Third Test Match

South Africa v England

Long after the unenterprising cricket of this Test is forgotten, people will talk of two incidents which brought to a head the question of whether batsmen should walk.

With close-in fieldsmen convinced both times that umpire Warner was wrong to turn down appeals for catches, the first at short leg, the second by the wicket-keeper, Barlow of South Africa stood his ground and Barrington of England made his way to the pavilion.

Parfitt felt he had caught Barlow when that batsman was 41 runs towards his 138 of the first day and Barrington tickled the ball to Lindsay when 49 and looking set for a big score. So both happenings could be said to have had a big bearing on the way the game went.

Certainly Barlow proved a stumbling block to England as he and Pithey progressed tediously to a stand of 172 in the afternoon and evening of the opening day after Smith lost the toss for the first time. The England players were so piqued at the Barlow incident that they did not applaud his century, an action which later produced an apology.

At 252 for one when the second day started, South Africa had laid their foundation, but they did not build on it with any urgency. After Barlow had been caught without adding to his overnight score, Pithey dawdled to his first Test century, which occupied just over six hours despite a benign pitch. Only fifty minutes of the day remained when the record crowd of 21,000 saw Goddard declare.

One up in the series, England, presumably convinced that they could not win, set their minds to saving the game. This they did successfully, though the sight of stroke players like Dexter (four hours for 61) and Smith (four and a half hours over his century) chaining themselves did nothing for the image of the game.

The upshot was that South Africa had been in the field for eleven and a half hours before they batted a second time with a lead of 59 for the last half hour of the fourth day, and until half an hour from the end of the last day.

© John Wisden & Co