Third Test 1934/35

Australia v England

Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne: 18th – 21st January 1935

Finally Betty Archdale won a toss although she notes later that she’d have preferred to lose it, given the run of the series so far. She chose to bat.

Australia had made some changes. Nell McLarty was relegated to carrying the drinks while the hopelessly out of form Hazel Pritchard was dropped down the order. Her fellow opener Ruby Monaghan was dropped altogether to make way for Amy Hudson.

Opening the batting in the third and final match would be the skipper, Margaret Peden. There were 6 players in the Australian team from NSW and only 3 from Victoria. This brought about some murmurings from the southern state given that they had just won the interstate championships.

The familiar pair of Myrtle Maclagan and Betty Snowball strode to the crease to open the innings for England. Snowball went early to Kath Smith, and Maclagan peeled off an even 50, but if there was any doubt about the fact that the little leg spinner ought to have been used earlier in each of the preceding Tests, Peggy Antonio, by now labelled “the female Grimmett” after the male Test cricketer, Clarrie Grimmett, it was evident. The smiling assassin sent down 21.5 overs and returned the excellent figures of 6/49 as England were bundled out for 162.

On wickets as hard as a polished dining room table, and with a full size ball, Peggy can make the ball break several inches in any direction. Luckily she still sends down a fair amount of loose balls which can be hit. On soft wickets and with a small ball, Peggy’s bowling should be more than unpleasant. And she is not the kind of bowler to be worried by being hit, and so lose her length.” – Archdale in WCA Magzine Vol 7 #2

Amy Hudson, on debut, opened the innings with her skipper and made 16 runs in 82 minutes. It wasn’t attractive, but given the trouble at the top Australia had previously experienced, Hudson’s contribution was more than welcome. The skipper failed again, with just 10 runs. Australia was in real trouble at 7/78, but some lower order heroics from Joyce Brewer and Anne Palmer saw the hosts within spitting distance of England, all out 150, Maclagan and Spear picking up 3 wickets apiece.

Hazel Pritchard again failed to ignite in what had been a demoralizing series for the talented youngster, yet she got some revenge by running out opener Libby Child in the second innings. In keeping with her opposite number, Archdale opened the innings, but also fell for 10. It was Betty Snowball who starred again, remaining not out 83 when the skipper declared at seven down for 153, a lead of 164.

“I wanted to be 200 ahead, but, with our innings lead of 12, we were only 164. There were 2 ½ hours left. Judging by English cricket a declaration seemed more than risky, but, after much mental and written arithmetic, I took the plunge and declared.” – Archdale in WCA Magazine Vol 6 #3

164 was more than enough. The hapless Pritchard returned to the top of the order and was first out when the score was 5. Hudson and Smith followed and it was 3/22, with all wickets falling to… yes, Myrtle Maclagan. Palmer followed, then Shevill, Antonio. Australia were on the brink of a third successive defeat but held on, thanks largely to Peden (Barbara) and Brewer. When stumps were pulled Australia was 8/104, 60 runs from victory, or two wickets from defeat. Fittingly, at the crease to stave off defeat at the end were the Peden sisters, allowing the match to finish in a draw.

England 162 (Maclagan 50, Antonio 6/49) and 7 dec. 153 (Snowball 83*) drew with Australia 150 (Palmer 39) and 8/104 (Brewer 31, Maclagan 4/28)