South Africa v Australia 1935-36
Played at Johannesburg, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December 24, 26, 27, 28
Played at Johannesburg, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December 24, 26, 27, 28. Drawn. A thunderstorm put an end to the match at quarter to three on the fourth day when Australia, with eight wickets in hand, wanted 125 runs for victory. The game took a curious course. On the newly-turfed pitch on the Wanderers ground, most of the batsmen were in trouble during both Christmas Eve and Boxing day until Nourse played the first part of a grand innings. He failed on the opening day, when McCormick and O'Reilly made the ball fly about, and, though Rowan stayed two hours, South Africa were dismissed in less than three hours. Consequently it seemed as if Fingleton and Brown, by putting up 105 for Australia's opening partnership, had paved the way for another easy victory, but from the satisfactory position of a lead of 11 with 3 men out, Australia went through a very different experience. Langton and Mitchell bowled so skillfully that only 82 more runs were scored. Mitchell took the last four wickets, three falling to him for 3 runs when he began the spell which finished the innings. Then Wade helped Siedle in an opening stand of 50, but South Africa were badly placed when Nourse and Mitchell came together. Thanks to these two batsmen who added 129, the score reached 254 for 4 at the close of the second day and Nourse, receiving consistent help, went on to complete the highest score ever hit in a Test match for South Africa. It is interesting to recall that this was the first century in a similar match at Johannesburg since Nourse's father hit 111 in November, 1921 and helped to prevent Australia from winning. Altogether, Nourse batted nearly five hours for his 231 and hit thirty-six 4's. He often ran in to drive the slow bowlers and seldom has Grimmett suffered such severe treatment. Nourse was out to a splendid catch at point soon after Nicholson had helped him add 106. Set to get 399 for victory, Australia soon lost Brown, but McCabe played superbly and on the last day he carried his 59 to 189 before the weather broke with Australia in sight of victory. Fingleton and McCabe added 177. Catches were missed and Wade appealed against the light before the rain settled matters.