First Test

England v Australia 1891-92

1893

Played at MELBOURNE, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, January 1, 2, 4, 5, 6. This, the first of the three matches against Combined Australia, excited an extraordinary amount of interest. It lasted into the fifth day, and, after a struggle which by general consent had rarely or never been surpassed in the colonies, was won by the Australians by 54 runs. The Englishmen lost the game on the Tuesday afternoon, when they went in for the last innings with 213 runs wanted to win. With the wicket still in good order they entertained little doubt of accomplishing theirtask, and when Grace and Stoddart, on starting the innings, had hit up 60 runs without being separated, Australia's chance seemed very remote. However, at 60 Grace was caught at mid-off and Stoddart bowled in trying to pull a long-hop. Then came such a collapse on the part of the English batsmen that before the drawing of stumps there were seven wickets down. On the Wednesday morning the remaining players did their best, but the innings was all over for 158. In the early stages of the match some fine cricket was shown on both sides. Bruce batted most brilliantly for Aystralia and Bannerman, though his play was intolerably slow to look at, rendered invaluable service to his side. His two innings of 45 and 41 lasted respectively three hours and a quarter and four hours. W. G. Grace's 50 was a capital display, and Bean, in getting the same number, showed better cricket than on any other occasion during the tour. The Australians worked very hard to win and fully deserved their victory. The Combined team was made up of four players from Victoria, five from New South Wales, and two from South Australia. Not the least noteworthy feature in a remarkable match was George Giffen's complete failure as a batsman. Turner and Trott bowled admirably in the last innings, but the most sensational piece of bowling in the match was that of M'Leod, who, in the Englishmen's first innings, got rid of Abel, Grace, and Stoddart in two overs. Moses strained his leg on the opening day, and suffered more or less from the effects of his accident for the rest of the Australian season.

© John Wisden & Co