Third Test Match

ENGLAND v. SOUTH AFRICA. 1927-28

Played at DURBAN, January 21, 23, 24, 25.--The third Test match produced a magnificent struggle, but, although at one point in their second innings South Africa were in danger of defeat, the game had to be left drawn, England wanting 149 runs to win with eight wickets to fall. Facing a balance of 184 South Africa had three wickets down for 118, but when disaster threatened the side the home batsmen came out in their best form and from this serious position the recovery was so complete that for the loss of five more men the total was carried to 464. When Deane declared all hopes of England forcing a victory had vanished, but the time available--two hours and a half in which to get 281 runs--provided the opportunity for Holmes and Tyldesley to give a delightful batting display in a partnership of 102. Starting as badly as in the two previous games, South Africa would apparently have been dismissed in their first innings for a total considerably less than 246 but for the action of the English captain who, taking off Wyatt at 20 when that bowler had sent down eleven overs for 1 run and Taylor's wicket, did not try him again until the score had reached 241. Wyatt then immediately broke up a vigorous eighth wicket partnership which had yielded 95 runs, dismissing both Deane and Nupen--the participants in that stand--in three balls in his first over. England scored consistently but fortune favoured them in that Holmes was missed three times, Stevens twice and Tyldesley once. Hammond, however, played in his finest form and with Tyldesley shared in a partnership of 127. By skilful and untiring defence over a period of three hours and fifty minutes, Nicolson rendered South Africa invaluable service in the second innings. His great work was shown not only in his successive stands of 68 with Taylor, 107 with Catterall and 59 with Morkel, but in the manner in which he wore down the English bowling and so paved the way for another resolute partnership--123 on this occasion--between Deane and Nupen. The aggregate of runs--1,272 for thirty wickets--was the largest ever recorded in a match between the two countries. Geary being unable to play, Staples completed the England team.

© John Wisden & Co