Fourth Test match

Australia v South Africa 1931-32

Played at ADELAIDE, January 29, 30, February 1, 2. Australia won by ten wickets. Up to a point South Africa rendered a fairly good account of themselves but, as in previous matches, the combination of Bradman and Grimmett as batsman and bowler proved too much for them and Australia won the fourth Test match by ten wickets. Bradman played a great innings of 299 not out, while Grimmett took fourteen wickets - seven in each innings - for 199 runs. Rarely in a Test match can two men have contributed so materially to the defeat of the opposing side. Having won the rubber, Australia, with a view to the future, introduced two or three young players into their team, but except that O'Reilly took four wickets, it was left to the two men mentioned above to carry off chief honours.

Grimmett bowled very steadily on the opening day when South Africa scored 265 for seven wickets. After two men had left for 45, Mitchell and Taylor put on 120 runs in about ninety-five minutes, Mitchell batting solidly, while Taylor showed his best form of the tour in an innings of 78. Grimmett bowled with great effect after tea, but the next day South Africa carried their score to 308 before the last wicket fell. In reply to that Australia made 302 for four wickets. This was almost entirely the work of Woodfull and Bradman, who added 176 for the second wicket. Rigg, later, gave Bradman useful assistance, the latter at the close being 170 not out.

On Monday the Australian total amounted to 513, Bradman remaining undefeated until the end. In his attempt to reach his 300th run, however, he ran Thurlow out. Bradman's score of 299 was the highest ever made by one man in a Test match in Australia, but it fell short by 35 of his record made against England at Leeds in 1930. He dominated the proceedings on this day after he and Rigg had increased their overnight partnership to 114. There were times, however, when he was not at all comfortable. During one particular hour he scored only 25 runs and survived several appeals for leg-before and catches at the wicket. Oldfield and Grimmett gave valuable help and with O'Reilly in 78 runs were added. The innings closed just before tea, South Africa being left to get 205 to save the innings defeat.

Mitchell again played well and Christy batted brightly, these two putting on 81 in an hour and a quarter after Curnow had left at 22. Before play ceased the visitors made 124 for two wickets and on the last day they ran their total to 274. Taylor and Mitchell made a brave effort to get on top of the bowling with a partnership which produced 121 in just over two hours, but after the dismissal of Taylor, very little real resistance was offered. When there were two wickets to fall Mitchell wanted only nine runs for his hundred, but he was caught at cover-point and the innings closed a little later. Actually the last seven South African wickets went down for 70 runs. The wicket had worn slightly at one end, but that was no real excuse for such a bad collapse. Australia had to get only 70 runs, these being hit off by Ponsford and Woodfull in less than an hour.

© John Wisden & Co