The Australians have always been known to be profusely ruthless. Apart from being ruthless and bold, the Australians have always played cricket with an innovative mindset. It has often been their out of the box thinking, which has reaped them great rewards. They take such steps, just to emerge victorious after all. The history of Australian cricket is full of captains who have believed in winning from any position. The “Australian” mentality always deals with attacking, and not defending and going for a draw.
One such instance, when the Australians took a bold step for victory came in the year 1950. It was the first Ashes series since the retirement of the legendary Sir Donald Bradman. The Australians, under the leadership of Lindsay Hasset hosted the English at the Gabba. The visitors were led by Freddie Brown and this was the first match of the series.
The hosts won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat first. As per Wisden, the Australians won half the battle as they won the toss. The Gabba wicket was a boon to the batsmen early on. But as the game progressed, the pitch displayed its true nature and made life hell for the batsmen.
The English though, stunned everyone by dismissing the Australians for a cheap total. The hosts were all out for 228 in 55.5 overs. The Australian batting hardly displayed any zeal except for Neil Harvey and Ray Lindwall. Harvey played a fine innings and made 74 with the help of 10 fours. The first day ended with Australia being dismissed for 228. There was no play on the second day due to a storm in Brisbane. The third day was a rest day.
England resumed play on the fourth day, only to be intimidated by the Aussie bowling. The visitors were dismissed for just 68 in the span of just 22 overs! The English though declared their innings at 7 down. This might have been done to prevent their tailenders from getting injured. The Australians batted again, and this is where something special happened. The hosts were reeling at 0-3. The English bowling in the second innings was phenomenal and the hosts kept on losing wickets.
The new ball pair of Bailey and Bedser wrecked havoc and reduced the hosts to 32-7. The Australians shocked everyone by declaring their innings there and then. Everyone in the ground stood shocked after the hosts declared their innings for just 32!
The English needed 193 to win. As fate would have it, the Australians dismissed them for 122, and won by 70 runs. Wrist spinner Jack Iverson took four wickets for the host. It was a victory that shook everyone. No one expected Australia to win after declaring their second innings at 32-7!
Here is the scorecard:
Australia 1st Innings:
England 1st Innings:
Australia 2nd Innings:
England 2nd Innings: