Third Test Match

England v New Zealand 1931

Played at Manchester, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday August 15, 17, 18.- The Third and last Test match, at Old Trafford, proved a most depressing affair, no play being possible until after three o'clock on the last afternoon. Then, Lowry, having won the toss, put England in to bat and on a soft pitch 224 runs were scored for three wickets before the game came to an end in a hopeless draw. Only by the extraordinarily persistent efforts of the ground staff was even this little period of play possible, for rain fell so heavily day after day that there were occasions when water lay in great pools all over the field. On the first two afternoons the efforts of the ground men were neutralised by further rain but on the last day the sun shone at times and the downpour had at last ceased so that the few spectators who came into the ground in the end had some slight reward.

On this occasion Larwood was able to accept the invitation to appear for England, Tate standing down and another change was the inclusion of Paynter the left handed Lancashire batsman, in place of Bakewell. New Zealand left out Kerr, Talbot and Merritt, Matheson finding himself in a Test match for the first time in this country. Thus the only one of the New Zealand combination who did not play against England was Talbot.

Paynter met with no success, being out with only eight runs on the board, but then came a splendid stand by Sutcliffe and Duleepsinhji who, once they had become set, punished the bowling in fine style. Altogether they were associated for an hour and fifty minutes and added 126 runs. Duleepsinhji's innings was not faultless for he gave a chance at second slip when 10, while Sutcliffe, at 53, was dropped in the long field. Hammond hit our rather rashly but Sutcliffe went on batting well and when stumps were pulled up he had scored 109 out of 224. Apart from his one chance Sutcliffe made no other mistake and driving, pulling and placing well to leg, he hit a six and nine 4's.

© John Wisden & Co