St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Eastern Province Beat the Aussies
Eastern Province Beat the Aussies

The Australians's first visit to St George's Park after the resumption of "normal" cricket was on December 11, 1985 when they took on Dave Richardson's team in a one-day match as a lead up to the three-day encounter. Australia sneaked home by five runs in their ninth match of the tour but there were sour moments in its ending.

The Aussies batted first with John Dyson making a fine 78, including two mammoth sixes. He received support from Graeme Yallop, who hit 50, and Kim Hughes with 25 as the Aussies reached 222/7.

EP openers Philip Amm and Adrian Birrell scored 8 and 20 respectively while Terry Reid could only manage 25. EP were 55/5 while the Aussies were 152/5.

But a fighting 6l by Richardson, 20 by Mark Rushmere batting at No 6, and a swashbuckling 30 by Mike "Fires" van Vuuren brough the game alive.

With one ball to go, EP needed six runs to win. Steve Smith bowled wide of Kenny Watson's legs and Sandy Matthews called a wide.

The Aussies argued, citing an agreement reached before the start of the tour. Matthews changed his call, the next ball was not bowled and the Aussies won.

On December 15 the three-day match started and a sporting, if not suicidal declaration by Hughes gave EP their first win over an Australian touring team.

Mike Haysman made a fine undefeated 125 for the Australians in their first innings of 582/9 declared with Tim Shaw and Paul Payment being the best wicket takers. In EP's first innings Robbie Armitage made an unbeaten 98, Vlam Muchau 55, as EP totalled 255.

Kim Hughes sportingly declared his second innings closed at 101/1, setting a target of 249.

Some fine batting by Richardson (64), Amm (54), Birrell (58) and Rushmere (46 not out) saw EP win by two wickets.

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