England 341 and 412 beat Australia 222 and 193 won by 338 runs
Both sides made changes from the second Test match, Paynter and Verity replacing the Nawab of Pataudi and Bowes in the England eleven, while Australia brought in Ponsford to the exclusion of O'Brien, who acted as third man.
The match began in perfect weather, and, although there had been some rain the day before play started, the wicket appeared to be in perfect condition when England began batting, Jardine having beaten Woodfull in the toss, but it was quickly apparent that the ball was kicking. England could not have made a more disastrous start. With the total only 4, Jardine missed a well-pitched-up ball from Wall and had his leg stump hit. At 16 Hammond was well caught by Oldfield without settling down, and then after batting 45 minutes for 9, Sutcliffe was brilliantly caught by Wall at forward short leg. Ames played with the utmost caution, but was beaten by Ironmonger's fast ball, and lunch was taken with the score at 37 for 4 - a desperate position for England.
After the interval Leyland attacked the bowling splendidly, and with Wyatt defending with great skill, England gradually recovered, and it was not until the fifth wicket had added 156 that Leyland was out, playing on to O'Reilly. The Yorkshireman played magnificent cricket for his runs. He made some beautiful hooks off Wall and also drove very hard. He was only batting two hours and hit thirteen 4's in a chanceless innings. Wyatt's invaluable innings was brought to an end by a catch at mid-off. Defending with the greatest skill, he also punished any loose balls with great severity, claiming three 6's and three 4's. Paynter was then joined by Allen. Allen looked like staying until the end, when Grimmett got through his defence with his faster one, but Paynter and Verity managed to play out time. Before lunch the ball was inclined to kick, but after the interval the wicket dried a lot and played easily. Close of play : England 236 for 7. (Paynter, not out, 25; Verity, not out, 5.)
Directly play was resumed Paynter had a very lucky escape from being run out, Fingleton making an inaccurate return. After this episode the batsmen settled down, the wicket looking easy. Paynter was in his best form, and being very quick on his feet he made some beautiful strokes, notably through the covers off Grimmett. When opposing O'Reilly he got well out to the pitch of the ball, thus smothering the break before it could take effect. Verity played exceptionally well, but when 16 he gave a chance to O'Reilly at second slip. At lunch the score had been taken to 315 without further loss and it was not until the total had been raised by 96 that this splendid stand came to an end, Paynter being caught when attempting to hook a short ball from Wall. Verity, who might have been run out when 36 and caught by McCabe at first slip when 38, was the last man to be dismissed. He stayed in 2 hours and 37 minutes and surprised many by the excellence of his strokes. He played O'Reilly with great confidence.
After lunch Wall had an analysis of 7.1 overs, 2 maidens, 15 runs, 3 wickets. His bowling was an excellent example of grit and determination. O'Reilly concentrated very largely on the leg stump, and was most difficult to score off; Grimmett, on the other hand, came in for considerable punishment.
During the Englishmen's innings Woodfull captained his side well; the fielding was first-class apart from the missed chances recorded, and Oldfield's wicket-keeping was well nigh faultless. Larwood and Allen opened the England attack. The former had three slips, gully, short and long legs, but no mid-off. Allen's field was orthodox. Off the Middlesex's man's third ball Fingleton was caught and off the last ball of Larwood's second over Woodfull received a nasty blow over the heart which set the crowd roaring at the bowler. Bradman began most confidently and then fell into the leg trap. McCabe, too, was caught on the leg side. Hammond might possibly have caught Ponsford off a very difficult chance when the batsman was 3, but the old partnership of Woodfull-Ponsford was not destined to produce a big stand, the Australian captain playing on at 51 to a ball from Allen which kept low.
During the last hour's play England were handicapped by Voce's absence through a damaged ankle and Ponsford and Richardson managed to make a very valuable stand. The score at the close of play being Australia 109 for 4: Ponsford not out 45, Richardson not out 21.
Voce, for whom Brown had fielded substitute overnight, was able to take his place in the English team when play was resumed. Larwood and Allen began the bowling, the former having Allen at silly leg, Verity deep fine leg, Jardine short leg, Sutcliffe fine leg and Hammond out deep. Ponsford soon completed his 50 and the stand was not broken until Richardson played on to Allen, who was bowling at a great pace with the wind behind him. Partnered by Oldfield, Ponsford continued to play extremely well and caused Jardine to alter the field by reason of his powefrul offside strokes. The batsmen were still together when lunch was taken. Directly after the interval Ames appeared to miss Oldfield off Hammond, and the partnership - an invaluable one of 63 runs - was broken by Ponsford being bowled round his legs by Voce. Ponsford batted in his very best form and during a stay of just over 32 hours hit eight boundaries. Grimmett fell to a magnificent catch by Voce in the slips and then with the score at 217 for seven, Oldfield was hit by a ball from Larwood. The bowler could not be blamed for the accident but when O'Reilly took Oldfield's place, the crowd booed every time Larwood bowled. O'Reilly made no show against the Nottingham fast bowler, and when Hammond bowled Wall tea was taken as Oldfield could not resume his innings.
England again began badly, Sutcliffe not quite getting hold of a ball from Wall when trying to hook and being brilliantly caught by O'Brien, who was fielding substitute for Oldfield. Wyatt came in first wicket down and did not open too confidently against O'Reilly, but once he settled down he played delightfully and when stumps were drawn England were 204 ahead with nine wickets in hand, Jardine being not out 24, Wyatt not out 47; extras 7. Total 85. The Australians, for whom Richardson kept wicket in Oldfield's absence, might possibly have got rid of Wyatt for 9, O'Reilly dropping a very hard chance off Wall in the slips, while Jardine was lucky when he mishit Grimmett with his score at 13, Fingleton just failing to reach the hall.
