Toss: South Africa. Test debuts: England - D.J.Brown; South Africa - A.Bacher, J.T.Botten, R.Dumbrill
It was South Africa's first Test victory in England for ten years and a personal triumph for the brothers Graeme and Peter Pollock.
Their fraternal effort has no parallel in Test cricket. Graeme, the batsman, made 184 runs, held a fine slip catch and took a vital wicket on the last day. Peter, the bowler, with five wickets in each England innings, finished with an analysis of 10 wickets for 87 runs in 48 overs.
This was another grand game, quite as exciting as the previous one at Lord's. South Africa certainly deserved their success but once again much of the England batting was pathetic until Parks and Parfitt made a belated flourish.
Injury compelled D. Brown to withdraw from England's original twelve whereupon Snow was called up. Then Rumsey became doubtful and the selectors sent for I.J. Jones. On the first morning, both left-arm bowlers, Rumsey and Jones (twelfth man), were omitted.
In view of the overcast weather, England included Cartwright for his only Test of the season and on van der Merwe winning the toss Cartwright soon gave England the initiative. They took the first five South African wickets for 80 and at the end of the innings Cartwright's figures were six for 94. Unfortunately for England he broke his right thumb when stopping a hot return and he did not bowl again in the match.
That South Africa finished with a total of 269 was entirely due to their brilliant 21-year-old left-hander, Graeme Pollock. At the crease for no more than two hours and twenty minutes, he scored 125 out of 160 and hit twenty-one 4's.
This was one of the finest Test displays of all time. It was divided into two parts. In seventy minutes before lunch, Pollock felt his way tentatively while making 34 and seeing the total to 76 for four. Afterwards he reigned supreme for seventy more minutes while he lashed the bowling for 91 out of 102. For the most part Pollock made his strokes cleanly and he offered no chance until Cowdrey smartly held him at slip.
England had to bat for thirty-five minutes before the close and Peter Pollock delivered two shattering blows by removing Boycott and Barrington for 16 runs. Titmus, night-watchman helped Barber to put on 55 but Cowdrey alone really mastered the bowling. He receive valuable help from Smith and England recovered well until after tea when, taking the new ball in the 86th over at 220, Peter Pollock and Botten cleaned up the tail, the last five wickets falling for 20 more runs.
Hitting his 17th Test century in his 78th match, Cowdrey showed himself the true artist. He batted just over three hours and hit eleven 4's.
South Africa held a narrow lead of 29 and they promptly lost Lance, but Barlow, who had not fielded owing to a bruised toe, served them well on the third day in a desperate struggle for runs. Boycott, in the absence of Cartwright, kept the pavilion end tight in two long spells in which his analysis read: 19-10-25-0.
Fourth to leave at 193, Barlow spent three hours, ten minutes for his 76 but South Africa had reached 219 for the loss of only four wickets when Snow and Larter took the second new ball.
Both England fast bowlers rose to the occasion and the remaining six wickets added only 70 more runs. Graeme Pollock, sixth out, again hit freely in getting 59 and Smith could be congratulated on managing his depleted attack so skilfully. He reserved his pace men for the new ball and Larter finished with five for 68, probably his best performance to date for his country.
England wanted 319 to win and again they had to bat for thirty-five minutes, and again they lost two wickets, those of Barber and Titmus. England certainly came in for much adverse criticism for preferring night-watchmen to the regular batsmen. It meant that Snow also went to the crease late on Saturday so that Parks one of the most punishing batsmen at their disposal, was relegated to number nine.
When Snow left first thing on Monday morning without addition to the score, three wickets were down for 10 and South Africa had clearly taken control. Peter Pollock soon trapped Barrington who fell hooking a bouncer.
Instead of showing initiative Boycott made only six in an hour. In fact, he occupied two hours and twenty minutes over 16, a dreadful effort when courage was needed.
Parfitt was little better at this stage. Bad light and rain caused a break of fifty-five minutes, including the tea interval when England were 127 for seven and still requiring 192. Parfitt had made 40 in two hours, forty minutes and Parks 5 in half an hour.
Now, when all seemed lost, Parfitt and Parks flayed the bowling. Parks began the onslaught with 10 in an over from Dumbrill. Even the new ball at 165 did not deter them. They helped themselves to 27 from the first three overs. In an hour they added 80, their stand altogether producing 93 before Parfitt, hitting across the line, was bowled so that Parks was left to take out his bat. It was England's first defeat in 15 matches under M.J.K. Smith's captaincy.
South Africa richly earned this success. They possessed an inspiring captain in Peter van der Merwe who shared the fielding honours with Bland. Throughout the four days large crowds were present the full attendance approaching 75,000.