Toss: Australia. Test debuts: England - J.M.Read, C.T.Studd

Before entering into any of the details of the play in this match, the compiler desires to place before the readers of Wisden's the names of the rival teams and their Batting and Bowling Averages in First-class Matches from the commencement of the season to the time they engaged in this memorable struggle.

The averages of the Australian Team have been compiled from the twenty-five first-class matches played by the Colonials from the commencement of their tour until they entered the cricket field to contest All England. The matches omitted in the calculation are those the Colonists played against Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, and Gentlemen of Scotland.

The averages of the England eleven have been compiled from the whole of the First-class matches in which each member of the side participated from the beginning of the season up to the time they met the Colonists in the grand contest at the Oval, including, of course, the batting and bowling of each member of the team against the Australians themselves. The batting and bowling of Barlow, Ulyett, and Peate in the matches they played in Australia in the early months of 1882 are not, of course, included. The full scores and bowling summaries of all the first-class matches played in England in 1882 appear in this book, and as the full scores of only two minor contests (beyond those played by the Australians), viz., M.C.C. and G.v. Leicestershire, and Orleans Club v. Rickling Green, are printed in this annual, there can be no mistake as to what are generally accepted as First-class encounters.

The following averages, which may be relied upon for accuracy, have been compiled at considerable sacrifice of time by Mr. Henry Luff, to whose zeal and untiring exertions the compiler is in a great measure indebted for the correctness which will be found to characterise the bowling analyses and averages in this edition of Wisden's Almanack.

Batting averages in First-class matches from the commencement of the season to date:

Mr. W. L. Murdoch36.22Mr. A. P. Lucas38.3
Mr. T. Horan31.16HON. A. Lyttleton35.1
Mr. H. H. Massie27.31Mr. C. T. Studd34.12
Mr. A. C. Bannerman23.21W. Barnes30.36
Mr. J. M' C. Blackham21.19G. Ulyett30.22
Mr. G. Giffen21.6R. G. Barlow29.25
Mr. G. J. Bonnor19.21Mr. A. G. Steel29.18
Mr. S. P. Jones15.12Mr. A. N. Hornby29.9
Mr. H. F. Boyle11.7Dr. W. G. Grace24.1
Mr. T. W. Garrett9.20M. Read24
Mr. F. R. Spofforth9.20E. Peate11.18

Bowling averages in First-class matches from the commencement of the season to date:

Mr. H. F. Boyle12.77R. G. Barlow11.53
Mr. F. R. Spofforth13.87E. Peate11.118
Mr. T. W. Garrett27.2G. Ulyett14.23
Mr. C. T. Studd16.9
Mr. A. G. Steel20.4
W. Barnes35

It will be observed that in every instance the batting average of each member of the Australian team is lower than that of the English batsman placed opposite him, and that the bowling averages of the two men who had the largest share of the trundling for England are both better than either of those of the two bowlers who sent down the largest number of overs for Australia.

A perusal of these statistics must in the first place create a feeling of surprise that when the two elevens met there was the slightest probability of the English one being defeated. Secondly, no sensation but one of the highest admiration of the achievement of the Australian team can be felt when the result of the match is considered; and thirdly the figures prove, if figures prove anything, that the inevitable result of a series of encounters between the two elevens would be victory for the Englishmen in a very large proportion of the matches; and they further offer the strongest protest to the oft-raised cry of the decadence of English cricket.

With these few remarks the compiler proceeds to give a short account of the contest, leaving the reader to attribute the Australian victory to the fact that the Colonists won the toss and thereby had the best of the cricket; to the fact that the English had to play the last innings; to the brilliant batting of Massie; to the superb bowling of Spofforth; to the nervousness of some of the England side; to the glorious uncertainty of the noble game; or to whatever he or she thinks the true reason.