England spent the whole day in consolidating their position. The weather was extremely hot when Jardine and Wyatt continued the innings. Wyatt fell to a brilliant catch at short leg by Wall and Jardine was next partnered by Allen, who made one beautiful cut off Ironmonger and hit O'Reilly to the leg boundary, and looked well set when he was again lbw to Grimmett. At lunch the score was 130 for 3, Hammond having survived the awkward few minutes before the adjournment. Jardine eventually fell to Ironmonger after batting four hours and a quarter. Playing with the utmost care Jardine had rendered England splendid service, although, of course, his innings did not appeal to the spectators.
Leyland hit three fours off Grimmett directly he came in and it was not until an invaluable 91 had been added that the Yorkshireman was out, trying to pull a well pitched up delivery to leg. Fingleton very nearly spoilt Wall's catch by getting in his way. Joined by Ames, Hammond concentrated on playing out time, but in the very last over of the day he was bowled by a full toss and England thus finished up with a total of 296 for 6, Ames being 18 not out. Paynter, who collided with the fence while fielding on the third day, was suffering form a very swollen ankle and was not in a condition to bat. Oldfield was again absent from the Australian side, so Richardson kept wicket with O'Brien acting as substitute.
Rain overnight did not affect the wicket to any extent when play was resumed and Ames and Verity, who continued the England innings, did not appear to be in any difficulties and were still together at lunch when the score stood at 285 for six. Ames eventually fell to a good ball a googlie from O'Reilly after batting 2 hours and 49 minutes. Most of his six boundaries were powerful cover drives, though he made some nice late cuts and leg hits. His partnership with Verity added 98 runs in just over two hours. Verity's 40 was a very sound innings containing some beautiful strokes past point and several good drives. With Paynter hardly fit to bat owing to his injured ankle Larwood and Voce hit out desperately in an effort to score quickly. At the close of play Australia were virtually in a hopeless position for they had lost four wickets for 120 and Oldfield was not fit enough to bat. Fingleton again failed to score, being the victim of a magnificent ball from Larwood, who was bowling at a terrific pace, with four slips, and Australia suffered a further blow when Ponsford tried to cut a ball which got up and Jardine took a catch at backward point.
Bradman was in splendid form in this innings, and, scoring freely off all the bowling reached 50 in 63 minutes. He was severe on Verity, but after hitting the Yorkshireman for a six he was out off the next ball to a good caught and bowled. Bradman hit ten fours and one six. McCabe was out hooking a short ball to deep square leg and then with Richardson in a successful appeal was made against the light, Woodfull, who had gone in first, being not out for a sound 36, and Richardson not out 0. The crowd cheered Larwood when he bowled to an orthodox field, but became noisy when he used the leg theory.
It was soon over once the Woodfull-Richardson partnership had been broken, the tailend batsmen offering no resistance to the England fast bowlers. The heat was intense when the game was resumed and neither Larwood nor Allen could make the ball get up much above the stumps. Woodfull managed to score on the on side off Larwood, who had three short legs behind the wicket, besides a forward short leg, but Richardson was unusually quiet. The South Australian, encouraged by a successful hook off Larwood, endeavoured to repeat the stroke, but the ball rose abruptly, hit his thumb, and Allen took a good catch. After that the end came very quickly. Woodfull deserved the greatest praise for his effort.
In gaining such an easy win England accomplished a remarkable performance for at lunch time on the first day they had four men out for 37 runs. Seldom, if ever, has a Test match been played under such unpleasant conditions. Two days before the match started the crowds, watching the Englishmen practicing at the nets, made such a dead set at the players, especially Jardine, that they had to be excluded from subsequent practice. There was a tremendous uproar when Woodfull was unfortunately struck over the heart, and the Australian captain's refusal to talk to P. F. Warner, who had gone to the dressing-room to sympathise with him, on the grounds that the England team were not playing cricket in the proper spirit owing to the employment of the leg theory, only added fuel to the fire.
Subsequently P. F. Warner stated that the incident between himself and Woodfull had been amicably settled by Woodfull apologising to him. Woodfull, however, denied the apology, but pointed out that it was not a personal affair with Warner but his disapproval of the methods of the English bowlers. Every time Larwood set his field for the leg theory the crowd created a scene. There was a further uproar when Oldfield was struck by Larwood, but the Australian wicketkeeper quickly let it he known that the bowler was in no way to blame.
On the fifth day of the match the Australian Board of Control sent the following cable to the MCC :
"Body-line bowling has assumed such proportions as to menace the best interests of the game, making protection of the body by the batsmen the main consideration. This is causing intensely bitter feeling between the players, as well as injury. In our opinion it is unsportsmanlike. Unless stopped at once, it is likely to upset the friendly relations existing between Australia and England."
In view of the many rumours and statements which were appearing in the papers, the members of the MCC team deemed it necessary to issue the following statement:
"Members of the MCC and the England team do not desire to enter into public controversy, for they deplore the introduction of any personal feeling into the records of a great game. In view, however, of statements which have been given space in some sections of the press to the effect that there has been dissension and disloyalty in their team, they desire to deny this definitely and absolutely. They are, and always have been, utterly loyal to their captain, under whose leadership they hope to achieve an honourable victory."