St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - 1949 - England vs South Africa - 5th Test March 5,7,8,9
1949 - England vs South Africa - 5th Test March 5,7,8,9

Coming to Port Elizabeth knowing that a win was needed to draw the rubber; the selectors dropped Harris and Markham, brought back Dawson, which was rather a surprise, and chose Cheetham to strengthen the batting and give it more aggressive flavour.

England played the same team as that for the Fourth Test, although the omission of Wright after his success against Natal was a surprise.

Click image to enlarge
South Africa vs England, 5th Test 1949

Winning the toss, Nourse decided to bat on an easy-paced wicket but any advantage gained was lost when both Eric Rowan and Viljoen were back in the pavilion with only 13 runs scored, and once again Mitchell and Nourse had to pull South Africa out of trouble.

Rowan was caught in Gladwin's leg-trap off a rank bad stroke and Bedser produced a magnificent ball to bowl Viljoen. Bedser and Gladwin bowled tightly all day and the former showed his best form of the Test series.

Even Nourse was tied down by these two and Young, and so with Mitchell acting as sheet-anchor at the other end, the scoring rate fell well behind the clock.

Click image to enlarge
The 1949 South African Team

Well on the way to his century, Nourse was beaten by an in-swinger and was still playing his stroke when his wicket was broken. His only chance was an extremely difficult one to Crapp at slip when he had 10.

Wade, during the closing stages of play, enlivened the batting with some hard hitting off Compton and Young but the slowness of the scoring can be judged from the fact that only 219 runs were scored in the 51 hours and in the same time Mitchell could score only 73; and this was a vital Test for South Africa.

Click image to enlarge
AD Nourse
Wade also had 73 at the close of play.

There was nothing in the second day's play to suggest that the match could end in anything but a draw, for South Africa could score only l60 in their 2l6 minutes of batting, and in just a little less than two hours England made 80 runs.

The England's bowlers continued to dictate and obtained their first wicket when Mitchell was caught at the wicket when only one short of what would have been his eighth century against England and a new record.

His marathon innings lasted over 6l/2 hours and he had one chance when he was dropped by Crapp at leg-slip on the first day. He left at 264, having put on 150 with Wade who proceeded to his first Test century in aggressive style.

Just when he was beginning to open his shoulders, Mann cleverly brought on Jenkins to bowl and had Wade well caught at long-on. Jenkins and Gladwin soon got rid of the tail-enders and South Africa were all out shortly before tea.

Besides Bedser and Gladwin, Young bowled very steadily but without any luck, and Jenkins bowled well on the second day to dismiss Wade and the lower batsmen. They were helped by some of the keenest fielding ever seen in this country, with Mann, Watkins, Compton and Jenkins outstanding, and by some astute captaincy on the part of Mann.

Hutton and Washbrook had little difficulty against the seam bowlers, but when Rowan and Mann came on, they were completely pegged down and just before the close, Washbrook was caught at leg-slip.

The third day opened sensationally, for Crapp was out in McCarthy's first over, and Hutton, never completely at ease when facing Rowan, was out in the same way as Washbrook with the score at 96.

Watkins defended dourly and helped Compton in a stand of 53, but when both fell victims to Mann, England were in a desperate position with five wickets down for l68 and only Mann as a recognised batsman left and he had not had a very successful tour in that department.

However, he rose to the situation in a real captain's innings and put on 100 invaluable runs with Jenkins who concentrated on defence.

Bedser scored an aggressive 33, but after that it was all Mann and he reached a well-deserved century in 178 minutes, with one 6 and eleven 4's.

Rowan and Mann bowled magnificently, but were not able to follow up the advantages they had created when England's five best batsmen were out for l68.

After England were all out for 395 (made in 453 minutes as compared with South Africa's 379 in 546) and when South Africa had made 58 without loss at lunch on the last day, the afternoon's play seemed a mere formality.

In the period between lunch and tea South Africa obtained a good start for the first time in the series, and 129 runs were scored in the two hours.

At tea Nourse declared, giving England a chance of winning if they could score 172 in 95 minutes, but also a chance of losing if his own bowlers could force the batsmen into making mistakes - it was not a sporting declaration but the only thing Nourse could do to draw the rubber at such a late hour.

Hutton and Washbrook immediately took up the challenge and scored 10 off McCarthy's first over.

Even when the slow bowlers were brought on, the slaughter continued and the hundred was raised in 53 minutes just before Washbrook was dismissed.

Then three wickets fell in quick succession and half the side were out for 125. Gladwin came in, hit a mighty six and took the score to 153.

Watkins joined Crapp with 19 runs still needed in about 8 minutes. Two overs were left in which to score 11 runs against South Africa's two steadiest bowlers - Rowan and Mann - and with two terrific 4s, Crapp won the match for England with two minutes to spare.

England won by three wickets.

South Africa
EAB Rowan, c Watkins, b
B Mitchell, c Griffith, b Bedser
K G Viljoen, b Bedser
AD Nourse, b Bedser
WW Wade, c Compton, b Jenkins
J Cheetham, c and b Bedser
OC Dawson, c Gladwin, b Jenkins
AMB Rowan, not out
L Tucket, b Jenkins
NBF Mann, c Compton, b Gladwin
C McCarthy, b Gladwin
Extras(b 2; ;lb 5; nb 3)
Total
3
99
2
73
125
2
20
20
2
11
3
10
379
c Jenkins, b Young
c Griffiths, b Bedser

not out
not out






Extras (b 6; lb 5; nb 1)
Total
37
56

30
34






12
187

England
L Hutton, c Dawson, b Rowan
C Washbrook, c Dawson, b Rowan
JF Crapp, b McCarthy
DGS Compton, c Wade, b Mann
A Watkins, c A Rowan, b Mann
FG Mann, not out
RO Jenkins, lbw, b Mann
AV Bedser, c Mitchell, b Rowan
C Gladwin, c Dawson, b Rowan
SC Griffith, c E Rowan, b Rowan
JA Young, c Wade, b McCarthy
Extras (b 11; lb 18; nb 4)
Total
46
36
4
14
49
136
29
33
10
5
0
33
395
st Wade, b Rowan
c A Rowan, b Mann
not out
c Cheetham, b Rowan
not out
c Dawson, b Mann

c Nourse, b Rowan
c Tuckett, b Mann
b Mann

Extras (b 3; lb 8)
Total
32
40
26
42
5
2

1
15
0

11
174

ENGLAND BOWLING
 OversMdnsRunsWktsOversMdnsRunsWkts
Bedser389614163431
Gladwin30.5670362140
Jenkins15253340270
Young4891220239342
Watkins50240    
Compton7039090570

SOUTH AFRICA BOWLING
 Overs Mdns RunsWktsOversMdnsRunsWkts
McCarthy17.4142220200
Dawson30100    
Tuckett5022020130
AMB Rowan6091675100653
Mann51188539.70654
Mitchell80260    
Fall of Wickets

South Africa
 123456789
1st Innings1013114264282330336338375
2nd Innings101101128      

England
 123456789
1st Innings768296149168268341362390
2nd Innings58104124125125152153  

South African Cricket Almanac, 1949-50.

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