Second Test 1937

England v Australia

Stanley Park, Blackpool: 26th – 29th June 1937

At Blackpool under grey clouds for the second Test, the result of the first Test was reversed by a similar margin. The crowd of 4000 no doubt enjoying the result as well as “a jolly good pie” for threepence.

Molly Hide won the toss and batted and England scratched their way to 222 on the back of Myrtle Maclagan’s brilliance. The opener scored 115 which meant that she had scored the first two centuries in Test cricket. Honours were shared with the bowling, Peggy Antonio the best with 3/34. The wicket keeping of Alice Wegemund deserves special mention, with three stumpings and only two byes. It was a good comeback by Australia, given that England were just 2 wickets down for 139 and their good fortune continued with the batting, after a shaky start.

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Two brilliant catches saw off the openers. Margaret Peden was out to a low, one handed catch by Joyce Haddelsey when the score was just 3, and Betty Snowball took a diving catch down the legside to dismiss Antonio to make it 2/23. However the graceful Hazel Pritchard was joined by Pat Holmes and they took the score to 2/108 at stumps, Australia well in control.

Rain marred the second day and Pritchard fell early for 67. Holmes followed for 44 but Kathleen Smith and Winnie George continued to plunder the attack before Smith was run out for 63 when the score was 198. Nell McLarty was out first ball to Maclagan, but Barbara Peden helped push the score along with 33. The tail failed to wag and George was left stranded on 62 not out. Australia had scored 302, a new high. Maclagan and Hide collected three wickets each.

By stumps on the second day, England had successfully wiped off the 80 run deficit for the loss of only one wicket, that of Mona Greenwood for 13, to be 1/91.

Cold conditions and grey skies greeted the players for the third day as England looked to consolidate their position and were only slightly put out when Maclagan was clean bowled by Mollie Flaherty for 49 when the score was 99. They progressed slowly but surely, through Molly Hide. Antonio came on to bowl after lunch. She bowled Hide and this was followed by two flash stumpings by Wegemund, and the England batting was in tatters, all out for 231, Peggy Antonio again the destroyer with 5/31.

Winnie George watched aghast from the other end, remaining not out on 34, as one by one the Australians were skittled, all out for 126. The damage was most inflicted by the England captain, Molly Hide, picking up 5/20, but she was well supported by Eileen Whelan (3/20) and Maclagan (2/29). England the victors by 25 runs, setting up a fascinating contest for the third and final Test match.

England 222 (Maclagan 115, Antonio 3/34) and 231 (Lowe 57, Maclagan 49, Antonio 5/31) defeated Australia 302 (Pritchard 67, Smith 63, George 62, Hide 3/38) and 126 (Pritchard 41, George 34, Hide 5/20)

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