Fifth Test match

England v South Africa 1929

Contested all through on a splendid wicket the last Test match produced a lot of heavy scoring and ended in a draw. South Africa, who made only one change in their eleven, McMillan coming in for Bell, had every reason to be proud of their performance for, after dismissing England in four hours and twenty minutes for 258, they obtained such a mastery over the English attack that they actually scored 492 before declaring at lunch-time on the third day with eight wickets down. England thus had to face an adverse balance of 234 but any idea that they might be beaten was soon dispelled for, after Hobbs and Sutcliffe had hit up 77 in seventy-five minutes, Sutcliffe and Hammond, as at Birmingham, engaged in a great partnership, staying together until stumps were drawn just, before five minutes to six and adding 187 in a little over two hours. As before, each made a hundred, Sutcliffe enjoying, for the second time in his career, the distinction of playing two separate three-figure innings in a Test match. This was a feat no other cricketer had ever accomplished.

Changes were still made in the England team, Hobbs coming in for Bowley, Hammond returning to the exclusion of Hendren, Ames taking Duckworth's place behind the wicket and Clark being the fast bowler instead of Barratt. Apart from that of Sutcliffe and Woolley, the England batting in the first innings left a good deal to be desired. These two men added 71 for the third partnership, but the honours were carried off by Sutcliffe, who, when rain stopped play for the second time and for the day at ten minutes to five, had obtained 84 out of a total of 166 for four wickets. On Monday the England batting broke down badly, the last six wickets falling in ninety-five minutes for another 92 runs. Sixth out at 217, Sutcliffe occupied three hours and a half over his 104, his batting, as was almost inevitable, being very restrained. Although expensive, Vincent bowled uncommonly well.

The start of the South African innings proved truly deplorable, for in thirty-five minutes before lunch they lost three wickets for 25 runs. Thenceforward, however, everything went well for them. Their recovery was entirely due to a great partnership by Taylor and Deane who added 214 in three hours and ten minute. The batting of both men reached a very high standard and, coming as it did in such circumstances, was easily the best in point of class and skill shown by the South Africans in the whole series of Tests. Deane was out at 234 and Taylor at 246 soon afterwards. The former hit only four 4's in his 93, while Taylor had twelve 4's. These figures clearly suggest they had a lot of good bowling to play. While exercising a pronounced mastery over the attack, the batsmen were not favoured by very many really bad balls. Deane, as far as was seen, did not give a chance, but Taylor was missed at the wicket off Woolley when 17 - a small blemish in a remarkable exhibition. At the close of the day South Africa had 283 on the board with five men out and next morning came further good batting by Cameron, Morkel and McMillan to consolidate the position. Cameron and Morkel added 80 in seventy-five minutes and then Owen-Smith, hitting very hard helped Morkel to put on 71 in thirty-five minutes, Finally, McMillan and Vincent hit up 53 in thirty-five minutes, 209 runs, being scored in two hours and a half before Deane declared. In the course of the three days 47,298 people paid for admission.

© John Wisden & Co