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Len Hutton
Len Hutton ripped up the record books at The Oval in 1938

The Great Match - 1938 review & audio highlights


RESULT: England won by an innings and 579 runs

Wally Hammond winning the toss for the fourth consecutive time and injuries on the field to Jack Fingleton and Don Bradman were crucial factors influencing the result of what will always be known as ĎHuttonís Matchí.

The 22-year-old Yorkshireman Len Hutton broke record after record on his way to the then highest individual score in Test cricket.

His 364, amassed over 13 hours 17 minutes, passed Hammondís 240 at Lordís, made earlier in the series which stood as the record for England in any home Test against Australia.

It also eclipsed RE Fosterís 287 at Sydney in 1903 - the highest against Australia - and Don Bradmanís 334 in 1930.

The second-wicket partnership of 382 between Hutton and Maurice Leyland (187) remains as the best for any wicket against Australia.

Huttonís calm, methodical approach, endurance and concentration throughout a stupendous innings, lasting from 11.30 on the Saturday to nearly 2.30 on the Tuesday (Sunday being a rest day), captured acclaim throughout the cricket world and beyond.

England eventually declared at 903-7 during the tea interval on the third day, after some spirited batting by Arthur Wood during a 106 partnership with Joe Hardstaff jnr, who finished 169 not out.

There had been a Yorkshireman at the wicket the entire innings.

The risk taken by Australia in going into the match with only three front-line bowlers - Bill OíReilly, 'Chuck' Fleetwood-Smith and Mervyn Waite - had reaped disastrous consequences.

When it came to Australiaís turn to bat, the injuries sustained by Fingleton (a strained leg muscle) and Bradman (flake fracture of the right ankle which caught in a foot-hole while he was bowling) compounded the situation.

Dispirited, Australia were dismissed for 201 and then, following on, for 123, with only Bill Brown and Ben Barnett showing any resistance against skilful bowling from Bill Bowes and Ken Farnes.

Australia were actually dismissed twice in four and three-quarter hoursí cricket, although they batted with only nine men, which detracted a little from Englandís triumph.

More than 94,000 people came through the gate for the game, which saw England square the rubber one-all, after a margin of victory that remains a record for all Test cricket.

Australia though, retained the Ashes.

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