St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - Bok's Win Test Series Victory Over Aussies for First Time
Bok's Win Test Series Victory Over Aussies for First Time

Had seven wickets and a day to spare

By Eric Litchfield

There surely cannot be a more glorious way to win a Test match (by seven wickets) and the series than by hitting a huge six - and this is exactly what Tiger Lance did off the first ball of Ian Campbell's eighth over at St George's Park yesterday afternoon.

And with that the crowd of 11,675 (paid) swarmed across the turf to hail South Africa's history making achievement - the first-ever victory in a series against Australia since Tests were first played between the two countries 64 years ago.

So South Africa's victory was as handsome in the end as anyone could wish - a decisive and resounding win to earn the series three - one.

And, be it remembered, that but for rain at Wanderers Stadium, South Africa would have won the series by a margin of three Tests.

They deserved to do so.

Still, nobody is really complaining in the vicinity of the Springbok camp.

Yet before recording the events of this heart-warming day, let it be said that Australians made no move at any stage to minimise South Africa's victory by giving the game away.

True, with the exception of the McKenzie - Taber 39-run partnership for the ninth wicket, they did not make much of a batting show yesterday morning.

But thereafter, when the Springboks were set to make 176 for victory, they bowled and fielded as though the fall of one more wicket would decide the issue.

Two Wickets

McKenzie - great-hearted Graham McKenzie of Perth - pounded his way through 17 overs to capture the wickets of Barlow (caught in the covers) and Goddard (caught at the wicket).

He was launched into the attack after the tea interval for one final burst in an effort to break through Graeme Pollock and give his side at least faint hope.

Although Pollock sparred several times, he escaped dismissal, and so McKenzie bowed out when 20 runs were still needed.

Led by Simpson, the Australian players and the crowd gave McKenzie a warm round of applause, for he was the Australian spearhead and their only real potential match-winner throughout the series.

After that the end was not delayed much longer and with the total on 173 - three runs short of victory - the crowd chanted "we want a six".

Lance obliged, putting his left foot down the wicket and swinging the ball from Chappell high over mid-wicket and into the packed grandstand - a memorable ending to a memorable Test and a memorable series.

The last day was a measure of reaction and sentiment, for although the day began with the Australians 104 ahead and five second-innings wickets standing, there was for South African supporters the nagging and provocative thought that if set to make 250-plus in the last innings, there was no guarantee of success.

The fact that the Australian innings folded for the addition of only 58 to the overnight total minimised the worries.

Even so, a view of the enigmatic cricket played by both teams throughout the series, plus the fact the South Africa have recovered several times following a poor start, was insufficient to remove stress entirely.

Selective

Apparently there was no such strain among the Springboks.

They had played the better all-round cricket throughout the series, they knew the limitations and strengths of the opposition and this was reflected in the first two overs.

Goddard and Barlow hammered 16 runs out of those 12 deliveries and from this point to the end of the match the Springbok batsmen, in the main, were splendidly selective in their run-gathering.

They hit the loose deliveries hard and ran well between the wickets.

An urgency to complete the match details probably contributed to the dismissals of Barlow and Bacher, both of whom were out when playing forcing offside strokes.

The fact that there was still a fifth day available for play if necessary made no difference to the general Springbok approach.

The desire was to get the game and series in safe-keeping as quickly as good sense and batmanship permitted.

Given the opportunity for some quickscoring, Goddard and Bacher hustled up their 50 stand in 55 minutes and the innings century was posted in even time with Goddard completing his second half-century of the match by edging a four high over the slips.

There seemed no reason why the second wicket pair shouldn't have stayed to finish the job but at 109 Bacher tried to loft Chappell into the outfield.

Instead the shot caused him to send the shot high into the covers where Martin, who made many good stops in the innings, made ground to complete the catch.

Low catch

Nine runs later Goddard's innings - probably the last in Test cricket - ended with a low catch to Taber off McKenzie.

Thereafter, except for the odd occassion when Pollock played and missed outside the offstump, the route to victory was wide open for the wicket was perfectly behaved and provided a batsman of any class did not indulge in speculation, there was no real danger of the Springbok batting being exploded away.

Baoth Pollock and Lance found the attack being directed on or about their offstump and both men are very strong offside players - Lance favouring the coverhit and square cut and Pollock more inclined to score in the extra cover area.

Powerless

This they did with tremendous effect and the Australians were powerless to prevent the score moving to the target figure.

And when it was all over, the crowd flooded across the turf cheering and waving, for this was the greatest day in South African Test history - the day on which the Australians were not only defeated for the first time in any Test series, but also defeated decisively.

Eastern Province Herald,
March 1, 1967.

SCORES

Australia (1st innings) 173

South Africa (1st innings) 276

Australia (2nd Innings)

Lawry, c Bacher, b Barlow 25

Simpson lbw b Goddard 35

Chappell lbw b Goddard 15

Redpath lbw b P Pollock 28

Cowper b b Barlow 54

Stackpole c Lindsay b Trimborn 19

Martin c Lindsay b Goddard 20

Watson b b P Pollock 9

McKenzie c G Pollock b Trimborn 29

Taber c Goddard b Trimborn 30

Renneberg not out 0

EXTRAS 14

TOTAL 278

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