Don Tallon and other members of the Australian team scramble for the stumps as they win the first Test match at the Gabba in Brisbane. English batsman Len Hutton (far right) looks on as he departs the field © Getty Images
Don Tallon and other members of the Australian team scramble for the stumps as they win the first Test match at The Gabba in Brisbane. Len Hutton (far right) looks on as he departs the field © Getty Images

130 runs were scored as 20 wickets fell on a single day on a ‘sticky’ at The Gabba on December 4, 1950. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at an insane day’s cricket involving a double-declaration.

The retirement of Don Bradman had helped reduce the huge chasm between the sides. This was going to be the first series — the first Test, in fact — since The Invincibles had battered England at their own den.

The captains had changed. The ruthless Bradman had been replaced at the helm by the amicable Lindsay Hassett. Norman Yardley, on the other hand, had given way to the determined, combative, larger-than-life, 39-year-old Freddie Brown (who, among other things, was also the only Test cricketer to be born in Peru).

Brown was having a shower when he was at the receiving end of the question “Can you take the team to Australia?” Brown had recently taken up a job with an engineering firm. “I’ll ask the boss,” was his response. “If you don’t take the job, you’re fired,” was his boss’ response. Brown left for Australia.

Brown had been to Australia as early as the Bodyline tour. The Australian spectators would definitely not let this opportunity go, and pulled his legs with the words: “I knew your father when he was here eighteen years ago.”

England had a new wicketkeeper in the form of the Surrey’s Arthur McIntyre; they had also drafted in four opening batsmen in the form of John Dewes, Reg Simpson (both openers), Gilbert Parkhouse, and David Sheppard, a fast bowler in John Warr, and an off-spinner called Roy Tattersall. They also had a one-of-his-kind Essex all-rounder who went by the name of Trevor Bailey.

The tourists remained undefeated through their early tour matches but won a solitary match, against South Australia. Other than Len Hutton, Denis Compton, The sides then met at The Gabba for the first Test. This didn’t make John Kay, who was covering the tour, particularly happy.

As he wrote in From Ashes to Hassett, a Review of the MCC Tour of Australia, 1950-51: “The field is rough, although the wicket is usually a good one until it rains. Then it is a strip of turf with thousands of demons prancing up and down… at Brisbane only a Hutton could stay, let alone score runs.” The statement turned out to be a rather prophetic one.

Gone was Sid Barnes from the Australian side; he was replaced by a clumsy, dogged New South Welshman called Jack Moroney, who often batted so slowly that RS Whittington had called him a “purposeless porpoise”. The porpoise, however, had scored 118 and 101 not out at New Wanderers only a couple of Tests back, and was prepared to take on the Englishmen.

The other non-Invincible in the side was a 35-year-old Victorian called Jack Iverson, who bowled leg-breaks and googlies with a rather unusual grip, holding the ball between his thumb and his middle-finger. Hassett was all ready to unleash the mystique of this unknown freak on the English.


The English had not been doing well. “Seldom has an England cricket team gone into the field with the odds greater against them than did the side under Freddie Brown’s command at Brisbane on the first day of December 1950. The tour had up to that date been one long succession of inglorious displays that had riled the critics without exception.”

The batting looked fragile: other than Hutton, Cyril Washbrook, Denis Compton, and Simpson all the batsmen were suffering from a lack of form. Dewes eventually got in thanks to his 117 against Queensland at the same ground in the previous match, and McIntyre was included in addition to Evans to strengthen the batting. He also had a reputation as an outstanding thrower of the cricket ball.

Brown assembled his side the night before the Test. His earnest words charged up his side: “Chaps, you have got to get stuck into this with me. I have not lost faith. We can win if we go out there tomorrow and get stuck right into it.”

Wright should ideally have rested himself: he was suffering from fibrositis and had issues with pulled muscles. However, he insisted he be included.

Day One: England fielders dazzle

Keith Miller had a look at the wicket before the Test had started. He had scored 201 not out — a rather slow innings by his standards — a few days back on the same pitch. He cast a glance and predicted that the Test would turn out to be “the dullest in history.” It was going to be a six-day affair.

Hassett won what turned out to be one of the most crucial tosses in the history of Test cricket and elected to bat (he would win 9 out of his 10 Ashes tosses). The decision seemed to have gone wrong at the beginning when Bailey’s fourth ball swung, took Moroney’s edge, and flew to Hutton at backward short-leg.