Monday. Murdoch beat Hornby in the toss and deputed Bannerman and Massie to commence the innings. Massie was clean bowled by a yorker on the leg-stump at six. At 21 Murdoch played a ball from Peate on to his wicket, and, after adding a single, Bonnor was clean bowled middle stump. Horan came in, and then, at 26, Bannerman was splendidly caught by Grace at point, left hand, low down, having been in an hour and 5 minutes for 9 runs. Horan was bowled, leg-stump, at 30. Blackham joined Giffen, and, with the total unchanged, was bowled with the second ball he received. Garrett was the new batsman, and a double change of bowling was found necessary before the newcomer was well caught at long-off just after luncheon. At 50 a splendid ball from Barlow just took the top of Boyle's wicket. Jones came in and rain fell for a few minutes. At 59 Blackham skied a ball and was caught, and Spofforth, the last man, joined Jones. The Demon hit a 4, and then Jones was caught at third man, the innings closing for 63. At 3.30 Grace and Barlow started the first innings of England. Spofforth bowled Grace at 13, and Barlow was caught atforward point for 18. With Lucas and Ulyett together, the score was raised to 50 after half-an-hour's play, but at 56 the latter ran out to drive Spofforth and was easily stumped. At 59 Lucas was snapped at the wicket, and one run later Studd was bowled with a bailer without scoring, and half the wickets were down for 60. Read joined Lyttelton, and just when the score reached the total of the Australian innings the latter was caught at the wicket. Barnes came in and scored a single and a 4 and was then bowled by a breaking ball. Steel became Read's partner and 26 runs were added before Steel pulled a ball into his wicket. Eight wickets were down for 96 when Hornby came in. Read made a cut for 3 and Hornby scored a single, bringing up the 100. With only one run added, however, Hornby's leg stump fell, and the innings closed about five minutes before the call of time.

Tuesday. Massie and Bannerman commenced the Australians' second innings at 12.10, the Colonists being 38 to the bad. 30 went up after about 28 minutes' play, two bowling changes having been tried. At 12.45 the balance of 38 runs was knocked off. Barnes relieved Studd at 47, and from his first ball Lucas badly missed Massie at long-off, the batsman then having made 38. 50 was hoisted after 40 minutes' play. It was not until the score reached 66 that loud applause greeted the dismissal of the great hitter, bowled leg stump by Steel. Massie had made 55 out of 66 in 55 minutes, and his hits consisted of nine 4's, two 3's, three 2's, and seven singles. Bonnor took the vacant wicket, but at 70 his middle stump was knocked clean out of the ground, and Murdoch came in, but immediately lost Bannerman, caught at extra mid-off, with the total unchanged. Bannerman had played with great patience for an hour and ten minutes for his 13. Horan joined Murdoch, and the bowling was changed, with the result that the incomer was easily caught. Giffen, who took this place, was out in the same way, and the fourth and fifth wickets were down at 79. Blackham came in, and when the score had been hit up to 99 rain fell, and luncheon was taken.

Resuming at 2.45, after another shower, Blackham was well caught at the wicket without any addition to the score. Jones filled the vacancy and a single by Murdoch sent up the 100. At 114 Jones was run out in a way which gave great dissatisfaction to Murdoch and other Australians. Murdoch played a ball to leg, for which Lyttelton ran. The ball was returned, and Jones having completed the first run, and thinking wrongly, but very naturally, that the ball was dead, went out of his ground. Grace put his wicket down, and the umpire gave him out. Several of the team spoke angrily of Grace's action, but the compiler was informed that after the excitement had cooled down a prominent member of Australian eleven admitted that he should have done the same thing had he been in Grace's place. There was a good deal of truth in what a gentleman in the pavilion remarked, amidst some laughter, that Jones ought to thank the champion for teaching him something. Spofforth partnered Murdoch, but was bowled middle stump at 117. Garrett came in, and very shortly after, a very smart piece of fielding on the part of Hornby, Studd and Lyttelton caused Murdoch to be run out at 122 for a very careful and good innings of 29. Boyle was last man in, but failed to score, and the tenth wicket fell at the same total at 3.25.

England, wanting 85 runs to win, commenced their second innings at 3.45 with Grace and Hornby. Spofforth bowled Hornby's off stump at 15, made in about as many minutes. Barlow joined Grace, but was bowled first ball at the same total. Ulyett came in, and some brilliant hitting by both batsmen brought the score to 51, when a very fine catch at the wicket dismissed Ulyett. 34 runs were then wanted, with seven wickets to fall. Lucas joined Grace, but when the latter had scored a 2 he was easily taken at mid-off. Lyttelton became Lucas' partner, and the former did all the hitting. Then the game was slow for a time, and 12 successive maiden overs were bowled, both batsmen playing carefully and coolly. Lyttelton scored a single, and then four maiden overs were followed by the dismissal of that batsman - bowled, the score being 66. Only 19 runs were then wanted to win, and there were five wickets to fall. Steel came in, and when Lucas had scored a 4, Steel was easily caught and bowled. Read joined Lucas, but amid intense excitement he was clean bowled without a run being added. Barnes took Read's place and scored a 2, and 3 byes made the total 75, or 10 to win. After being in a long time for 5 Lucas played the next ball into his wicket, and directly Studd joined Barnes the latter was easily caught off his glove without the total being altered. Peate, the last man, came in, but after hitting Boyle to square-leg for 2 he was bowled, and Australia had defeated England by 7 runs.