Third Test Match

England v Australia 1921

The third Test Match ended in a defeat for England by 219 runs, and so Australia won the rubber straightaway. It is not at all likely that in any circumstances the Australians would have been beaten, but England had horrible luck. Hobbs had sufficiently recovered from his leg troubles to take his place in the team, but he felt unwell before the match and after fielding for the greater part of the first afternoon he had to retire. As everyone knows, he was found to be suffering from appendicitis. As if this misfortune were not enough, Tennyson, who had been made captain, split his hand badly while fielding on the Saturday, and though, as events turned out he scored 63 and 36 he batted under great difficulties. Nor did trouble end here, as Brown was more or less disabled by the recurrence of an old injury, and was obliged to have a man run for him in the second innings. In order to strengthen the batting Brown was chosen as wicket keeper to the exclusion of Strudwick, and on the fast ground he did very well. There was great doubt up to the last moment as to the constitution of the England team. Hardinge, Ducat and Durston journeyed up to Leeds on the previous afternoon, after the finish of the Gentlemen and Players match at the Oval, but when the final choice came to be made Durston was left out and Parkin kept in the side. It is not easy to understand why the selection committee gave a place to Ducat. No one, so it was said, felt more surprised than the Surrey batsman himself, and he failed rather dismally.

For the first time in the Test Matches Armstrong won the toss, and on the first day the Australians put themselves on the high road to victory, scoring 407, and getting the best two English wickets- those of Woolley and Hearne- for 22. The early cricket rather flattered England, Bardsley being caught by Woolley at slip at 22, and Andrews falling to an astonishing catch in the same spot, low down with his right hand- also by Woolley- at 45. After this, however, the Australians asserted themselves in convincing fashion, Macartney and Pellew putting on 101 runs for the third wicket, and Macartney and Taylor 109 for the fourth. The first of these long partnerships had only been in progress a few minutes when Tennyson met with his accident in trying to stop a terrific hit at extra cover point. Hallows as twelfth man came out to field for him and Douglas took over the duties of captaincy. Gregory, Macartney and Hendry were out in quick succession, and with seven wickets down for 271 the Australians had done nothing exceptional. Macartney's 115- the only hundred hit for Australia in the Test Matches- was in many ways an excellent innings, but by no means a characteristic one. So far from showing his usual mastery of the bowling Macartney was often in trouble, and he had to play such a restrained game that he was at the wickets for three hours and ten minutes. Still, he was at times very brilliant, his hits including thirteen 4's. Any hope the Englishmen might have had of getting Australia out for 300 or so was soon destroyed, the eighth wicket adding 62 runs and the ninth 55. Armstrong at last played in something like his best form, driving with great power. Among the hits in his 77 were a six and ten 4's.

England started on Monday under the most depressing conditions, it being known in the morning that Hobbs could take no further part in the match and had to undergo an immediate operation. In the circumstances it was quite a good performance to carry the overnight score to 259. When the fifth wicket fell at 57 the outlook seemed hopeless, but Douglas and Brown played a great game together and put on 97 runs. After Brown left White was soon bowled by a yorker, but Tennyson, despite his bad hand, did wonders, seizing every chance and hitting so hard that he scored 50 in an hour. He and Douglas put on 87 together, and the last wicket saved the follow on. Douglas played, perhaps, the innings of his life. He withstood the fine bowling for nearly four hours and was never at fault till Armstrong beat him.

Going in for the second time, the Australians found run getting quite an easy matter, and at the drawing of stumps their score stood at 143 for two wickets, Andrews being not out 78. On the third day Douglas could not field owing to the serious illness of his wife- suddenly attacked, like Hobbs, by appendicitis- but he was able to take his second innings. Armstrong declared at 273 for seven wickets, leaving England to get 422 to win in four hours and twenty minutes. Andrews, who had played very finely, was bowled when only eight runs short of his hundred. There never seemed any hope of England escaping defeat, and in the end Australia won with an hour to spare. Brown played admirably and Tennyson hit again with great pluck, but it was all to no purpose.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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