AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND

Brearley completed his conquests with the winning hit in mid-afternoon on the fourth day. In many aspects it was the most humiliating of Australia's five defeats for they should have made much better use of the advantage of batting first. A total of 198 on a blameless pitch was a bad let-down and inexcusable. They paid the inevitable penalty when the pitch took early and increasing spin, and finally Miller and Emburey won the Test for England.

Australia's failure was redeemed only by Yallop's 121 in four hours twenty-six minutes, his runs coming out of 179 while he was at the wicket and including thirteen 4s. It must have been particularly galling for the Australian captain to bat so magnificently and see wickets tumble at the other end.

The almost inevitable first-wicket run out began the slide. This time the victim was Hilditch, playing his first Test innings, and the fielder was Gooch. One run later Hughes was spectacularly caught by Botham diving to his right, arm fully extended, at second slip. Botham went on to take four cheap wickets, including the last two with successive balls, and he ended the series with a record of 87 in seventeen Tests. Hendrick was as deadly as ever.

The pattern of the match soon emerged as Brearley, Gooch - with by far his best innings of the tour - Gower, and finally Taylor took England to a lead of 110. By now it was evident that Australia were in deep trouble. England's significant stands were between Brearley and Gooch - 69 in eighty-eight minutes for the third wicket - and Gower and Gooch - 67 in forty nine minutes for the fourth. Gooch, refusing to be tied down by spin, once off-drove Yardley for 6 and there were seven boundaries in his fine attacking innings. He and Gower hit 50 in forty-three minutes. After Gooch's dismissal, Gower and Botham were beginning to prosper when the last two hours were lost because of a thunderstorm. Higgs' leg-spin gained him four for 69; Hurst, an intelligent fast bowler, took three wickets, but Hogg had to be satisfied with one.

Australia, batting again, soon began to totter, and when Wood, Toohey, and Carlson went in the space of nine balls by Emburey and Miller, any serious doubts about the outcome vanished. Yardley, using his feet well, bravely carried on the fight after Yallop was so comprehensively beaten by Miller that he was given out caught and stumped at both ends. The catch at the wicket took precedence. Miller ended with five for 44, his best Test figures, and Emburey with four for 52. England were left with the formality of scoring 34 to win. The skilful bowling of Miller and Emburey was magnificently supported by Taylor, who made eighteen catches and two stumpings in a brilliant series, and by Hendrik, Botham and Gooch in the leg-side trap.

Oddly, in spite of the Law, Australia were allowed to use an old ball from the start. Brearley's protests were overruled, even though Law 5 states that either captain may demand a new ball. No previous agreement had been made to the contrary by the captains, and the innings was delayed six minutes while Brearley argued his case.

© John Wisden & Co