In the first of the five Test Matches the Englishmen were beaten by 168 runs, their bowling being completely mastered in South Africa's second innings. They were unfortunate in not being at full strength, an injury at practice - a blow on some varicose veins in his right thigh - compelling Russell to stand out of the game. On the first day, when the crowd numbered 10,000, there was a great struggle for runs, the ball beating the bat all the afternoon. The Englishmen looked to have done very well when they got rid of their opponents for 148 - there was quite a collapse after lunch - but when their own turn came to bat they found Blanckenberg's splendid bowling too much for them. Francois, though not so difficult as Blanckenberg - kept a remarkably accurate length. The result was that at the drawing of stumps eight of the wickets were down for 132.
On the second day 50 runs were added, England leading on the first innings by 34. Then came a startling change in the cricket, South Africa scoring 270 during the rest of the afternoon and losing only four wickets. Taylor was not out 121, and on the following day he carried his score to 176, being eventually caught at cover point just after luncheon. His superb innings - the highest ever played for South Africa against England - lasted five hours and ten minutes, and included twenty-five 4's. He scored with equal facility all round the wicket. South Africa's innings ended at a quarter to three, England being left with 387 to get to win. The hope of accomplishing this big task was very remote at the end of the day, Sandham, Mead, Carr, and Kennedy being out with only 123 on the board. The end came soon after lunch on Thursday, England always looking to be a losing side. This time the bowling honours fell to Nupen, who did fine work and was backed up by brilliant fielding.