Second Test match

Australia v England 1907-08

In the week previous to the second Test Match, five inches of rain had been registered in Melbourne, but the weather cleared up and no fault could be found with the wicket. In fact the ground had dried so rapidly that it was not thought necessary to include Blythe in the England eleven. The mistake of playing Young instead of Humphries was of course not repeated. On the first innings the Englishmen gained a lead of 116 runs and at one time they looked to have the match in their hands, but in the end they only scrambled home by one wicket, the Australians playing a splendid uphill game. Though intensely interesting the cricket was for the most part very slow, the Australians taking the whole of the first afternoon to score 255 for seven wickets. It must be said, however, that Crawford and Fielder bowled extremely well. In England's first innings Hobbs and Hutchings were seen at their best. Hobbs who had never before taken part in a Test Match scored 83 out of 160 in a trifle over three hours, his defence being very strong. Hutchings, after beginning quietly, hit in great form, his 126 including a 6 and twenty-five 4s.

At the end of the third day Trumper and Noble scored 96 together without being parted. Next morning Trumper was leg before wicket at 126, and when the fourth wicket fell the total was only 162. The position looked very serious, but Armstrong and Macartney added 106 runs together in two hours and a quarter. Carter afterwards hit finely and the innings did not close until the total had reached 397. The batting all through was admirable, Armstrong showing the best form. England wanted 282 to win, and at the drawing of stumps the score stood at 159 for four wickets. On the sixth and last day the Englishmen began badly and when their eighth wicket fell with 73 runs still required, the match looked all over. However, Humphries and Barnes put on 34 together and then, to the astonishment of everyone concerned, Barnes and Fielder hit off the remaining 39 runs, and won the match. Barnes played with great judgment and coolness for his 38 not out. The last run was a desperately short one and if Hazlitt, throwing in from cover point, had managed to hit the wicket, the result would have been a tie.

© John Wisden & Co