Fifth Test match

South Africa v England 1930-31

Played at Durban, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, February, 21, 23, 24, 25. Drawn. England required to win the last Test match in order to avoid defeat in the rubber and, the result being a draw, honours went to South Africa. A piece of forgetfulness delayed the start of the game and prejudiced England's chance of gaining a victory. The state of the pitch and the weather influenced Chapman, on winning the toss, to put South Africa in to bat. A difficult pitch was certain and obviously the sooner the bowlers got to work the better for England but bails of the size to fit the larger stumps could not be found and the umpires had to make a set before the game could begin. Chapman protested strongly against this loss of time - inexcusable from his point of view - and he led the England team on to the field. Siedle and Mitchell followed while the umpires completed their task. Following upon this preposterous situation, rain limited play to seventy minutes during which 32 runs were scored without a wicket falling. As South Africa occupied all Monday in completing their innings for 252, five hours being spent over 220 runs, the prospect of a good match depended upon England's ability to put together a big score at a rapid rate. So far from accomplishing this, the visiting batsmen found the pitch by no means easy. Vincent with a cross wind to help his left-hand deliveries, caused particular trouble. Five wickets fell for 101 and except when Farrimond and Tate put on 62 there was no suggestion of a mastery over the bowling. South Africa led by 22 and scored three without loss before bad light stopped play for the day. Practically all interest had then gone from the game and another display of slow batting yielded only 216 runs in three hours and forty minutes. Cameron's declaration was purposeless, barely an hour remaining for England to bat. Wyatt fell to the last ball of the first over but, as Chapman changed his batting order and Cameron did not call upon his best bowlers, the match ended tamely. White replaced Lee in the England eleven and South Africa made four changes, Christy, Dalton, Bell and Cochrane coming in for Catterall, Curnow, Nupen and Hall.

© John Wisden & Co