won toss): England beat the Rest of the World by five
ENGLAND squared the CMJ/Wisden Test series in an
absorbing match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It was a
triumph for England’s bowlers, who performed better as a
unit than at any time previously in the rubber and
justified Peter May’s bold gamble in putting the Rest of
the World in to bat. The match was also notable for
another fine innings from Len Hutton, who dropped anchor
for a mammoth 182, his fourth century of a triumphant
As usual at Sydney, the spin bowlers played an
important part — but it was a lightning-quick spell from
Malcolm Marshall that unsettled England as they pushed
for victory. Fast and furious, Marshall reduced England
to 33 for five, needing only 74, before sensible innings
from May and Hutton — yet again — inched them over the
Ted Dexter and Ian Botham, sent in first to get the
innings off to a flying start, had both gone before the
score passed 20. Then Graham Gooch, Colin Cowdrey and
Alan Knott all fell to Marshall — who at that point had
figures of five for 12 — with the score at 33.
Hutton strode in at No 7 and stopped the rot, perhaps
reminding May, his captain and batting partner, of the
trouble that Freddie Brown ran into when he played fast
and loose with his batting order at Brisbane in 1950-51
(England were all out for 122 with Hutton, held back to
No 8, high and dry with 62). There were no further
alarms as England levelled the series with more than a
day to spare.
The Rest of the World had made a good start, with
performances to please the purists from the Richardses.
Barry dominated an opening stand of 107 with Sunil
Gavaskar (52), stroking nine fours in making 72 from 73
balls. Then Viv took over, hammering seven fours and a
six in a boisterous 74.
But then England’s aggressive approach paid dividends
as they struck back. Jim Laker tore out the middle
order, removing Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar before
winkling out Garry Sobers for a duck. For once Adam
Gilchrist could not inspire a recovery, and Derek
Underwood lopped off the tail as the Rest of the World
crumbled for a disappointing 242.
Hutton and Dexter put that total in perspective with
a gritty stand of 167. Dexter flicked Muttiah
Muralitharan to Viv Richards after a commanding 82 that
included six driven fours, then Hutton and May put on a
The lower order could make little of Muralitharan or
Shane Warne, who shared nine of the wickets, but Hutton
remained solid as a rock. He was eventually the ninth
man out, legbefore to Muralitharan, for 182. He faced
493 balls, and hit 17 fours.
After reaching 405 for four England were disappointed
to subside to 429 all out, but that still meant a lead
of 187. That looked more than enough when Gavaskar
touched a Fred Trueman special to Knott second ball.
Laker was off the field for a while with an injured hand
(he bowled only 6.1 overs in the second innings), and
Underwood was too quick through the air to take
advantage of the helpful pitch. It was left to the
perspiring Botham, who finished with four for 74, to
plug away and claim wickets at crucial stages.
Barry Richards impressed again with a fluent 53, but
it was Lara who threatened to set England a more
ticklish target. He had flowed to 84, with two sixes off
an unimpressed Trueman to go with nine fours, when he
was run out after a mix-up with Warne. Shortly
afterwards the Rest of the World were all out for 261.
England needed only 74 to win — but they had some nasty
moments making them.
Hutton, with 202 runs for once out, was an obvious
choice as man of the match before the caravan moved to
India for the decisive final Test in Calcutta.
Computer simulation devised for Wisden.com by Y.
Ananth Narayanan, of Hallmark Software, Bangalore,
India. Detailed player profiles and a Wisden 20:20
statistical analysis of the match can be found at http://www.wisden.com/