Already beaten in a single innings at Manchester and Lord's, the South Africans could not have entered upon their third Test match with much hope of victory. Once more they were outplayed at every point, England winning in the easiest fashion on the third morning by 174 runs. The Yorkshire public had evidently come to the conclusion that the South Africans were not equal to the task imposed upon them. The attendance on the opening day would have been considered rather good on an ordinary occasion, but it was far from worthy of a Test match. England made only one change from the side that had met the Australians at Lord's, G. L. Jessop taking the place of P. F. Warner. Fry won the toss, but as the ground had not fully recovered from recent rain, there was no particular advantage in batting first. The ball came along at varying paces and now and then the bowlers could get on a fair amount of break. Allowing for this, however, England's score of 242 was not considered satisfactory. Judged in the light of subsequent events it was more than sufficient, but for the most part the batting was not convincing.The early play suggested that the batsmen were taking things far too easily, and in the course of the first hour four wickets--those of Rhodes, Hobbs, Spooner, and Fry--went down for 68 runs. J. W. Hearne and Woolley saved the situation, playing very finely and putting on 111 runs in an hour and a half. Things might have gone badly, however, if Hearne, with his score at five, had not been missed at the wicket. This error on the part of Ward proved the turning point of the day's play. Hearne and Woolley had many difficulties to contend against, but they overcame them all, combining clean hitting with very watchful defence. Apart from his one escape, Hearne was never at fault, and Woolley's only bad stroke--a return chance to Pegler --did not affect the game, the batsman being out immediately afterwards. Except for some capital cricket by Foster and a few hits by Jessop there was nothing in the latter half of England's innings.
The South Africans went in just before four o'clock and soon found themselves in a losing position. Barnes bowled splendidly, and was well supported by Dean after Foster had proved ineffective. Four wickets were down for 43, and seven for 80. Forty minutes being left for play everyone expected to see the innings over before the drawing of stumps, but Snooke and Pegler, with a little luck to help them, put on fifty runs in half-an-hour. At the close the South Africans with two wickets in hand were 101 runs behind. The innings was quickly finished off next morning, England going in for the second time with a lead of 95.
The wicket was better than it had been on the first day, but again the English batting as a whole left something to be desired, only three of the trusted run-getters doing themselves justice. Hobbs was very brilliant indeed for just over an hour, scoring 55 out of 78, before a catch at deep mid-off ended his innings. The chief honours, however, rested with Spooner, who in a trifle over two hours and a half scored 82 without giving a chance. He played with such stern self-restraint that his innings was not a characteristic one, but his steadiness was invaluable. In first wicket down at 46, he was out eighth at 207. No one gave him much help except Hearne, who stayed while 70 runs were added for the fourth wicket. England's innings ended for 238, having lasted three hours and fifty minutes. Faulkner bowled in better form than in any match so far during the season.
Wanting 314 to win the South Africans were practically in a hopeless position. Nothing in their form suggested the least likelihood of such a number being obtained against the English bowling. Tancred played a strong defensive game, but except from Nourse and White, he could for a long time get no assistance, seven wickets being down for 85. The match looked all over, but Pegler, who ought to have been caught at extra cover point, stayed with Tancred, the score at the close standing at 105. Forty minutes' cricket on Wednesday finished the game. Tancred's plucky innings was closed by a very smart piece of stumping, and though, thanks to Carter's fierce hitting, 49 runs were added in half-an-hour for the ninth wicket, this effort only delayed an end that had long been inevitable. Barnes had a fine record for the match--ten wickets for 115 runs.