Second Test match

Australia v England 1924-25

Played at MELBOURNE, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, January 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8. Australia won by 81 runs. Collins again won the toss and Australia gained a second victory - this time by 81 runs. The wonderful strength of their batting stood out even more emphatically than before. They lost Collins, Bardsley and Arthur Richardson for 47 runs, and yet stayed at the wickets nine hours thirty-eight minutes and built up a record total of 600. Douglas and Richard Tyldesley were included in the England side instead of Sandham and Freeman, but again Kilner was left out. The changes did not strengthen the side, Douglas taking but one wicket and Tyldesley proving quite ineffective. The same weakness in the batting after the first few men was as apparent as it had been at Sydney. The bowling of Tate all through the match and that of Hearne in the second innings contrasted more than favourably with anything in Australia's attack. England excelled in fielding, Arthur Gilligan doing grand work at mid-off. Strudwick, too, maintained his form behind the wicket, but, despite untiring perseverance, England took two days to dismiss their opponents. Ponsford and Taylor turned the fortunes of the game by adding 161. The sixth wicket put on 123 and the ninth 100, Oldfield playing a useful innings. What figure Australia would have reached if the two Richardsons and Taylor had not been run out can scarcely be conceived.

In answer to Australia's huge score Hobbs and Sutcliffe stayed together for a whole day and scored 283 in their third consecutive partnership in Test matches. After this superb start came the failure of Woolley and Hearne. Indeed so poor was the resistance offered that the second best stand was that which produced 68 runs for the fourth wicket. When Bardsley, Arthur Richardson and Ponsford fell to Tate for 27 runs at the start of Australia's second innings, something sensational seemed in store, but another sound display by Taylor altered the aspect of affairs. However, the home side were all out for 250, and England, after their great fight at Sydney, did not seem hopelessly placed in being asked to make 372.

Had Hobbs come off again all might have been well, but the Surrey batsman left at 36, and, despite a superb display by Sutcliffe, England could never quite gain the upper hand. They had 200 up with three men out, but after Sutcliffe and Woolley left there was a sorry collapse. The last six wickets indeed fell for 79 runs. Sutcliffe, in scoring 176 and 127, equalled the achievement of Warren Bardsley in scoring two hundreds in a Test match between England and Australia, and he distinguished himself further by getting three successive hundreds in these matches. Beyond question, England had the worst of the wicket and the fight they made up to a point left a lasting impression.

Gregory and Mailey maintained their reputation as Australia's best bowlers though Gregory did not possess his old pace. The steady length of Kelleway and Arthur Richardson was very valuable. Tate received most help from Gilligan in the first innings, and was again the best bowler when, with Hearne coming off, Australia were dismissed comparatively cheaply. In England's second innings, four men were out leg before wicket, while altogether four Australians were dismissed in this way - three in their second innings. The number of people paying for admission was 180,605, the gate receipts amounted to £22,628 and the total attendance was returned as 239,175.

© John Wisden & Co