First Test Match

South Africa v New Zealand

The new look Springboks with only four 1960 survivors in their ranks were fortunate to finish on the winning side.

McGlew, playing in his last international series, captained his country for the first time on his home ground -- ironically the last Test scheduled to be played on the famous old Kingsmead. He celebrated the occasion by carrying his bat for a grand 127 and sharing with McLean a new third-wicket record of 103 for matches against New Zealand. Harris and Bartlett in a partnership of 73 also improved the existing eighth-wicket record.

The batting of the new Springboks, Bland excepted, was disappointing and it was fortunate that stalwarts like Waite, McLean and McGlew were in form.

Having won the toss South Africa appeared to be nicely placed, but at the fall of the fourth wicket whilst in the process of consolidating a first innings lead of 47, the picture changed and New Zealand took a firm grip on the game. Less than an hour later the last Springbok wicket fell at 149 and New Zealand appeared to have the match in their lap -- 197 runs in eight and three-quarter hours on a perfect wicket being the target.

Rank bad batting cost the visitors the match by a mere margin of 30 runs and there must behave been considerable self-condemnation in the dressing-room. The inevitable poor start to the innings, a pattern maintained throughout the tour, gave Pollock a dream debut. His six wickets brought his match aggregate to nine for 99, the finest performance by a South African fast bowler in 150 Test.

The 20-year-old Port Elizabeth boy joined Q. McMillan (nine for 127 at Christchurch in 1931-32) and H.J. Tayfield (nine for 97 at Durban in 1952-53), to become the third South African to capture nine wickets in a Test against New Zealand.

The match produced its fair quota of records. G.B. Lawrence, six feet five inches from Rhodesia, Emphatically confirmed the belated award of his Springbok colours and he trapped Alabaster in the first innings to capture his 200th first-class wicket.

Both wicket-keepers were in the news. Waite, who had established a world record of 23 wickets in the five Tests against New Zealand five years earlier -- a record subsequently equalled by Grout (Australia) and Alexander (West Indies) -- took six wickets in the match to bring his international tally to 107.

The previous week, in an inter-provincial match, he had captured his 400th wicket (331 c, 69 st) in all first-class matches. Not to be outdone, A.E. Dick playing in his first Test -- and only the sixth first-class match as a 'keeper -- captured seven wickets to equal the New Zealand record.

© John Wisden & Co