs; on the second day only 7 batsmen were dismissed for an aggregate of 297 runs; while on the third day, after a night's heavy rain, 14 wickets were captured for a total of only 116 runs.

Shrewsbury won choice of innings in tossing with Blackham, and at 12.20 took Ulyett with him to the wickets. Spofforth had not arrived, so bowling was entrusted to Giffen and Palmer. When Ulyett had made 10 he pulled a ball into his wicket, and simultaneously with his dismissal Spofforth appeared on the field. Scotton filled the vacancy; and when Shrewsbury had hit Palmer for a couple of 4's that bowler gave way to Spofforth. Shrewsbury batted in fine free form, and Scotton played a strictly defensive game as usual. At luncheon the score was 50, and upon resuming Scotton was caught at the wicket for 4 at 52. Barnes came in, and he and Shrewsbury raised the total to 76, when the English captain was clean bowled for a capital innings of 40. Barnes and Bates scored with great freedom, and a short time only elapsed before the century was hoisted. Spofforth gave way to Trumble, and Palmer relieved Giffen, but as the rate of scoring only increased with these changes, Giffen tried again in place of Palmer, and at last succeeded in clean bowling Barnes with a breakback at 159, the outgoing batsman's 50 having been made in his best form. Read became Bates' partner, and runs came just as fast. Jones bowled for Trumble, and after some time, with the score at 186, made a magnificent catch from his own bowling, which sent Bates back for a splendidly-hit 60.

With Read and Flowers together the 200 was soon telegraphed, and shortly after Spofforth relieved Jones. At 219 Flowers was clean bowled, and Briggs, after making a 3 from the first ball he received, was well caught at point from the second. Giffen bowled Attewell after he had scored a single, and Peel joined Read, who then gave a chance of stumping. Later on, with his score on 37, he was caught from a no ball of Spofforth's, and with the total 252 was clean bowled by Giffen for a very freely-hit and excellent inings of 47. Hunter scored 13, including two 4's, in succession from Spofforth but in trying a third he was clean bowled, and brought the innings to a conclusion for 269. Only ten minutes remained for play when the Englishmen took the field, so Garrett and Palmer were deputed to open the first innings of the combined eleven, the the bowling of Ulyett and Peel. Ulyett sent down the first over, and the last ball - a fast yorker - clean bowled Palmer. Trumble came in, and when the total reached 11 for one wicket play ceased for the day.

Only 4 runs were added next morning before Peel bowled Trumble off his legs, McDonnell followed, and having scored 20 out of 25, was caught at extra cover-point with the total at 40. Soon after Bannerman came in Attewell bowled for Peel, and at 66 Bates relieved Ulyett, but no other wicket was obtained before luncheon, at which time the score had reached 80. Upon resuming, Ulyett went on again, bowling against the wind, while a little later on that bowling crossed over, Barnes taking his place. Bannerman now gave a difficult chance to Scotton, which was also missed, and then Horan, who had taken Garrett's place, was well-caught at slip off Ulyett with the total 119. Bonnor came in next, and Bannerman had another life at the hands of Scotton - a very easy one this time. Flowers bowled for Ulyett, and off his second ball Bannerman was caught at point for 51, seven wickets then being down for 134.

At this point the prospects of a follow-on appeared very probable, but upon Jones joining Bonnor a magnificent stand was made, and the aspect of the game underwent a complete change. Bonnor started in very indifferent form, but afterwards hit with the utmost brilliancy. After a short period of slow play Bonnor hit Barnes to the pavillion for 4, and drove the next ball over the boundary for 5. From this time to the close of the day's play the English bowling was punished with the utmost severity. Flowers gave way to Peel, and soon afterwards Attewell relieved Barnes, a hit off the last named bowler by Bonnor saving the follow-on. Ulyett was tried again, but soon gave way to Flowers. At length Barnes went on again, and from his first ball Bonnor was easily caught at third man with the total at 288. Bonnor's magnificently-hit innings of 128 was the highest made against Shaw's team, and included four 5's, and fourteen 4's. Bonnor and Jones put on 154 for the 8th wicket. It was not to be expected that so long an innings should be played without chances being given, and Bonnor's fine contribution was not without blemishes. Though narrowly escaping being bowled several times, he gave no real chances in the field until he had made 81, when Peel misjudged a bad hit. With his score 98 he might have been caught by Barnes at slip, and later on was missed by Read at long-on. At the call of time the total stood at 308 for 8 wickets, Jones, not out 40, and Blackham, not out 11.

Heavy rain having fallen from a little after midnight until 9 o'clock on the morning of the third day, the wicket was altogether in the favour of the bowlers when the game resumed at noon. The last two Australian wickets only added one run to the overnight total, Jones being immediately run out for a fine defensive innings of 40, while Spofforth fell to a capital catch at third man after scoring a single. Shaw's team commenced their second innings in a minority of 40 runs, Shrewsbury and Ulyett again being the first pair. They were opposed by Spofforth and Palmer, and no change of bowling was found necessary during the innings. Ulyett was caught at cover-point after making a couple, and Scotton fell to mid-off wihtout having troubled the scorers. A fine catch at long-on got rid of Shrewsbury, and Bates was given out caught at the wicket, the fourth wicket falling with the score at 20. Read was caught at short-leg, and then Barnes and Flowers kept their wickets intact until lunch time, when the total had reached 42.

Upon resumption of play Flowers was caught at third man at 46, and then 20 runs were added before Briggs, in attempting a fourth run for a bye, was run out. Barnes was caught at short mid-on from a bumper, Peel caught and bowled by Spofforth, and Hunter clean bowled, the innings closing for the poor total of 77. The combined eleven had therefore only 38 runs to make, but these were not obtained without the loss of two good wickets, McDonnell being caught at third man with the total 3, and Bannerman clean bowled at 16. Horan and Jones then hit off the required runs, and Shaw's team suffered their second and last defeat by 8 wickets.

© John Wisden & Co