The Triangular Tournament

Australia v South Africa

In the light of after-events, it was a pity that the Triangular Tournament began with one of the matches between Australia and South Africa. The single innings' victory gained by the Australians in two days convinced the public that the South Africans, whatever their merits, were not up to Test match form. Subsequent play showed, only too plainly, that first impressions were well-founded. The match did not arouse the interest in Manchester that had been hoped for, but on the Bank Holiday, 8,609 people paid for admission. Recent rain had left the ground a trifle soft, but on whining the toss, Gregory had no hesitation in taking first innings. All through the afternoon the wicket proved delightfully easy to bat on, and in something over five hours the Australians ran up a score of 448, thus putting themselves in quite a safe position. In the last twenty minutes or so, the South Africans scored 16 rues for the loss of Taylor's wicket. The Australians started in a way that gave a true forecast of what was to follow, Jennings who opened the innings with Kelleway, playing so freely, that, when he left, 62 runs had been scored in forty minutes. In the meantime, Kelleway was twice beaten by Pegler with balls that missed the wicket. Macartney began in very lively style, but at 92 he hit across his wicket at a ball from Pegler and was bowled. Then came the stand that, to all Intents and purposes, determined the result of the match. Bardsley joined Kelleway, and in two hours and ten minutes 202 runs were added to the score. Kelleway was out at last to a catch at the wicket at 294.

His innings of 114, which only included live 4's, was strangely colourless, but his patient, watchful defence was invaluable. Very different was the display given by Bardsley who, even in this early part of the tour, was up to his highest standard of 1909. Out fourth at 314, he scored his 121 in leas than two hours and a half, hitting eleven 4's, three 3's, and nine 2's. He was missed at the wicket when he had made 68, and looked to give another chance when 111, but apart from these blemishes no fault could be found with his play. Unfailing in judgment and brilliant in execution, lie was master of the bowling from the moment he went in. At the tea interval the Australians' score stood at 359 for five wickets, but on play being continued, the remaining live wickets fell in an hour. Whitty drove with much freedom, his partnership with Matthews adding 63 runs for the last wicketTuesday's cricket was sensational to a degree, Matthews bringing off a double " hat-trick '--a feat quite without precedent in Test matches. Thanks to his bowling the match ended just before half-past six, Australia winning by an innings and 88 runs. In facing a total of 448 in the morning, the South Africans were much handicapped, Gordon White, who had split his hand in trying to make a catch on Monday, batting under great difficulties. Up to a certain point the batsmen made so little headway against very accurate bowling that when the fourth wicket fell the overnight score of 16 for one wicket had only been increased to 54. At this point, White joined Faulkner, and in an hour and forty minutes the two batsmen put on 89 runs, White being out leg-beforewicket soon after luncheon at 143. He could not venture to hit much, but, despite his damaged hand, his defence was admirable. In the course of the partnership, a blunder, which coat the Australians no end of trouble, was committed. Faulkner, when 36, gave the easiest of chances at mid-on, but Whitty, trying to make the catch with one hand, dropped the ball. Profiting by this escape, Faulkner went on batting in a style that, on the big occasions, he never approached during the rest of the season. In the end, he took out his bat for 122, his great innings, which lasted four hours and a quarter and was only marred by the one chance, including thirteen 4's. He made most of his runs by means of skilful cutting and hard drives. At four o'clock, the South Africans, with three wickets to fall, required only 30 runs to avoid the follow-on. Then came the first of Matthews'" hat-tricks." Beaumont was bowled, and to the next two balls Pegler and Ward were out leg-before-wicket. Though his side had been in the field since eleven o'clock, Gregory holding a lead of 183, was not afraid to make the South Africans bat again. Their second innings began at a quarter to five, and resulted in a dismal collapse. Somewhat unwisely, Faulkner, despite the heavy exertion he had gone through, was sent In first with Hartigan. He was howled by a break-back without getting a run, and from this disastrous start the South Africans never recovered. Three wickets were down for 22, and five for 70. Matthews then performed his second " hat-trick." He bowled Taylor, and in the cleverest way caught and bowled Schwarz and Ward. Needless to say, the completion of his double feat provoked great enthusiasm. Beaumont made a few hits, but the innings was all over for 95. The match was an all-round triumph for the Australians. Apart from the batting of Bardsley and Kelleway. and Matthews' " hat-tricks," nothing in their cricket was better than the bowling of Whitty in the South Africans' first innings.

© John Wisden & Co