Second Test

South Africa v Australia

At Newlands, Cape Town, December 31, January 2, 3, 4, 5. Australia won by six wickets after Simpson had won the toss. Following close upon the heels of the first Test Australia enjoyed occupation of a feather-bed wicket for the first ten hours.

Simpson's confident approach had its effect on his colleagues and the resultant total was more in keeping with the reputation of the side. The Australian captain's century, his first of the tour and sixth in Tests, was one of patient dedication and his half share of the 310-run foundation, in six and a half hours, placed his team in a strong position.

On this occasion Simpson received good support from Redpath and Chappell and when they had been disposed of Stackpole and Watson took over, adding 128 runs in ninety-five minutes.

Shades of the first Test! Goddard, Barlow and Bacher out for 41 -- and all to McKenzie. Holding the fort at the end of the second day were Pollock and Lance, the former, despite an injured leg, having six boundaries in his 28.

A crowd of 19,000 saw Lance and Lindsay dismissed for the addition of only 29 runs, and the Springboks were in real trouble. The wicket-keeper's dismissal was unusual. He attempted a timid hook off Renneberg, and the ball rose sharply, struck the shoulder of the bat and rebounded fifteen yards from the batsman's forehead to Renneberg's outstretched hands as the bowler flung himself full length. Lindsay fell as if poleaxed and was carried off.

The advent of van der Merwe sent Pollock on the rampage. In the next four hours, partnered by his captain and his brother in turn, the young maestro reached his fifth Test hundred in three and a quarter hours, after facing only 139 balls.

In a masterly innings he raced past his previous highest Test score (175 at Adelaide in 1963-4) to a brilliant double century after six hours at the crease (thirty 4s), during which time the score advanced from 12 for two to 343 for nine wickets.

Van der Merwe contributed another sound fifty and the elder Pollock a useful 41. The remaining batsmen did little and the bid to save the follow-on failed by 39 runs.

In the second innings Australia captured the first four wickets for 64, including the golden wicket of Pollock, who was clean bowled by Simpson, who had alternated over and round the wicket.

Lance and Lindsay staged their third lucrative partnership in four innings to overcome the poor start, and when the bandaged 'keeper got an edge as he attempted to drive Cowper, he gave Simpson his 90th catch in 46 Tests.

Pithey and Pollock survived periodic onslaughts from McKenzie -- easily the most dangerous bowler of the match. Each reached fifty and when Pollock eventually ran out of partners he had, like his brother, attained his highest Test score.

Australia lost four wickets against an attack mainly entrusted to Goddard and McKinnon, but the reliable Redpath found in Veivers a partner admirably suited to such an occasion. The winning boundary, twenty-four minutes from time, put the series on an even keel, with the intriguing prospect of a real build-up in public interest for the three remaining matches.

© John Wisden & Co