“That was just the tonic needed. For the rest of the innings England’s fielding touched the highest class and Evans, behind the wicket, was inspired,” wrote Wisden. Indeed, the England fielders lit up The Gabba with their fielding, which was outstanding given the standards of the times.

Australia went to lunch at 66 for 1. Though Neil Harvey batted fluently Arthur Morris looked somewhat out of sorts. Wright began his spell with two characteristic long-hops in his first over; they were duly dispatched by Harvey to the square-leg boundary.

Wright came back with a googly in the next over. It beat the bat and the stumps and went to Evans, who made quite an effort to hold on to it. Things looked ominous — given that this was the first morning. It was “a real pearl that morally bowled Harvey all the way,” later commented Bill O’Reilly in Cricket Task-Force, The Story of the 1950–51 Australian Tour.

Fidgeted and fished around before Alec Bedser trapped him leg-before; at this stage Bedser had bowled 7 overs (9.2 six-ball overs) for 6 runs. Wright then dished out an over to Miller which had an assortment of full-tosses, long-hops, dangerous googlies, vicious leg-breaks, and attempted variations in flight. He went for 12.

Harvey brought up his fifty in style: he hit 6 fours, and cover-drove and pulled Bedser almost immediately afterwards for two more. He moved out three steps against Wright to hit his ninth four that went past the bowler like a rocket and hit the sight-screen.

Miller then faced a terrible long-hop from Wright that was so slow that the great all-rounder was caught in two minds and ended up holing out to McIntyre at mid-on. Hassett walked out and gave a difficult chance to Compton first ball; he survived. Despite his full-tosses and long-hops Wright continued to bowl well, beating the bat and coming perilously close to picking up wickets multiple times.

Even as the ball grew old Bedser was able to find prodigious swing; he bowled one that swung the other way and took Harvey’s edge. Evans took the catch, whipped off the bails, and appealed to both umpires in quick succession. Harvey was given out caught-behind for a 136-minute 74 that included 10 fours.

Hassett hit a six but soon faced a special delivery from Bedser. The ball pitched on leg-and-middle and jagged away to flatten the off-stump. From 129 for 5 Sam Loxton and Ray Lindwall added 27 before Evans pulled off a catch-in-a-lifetime.

Wisden wrote: “When Loxton cut Brown, the ball struck Evans hard on the glove and rebounded forward. His reaction instantaneous, Evans dived headlong and grasped the catch with his left hand inches from the turf as his body struck the ground with force.” Australia went to tea at 166 for 6.

Brown removed Don Tallon almost immediately after tea but Ian Johnson held fort with Lindwall. The pair added 47 in 52. Brown claimed the new ball, and Bailey struck twice almost immediately, removing both batsmen in quick succession. Iverson survived a close run out when he attempted a third run for Johnson.

Bedser then finished the innings, having Bill Johnson caught at slip. Australia were bowled out for 228; Bedser had picked up 3 wickets while Bailey had 2. It was an outstanding bowling and fielding performance by England after they had to field first. Brown’s words seemed to have worked.

The storm, the Sun, and the race

Given the fragile middle-order it was decided that Washbrook and Simpson would open for England and Hutton would bat somewhere down the order. It was possibly a poor decision given that Australia had been bowled out for a low score and it only made sense to allow Hutton, the best opener in the world at that point of time, to bat for as long as possible.

The openers walked out to the middle, but Simpson appealed for bad light before a single ball was bowled. The umpires accepted the appeal, and the players walked back. It poured down that day. Then, on the next day, which was also the rest day — the sun came out and baked the pitch dry.

Percy Beames wrote in The Age: “Normally, where the pitch had been prepared for its usual period of a fortnight, so that a solid base was formed, the wicket would have dried out perfectly. But without the foundation small cracks have opened up, and their formation suggests that pieces of two-shilling coins will soon lift out of the surface.”

More rain followed the next morning and play had to be withheld till afternoon. The chance of any cricket on the day looked bleak, and Miller and Compton headed for the local races, telephoning the ground at regular intervals for updates.

Then, defying all expectations, play started at 1 PM and Miller and Compton rushed to the ground just in time. The pitch, after rain, Sun, and rain in succession, had turned into a gluepot. The man who was perhaps the best option to bat on the pitch — Hutton — sat in the pavilion as Simpson and Washbrook walked out to bat.

