St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Tournaments St George's Park - A Personal View - 1903
A Personal View - 1903
WA Shalders

The Transvaal cricket team which participated in the 1903 Currie Cup Tournament at Port Elizabeth was to my mind the strongest combination which has left Johannesburg.

Click image to enlarge
JJ Kotze
On arrival in Port Elizabeth the Eastern Province Union were kind enough to make us honorary members of the St George’s Club, which, being adjacent to the playing fields, was very convenient for lunch.

Five centres competed - namely, Eastern Province, Griqualand West, Border, Transvaal, and the Western Province, the latter being holders of the cup, only playing in the final game.

Coming to the actual play, we were first of all opposed to Griqualand West, the late Jimmy Sinclair with 8 wickets for 49 and JJ Kotze, 11 wickets for 37, dismissing the Kimberley side for the very small totals of 66 and 34.

We collected 316, due mainly to good contributions by Frank Mitchell (102) and Percy Sherwell, playing with his usual “vim,” 71. We therefore won our first engagement by an innings and 216 runs.

KODGEE AND THE BOWLING CREASE.

One little incident in the above match I should like to record.

To my belief old “Kodgee” must have tipped the groundsman. Not only did he have a gale of wind at his back, but he took full advantage of the bowling crease, which appeared to me to be a foot or more longer than it should have been.

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GC White
Our next encounter was against the home team, who were also disposed of very cheaply for 51 and 129 respectively, and again Kotze and Sinclair dominated the bowling, the former capturing 6 for 66 and Jimmy 13 for 85.

D Daly batted very well for 40 in the Province’s second innings, and Gordon White knocked up 54 (not out) for us in capital style. Left with 13 to get on our second venture, the runs were obtained without loss, the Transvaal thus winning by 10 wickets.

Our third match was against Border, captained by that big-hearted cricketer, Bruce Gordon. We collected 195 and 249, Mitchell playing exceedingly well for 72 and 60. Gordon took seven wickets for 98 in our first innings.

Border replied with 95 and 44. DD Davies, going in No.1 in the first innings, carried his bat for an invaluable 40.

For us, Shepstone bowled an irresistible form, his figures reading 10 wickets for 39, and Kotze with three wickets for 56 again bowled well. The result of the match was a win for Transvaal by 305 runs.

TRANSVAAL WINS THE FINAL

Having won our three matches, we were entitled to tackle the champions in the final. Western Province won the toss, and, taking first knock, made 143, due largely to an excellent display of 63 by Frank Hearne.

The Transvaal managed to top the Province’s total by 100, Jimmy Sinclair, going when things looked rather black for us, contributed 136, one of the finest knocks I have ever witnessed, as runs were badly needed.

Click image to enlarge
JH Sinclair
I shall never forget having lunch with James on that memorable day. He told me that he was going to knock the cover off the ball. He was then not out with a few to his credit.

I was not surprised that he punched the bowling all over the field after the innumerable poached eggs on toast he demolished.

The Western Province second venture realised 140, to which Allan Reid was responsible for 52 of the best. We lost three wickets in getting the 43 runs required to win.

The late J Middleton, nicknamed “Bonnor,” no doubt owing to his great hitting powers, bowled steadily throughout, and was the only Western Province bowler to keep Sinclair quiet.

By wining the final match by seven wickets the Transvaal won the Cup for the third time since the inception of the competition.

In conclusion, I must say that the Transvaal successes were principally due to the consistent batting of Frank Mitchell and the grand bowling of Kotze and Sinclair.


History of South African Cricket.
MW Luckin.

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