First Texaco Trophy Match

England v South Africa 1998

At The Oval, May 21. South Africa won by three wickets. Toss: South Africa. International debuts: C. J. Adams, D. L. Maddy.

Twice England held the advantage, and twice they let it slip, condemning one-day captain Adam Hollioake to his fifth defeat in a row. They started strongly, as Knight supervised two half-century stands and lifted the score to 155 for two after 36 overs. But, when he became the first England batsman of the summer to fall victim to Rhodes's electrifying fielding, England suffered a mid innings crisis: four wickets fell for six runs.

A total of 223 was short of substance, but South Africa were to experience difficulties of their own. After Kallis had announced himself with a stylish 62, Cronje took the total to 175 before his powerful drive was brilliantly snaffled by Hussain at mid-wicket; then Pollock was bowled next ball. Rhodes, though, was commanding. His pull for six off Croft swung the pendulum back towards South Africa, and his stand of 39 with Klusener set up victory with eight balls to spare. England had included Hussain at 24 hours' notice as cover for the injured Thorpe; of the 14-man squad, Alistair Brown, Fraser and Fleming were omitted.

Man of the Match: J. H. Kallis. Attendance: 16,139; receipts £512,304.

© John Wisden & Co