The madness begins: England’s first innings

“Should England have to bat on a gluepot when the match is resumed, Brown will think deeply about the right he still has, to close his innings at any stage,” Bill O’Reilly had written in The Age the previous day. “If he can contrive to get the Australians batting on the sticky pitch, even though his team is trailing on the first innings, England will win.”

The roller helped nullify the effects of the rain, but only to some extent. Lindwall bowled a single over before Hassett got Johnston to bowl from the other end. Johnston’s first ball hit Simpson on the shoulder, the next went over his head, the third hit him on his hand.

As the ball darted around at improbable angles assisted by awkward bounce, Hassett removed Lindwall after a single over and asked Miller to bowl. The fast bowler started to bowl off-breaks from around the stumps, and got turn and bounce from the very onset.

Miller and Johnston took some time to adjust to a length; they bowled rather short initially, allowing Simpson and Washbrook to get their eyes in. Then they found the correct length, and the ball started to do ‘things’. Rather, to quote O’Reilly, “from then onward the fun began”.

“The ball proceeded to perform capers all against the laws of gravitation, and their came the craziest day’s cricket imaginable,” Kay later wrote. As Beames had predicted, chunks of soil came off the surface as Johnston and Miller bowled on, alternating between seam and spin.

Brown had ordered his men to get on with the strokes. He had realised that irrespective of the conditions the basic rule of cricket remains the same: whoever scores the most runs wins. The ball had meanwhile, started doing all sorts of things: they jumped viciously chest-high, shot along the ground, and turned at absurd angles.

Both batsmen displayed immense skill and concentration. Whenever there was something sufficiently over-pitched it was driven brutally; if it wasn’t, the ball was played with loose hands as late as possible. If the ball was sure to miss the stumps it was left alone. The openers went to lunch with the first wicket intact; they had added 28.

The first wicket fell on the second ball after lunch when Johnston had Washbrook caught by Hassett, who was fielding as close to the pitch as possible on the off. The opening pair managed to put on 28 in 31 minutes despite the condition. Brown, thinking ages ahead of his times, promoted Evans as a ‘pinch-hitter’ to score as many runs as possible with his unconventional strokes.

The West Australian wrote: “Snicking luckily and getting legs, body, anything but his face in the way of the rising balls, Evans helped Simpson in a useful stand.” He was dropped twice — by Moroney at cover and by Hassett at silly-point. The second one, a “spoon-fed one”, earned the Australian captain a lot of barracking from the crowd.

Miller was aghast; he mocked his captain by throwing a couple of balls at him for catching practice; then he increased his pace, hitting his mate Evans on his hands, legs, and other parts of his anatomy. The wicketkeeper, as The Mercury (Hobart) wrote, “took it all in good heart”.

The pitch kept getting worse, and it became as much a nightmare for Tallon as it was for the batsmen. Some of the balls shot too quickly to him; some others were too slow for him even to consider a stumping. It was then that Johnston produced a stunner that went past Simpson’s defence. 49 for 2.

Compton walked down the wicket as Johnston began his run up; he swung the first ball he faced with some force; the ball flew over the slips, and the batsmen ran three. Evans had a go at the next ball, and the 35-year-old Iverson ran from point to come up with a good catch.

The batsmen had crossed; Johnston’s next ball kicked viciously and Compton, now in a defensive mode, showed excellent reflexes and pulled away. The ball hit him on the forearm and Lindwall caught it at second slip. There was a loud appeal and Andrew Barlow declared Compton out, much to the dismay of the Englishmen.

England had lost 3 wickets in 4 balls for 3 runs as Hutton eventually walked out to join Dewes. Amidst all the confusion Barlow ended up calling “over” after only 7 balls — something he would repeat in Johnston’s next over as well.

Miller claimed his first wicket when he had Dewes caught by Loxton, and McIntyre ended up yorking himself against Johnston. The Victorian had picked up a five-for; he was rewarded for bowling a line and length and letting the pitch do the rest.

“Skipper Brown received a great ovation from a sympathetic crowd,” wrote Advocate (Tasmania). He took a few ugly swipes before Miller had him caught behind. Hutton was joined by Bailey. Though Hutton had looked in control Brown declared the innings closed at 3.22 PM at 68 for 7 to put Australia in on that treacherous track.

Brown had declared 160 runs behind, but it was his only way of getting back into the match. England had batted for only 22 overs (29.4 six-ball overs). Johnston had bowled unchanged to pick up 5 for 35.

