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Ashes 1989 - Worst Aussie Team Ever - Part Seven

  • Ashes 1989 - Worst Aussie Team Ever - Part Seven

Having gone 2-0 up in the Ashes, Australia had another two county matches to prepare for the Third Test at Edgbaston

Combined Universities v Australians, The Parks, Oxford, 28 June 1989

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As to continue the relentless schedule of this tour the Aussies had another fixture the next day.  They were off The Parks, Oxford to play a Combined Universities team.  The match was scheduled to be 55 overs-a-side and Australia selected six of the Lord’s XI.  In the Universities team were Mike Atherton and Steve James.  They were captained by future Lancashire and Notts player, Mark Crawley and the wicket-keeper was future Somerset player, Rob Turner. 

The students won the toss and put the visitors in but after just 17 overs the heavens opened and the game was a washout.  Australia were 52-0 and there was no play for two hours.  Then once the rain stopped, the two captains got together and decided to start again with a new match of 35 overs-a-side.  Geoff Marsh opened the batting and got some runs under his belt with 73 off 88 balls, with 5 fours and 3 sixes.  Mike Veletta opened with him and he made 42, only his fourth score of double figures in twelve innings on the tour.  The pair put on 105 for the first wicket and then Marsh & Taylor added 48 before both fell fairly close together.  Tom Moody came in and thumped an unbeaten 47 off 31 balls with 2 fours and 4 sixes.  Australia posted 215-5 off their 35 overs. 

Australia won comfortably by 99 runs as they restricted the Universities to 116-4 off their 35 overs.  James batted through the innings for 43 unbeaten.  Atherton was second out for 20 when he became the first of three wickets for Hohns.  The leg-spinner took 3-14 off seven overs.


Glamorgan v Australians, Neath 1-3 July 1989

After a couple of days break the Australians were off to Neath to meet Glamorgan, who contained Alan Butcher and Matthew Maynard, both of whom had been capped once by England.  They also had Indian all-rounder, Ravi Shastri playing for them as well as future England players, Hugh Morris and Steve Watkin.  Seven players from Lord’s played in this match, with Marsh predictably selected to find some form.  Since his century against Middlesex he had scored just 213 runs in eleven innings.

His opening partner was Veletta who had just 77 runs from six First Class innings and from all matches his eleven innings had seen him reach double figures just three times.  Marsh only made 21 but it was Veletta who took his chance with an unbeaten hundred.  He put on 151 with his captain for the fourth wicket as Border scored 91 and becoming Watkin’s 2nd victim.  Predictably Waugh was not out again.  Border declared the tourists’ innings overnight on 373-4.

Glamorgan batted well to match their opponents.  The Aussies had included both Hohns and May in their line-up and they bowled 36 overs between them, taking three wickets.  Alan Butcher, Mark’s Dad, scored 54 with Hugh Morris scoring 94.  Ian Smith, no not the former New Zealand wicket-keeper, but a young lad from Durham, hit 61 off 81 balls with 10 fours and allowed Morris to declared 301-5.  Marsh and Veletta  put on another fifty partnership before the end of the second day.

Marsh was first out early on the third day for 33 but Veletta went onto score another fine 83 to add to his 134* from the first innings.  Jones contributed a half-century as Border declared at 216-5, leaving their hosts a target of 289 to win the game.

There was only time for 37 overs and Steve Waugh certainly had the home side worried with 3-32 when they were 66-5 at one stage.  Smith and Shastri took them to safety, 135-5 and the game was drawn.


Both Rackemann and May struggled to gain any control but Veletta certainly got a lot out of the game.


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