The Triangular Tournament

England v South Africa

Losing the second of the Test matches by an innings and 62 runs, the South Africans found themselves out of the running while the season was still young. The first days play practically decided the game, England, at the drawing of stumps, being 64 runs ahead with nine wickets in hand. Rain, during the previous week and on the Sunday morning, had so saturated Lord's ground that, at half-past eleven, when play should have begun, cricket was out of the question. Quite early in the day it was agreed not to start until after luncheon, and the wicket originally prepared for the match was given up as hopeless. The pitch it was then decided to use, dried more quickly than had been expected, and just after three o'clock, Frank Mitchell having won the toss, the South Africans went in to bat. The result proved disastrous, but in the circumstances, most captains would have acted as Mitchell did, there seeming every likelihood that the wicket would, for a time, be fairly easy. Dean was on the ground in readiness to play for England in place of Brearley, but it was decided to make no change from the first selection. About 12,000 people were present, and the cricket they saw more than compensated them for their long hours of waiting. Batting for rather less than an hour and a half the South Africans were all out at half-past four for a total of 58, Barnes and Foster bowling in irresistible form on the drying ground. At the start, two wickets fell in four overs for three runs, Barnes taking them both. Hartigan was neatly caught low down at slip, and Taylor lbw. Then came the only semblance of a stand during the innings, a few hits by Nourse and Llewellyn taking the score to 28 before Foster bowled Nourse with a yorker on the off-stump. Just at this time Foster was especially deadly. At 35, he beat Llewellyn with a shooter, and at 36 he bowled Faulkner's off-stump out of the ground. From these disasters there was no recovery, the remaining batsmen being quite helpless against the splendid bowling. Barnes and Foster divided the wickets equally, Foster hitting the stumps five times. Still, except for the balls that took wickets, he did not look so difficult as Barnes, who broke both ways and kept a perfect length.

In face of a total of 58, England had, of course, nothing to be anxious about, but their innings, which began at ten minutes to five, opened rather ominously, Hobbs, after hitting a full-pitch to the ring, playing on in the first over. From this point, however, everything went well. Spooner joined Rhodes, and when half-past six came, the score had, without further loss, been carried to 122, Rhodes being not out 36, and Spooner not out 67. Both batsmen were beaten by balls that missed the wicket, and Spooner, when 50, gave a chance at mid-on, but considering the condition of the pitch the batting was wonderfully good. Spooner seized every opportunity, but Rhodes did not hit much until Llewellyn was put on to bowl. Spooner was particularly strong in scoring from anything like a short-pitched ball.

The weather was very pleasant on the second day, and over 13,000 people paid for admission. Rhodes was soon bowled, he and Spooner having put on 124 runs together in an hour and forty minutes. Out of this number Rhodes only made 36, but his steady defence was invaluable. After he left, England fared so well that at lunch time the total stood at 303 for four wickets. A huge score seemed in prospect, but after lunch the innings came to an ignominious end, the last six wickets falling--all to Pegler's bowling--for 34 runs. Tried for the first time at the pavilion end, Pegler seemed almost unplayable. He hit the stumps four times, and while finishing the innings in such sensational fashion, had only 16 runs scored from him. Spooner was out, fourth wicket down, at 207, to a brilliant catch close to the ground at mid-off. Batting rather less than three hours, he hit, in his 119, one six and thirteen 4's. After completing his hundred--his first in a Test match--he tried to get runs as quickly as possible. With his score at 93, he would have been caught at mid-on if Frank Mitchell had moved quickly for the ball, but apart from this, he was quite at his beet on the second day. The great feature of his innings was his forcing back-play. Fry helped to carry the total from 128 to 183, but never seemed at ease, the amount of break that Faulkner and Schwarz got on the ball cramping his game. Warner and Woolley put on 113 together in an hour and a quarter. Without being seen to any special advantage, Warner, who had a great welcome from the crowd, played steadily. Woolley, on the other hand, was in his happiest vein, hitting with great brilliancy and little or no apparent effort. His 73 included two 6's and seven 4's.

The South Africans had to go in against a balance of 279, and when they had lost Hartigan, Taylor and Nourse, for 36, the match seemed almost certain to be over before the end of the afternoon. At this point, Llewellyn, who, before he scored had survived an appeal for a catch by the wicket-keeper off Foster's bowling , was joined by Faulkner. Then, for some reason not easy to understand, Fry tried a change of bowling, putting on Brearley in place of Barnes. Brearley was very steady, but though he sent down half-a-dozen overs for four singles, he could not get a wicket. Feeling that everything depended upon him, Faulkner exercised such extreme self-restraint that when he made his fifth run, he had been at the wickets fifty minutes. in the meantime, however, Llewellyn was bitting finely. The two batsmen sent up the hundred, but at 104, in trying to pull a short ball from Barnes, Faulkner was bowled. With Llewellyn and Snooke batting, the light became very bad, and at twenty minutes to six the game was suspended. After a delay of half-an-hour, the players came out again, but only one more over was bowled, the light being still defective. At the close Llewellyn was not out 60, the score standing at 114, for four wickets.

On the third day the match ended very quietly, the end being reached at twenty minutes to one. The South Africans carried their score to 217, but if all the catches had been held they would not have made 200. Getting a lot of work on the ball, Barnes bowled wonderfully well. Llewellyn was out seventh at 147--finely caught at the wicket on the leg side off Foster's bowling. In his brilliant 75--an innings that dwarfed all the rest of the South African batting--he hit eight 4's, most of them powerful drives. Pegler, in scoring ten, might have been out three times. Barnes and Foster took nineteen wickets in the match, Barns securing eleven for 110, and Foster eight for 70. For some reason Fry did not let Brearley bowl at all on the third morning.

© John Wisden & Co