Vic Richardson wrote of the declaration in The Mercury (Hobart): “[Freddie] Brown’s declaration was a wise one. The only doubt was as to whether it might have been too early, and permitted Australia to declare again and have England back in an hour.”

The madness continues: Australia’s second innings

Bailey began with a shorter run-up and the first ball flew past Moroney’s head. The poor New South Welshman had already scored a duck and had dropped a catch in the Test. Could things get any worse for him?

It did. Moroney lasted 7 balls before deliberately padded on to one from Bailey that straightened; he ended up registering a pair on Ashes debut. Hassett promoted Johnson (not Miller, surprisingly) to increase the pace, but the Victorian struggled against Bailey and Bedser on the pitch.

The pitch, if possible, deteriorated further as the play progressed. Writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, Neville Cardus wrote: “The proceedings became definitely hectic and peculiar, so much so that the description of it all defies a rational vocabulary. It called for the cinema, the loudspeaker, and Walt Disney at his best.”

Morris looked solid, but since runs had to be scored, he pushed at one from Bedser (what would you expect?), only to be caught brilliantly by Bailey at second slip. Cardus called it “a brilliant, tumbling, voracious catch”.

Loxton was promoted as well (once again, above Miller) and a heave at the first ball. Once again it would be apt to quote Cardus here: “[Sam] Loxton slashed a death-or-glory bat, and an off-drive in a better world than this went straight to the slips.” Bailey took his second catch. Australia had now lost 3 wickets without a run on the board, but were technically 160 for 3.

This was the first time that a side had lost 3 for 0. Australia would be later emulated by India against England at Headingley 1952 (eventually 4 for 0), Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka at Harare in 1999-2000 (Nuwan Zoysa took a hat-trick), and Pakistan against India at Karachi in 2005-06 (Irfan Pathan took a hat-trick).

Hassett prevented the hat-trick. To build up the pressure, Brown brought his fielders in. As The Western Australian wrote, “Brown called in all his fieldsmen to form a most unusual circle with a radius of seven yards around Hassett, who looked like the small boy lost in the forest.”

Johnson, meanwhile, tried to hit out at everything that came his way, missing more often than connecting. Hassett’s misery ended when he became the second batsman of the innings to pad-up deliberately to Bailey. 12 for 4.

Harvey faced a snorter before he had opened his account; the ball hit him somewhere around the forearm — or possibly on the gloves — and went to Compton at leg-slip. The Middlesex legend felt let down for the second time in the day by Barlow as Harvey was ruled not out.

Thus reprieved, Harvey put his feet to excellent use, stepping out and playing back against both Bailey and Bedser, and not looking in any kind of discomfort. Bailey had the third leg-before dismissal in his favour when he trapped Johnson in front of the stumps.

Finally Miller came out to bat. He cover-drove the first ball he faced for four; two balls later he square-cut Bailey for four more; he was middling almost every ball and had started to look ominous when he went for the big hit, mistimed one from Bailey, and Simpson took a good running catch at cover.

Harvey then mistimed a square-cut off Bedser and the ball flew to Simpson at cover. Hassett called Lindwall back immediately, declaring the innings closed at 32 for 7, 192 in lead. The Australian innings had lasted 13.5 overs (18.1 six-ball overs); Bailey (4 wickets) and Bedser (3 wickets) had bowled unchanged.

Brown was confused. He went up to Hassett and the following conversation followed:

Brown: What’s happening, old boy?
Hassett: I’m declaring.
Brown: Oh, I see, you want us in on that again.
Hassett: It’s your move, old chap!

England had to score 193 in over two days of cricket. More importantly, they had to survive for 67 minutes on that wicket that day if light permitted.

Even more madness: England’s second innings

Drama began with the first ball as Lindwall yorked Simpson. Cardus wrote: “The roar of the crowd was not only deafening, but alarming in its explosive impact on the ear; somebody, apparently, was being thrown to the lions.”

Brown now had to fall back upon a different tactic. With the motive to preserve Hutton and Compton for the following day (in case the conditions improved) he decided to hold them back and sent in Dewes. As play progressed, Cardus observed that “the wicket was getting just a little quieter, or, let us say, less positively atrocious.”

Bill Ferguson, sitting in the press-box, was using his famously intricate Ferguson Charts to record the innings: when Simpson was out someone called out, “how long, Bill, and how many fours?” The resultant laughter in the press box eased the tension a bit but ended up confusing the crowd.

