Fourth Test Match

SOUTH AFRICA v NEW ZEALAND 1953-/54

At Johannesburg, January 29, 30, February 1, 2. South Africa won by nine wickets. After being sent in to bat, they gained a surprisingly comfortable victory and ensured success in the rubber for the first time in a home Test series since 1930. Although the pitch was damp, McGlew and Westcott gave South Africa a most satisfactory start with a stand of 104. Then after lunch there came such a collapse against the four pace-bowlers, MacGibbon, Overton, Reid and Blair, who were splendidly supported in the field, that the sixth wicket fell at 139. At one time Overton, swinging the ball either way, took three wickets for one run in thirteen balls. Cheetham and Waite checked the collapse, and South Africa reached a total of 243.

On the second day Tayfield, with remarkably accurate off-spin bowling demoralised the New Zealand batsmen so completely that in one spell he took five wickets in the course of 32 balls without conceding a run. The feat was the more remarkable since the pitch took little spin, but much of the batting was extremely poor. Only four hours' play was possible next day because of rain and bad light and New Zealand were able to stave off defeat until early on the fourth day. Adcock bowled with life and hostility with the new ball, and South Africa were left to make only 25.

© John Wisden & Co