The Triangular Tournament

Australia v South Africa

The experience of this match showed clearly enough that the Australians and South Africans should on all three occasions have met in London. Thanks, in some measure, to the presence of the King on the second day, the attendance was better than might have been expected, the South Africans being already, as regards the result of the Tournament, a thoroughly beaten side. Once more the South Africans found themselves quite outclassed, losing the game on the third morning by ten wickets. They had every chance, winning the toss and batting first on a fast wicket, but the simple truth is they were not good enough. Their first innings was a curiosity. After losing five wickets for 74, they ran up a total of 263, but in doing this they were favoured with an extraordinary amount of luck. Never in a Test match in England have the Australians been so badly at fault in the field. It was calculated that in the course of the innings they allowed nine chances of one kind and another to escape them. Fortunately for them the worst blunder of all--a ridiculously easy catch to Whitty at mid on--made no difference to the score, and two other mistakes involved very trifling consequences. Taylor and Stricker saved the situation for the South Africans, putting on 97 runs for the sixth wicket in little more than an hour. Going in when the position was desperate, Stricker hit nine 4's, his innings, though marred by a couple of chances, the second of which profited him nothing, being a remarkable effort. Taylor was missed at third man when 27, and gave a chance at the wicket at 83, but his driving was splendid. Batting for two hours and fifty minutes he hit a dozen 4's and had a single increased to five by an overthrow. Early in the innings Tancred scored 31 out of 71--the result of an hour and three-quarters' batting.

The Australians started disastrously. In the first over Nourse bowled Jennings and when fourteen runs had been scored the same bowler dismissed Macartney with a ball which rose very quickly from the pitch. After such a start Kelleway and Bardsley were bound to be cautious. By means of stubborn defence they gradually mastered the bowling. Some members of the crowd indulged in ironical applause at Kelleway's expense, but the batsman was not in any way disturbed. When half-past six came the score had reached 86. On the second day Kelleway and Bardsley practically won the match for Australia. Playing wonderfully well on a wicket, which, though fast, was far indeed from being at all easy, they took the score from 86 to 256 in something under two hours. In all they put on 242 runs for the third wicket in three hours and a quarter. To look at, there was no possible comparison between the two, Bardsley 's free style and brilliant all-round hitting putting Kelleway quite in the shade. Still, in his own quiet methodical way Kelleway played an exceptionally good innings. His patience was limitless, and his defence impregnable. Apart from a difficult chance when 24 to the wicket-keeper standing back, he scarcely made a mistake. Out leg-before-wicket to Faulkner's bowling he hit in his 102 seven 4's, ten 3's and seven 2's.

Bardsley, badly let off by Gordon White at third man when 131, was out fifth wicket down at 316. His 164 was the highest innings hit in the nine Test matches. Leaving aside the one chance at third man his batting was magnificent. He said himself, afterwards, that he had never felt so fatigued at the end of a long innings, the patchy difficult wicket having demanded such ceaseless watchfulness in defence. He hit one five (four from an overthrow) and sixteen 4's. Mayne and Minnett, by fine hitting, sent up 350, but the Australians' innings was all over for 390. After going on at 350 Pegler, at a cost of only 16 runs, took four of the last five wickets.

Wanting 127 to avoid a single inning's defeat the South Africans were in a thankless position. At one point they seemed likely to make a good fight, Llewellyn driving so splendidly that the arrears were hit off with six wickets in hand, but this fine effort was soon discounted. Llewellyn, whose 59 included nine 4's, was bowled by a fine ball at 134, and then Faulkner, Mitchell and Schwarz failed in such quick succession that at the drawing of stumps eight wickets were down for 146. The result being a foregone conclusion, very few people took the trouble to see the end of the match. Taylor could get no one to help him, the South Africans' innings being soon finished off for 173. The Australian slow bowlers had excellent figures, Matthews taking four wickets for 29 runs, and Macartney three at the same cost. Having only 47 to get the Australians won the match by ten wickets, Mayne and Jennings hitting off the runs in less than half-an-hour.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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