Cricket game summaries from the Times, 1935




South Africa won their first Test Match
in this country when they beat England at
Lord's yesterday soon after 5 o'clock by
157 [?] runs. When one side is so superior
in bowling as South Africa was on this
occasion three days are sufficient for any
Test Match. But I believe that had it
not been for the new leg-before-wicket
rule this match would have been drawn.
Mr. Lyttelton was magnificently justified.
There was a moment at the beginning
of South Africa's first innings on Saturday
when England's out-cricket promised well,
but thanks to H. B. Cameron's great
innings South Africa recovered, and from
then there was only one side that could
win the match. They made the fullest
use of what little help there was in the
pitch when they skittled England out on
Monday morning, and when their turn
came to bat later in the day, B. Mitchell
laid bare the incompetence of England's attack.

Yesterday a downpour of rain during
the night had softened the wicket to play
easier than it had done at any other time
in the match. Their object clearly was to
keep England off the pitch until later in the
day, when, with the sun shining, it might
be expected to become more difficult.
Actually it dried quietly and gradually,
and there was nothing to explain England's
failure in the fourth innings, beyond
their utter inability to bat. For South
Africa it was a victory gained by a side
which had all the appearance of being the
better balanced, the more aggressive, and
the more cheerfully confident. Perhaps
their supporters will apportion the credit
to N. Balaskas, who first got England on
the run ; to H. B. Cameron, who lifted
them from temporary depression, to B.
Mitchell, who in the second innings gave
them their real chance of winning, or to
A. B. Langton, who clinched matters with
some magnificent bowling yesterday afternoon.
I prefer to think of them as a
winning side, triumphantly captained, and
every single one of them worthy of the
cheer which the crowd gave them at the
end of the match.
It is easy to speak ill of a side which has
lost, but in truth England's side in this
match have deserved some of the unkind
things which assuredly will be spoken of
them. They batted poorly in the first
innings, and they were rather worse during
their second attempt -- it can hardly be
called an endeavour. Their bowling
lacked most of the qualities demanded of
such an occasion. Nichols, without any
help at the beginning of either innings at
the other end, worked hard, but Verity
was no more than a defensive bowler, and
Mitchell was so inaccurate that his captain
could scarcely have dared put him on. It
is bad not to be able to employ one's leg
break bowler. Farrimond I consider to
have been a success, but if we are to see a
representative side in the next match there
must be fundamental changes which will
improve the whole spirit as well as the
material strength of the team.
There was plenty of sawdust sprinkled
here and there when play was begun at
11 o'clock, but the rain seemed to
have done nothing more than to bind
the pitch and to allow the batsmen
plenty of time in which to wait for the
ball. R. E. S. Wyatt started his bowling
with Verity, at the Nursery end, and
Hammond, but he soon changed Hammond
over, and had Nichols on. In due
course Verity was brought on again in
place of Nichols, with the idea of keeping
runs down, although neither batsman
seemed anxious to score off any bowler
England might offer. The ball was
generally played precisely in the direction
of a fieldsman, with runs coming here and
there. Langridge, when his turn came to
bowl to non-committal batting, was once
hooked for 4 by Mitchell, but the
atmosphere of the game at the moment
was one of expectation, wondering when
the innings was to be declared closed.

Langton stayed in so comfortably that
it seemed that England was pleased to see
South Africa's innings prolonged. With
the score at 250 Mitchell was given an
over from the Nursery end, but he pitched
his leg break so wide of the off-stump
that that one over was quite sufficient.
Wyatt, when he came on himself,
made the ball rise more than anyone else,
but Langton, by this time encouraged to
regard himself as a batsman of real class,
jumped in to drive Verity for 4. It was a
little sad to see England's bowlers quite
incapable of finishing off an innings, until
at long last Langton was caught and
bowled. This seventh wicket had added
101 runs, 70 of which had been scored in
90 minutes yesterday morning, and the
innings was then declared closed.
Mitchell, who has always been regarded
as the most reliable of South Africa's bats-
men, from the moment that he went in
after luncheon on Monday had set his
side for victory. He had made most of
his runs by controlled strokes on the off-
side, waiting for the change of a fieldsman
placed just too wide, and if ever a bats-
man did deserve to win a Test Match off
his own bat he did.
England were given three-quarters of
an hour's batting before luncheon, and
in all four hours and three-quarters
in which to make 309 runs to win. There
was never any question of the runs being
scored, but at least Sutcliffe and Wyatt
were still in at the interval. Sutcliffe, still
suffering from a strain, had Hart to run
for him, and the heavy roller at first made
things reasonably quiet. Wade had opened
with R. J. Crisp and A. J. Bell, both bowling
at a fair pace. Crisp was given four
slips, but the first check to England's hope
came when Balaskas, who had been put on
at the Nursery end after luncheon, bowled
a long hop which Wyatt hit on to his foot
and just hard enough to make the bails
Sutcliffe had a series of remarkable
escapes, to which he paid not the least
attention. Leyland somehow does not
quite fit in at first wicket, and after he had
missed an unusual number of balls which
broke past his legs he fell all in a heap,
with his bat caught up in his pads, to a
ball from Crisp which came abruptly down
the hill. This was one of Wade's successful
changes in the bowling.
Hammond began in the manner of one
who would throw any other batting so far
seen in the match into the deepest shade.
He rose on his toes to play two fast-rising
balls from Crisp determinedly down, and
then, with all the time in the world to
spare, drove the same bowler to long-on.
When he faced Balaskas, he lay back and
hammered him to the off, but Wade, at
his suicidal post at silly mid-off, stopped
the ball, and Balaskaas, who is a great
fieldsman to his own bowling, fell on the
ground to prevent two certain 4's. Wade
then put Mitchell on at the Pavilion end,
and his first ball to Sutcliffe provided the
most remarkable stroke of the match. It
was so well tossed up that Sutcliffe waited
for it and drove it straight past the wicket
keeper to the boundary.
That was all very enjoyable, but at 25
minutes to 3 Hammond was caught at
the wicket off Langton, and by the shape
of the stroke he must have touched the
ball with the inside edge of his bat. One
run later Sutcliffe, playing to the on, was
leg-before-wicket, and we felt that South
Africa had won the match.

There was no rest for Hart, who, with
Sutcliffe out, was retained to run for
Ames, another of England's crocks. It
is extraordinary how many of England's
chosen during the last two years have
been unable to play through a match.
Holmes yorked himself : Ames was leg
before-wicket, and even another likely
stand between James Langridge and
Farrimond could not hide England's
disgrace. Farrimond is a gallant batsman
for whom I have great respect, but when
he goes in at No. 8 England's batting order
seems a little strange.
There was a tea interval when the score
was 138 for seven wickets. Soon after
that the South Africans had put England
to rout. A scramble for stumps and bails,
a speech from the balcony, and a match
which had promised so well was conclusively
won and, in truth, most tamely
Score : --
To Cricket from 1950