Third Test match

England v Australia 1934

Played at Manchester, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, July 6, 7, 9, 10. Drawn. The third Test match had to be left drawn, the scoring being so heavy that in the course of the four days 1,307 runs were obtained and only twenty wickets fell. For more than one reason, however, the game will always be remembered by those who saw it. Changed at the request of Lancashire from its usual order in the rota of Tests - Old Trafford for some years had been the scene of the fourth encounter in the series series of Test matches in this country - the alteration from the point of view of weather was more than justified. Seldom, indeed, can an International engagement in this country have been played throughout the whole of four days under such wonderful conditions. From first to last the sun blazed down, the heat being at times almost unbearable.

Another point of remembrance was the fact that the Australians played through the greater part of the game under a very serious handicap, an affection of the throat seizing Bradman, Chipperfield and Kippax in particular and others in a lesser degree, so that at one period it was feared that an attack of diphtheria had overtaken the visitors. Indeed, after the match Chipperfield and Kippax, remained as a precautionary measure, in an isolation hospital as they were thought to be carriers. In these circumstances therefore, the Australians - kept in the field until nearly four o'clock on the Saturday while England were scoring, in nine and a half hours, a total of 627 for nine wickets - naturally played in rather a depressed spirit, but they did not allow this to affect their skill and, replying to the big total of their opponents with a score of 491, practically made certain, unless something phenomenal happened, of avoiding defeat.

While England, despite a series of staggering set-backs at the usually disastrous period of their innings, had in the end cause for great satisfaction at making so many runs, it cannot be said that when the match was all over they could look back upon their doings generally with any pronounced degree of complacency. Between them the two fast bowlers, Clark and Allen, took only two wickets; Hopwood, failing as a bat, met with even less success as a bowler, while in some instances the England fielding left a lot to be desired. After its moments of temporary excellence at Lord's, it reverted to the commonplace of Trent Bridge and there is no question that the Australians owed a lot to the mistakes of their opponents in the field. For the third time England did not have a well-balanced eleven. G. O. Allen, Hopwood and Clark, were included instead of Bowes, Geary and Farnes, and while on paper the batting was very strong, the bowling never looked good enough to get Australia, who had Ponsford back in their eleven, out for anything like a reasonable total on the extraordinarily easy wicket which had been prepared.

Wyatt having won the toss, Walters and Sutcliffe opened so confidently that in sixty-five minutes 68 runs were on the board, Walters, who made 52 of these, driving so well as to hit eight 4's. Then came an astonishing, and, for England, a humiliating, change. During a break for refreshments the ball, having gone out of shape, was given up for another as nearly as possible identical in wear and O'Reilly resuming with it, took three wickets in one over. With the first delivery he got Walters caught at forward short leg; with his next he bowled Wyatt middle stump and, after Hammond had scored four from a leg glance, O'Reilly bowled him with the fourth ball of the over. So, in ten minutes, England's position was transformed from no wicket for 68 runs to three for 72 and all the advantage of the splendid opening partnership had vanished. Fortunately that proved the end of England's batting troubles. Between them Hendren and Sutcliffe exercised a steadying effect and added 77 in just over an hour, while with Leyland in, a magnificent partnership resulted. Leyland and Hendren stayed together from about a quarter to three until lust before six o'clock and in two hours and fifty minutes added 191 runs. Hendren, who played a great innings marked by excellent Judgment in hitting and always sound defence, batted four hours for his 132 and hit twenty-two 4's. He was severe in his leg side strokes off Wall, while he drove O'Reilly and Grimmett with accuracy and power. This fine stand atoned for the earlier disasters, but all the same both Hendren and Leyland had to fight for their runs. To the keen judge of cricket nothing was much better than the splendid bowling of McCabe. He was on for over an hour at the end of a broiling day and in eleven overs he gave away only 17 runs. But for this gallant effort England's position would have been even stronger than that represented by five wickets for 355 runs.

Still, next morning there came further great batting by Leyland and Ames, who were not separated until the score stood at 482, their stand realising 142 runs in two hours and ten minutes. Batting five hours and five minutes for his second consecutive Test match hundred, Leyland, who drove magnificently, hit a five and nineteen 4's. Following Hopwood's dismissal at 492, Allen, missed at long leg when two by Wall, played a fine forcing innings. He lost Ames at 510, the Kent man having hit up 72 in two and a half hours, but with Verity in, 95 runs were added in eighty minutes and when the declaration came at ten minutes to four, Verity had been in an hour and three-quarters. He played very well, but might have taken a leaf out of Allen's book and gone more for the bowling. O'Reilly, with seven wickets for 189, was, like Wall, McCabe and Grimmett, highly tried, but in taking the first six wickets off the reel, he accomplished most effective work.

In the time remaining Australia did well, for after Ponsford had been caught at slip at 34, Brown and McCabe added 102 in a hundred minutes. McCabe on the Monday went along at a fine pace, Brown taking some time to settle down again and they were not separated until twenty minutes to one, having added 196 runs in three and a quarter hours. Then came a blunder, Woodfull being missed first ball from Clark at second slip by Hendren. Later on he gave a chance of stumping, but meanwhile McCabe had been got rid of by a slip catch at 242. During his stay of three hours and twenty minutes he gave a fine exhibition of hard hitting and sent the ball twenty-two times to the boundary. Woodfull and Darling added 78 and just about this time Hopwood and Verity kept the batsmen quiet, but it cannot be said that Hopwood ever looked like getting a wicket. Woodfull and Bradman next put on 58 in sixty-five minutes, but Bradman, when 26, gave Hammond a sharp return chance. Then at 409 Woodfull's watchful display came to an end when, thanks to Hammond's smart return from a cut by Oldfield, the Australian captain was run out. He resisted the English bowling for three hours and fifty minutes, but hit only seven 4's. Oldfield and Grimmett gave little trouble and, play ceasing with eight men out for 423, the Australians still wanted 55 to avoid having to follow on.

However, on the last morning, O'Reilly slashed about and Chipperfield, obviously unwell, batted steadily. These two added 35 runs for the ninth wicket and the follow-on was saved before half-past twelve ere the innings ended with a delightful piece of fielding by Keeton, who, acting as substitute for Leyland ran in from long leg, picked up smartly and threw out Wall. All out for 492, Australia found themselves 136 behind, but they had kept England in the field for over ten hours.

The rest of the cricket on the last day was of no particular interest. Walters and Sutcliffe batted very well for two hours and twenty minutes and when they had scored 123 together the innings was closed, Australia being left to get 260 runs but with insufficient time remaining to score them or for England to hope with any reason to get their opponents out. When 66 had been obtained for the loss of Brown's wicket, stumps and the match were drawn just after six o'clock.

© John Wisden & Co