Nottinghamshire v Australians, Trent Bridge, Nottingham, 2-4 August 1989
Once again the Australians were back in tour action the day after the test had finished. Moody, Zoehrer, May, Campbell and Rackemann came back in. Border was rested again so Marsh was skipper again. Notts were captained by Tim Robinson, who’d returned to the England side at Old Trafford and who had just been confirmed as turning his back on his country by agreeing to go on the rebel South African tour. They also included former internationals, Derek Randall, Eddie Hemmings and Bruce French.
Marsh won the toss and decided to bat first. He opened with Taylor and they again put on a half-century partnership but he was again out cheaply for 16. He was averaging 27.42 from 26 First Class innings on tour and it was now about ten weeks since he last past fifty in the longer format. Taylor was out soon after and Australia were 55-2, but Boon and Jones continued their good form as both scored half-centuries. They added 155 for the third wicket before Jones was out for 82 off 103 balls.
He was going through a real purple patch with his last five innings being 82, 69, 167, 157 & 56. He’d passed fifty 9 times in fourteen First Class innings on the tour. Boon was then out for 76 with Moody following soon after. Moody was one of the players who wasn’t getting in the test side, but he also wasn’t taking his opportunities in the county games to push his case. 7, 5 & 7 from his last three innings just wasn’t going to put pressure on anyone in the test side. Moody was the first of three wickets to fall on 228 as Zoehrer (run out) and Hughes (bowled by Millns) both went without scoring. Australia had slumped from 226-3 to 228-7.
After May was Millns fourth wicket, Campbell managed to stay long enough at the crease with Waugh to add 24 for the ninth wicket and then Rackemann helped Waugh put on 18 for the final wicket and the innings ended at 284 when Kevin Cooper picked up his third wicket. Waugh was unbeaten on 46 off 47 balls.
Pollard and Newell ended the day unscathed as Notts had cut the arrears by 21. On the second morning, Hughes took four wickets to leave Notts 67-4 as both Paul Johnson and Derek Randall fell without scoring. Bruce French, batting at number six, finally managed to put on a partnership with Robinson as the two put on 49 for the fifth wicket before Tim May had French caught behind by Zoehrer for 20. Robinson fell to Rackemann shortly after before the same bowler accounted for Hemmings. Notts had reached 179-7, still 105 adrift when the tourists grabbed two quick wickets. The first one was Cooper who was caught behind off Hughes, to give the bowler his fifth wicket of the innings. Notts were skittled out for 195 in the end with Hughes taking 5-38 and May 3-40, to give the Aussies a lead of 89 on the first innings.
When the Aussies resumed second time round Marsh and Taylor put on 73 for the first wicket before Taylor was first out, lbw to Cooper for 30. Marsh went onto his half-century off 77 balls. It was the first time he reached this milestone since the tour against Middlesex, 21 innings ago. He was then lbw to Stephenson for 66. They ended the second day 158-2, a comfortable lead of 247.
Dean Jones went early on the third day for 22 when Andy Afford had him stumped by French for 22. Boon was in fluent mood and was the senior partner in the partnership with Moody as they put on 40 and then he dominated the partnership with Waugh as the Aussies declared on 255-4. Boon reached his century off 166 balls and was not out on 102 when the innings was declared. It was his second First Class century in four matches.
Nottinghamshire were set 345 to win. They started badly as Rackemann had Pollard caught by Jones for 11 and when Hughes trapped Newell lbw for 4 they were 27-2. Randall and Johnson batted well to put on 59 but then May got the wicket of Randall just short of his fifty and Rackemann got Johnson’s wicket soon after. They reached hundred still for the loss of four wickets but then Tim May picked up two quick wickets of French and Robinson and the home side were now 103-6. Eddie Hemmings came in and immediately hit a six but then edged Rackemann behind to Zoehrer. Rackemann then picked up the wicket of Cooper to claim his fourth of the innings and then completed his first fifth wicket haul of the tour when Stephenson was ninth out at 135. Notts were finally all out for 148 when May got his fourth wicket. Notts had been bowled out inside 38 overs as Marsh just used three bowlers and was rewarded with Rackemann and May’s best bowling of the tour. Rackemann took 5-65 and May 4-43 as Australia won by 196 runs. It was a comprehensive victory and with the next test being held at the same venue, gave them even more confidence to extend their winning margin in the series.
