Second Test Match

England v South Africa

Leslie Smith

The game was made memorable by the several incidents which occurred while Griffin was bowling. He became the first South African to achieve a hat-trick in a Test Match and the first man for any country to accomplish that feat in a Test at Lord's. He also gained a less enviable record, for he became the first player to be no-balled for throwing in a Test Match in England. There had been two previous instances abroad, E. Jones of Australia against England at Melbourne in 1897-98 and G.A.R. Lock of England against West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica, in 1953-54.

Griffin was called eleven times during the course of the England innings, all by F.S. Lee at square-leg. Then, when the match ended at 2.25 p.m. on the fourth day, an exhibition game took place and Griffin's only over consisted of eleven balls. S. Buller no-balled him for throwing four times out of five. On the advice of his captain, McGlew, who had spoken to Buller, Griffin changed to underarm bowling, but was promptly no-balled again by Lee for forgetting to notify the batsman of his change to action. Griffin's last three balls were bowled underarm.

These events tended to overshadow the match itself, which provided England with an easy victory against a disappointing South African side. England made two changes, Barrington coming in for the injured Pullar and a third fast bowler, Moss, replacing Barber. The South Africans preferred Wesley to Pithey.

To avoid the possibility of the supposed ridge near a length at one end interfering with the game, the pitch was moved a yard nearer the pavilion. Rain caused the start to be delayed by threequarters of an hour. England won the toss for the seventh successive time and batted under conditions which gave slight help to the fast bowlers. Cowdrey soon fell to a catch at second slip, but despite a number of interruptions through bad light and rain, Subba Row and Dexter put England on top. Dexter produced many fine drives and scored 56 out of the second wicket stand of 96 in just over two hours. All told, three and a quarter hours were lost on the first day which ended with England 114 for two.

Next morning Subba Row batted well on a far from easy pitch. Barrington helped him add 62 and Subba Row and Smith took the total to 220 before Subba Row was out. He hit only five 4's during a stay of five hours, but he fought extremely well and placed his strokes cleverly. When their fifth wicket fell at 227 England were not too well placed, but a partnership of 120 in two hours, twenty minutes between Smith and Walker changed the situation.

Smith, after batting just over four hours, missed his century by one run and became the first victim in Griffin's hat-trick to the last ball of an over. Against Goddard, Walker pulled two 6's over long leg, but was bowled by the first ball of Griffin's next over. Then Trueman tried a mighty hit and over went his middle stump.

England were 362 for eight at the close and Cowdrey declared first thing on Saturday when a crowd of just over 27,000 saw South Africa collapse before magnificent fast bowling by Statham. The innings lasted three hours, five minutes and Statham bowled almost throughout. He kept a perfect length and moved the ball either way off the ground to the discomfiture of all the batsmen. He was well supported by Moss. Cowdrey held two great catches at second slip and Parks took three comfortable ones behind the wicket.

Following on 210 behind, South Africa lost McGlew, again to Statham, before a thunderstorm ended play for the day an hour and a half early with the score 34 for one. After a week-end rest Statham came back refreshed and South Africa were 72 for six before Wesley, in his first Test, and Fellows-Smith added 54. The end came a quarter of an hour after lunch with Statham hitting the middle stump twice. When bowling Griffin he broke the top of the middle stump. Taking eleven wickets for 97, Statham achieved the best Test Match figures of his career and became the first English fast bowler to take eleven wickets in one game since the war.

The crowds, even with the weather doubtful at times, were good, a total of just over 80,000 being present on the four days. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived during the exhibition match and just after Griffin had been no-balled by Buller. They saw Trueman hit a mighty six on the top of the pavilion.

© John Wisden & Co