Dewes hung on, apparently with the orders to bat out till close. When Washbrook fell to an easy catch to silly mid-on off Lindwall Brown sent in Bailey, who had earned a reputation for his dour batting. Lindwall soon resorted to bouncers and Tallon, standing back about 15 yards, took one in front of his cap.

When the next ball went over Bailey’s head Dewes walked up and patted a spot on his half of the pitch. Just when it seemed that Dewes and Bailey might play out time Miller ran through the former’s defence; Dewes’ 55-minute vigil had ended, and England were 22 for 3.

Brown sent out Bedser as night-watchman, who appealed for bad light almost immediately, but to no avail. It turned out to be crucial in the context of the match. As O’Reilly wrote after the match got over the next day, “there is no doubt that England had lost it in the last 10 minutes of play on Monday afternoon.”

Soon afterwards, Bedser holed to Harvey at cover to give Iverson his first Test wicket. He got his second wicket soon afterwards when Bailey was caught by Johnston at long-leg when he hit one rather carelessly as the ball was passing harmlessly outside the leg-stump.

Bailey was devastated: he had bowled beautifully throughout the match (he was also not out in the first innings) and this was his first blemish of the Test. “[Trevor] Bailey, shocked by his dismissal at a crucial stage, and disgusted at his lapse of concentration, walked very slowly from the wicket and looked as if he wanted the ground to open up and swallow him,” wrote Tim Goodman in the Sydney Morning Herald.

McIntyre was now sent out to join Evans. He went off to a confident start, leg-glancing the first ball for four. Two balls later he pulled hard with Johnston in hot pursuit; the throw was wild and the batsmen tried to run four. They had underestimated Tallon, who, as per Wisden, “ran ten to fifteen yards before catching bad throw-in and, with his gloved hand, hurling down the wicket.”

Hutton entered the arena. However, before he could reach the centre the umpires had given in to Evans’s persistent appeals against bad light, and play was called off for the day three minutes before the scheduled time. England were 30 for 6, and still required 163 to pull off what would be a sensational victory.

The pitch, however, had shown significant signs of improvement. Even Jack Farquhar, the pitch curator, told in an interview to Advocate that the “wicket would fast and true tomorrow”.

Writing of the pitch in The Courier-Mail (Brisbane), Harold Larwood called it worse than the MCG sticky of 1928. He wrote that Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe “played every kind of ball for what must have been the record low-scoring at that time, but held their wickets over lunch and in the meantime, the pitch improved considerably. Yesterday, however, the wicket seemed to grow worse by the minute.”

Arthur Mailey, however, thought differently. He wrote (for the same newspaper): “The pitch at The Gabba yesterday was not nearly the stickiest I have seen, simply because there was not nearly sufficient Sun to bake a veneer over the surface.”

On the other hand he was happy with the day’s proceedings: “I have never seen so much anguish, pain, jubilation, anxiety, and embarrassment in one day’s cricket in my life,” he wrote. “There was nothing synthetic about yesterday’s cricket. It was cricket which gave the players sufficient material to use their brains in addition to their bats and those people who, rightly or wrongly, favour the covering of pitches may reflect and consider what may have happened if the batsmen were again molly-coddled.”

The final day: Hutton stands tall among ruins

The roller at The Gabba was typically pulled by a horse. Brown strode into the ground at 8 AM the next morning along with the umpires Barlow and Herbert Elphinstone. He made them check the time used in taking the horse out of the shafts of the heavy roller and harnessing it back for reverse rolling.

Brown made sure that he got the full 10 minutes of heavy rolling, not willing to give up a single second. The rolling continued for 28 minutes which included several occasions when the horse refused to move.

Hutton batted brilliantly from the first ball he faced. He played every ball on its merit, moving forward and back meticulously. Evans, on the other hand, reached out for everything, and seemed to miss more than connect as Hutton watched anxiously from the other end.

He lost Evans to the first ball the wicketkeeper faced from Johnston in the day. He patted the ball meekly to Loxton at forward short-leg. Compton walked out with the score on 46 for 7. Australia were still on stop, but at least the two best England batsmen were out there.

Thousands of English hearts broke the next ball when Compton made the same mistake as Evans; he pushed forward to the next ball from Johnston — and, horror, horror — spooned up the easiest of catches to Loxton. O’Reilly went on to call both gropes “anaemic shots”.

