All this information was fed into computers, which converted the data to probability tables concerning individual performances.
The toss was made last night over a radio-telephone link-up between Peter May, England’s captain, and Sir Donald, Australia’s captain. Sir Donald, who was in Adelaide, won the toss with a “tails” call and decided to bat on a wicket pre-determined as being good for three days and then taking spin on the final two days. Arthur Morris, who listened in from Sydney on the captains’ conversation, opened the Australian innings with Bill Ponsford, a champion of the 1930s. The fast bowlers could not break their partnership, but in his second over off-spinner Jim Laker pushed a faster ball through to Morris and he was trapped in front for 39. Ponsford and Bradman carried Australia to lunch (1-116), but Bradman went soon afterwards when he went forward to a quicker ball from Verity and was caught by the bowler.
With ”The Don” out, Ponsford shouldered the responsibility of the batting and was the only Australian to look comfortable against the English spin.
The teams, in batting order, are:
A. Morris, W. Ponsford, D. Bradman (c), C. Macartney, N. Harvey, R. Simpson, K. Miller, R. Benuad (vc), R. Lindwall, D. Tallon, W. O’Reilly. 12th man: A. Davidson.
J. Hobbs, L. Hutton, W. Hammond, D. Compton, M. Leyland, P. May (c), G. Evans, H. Larwood, M. Tate, J. Laker, H. Verity. 12th man: F. Trueman.
Australia recovered to post a handy 321 in the first innings with England scoring 266 in reply. Bradman fared much better in the second dig, making a double century in Australia’s 437. England’s target of 493 was too great and they succumbed about 40 minutes before tea for 327 with Benaud and Miller leading the charge.
Writing for the Herald, Bill O’Reilly, who claimed one wicket in England’s second innings, said he was “glad this strange Test is over and that Australia won it so handily”. He did warn readers however to “take heed of this mechanical accountancy and its inroads into the hallowed field of sporting endeavour”.