one of the most amazing batting collapses in the 80 years of Test cricket took place in the fourth match between England and Australia at Old Trafford yesterday, and as a result it is virtually certain that for the next 18 months the Ashes will be in England’s keeping. Only unyielding rain can save Australia now from overwhelming defeat, for last night they were 322 runs behind England with nine second innings wickets to fall, having been bowled out once for 84 and made to follow on in face of England’s total of 459.
At five minutes to four Australia’s score was 48 for no wicket and McDonald and Burke, if they were not exactly making light of the bowling of Laker and Lock, at least were suggesting that England would have to work hard for victory. Eighty minutes later Australia’s first innings was over. They had capitulated to the spin of Laker, whose off-breaks they had found unplayable. His remarkable figures are eloquent enough.… In his last nine overs he had taken nine wickets for 16 runs, and after tea he had claimed a victim, seven in all, with every third ball he bowled.
Second Day 27 July 1956
Published on Jun 6, 2012