St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

The Matches St George's Park - 1972 - Eastern Province humiliate Natal
1972 - Eastern Province humiliate Natal
James Hattle

A determined and dedicated Eastern Province cricket squad today sent the Currie Cup leaders, Natal, crashing to a humiliating defeat by ten wickets before a highly enthusiastic Saturday, February 26, 1972, afternoon crowd of 6 000 people in St George's Park.

The match was over with a day and a half to spare and Natal's second innings total of 64 was their lowest ever against Eastern Province.

Let it be said at the outset that a well-grassed wicket, which had a bit of moisture in it on the first day, crippled the strokeplay of most of the 22 players in this game.

It was a wicket that was capricious, to say the least and often spiteful.

But the efforts of Peter Pollock, batting No 8 and young Dave Brickett, a comparative newcomer to Currie Cup cricket, batting No 7 proved that runs were there for the taking by batsmen willing to apply themselves to the job on hand.

For Graeme Pollock, who turns 28 tomorrow this victory was as good a birthday present as he could have hoped for. Pollock handled his side splendidly and purposefully.

And he had a lot to thank his brother Peter for. Anybody who believed that Peter Pollock a sort of elder statesman in the side - would bow out of Currie Cup cricket tamely and unobtrusively, was completely mistaken.

With two Currie Cup matches and a Gillette Cup final to play, Pollock can further enhance his considerable reputation but whether he fails or succeeds in his games, he will have cause to remember this match against Natal with affection and pride - and a couple of painful bruises.

Pollock did not open the bowling for Eastern Province in this match - and this was the first time that this had happened in a career of a dozen years or more - but he came on first change in the first innings to grab five wickets for 38 runs.

Then he made the top score of the match 56 not out in a gusty display which was rounded off with two glorious sixes, and finally in Natal's humiliating second innings, he collected four more wickets for 19 runs, giving himself a match analysis of nine for 52.

Tony Greig, with 26 runs at a vital stage and six wickets for 40 runs, also had a tremendous part in his team's victory.

But the incident which almost certainly hastened Natal's defeat was the catch which Greig took at deep squareleg to dismiss Barry Richards in the second innings.

It was the seventh ball of the second innings and it was pretty obvious that Sibley McAdam tempted Richards into going for the sweep shot which he plays with such elegance.

Richards hit it in the "meat" and, for a shorter man, the catch might not have been "on". But Greig came dashing in some 30 metres to take the catch on the run and Richards was out for one.

And it might be added that with Richards out, so, indeed, were Natal.

It was patent throughout this match that this Natal team relied desperately on a big batting contribution from Barry Richards.

Undoubtedly Arthur Short and David Dyer were technically excellent players but in this game they had not the skill to cope for any length of time on an eccentric wicket against a splendidly handled Eastern Province seam attack.

Pollock, Greig, McAdam and Claude Pittaway, who had the fantastic figures in the second innings of 8-6-2-2 gave the Natal batsmen no respite.

Some excellent catches were taken behind the stumps by Ashton Galpin and other catches that will remain in the memory were those of Pittaway at deep fine leg to dispose of Richards in the first innings, Greig's catch in the second, also to dispose of Richards, and the one-handed effort of Barry Wood to dismiss Mike Madsen.

Eastern Province's total of 171, after resuming at 106 for six this morning, was a commendable effort.

Throughout the innings the gigantic Vintcent van der Bijl bowled with venom and accuracy.

He moved the ball about awkwardly from his considerable height and while he was at the bowling crease and especially when Aubrey Lilley supported him at the other end, Natal looked to be particularly efficient in the field.

But once Van der Bijl and Lilley were removed from the attack, Natal's bowling had little terror for the Eastern Province batsmen.

The 72-run partnership between Peter Pollock and Brickett made a mockery of Eastern Province's appalling start when they lost four wickets for 14 runs.

That they were able to recover from this beginning to 171 all out reflects great credit on their team spirit.

Brickett can be highly pleased with his performance and it was unfortunate that he failed to reach his 50 by only two runs.

The big crowd must have been shocked by some careless batting by Natal but it would be unfair to suggest that EP's attack was anything but efficient.

Eastern Province picked up 15 points from this match against Natal's five and for the time being, have moved themselves away from the bottom position of the log.

Eastern Province Herald
February 26, 1972.

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