Benson & Hedges World Cup 1991-92, qualifying match


Toss: Australia.

South Africa returned to the ground where they played their first Test in Australia, in 1910-11, and their last, in 1963-64, and won their first World Cup match with ease. Their captain, Wessels, the former Australian player, was hugged by his opposite number and former team-mate Border after hitting the winning run. But the match had a disheartening start for the returning prodigals. Donald's first ball appeared to find the edge of Marsh's bat before reaching the wicket-keeper, but umpire Aldridge thought not. The visitors' calm in disappointment was rewarded when no Australian reached 30: only Boon looked comfortable. South Africa's medium-pacers took control, and Kuiper removed Marsh and Border with consecutive balls. The fielding, in particular that of Rhodes at cover, was universally praised. In contrast the Australians bowled and fielded untidily, and were quite unable to defend a mediocre total of 170. They were further hampered by the loss of Healy, who pulled a hamstring while batting; Boon took over behind the stumps. Victory secured, the South Africans returned to their dressing-room to receive messages of congratulation from President F. W. de Klerk and ANC leader Nelson Mandela, while Cup-holders Australia digested their second defeat in their opening two games.

Man of the Match: K. C. Wessels. Attendance: 39,789.

© John Wisden & Co