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2nd Test, Melbourne, March 31 - April 04, 1877, England tour of Australia
122 & 259
(T:121) 261 & 122/6

England won by 4 wickets


England square the series

A short summary of the second Test between Australia and England in 1876-77

Two weeks and three up-country matches after the first Test, the sides returned to the MCG for a game played for the benefit of the tourists.
Australia were the pre-match favourites after their win in the earlier game and the return of Fred Spofforth which greatly boosted their bowling attack. Billy Murdoch, whose absence as wicketkeeper in the first match led to Spofforth's withdrawal, played as a batsman, although he took over the gloves on the last day of the game when Jack Blackham had sunstroke.
Australia batted but found Allen Hill, who took the first four wickets, too much for them, and from 96 for 4 they slid to 122 all out. England's start was hardly better, but from 4 for 2 they were indebted to their Yorkshire contingent for boosting them to 261. George Ulyett made 52, Greenwood and Hill 49, and Tom Emmett 48, with Yorkshire's batsmen making 86% of England's runs in the game.
Nat Thompson and Dave Gregory put on 88 for the first wicket when Australia batted again, but again the innings rather lost its way and they were dismissed for 259, leaving England a modest target of 120. James Southerton and James Lillywhite shared eight wickets.
It seemed as if history was about to repeat itself as England lost early wickets to find themselves at 9 for 3, but again Ulyett dug deep, and despite another mini collapse to leave them 76 for 5, by the time he was eventually dismissed for 63, the game was almost won.
As was often the case at the time, there were accusations that the outcome had been fixed, the suggestions coming from the large number of gamblers who had lost money on the first Test.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

England Innings
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