First Test Match

SOUTH AFRICA v NEW ZEALAND 1953-54

At Durban, December 11, 12, 14, 15. South Africa won by an innings and 58 runs--their first victory in a Test Match at home for twenty-three years. They undoubtedly gained a great advantage by winning the toss, for the pitch became more difficult as the match progressed, but there was no doubt about their a1l-round superiority. From the start they did well, McGlew and Waite making 113 for the first wicket in cautious but sound style. Funston and McLean followed with a fourth-wicket stand of 135, and van Ryneveld, going in unusually late, also batted splendidly. McLean, missed when he had scored one, stayed for two hours twenty-five minutes and hit eleven 4's in a delightfully free display. Despite an innings of grim concentration by Rabone, who remained at the wicket for over six hours in scoring his first Test century, New Zealand were forced to follow-on. Tayfield, turning his off-breaks sharply, and van Ryneveld, with leg-breaks, bowled with sustained accuracy, and they were supported by excellent fielding. When New Zealand batted a second time late on the third day they quickly lost Chapple and Reid to magnificent diving catches at leg-slip by Funston off the pace bowling of Watkins, and they never looked likely to make an effective recovery against more good bowling by Tayfield and Adcock. Rabone again resisted strongly, and he batted for, nine and three-quarter hours out of the eleven and a quarter hours of his side's two innings.

© John Wisden & Co