Fifth Test

South Africa v England

After a big first innings score by South Africa, England had an uphill fight to draw the final Test and so ensure winning the series. In the event, they succeeded comfortably, with rain intervening on the last day.

Winning the toss on a pitch which played truly throughout, South Africa made a splendid start through an enterprising partnership between Goddard and Barlow who put on 114 against a weak England attack, into which Palmer of Somerset coaching in South Africa had been drafted, because of injuries.

Bland, though not at his best, kept the score moving, and R.G. Pollock made a splendid century, distinguished by many drives past cover and mid-on. With van der Merwe contributing a sound display, the innings passed 500 before England were set to bat the last sixty-five minutes of the second day.

A resolute century by Boycott set the pattern for England's struggle to save the game; Barrington contributed a typically dour display and with later batsmen, especially Parks and Allen, fighting well, England were not dismissed until tea on the fourth day, 67 behind.

Then accurate bowling restricted South Africa to 62 runs in two hours, but more fine batting by R.G. Pollock enabled Goddard to declare at lunch on the final day. England needed 246 to win at 65 an hour, and soon lost Boycott, but persistent showers during the afternoon caused the match to be abandoned.

© John Wisden & Co