Third Test

South Africa v Australia

South Africa won by eight wickets after Simpson won the toss.

South Africa introduced two new 20-year-old caps, Procter and Trimborn, thereby increasing the pace and seam attack to six. Hawke returned to the Australia side in place of the injured Watson.

Beginning with their worst of several bad starts, with six wickets down for 94, the Springboks went on to win the match to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Two factors contributed to their success. Firstly, their ability to recover after an early collapse -- or was it the inability of the visiting bowlers to press home their advantage? -- and secondly, the persistent and mediocre response from an elongated Australian tail.

Sensation accompanied McKenzie's opening delivery which Barlow tamely lifted into the bowler's hand. Within forty minutes the off-spinner Cowper entered the attack. His second delivery completely deceived Goddard; the next over brought him Pollock's wicket and then Lance joined his victims -- three wickets for 5 runs in ten overs.

Lindsay again came to the rescue by hitting his second century of the series, 137 in three and a quarter hours, including eleven 4's. In a responsible partnership with his captain he played a dominant role and with the exception of Bacher and van der Merwe carried the innings single handed.

The only spinner used in the first two days was Cowper and his success could be attributed solely to variation of pace and use of the atmosphere. Once Lindsay and van der Merwe began using their feet the bowler was revealed in his true perspective and it became obvious that the Springboks had, in the main, contributed to their own downfall.

Australia also ran into early trouble. Simpson became Procter's first Test victim. Then Lawry, attempting a hook off a rising delivery from Pollock, received a gash on the head which required ten stitches, but he courageously returned to the fray and made top score.

Six wickets were down for 96 and, with the cream of Australia's batting in the dressing room, South Africa held the upper hand. Procter and Barlow polished off the remnants, the last wicket falling just before the close on Saturday and Australia failed by four runs to avert the follow-on.

History had repeated itself. On a Saturday evening seventeen years earlier, on the same ground -- and against Australia -- Dudley Nourse faced a similar weekend of uncertainty. On that occasion Nourse decided not to enforce the follow-on and that great left-hander Neil Harvey, with an undefeated 151, brought Australia from behind to a magnificent victory.

In the present match van der Merwe invited Simpson to bat again. The Australians tackled the job with machine-like determination and two and a half hours elapsed before the first wicket fell. The deficit of 153 runs was wiped out for the loss of only one wicket and it was not until Simpson had batted four and a half hours, and was within sight of a century, that he was adjusted leg-before to Trimborn.

Redpath and Cowper took the lead to 32 before bad light stopped play, but the actual turning point occurred during the afternoon of the fourth day. Lunch was taken at 262 for three. Back came Procter who disposed of Veivers and Chappell for 22 in six overs and Pollock from the other end took the wickets of Redpath and Stackpole for 12 runs in seven overs.

Australia were now 320 for seven and the all too familiar pattern reasserted itself. Fourteen runs later, shortly after tea, it was all over.

From an almost impossible position on the first day South Africa faced a moderate task which was accomplished for the loss of two wickets. Bacher, after a glaring life when three, and Graeme Pollock in a brilliant unbroken stand of 127 saw South Africa home with three hours to spare.

© John Wisden & Co