Australia made a brief visit to British shores in the summer of 1980 to mark the centenary of the first Test match played in England, at The Oval in 1880. This one-off Test match was drawn and Geoffrey Boycott made an unbeaten 128 in England’s second innings.
After almost ten hours had been lost due to rain in the first three days, it always seemed likely that this match would end in a draw. Australia had made 385 for 5 before declaring in their first innings before bowling England out for 205.
Australia then made 189 for 4 declared which saw England set a stiff target of 370 in 350 minutes. Boycott’s 128 came from 252 deliveries and included twelve fours, but despite the opener’s efforts, and that of Mike Gatting who made 51, England didn’t pursue victory and were content in batting for the draw, closing on 244 for 3.
Boycott’s century was his sixth against Australia and his nineteenth in Tests, and during the match, moved past both Sir Leonard Hutton and Sir Donald Bradman in the leading all-time Test run scoring list.