Roy McLean dies aged 77

Roy McLean, the former South Africa batsman, has died in Johannesburg aged 77 after a long illness.

His Test career spanned 13 years from 1951 to 1964 and he managed five centuries. His highest score came in 1955 when he scored 142 at Lord's against an England attack including Brian Statham and Fred Trueman.

However, perhaps his most vital innings came in 1952-53 when South Africa drew 2-2 in Australia. They were 2-1 down going into the final Test at Melbourne and Australia appeared safe after making 520 in their first innings.

But South Africa fought back with 435 and bowled Australia out for 209, leaving a target of 295. At 191 for 4 the chase was in the balance, but McLean came to the fore with an unbeaten 76.

He was one of the few successes on South Africa's disastrous tour of England in 1960 - after which he was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1961 - and a year later he led an unofficial tour to England by a team called the Fezelas.

No fewer than eight future Test players were on board, including Eddie Barlow, Colin Bland, Peter Pollock and Denis Lindsay. McLean is therefore credited with being the father of the great South African teams of the 1960s that were prevented from testing themselves against the rest of the world from 1970 onwards because of apartheid-induced isolation. He was also a fine rugby player for Natal.