Leicestershire v Australians, Grace Road, Leicester, 5-7 August 1989
Next day Australia moved onto meet Leicestershire, as Border, Healy, Hohns and Lawson returned. Leicester were captained by David Gower keen to find at least one win against the tourists this summer. They also included future TMS commentator, Jonathan Agnew, former England players, Les Taylor, who played in the 1985 Ashes series, and future England players Peter Such and Paul Nixon. Their overseas player was West Indian fast bowler, Winston Benjamin. They also included future England selector, James Whitaker, who toured Australia with England in 1986/87.
Gower again called correctly at the toss with Border and he chose to bat first, presumably keen to try and put the Aussie bowlers to the sword in an attempt to gain an early advantage ahead of the Fourth Test.
The home openers only managed to put on 27 before Tim Boon was caught by Moody off Lawson for 14. Gower then went the same way for just 9. After Rackemann got the wicket of the other opener, Nigel Briers, Lawson got his third wicket when Whitaker went for 6 and the home side were now struggling at 49-4. Hepworth and Benjamin then fell within a run of each other and they were now 63-6. Laurie Potter and Paul Nixon finally got to grips with the bowlers and put on 54 before May bowled Nixon for 24. Agnew then hit a quick 30 before the home side went from 156-7 to 157 all out. Lawson got the wicket of Agnew for his fourth of the innings and his fiftieth of the tour. He ended with figures of 4-38 with Rackemann taking 3-19 to add to his fine performance against Notts.
Marsh and Taylor again put on a half-century opening stand before Marsh was caught by Whitaker off Les Taylor for 22. Moody again fell for a single figure score when Benjamin had him caught by Boon for 6 and then Benjamin bowled Border next ball. Australia were 105-3 at the end of the first day and already just 52 behind. Taylor reached his half-century off 93 balls just before the close of play.
The second day began well for the home side as Steve Waugh was bowled by Agnew for 7 with just four having been added to the overnight total. Taylor was finally out for 70, giving Benjamin his third wicket of the innings but any hope the hosts had of dismissing the tourists cheaply were ended when two unlikely heroes, Healy and Hohns, put together an amazing partnership. Healy’s previous best on the tour was 39 and Hohns had only passed 21 twice in fourteen innings on tour, yet the two put on 126 for the sixth wicket. Hohns innings was the most incredible as he passed fifty off 73 balls hitting 8 fours. He fell just five runs short of a century when Benjamin found his edge to Nixon for 95 off 131 balls. In total he’d hit 13 fours and dominated the partnership. Healy then pushed on after Hohns was gone, reaching his fifty off 105 balls, as the Aussies reached 300. Benjamin then had Hughes lbw for 7. Next ball he had May caught by Potter and his hat-trick was completed when he bowled Lawson. Agnew then bowled Rackemann and Australia were all out for 305 with the last four wickets falling for just five runs. But for the three innings of Taylor, Healy and Hohns (248) it would’ve been a disastrous performance. Benjamin (7-54) had produced his best bowling of his first class career.
When Leicestershire began their second innings they were 148 behind but Boon and Briers set about reducing that. They put on 70 but then Rackemann got both of them. They closed the day 133-2 and still fifteen runs behind. Gower had batted much better second time around and ended the day unbeaten on 41.
As the locals took their seats for the third day anticipating a fightback by the home side they were soon disappointed when Whitaker fell lbw to Lawson for 17 with no addition to their overnight total. Potter and Gower then went in quick succession and then when Hepworth fell to Hughes the home side were 176-6 and only 28 ahead. Agnew’s innings second time round was even more rousing than the first one. This time he hit 39 off 28 balls with 7 fours and a six but was eighth out for 237. His departure meant the end for the home side as they only managed 243. Hohns, who Agnew had taken most liking to, finished with 5.2-0-49-3 with the other spinner, May, also going for 79 runs off 29 overs.
The Australians only needed 96 to register another victory and Moody was sent in to open with Marsh and the two added 52 before Les Taylor got Moody for 36. Marsh and Border saw the tourists home for a nine wicket win. It was their fourth successive win on the tour.
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