Fourth Test match

England v South Africa 1929

Winning in an innings with 32 runs to spare, England gained their second victory in the Test matches and, as only one game then remained to be decided, run they thus made sure of the rubber. South Africa in this match gave their most moderate display of the season. Their bowling presented few difficulties, while their batting, apart from that of Taylor, Cameron and Morkel, proved rather ordinary. Actually their team, on paper, was stronger than that at Leeds for both Taylor and Cameron were able to resume their places to the exclusion of Duminy and Van der Merwe but, as in the previous engagement, they found the bowling of Freeman a little too much for them. The Kent man enjoyed a great personal triumph, accuracy of length and spin enabling him to take twelve wickets at a cost of a little more than 14 runs apiece. Woolley, with a superb innings, once again showed his value as a big match player and Wyatt, appearing in his first Test match in England, led off with 113, and so became the first amateur since the war to make a hundred in a representative encounter. There were four changes in the England eleven. Carr took over the captaincy from White while injuries prevented Hammond, Tate and Larwood from playing. To fill the vacancies the choice fell upon Wyatt, Geary and Barratt.

England batted the whole of the first day to make 427 for seven wickets. The outstanding feature of the cricket was the great partnership between Wyatt 17 and Woolley. These two came together at the fall of the second wicket at 36 and added no fewer than 245 runs in two hours and three-quarters before Woolley was caught off a skier. Woolley batted in his usual easy style, driving, cutting and turning the ball to leg in wonderful fashion, but his innings was not quite flawless. He looked to give a chance when 20 at backward point and later he gave two in one over from Bell, the first of these when 87 to second slip and the other at 91 to short leg when he tried to hook a long hop. Included in his strokes were as many as twenty 4's. At one point he and Wyatt put on 100 runs in an hour. Wyatt was fifth out at 342, having batted with commendable steadiness for four hours. For the most part he was overshadowed by Woolley but as to the correctness and skill of his display there could be no possible doubt. He maintained a superb defence and seldom missed an opportunity of scoring off a loose ball. Leyland subsequently gave a characteristic exhibition, he and Gleary adding 59.

A drizzling rain fell the whole of Sunday and it was not possible to resume cricket on the Monday until five minutes past one. As everyone expected, Carr declared the England innings closed at Saturday's total and on the soft pitch Freeman bowled with such pronounced effect that in a little over three hours South Africa were all dismissed. Taylor hit up 28 out of 32 and then Morkel, going in when five wickets were down for 39, gave a fine display of hard driving before being ninth to leave. Otherwise the batting was very poor. Freeman bowled very cleverly, pitching the ball well up, and in such circumstances few of the visitors knew how to play him properly.

Following on 297 behind, South Africa had fifty-five minutes' batting at the close, faring so badly as to lose three wickets for 15 runs. The next day Taylor and Quinn carried the score to 66. Taylor was fifth out at 113, having played in masterly style for nearly two hours and a half. His driving was admirable in its power and certainty. Morkel, who had helped to add 47, went on batting well for a little longer. Of the rest only Cameron did anything of note; he drove and out splendidly and, last out after a stay of just over two hours, hit a 6 and ten 4's. Freeman again bowled with marked skill. Apart from their mistakes in the first innings, the South Africans once more fielded very well indeed. The work of the Englishmen in this respect was not altogether satisfactory.

© John Wisden & Co