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Match reports


At Manchester, August 27, 28

At Manchester, August 27, 28. England won by four wickets. Toss: England.
South Africa continued what appeared to be turning into a tradition, their end-of-tour collapse, while England continued their revival in a game that ended up one-sided. However, England may have been saved by rain that forced their innings into a second day when they were struggling at 80 for four. The following day - drier but miserably cold and windy - they found batting much easier; Thorpe and Rhodes took England carefully towards victory. Rhodes was in particularly imperturbable and determined form. The South African team manager Mike Procter added to England's post-match euphoria by saying they were a good bet for the 1996 World Cup.
Put in on a difficult pitch, South Africa struggled for runs, especially against Defreitas, bowling probing in-swing against the left-handed openers. Five wickets then fell for 25 and only Cullinan and Matthews saved South Africa from humiliation. England lost their first wicket in curious fashion: Cullinan at mid-off caught Stewart but dropped the ball as he tried to throw it upwards in celebration. Commentators and spectators wondered whether he had the ball under complete control but Stewart walked straight off and no one on the field raised the matter.
Man of the Match: S. J. Rhodes. Attendance: 20,588; receipts £478,220.
Men of the Series: England - P. A. J. DeFreitas; South Africa - D. J. Cullinan.
Close of play: England 80-4 (26.5 overs) (G. P. Thorpe 27*, S. J. Rhodes 10*).