Second Test

Australia v South Africa

At Melbourne, January 1, 2, 3, 4, 6. Australia won convincingly by eight wickets. Simpson's first act as the new Australian captain was to put his opponents in on a well-grassed pitch.

The gamble paid early dividends, for McKenzie broke the opening partnership at 26. Barlow, however, proved completely at home. Cutting powerfully and also scoring well off his toes, the bespectacled right-hander reached his second successive Test century in four and a half hours, including 11 fours.

Unfortunately, only Bland of the other batsmen faced a mainly seam attack with confidence and South Africa were all out for 274.

Lawry and Redpath gave the Australians the initiative with a first-wicket stand of 219 in just over four hours on the second day. Redpath, making his Test debut, fell just three short of a century, but Lawry went on to make his highest Test score. Shepherd kept up the pressure with many fine strokes and Australia gained a lead of 173.

Once again South Africa made a bad start, and with Barlow run-out for 54, the touring team, at 172 for three, faced an uphill struggle at the end of the third day. Pithey and Waite batted bravely in an attempt to save the game, but once their fourth-wicket partnership had been broken for 128, the Australia bowlers met little resistance.

The absence of P.M. Pollock and Seymour from the South African attack because of injury simplified Australia's already easy task of scoring 134 to win and they duly gained victory early on the final morning.

© John Wisden & Co