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April 17, 2005
The former South Africa Test batsman Ken Funston has died in Cape Town, aged 79. An aggressive middle-order batsman, Funston played 18 Tests between 1952 and 1958, with a highest score of 92 in the fourth Test of his first series, against Australia at Adelaide. With no real stars in the side, South Africa astounded many by drawing the series 2-2. He was also noted for his magnificent fielding in the deep.
His first class career spanned three decades; he made his debut in the 1946-47 season and played his last game in 1961-62. Funston, who was born in Pretoria, played first-class cricket for North Eastern Transvaal, Orange Free State and Transvaal. He averaged just over 30, hit five centuries, with a topscore of 160. An occasional bowler, his best figures were 2 for 32.
Funston also excelled at other sports. He gained soccer colours for North Eastern Transvaal, and hockey colours for Orange Free State. But cricket remained his first sport and, when he moved to Cape Town, he took the post of administrator for the Western Province Cricket Union. He was also a selector. His son, Graham, also played first-class cricket, and represented both Northerns and Griqualand West as an allrounder.
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