Former South African Test player Ossie Dawson died at his home in Umhlang on Monday at the age of 89.

Dawson, who made his Test debut against England at Trent Bridge in 1947, was a fine medium-pace bowler and a useful lower-order batsman. He played nine matches, scoring 293 runs at 20.92. His highest score of 55 came in the drawn Test against England at The Oval in 1947.

He also represented Natal and Border at the domestic level, and played 75 first-class matches, scoring 3,804 runs at 34.58. Apart from the six centuries and 20 half-centuries, he took 123 wickets, including three five-wicket hauls.

He was as active off the field as on it. Independent Online said Dawson saw service in World War II with the Royal Durban Light Infantry, fighting in North Africa, where he took part in the Battle of El Alamein in 1942, as well as in Italy, where he earned the Military Cross.

Dawson was the fourth-oldest surviving South African Test player, behind Lindsay Tuckett (89), Denis Begbie (94) and Norman Gordon (97), the last South African survivor of the Timeless Test in Durban in 1938-39.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen, and five children.