Fourth Test match

South Africa v England 1930-31

Toss: England. Test debuts: W.Farrimond, H.W.Lee.

After a prolonged and most interesting struggle, South Africa, when the match was left drawn, required 37 runs for victory with three wickets in hand. England needed success in this match in order to have a chance of winning the rubber but forcing efforts in their second innings failing, they had to change their tactics. Could they have made South Africa follow-on, they might have gained a notable triumph for they went in a second time on the third afternoon when conditions were most unfavourable. Bad light and driving rain caused some brief stoppages and the loss of Lee, Wyatt and Hammond for 23 neutralised the advantage of the 147 lead. Moreover, when stumps were pulled up five minutes from time, Hendren and Leyland were playing splendidly. In the morning risky hitting proved fatal, six wickets falling for 59 runs before Chapman, as a last venture, closed the innings and left South Africa four hours in which to get 317. The fortune of the game again fluctuated and, although Mitchell played far more freely than usual in scoring 74 out of 121, half the side had fallen for 153 by half-past four. The position then favoured England but Cameron played splendidly and, when Viljoen left, an hour remained with 108 runs wanted. Cameron continued his determined effort and McMillan helped to raise the score to 261 but that figure was not reached until a quarter to six.

South Africa made three changes in their side, Deane, Quinn and Bell giving way to Viljoen, Nupen and Hall, while the leadership was entrusted to Cameron. The England team included Lee, besides Farrimond and Peebles, Duckworth, White and Allom standing down. By scoring 338 for six wickets on the first day, England started satisfactorily and except for the quick dismissal of Peebles and Chapman on the second morning the batting continued so consistently that the last two partnerships produced 90 runs. Hammond for more than three hours batted in his most determined Test match form. Hendren showed greater freedom in a stand realising in a hundred minutes 119 runs, but only Leyland scored really fast and he had two narrow escapes before settling down to a dashing game which in two hours yielded him 91 runs out of 146. Despite the early loss of Curnow, South Africa scored 166 for two wickets on the second evening. Mitchell and Siedle added 96 but in the morning Taylor - in his best form - received only just sufficient help to save the follow-on. Peebles bowled splendidly and finished off the innings by dismissing at one total Taylor, Vincent and Hall in the course of five balls. Altogether in his last spell, Peebles sent down nine overs and five balls for 18 runs and five wickets. He did not repeat this good work in the second innings when Voce, despite a torn ligament at the base of the fingers of his left hand, came out best in a great attempt to win the match. Tate bowled finely without any luck and Hammond was useful. Nupen showed himself South Africa's most valuable bowler and Catterall again got a couple of cheap wickets at a critical point in the game.

© John Wisden & Co