First Test Match

England v Australia 1901-02

Played at Sydney, Friday, Saturday, Monday, December 13, 14, 16.- The first Test match proved to be, from the English point of view, the event of the tour, MacLaren's team gaining a glorious and altogether unexpected victory by an innings and 124 runs. On winning the toss MacLaren went in himself with Hayward as a partner, and by dint of very good but unwontedly steady cricket the two batsmen scored 154 for the first wicket. This splendid start, however, was not by any means well followed up, and at the close of the first day six wickets had fallen for 272. The ground being in perfect order for run-getting, this was not considered nearly good enough, but happily for the Englishmen Lilley and Braund made a great stand on the Saturday morning, their partnership producing in all 124 runs. The last three men all did well, and in the end the total reached 464. The Australians started by losing Trumper very cheaply, but thanks to Gregory and Hill the score at the drawing of stumps had reached 108 with three wickets down. This being the position there seemed every reason on the Monday to expect a protracted match. As things turned out, however, the English bowlers carried all before them, getting seventeen wickets down in the course of the afternoon and finishing the game. Braund, Blythe and Barnes, though the last-named was freely punished in the second innings, bowled very finely indeed, and were backed up by fielding and wicket-keeping of the most brilliant character. There was a regular collapse during the first quarter of an hour in the morning, Hill, Howell, McLeod and Kelly being all out at 112, and from these disasters the Australians, despite strenuous efforts, could never recover. The result of the match caused a great sensation all over the Colonies. It is worthy of note that the Australian team was composed entirely of players who went to England in 1899.

© John Wisden & Co