First Test

South Africa v Australia

Toss: South Africa. Test debuts: D.A.Renneberg, H.B.Taber.

The match will go down as one of the most memorable in the history of South African cricket. Australia's proud record of 64 years without defeat in Test matches in South Africa was smashed after even the most sanguine supporter had written off the Springboks' chances within an hour of play commencing.

On a ground saturated by days of rain, which only ceased 48 hours before the start, the margin and quality of victory were unbelievable. Five wickets down for 41 was the sequel to van der Merwe's decision to bat first.

Lance and Lindsay stopped the rot and added 110 for the sixth wicket, but South Africa totalled only 199, of which Simpson and Lawry erased 118 before being separated.

At that stage Australia were in complete command. They passed the South African total with nine wickets intact and then a dramatic collapse occurred and the lead was restricted to 126.

The Springboks wiped off his deficit and taking full advantage of some amazing dropped catches -- Lindsay at 10 and van der Merwe 2 being the chief beneficiaries -- they soared to incredible heights while achieving the highest South African total in Test cricket.

Lindsay hit his maiden Test century and his pulsating 182 in four hours, thirty-four minutes included five sixes, one 5 and twenty-five fours -- yet the gem of the innings was Pollock's 90. On this display the young left-hander looked without peer and his timing, placing and wristwork were an object lesson for the purist.

Australia now wanted a mammoth score of 495 in eight hours. The turning point came on the final morning when Simpson, set fair for a big total, ran himself out attempting a quite unnecessary run. The visitors played as a team without heart and a wonderful exhibition of controlled bowling by Goddard -- his finest performance in any Test -- set the seal on a South African victory.

Another achievement by Lindsay was to equal the world wicket-keeping record of six wickets in an innings, set up by Grout on the same ground nine years earlier. He finished the match with eight wickets -- as did Taber in an outstanding debut -- and also shared a seventh-wicket partnership of 221 with van der Merwe.

© John Wisden & Co