South Africa 1 England 0

M. C. C. team in South Africa, 1930-31

Suffering defeat in the one Test match brought to a definite issue and so losing the rubber, the team that toured South Africa in the winter of 1930-31 experienced considerable misfortune. Captained by A. P. F. Chapman, the side included of those who had made a similar tour four years before only R. E. S. Wyatt, I. A. R. Peebles and Hammond, and again the M.C.C. did not get together the full strength of England for the purpose of trying conclusions with South Africa. Sutcliffe, Woolley and Larwood, in particular, would have added much power to the side for the Test matches. The absence of the famous Yorkshireman became a very serious matter when Sandham, after scoring 72 and 6 in the opening games, met with a motor accident which prevented him from playing any more during the whole course of the tour. To accentuate the trouble thus caused, Chapman, Allom, Hammond, Hendren, Duckworth and Tate, at different times, were all overtaken by illness, the shortage of players becoming so acute at one period that permission was obtained to enlist the services of H. W. Lee, who happened to be at the Cape fulfilling a coaching engagement. In the continued absence of Sandham from the field, Chapman called upon Lee for the fourth Test match but the Middlesex professional did not prove so useful as either Leyland or Hammond for opening the innings. Indeed the want of a regular pair of first wicket batsmen meant a distinct weakness. Hammond was in splendid form but, when going in with Wyatt, had to refrain from risks. It is only reasonable to conclude that, had he gone in number three or four, his brilliant forcing play would have been far more valuable in matches limited to four days than the highest of skill, necessarily restrained, at the commencement of an innings.

The contest which, as it happened, decided the rubber took a somewhat remarkable course. Chapman showed such sound judgment that South Africa, sent in to bat, scored no more than 126 but a lead of 67 did not mean a big advantage and England, having to play the last innings, suffered defeat by 28 runs. All the other four matches were left drawn so this one victory gave South Africa, for the third time, the honours over England. In the tour of 1906 when P. F. Warner captained the M.C.C. and in 1910 when H. D. G. Leveson Gower led the Englishmen all the Tests had a definite finish. On the first occasion England gained one victory and suffered four reverses while four years later two matches were won and three lost.

The last match of the series began with an unprecedented incident. Bails requisite to fit the large stumps were not available and, the fact not being discovered until Chapman had decided that South Africa should bat, an appreciable delay occurred in commencing the game. The loss of time necessarily meant that the England bowlers had their opportunity of showing what they could do on a drying pitch materially reduced. As it happened rain soon intervened but, had there been no delay, the game might well have taken so different a course that England, with victory attending their efforts, would have saved the rubber.

    The following players took part in the tour:--
  • MR. A. P. F. Chapman (Kent), Captain.
  • MR. J. C. WHITE ( Somerset).
  • MR. R. E. S. Wyatt ( Warwickshire).
  • MR. M. J. Turnbull ( Glamorgan).
  • MR. I. A. R. Peebles ( Middlesex).
  • MR. M. J. C. Allom ( Surrey).
  • W. R. Hammond ( Gloucestershire).
  • E. HENDREN ( Middlesex).
  • M. Leyland ( Yorkshire).
  • M. W. Tate( Sussex).
  • T. W. Goddard ( Gloucestershire).
  • W. Voce ( Notts).
  • G. Duckworth ( Lancashire).
  • W. Farrimond ( Lancashire).
  • A. Sandham ( Surrey).
  • H. W. Lee ( Middlesex) co-opted.

Hammond and Hendren stood out by themselves as much the most effective batsmen both on matting and turf wickets--alike in the Tests and throughout the tour. Wyatt and Leyland were consistent, the Yorkshireman playing some good free innings. Turnbull and Tate were other batsmen capable of scoring rapidly under varying conditions and, without finding his full powers as a punishing hitter, Chapman occasionally batted well. When Duckworth shortly after the third Test match was laid aside by serious illness, Farrimond not only enjoyed success as wicket-keeper but also did good service with the bat. Voce, Peebles and Tate bowled best in the Test matches and throughout the tour. Allom and White were useful on occasion but Goddard failed to fulfil expectations.

In batting South Africa proved rather more consistent than their antagonists, with Mitchell, Taylor and Siedle doing especially fine work. Nupen, playing in three matches, caused the England batsmen more trouble than anyone else while Catterall more than once got wickets quickly with the new ball.

Match reports for

Tour Match: Western Province v Marylebone Cricket Club at Cape Town, Nov 8-11, 1930

Tour Match: Griqualand West v Marylebone Cricket Club at Kimberley, Nov 15-18, 1930

Tour Match: Natal v Marylebone Cricket Club at Durban, Nov 21-24, 1930

Tour Match: Transvaal v Marylebone Cricket Club at Johannesburg, Nov 29-Dec 2, 1930

Tour Match: Rhodesia v Marylebone Cricket Club at Bulawayo, Dec 6-9, 1930

Tour Match: Northern Rhodesia v Marylebone Cricket Club at Livingstone, Dec 11, 1930

Tour Match: Transvaal v Marylebone Cricket Club at Johannesburg, Dec 16-18, 1930

1st Test: South Africa v England at Johannesburg, Dec 24-27, 1930
Report | Scorecard

2nd Test: South Africa v England at Cape Town, Jan 1-5, 1931
Report | Scorecard

Tour Match: Natal v Marylebone Cricket Club at Pietermaritzburg, Jan 10-12, 1931

3rd Test: South Africa v England at Durban, Jan 16-20, 1931
Report | Scorecard

Tour Match: Cape Province v Marylebone Cricket Club at East London, Jan 24-26, 1931

Tour Match: Eastern Province v Marylebone Cricket Club at Gqeberha, Jan 31-Feb 3, 1931

Tour Match: Orange Free State v Marylebone Cricket Club at Bloemfontein, Feb 7-10, 1931

4th Test: South Africa v England at Johannesburg, Feb 13-17, 1931
Report | Scorecard

5th Test: South Africa v England at Durban, Feb 21-25, 1931
Report | Scorecard

Tour Match: Western Province v Marylebone Cricket Club at Cape Town, Mar 7-10, 1931

© John Wisden & Co