First Test

AUSTRALIA v SOUTH AFRICA 1993-94

At Melbourne, December 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. Drawn. Toss: Australia. Test debuts: P. S. De Villiers, G. Kirsten.

The long-awaited first Test between these two teams since South Africa took the 1969-70 series 4-0 was ruined by bad weather. There was little more than two hours' play on each of the first and third days, and no play at all on the second, when some four inches of rain fell in Melbourne. With a draw certain, the later stages were of interest mainly to the statisticians, who were kept busy by Taylor. Playing in his 50th Test, he compiled 170 - his 12th Test century - in 495 minutes. He became the second batsman, after Martin Crowe of New Zealand, to score Test centuries against seven different countries, and also the first to score a hundred on debut against four (he had already achieved the feat against England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan). He also passed 1,000 Test runs in 1993.

Taylor's dismissal signalled the declaration and South Africa batted out the remaining time, Cronje scored 71 before becoming the last of leg-spinner Warne's 72 Test wickets in the calendar year 1993 - 13 short of Dennis Lillee's record of 85 in 1981. He put on 103 with Hudson before the latter retired hurt, shortly after being hit on the forearm by a shy at the stumps from Warne. Wessels, the first cricketer to play for and against Australia in Tests since W. E. Midwinter in 1881-82, and Rhodes completed another century stand, though Wessels was handicapped by a painful knee and Rhodes by a fractured finger.

Man of the Match: M. A. Taylor.

Attendance: 48,565.

Close of play: First day, Australia 71-2 (M. A. Taylor 30*, D. C. Boon 4*); Second day, No play; Third day, Australia 140-3 (M. A. Taylor 63*, M. E. Waugh 11*); Fourth day, South Africa 59-1 (A. C. Hudson 35*, W. J. Cronje 3*).

© John Wisden & Co