First Test match

South Africa v Australia 1935-36

Toss: South Africa. Test debuts: South Africa - F.Nicholson, J.B.Robertson; Australia - L.O'B.Fleetwood-Smith, E.L.McCormick.

Australia won the first Test match readily enough by nine wickets their spin bowlers proving too good for the home side. In the first innings, despite a very careful opening stand of 45, South Africa lost three men for 71 before Nourse, by strong, judicious strokes in front of the wicket, hit up 30 in as many minutes. Rowan and Wade followed with a plucky effort, but, although Crisp hit out, the last five wickets fell for 80 runs. Bad light prevented Australia from commencing their innings till the second day, when a strong wind continually blew off the bails, the game often being hindered. After the loss of Fingleton at 12, Brown and McCabe gave their side the upper hand by scoring 161 in a stubborn partnership. McCabe stayed on with Darling while 95 were added before being dismissed by a great catch at forward short leg. Apart from a chance of stumping when 135, McCabe gave a faultless display. Australia finished the day 32 ahead with six wickets in hand. They would have been out for very few more runs had catches been held next morning. As it was, Chipperfield, twice let off before passing 40, put together his second hundred of the tour, and South Africa faced arrears of 181. Siedle and Mitchell gave them another encouraging start by scoring 51 together, but three men were out for 89. There ensued a gallant stand between Nourse and Rowan who, without taking needless risks, thoroughly mastered the bowling while raising the total to 167, and on the third morning their partnership did not end until it had realised 118 runs made at more than one a minute. This put South Africa 26 ahead and, after the departure of Rowan, Nourse continued to get runs freely, but at last he played uncertainly at a good ball from O'Reilly, and was caught by one of two fieldsmen standing close in at short leg. Then came another collapse on the worn pitch, the remaining five wickets yielding only 49 runs. O'Reilly had most to do with this breakdown and in the match he obtained eight wickets for 13 runs each. Australia had plenty of time before them and, of the 102 runs required for victory, Fingleton and Brown scored 93 while together.

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