Brown hung on gamely, hitting two boundaries and helping Hutton put on 31 in 32 minutes. He eventually committed the same mistake as Evans and Compton, groped forward, and fell to Iverson, giving Loxton his third catch of the day. Wright walked out; could Hutton pull off an impossible 116 for the last wicket?

Wright was certainly not the best batsman in the world, but he was good at what was expected of him at that moment — hang on and provide a dead-bat to every ball. He set about it meticulously as Hutton launched himself into the Australian attack.

Had video photography been in vogue the innings would probably have been recorded for future generations of batsmen: “Hutton thrashed the fast bowlers majestically and played the turning or lifting ball with the ease of a master craftsman,” wrote Wisden.

An awestruck Beames wrote: “From the way [Len] Hutton batted, the impression remains that the pick of Australia’s fast bowling has passed its peak or else a new, attacking Hutton has emerged.” “To see [Len] Hutton dealing with [Ray] Lindwall’s thunderbolts one would never have believed the express has been Hutton’s bogeyman,” he added.

Kay wrote: “At Brisbane, on a wicket that was the worst that I have ever seen, the Yorkshireman was superb. The head-high bouncer was safely ignored. The chest-high deliveries of both the pace men and the spinners were played safely to the ground, out of the way of the many grasping hands in the leg-trap, and Hutton’s display was a perfect lesson in the art of batsmanship… that will long remain in my memory, being by far the best innings I have ever seen played.”

Lindwall was reduced to bowling with a solitary slip as Hutton decimated the Australian attack. O’Reilly wrote: “Hutton’s tremendous performance ranks him, in my opinion, as the greatest batsman known in the world today. I know no other who could have been capable of collaring the Australian attack on a helping pitch, and making it look like a second-rate force.”

O’Reilly was also in praise of Wright: “As it was, Wright, courageously leaning back to defend on his right foot with his jaw set in grim determination, allowed Hutton to crack the Australian bowling so brilliantly that [Lindsay] Hassett must have begun to worry about the ultimate result of the match.”

Miracles do happen in cricket. It did not happen this time, though. Iverson came on to bowl the last over before lunch; Wright was left to face the last four; he kept out three of them; then, something went wrong somewhere, and Wright, after holding fort for 38 minutes, went for an outrageous hook and ended up spooning the ball to Lindwall at square-leg.

Australia won the Test by 70 runs and went 1-0 up in the series. Iverson had an excellent debut with 4 for 43, striking crucial blows whenever England threatened to claw their way back into the game. Hutton returned to the pavilion amidst a huge cheer. After lunch he commented in characteristic style: “With a bit of luck I’d have won the game.”

What followed?

– Australia won a heart-stopping contest in the low-scoring second Test at MCG by 28 runs despite Freddie Brown’s heroic 62 and 4 for 26.

– Australia regained the Ashes with an innings victory at SCG. Iverson routed them with 6 for 27 in the second innings after Miller’s dominant 145 not out.

– The fourth Test at Adelaide was a contest between Morris and Hutton. Morris was last out for 206 in Australia’s 371 while Hutton responded by carrying his bat with 156 out of a total of 272. Australia ended up winning again.

– In the final Test at MCG Australia’s unbroken run of 26 Tests was broken and England won their first Ashes Test in over 12 years. Hutton, Simpson, and Bedser were the chief architects of the victory.

– Hassett would eventually concede The Ashes two-and-a-half years later to Hutton, who would come back to Australia to retain it. He reinstated himself as an opener.

– Iverson finished the series with 21 wickets at 15.23 but never played a Test again.

Brief scores:

Australia 228 (Neil Harvey 74, Ray Lindwall 41; Alec Bedser 4 for 45, Trevor Bailey 3 for 28) and 32 for 7 decl. (Trevor Bailey 4 for 22, Alec Bedser 3 for 9) beat England 68 for 7 decl. (Bill Johnston 5 for 35) and 122 (Len Hutton 62*; Jack Iverson 4 for 43) by 70 runs.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is a cricket historian and Senior Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He generally looks upon life as a journey involving two components – cricket and literature – though not as disjoint elements. A passionate follower of the history of the sport with an insatiable appetite for trivia and anecdotes, he has also a steady love affair with the incredible assortment of numbers that cricket has to offer. He also thinks he can bowl decent leg-breaks in street cricket, and blogs at He can be followed on Twitter at