Blast from the past: A Christmas fightback to come
The week in SA sports history
1966 — SA’s cricketers are four without loss as they reach stumps on the second day of the first Test against Australia at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, still 122 runs behind. But a historic Christmas fightback was about to unfold.
1922 — Captain Herbie Taylor scores a century on the second day of the first Test against England in Johannesburg. He reached stumps on 121 and went on to make 176 in his second innings as SA were bowled out for 420 the following day. SA won the match by 168 runs on the fourth day to take a 1-0 lead in the series, which they eventually lost 1-3.
1930 — Skipper Buster Nupen takes 11 wickets as SA win the first Test against England in Johannesburg by 28 runs, a victory that will see them clinch their first series triumph since 1910. In between, they had played nine series and one triangular test tournament, losing nine and drawing one for a total record of 45 matches and just four wins. At the time, Nupen was one wicket short of the SA record of 12, shared by Tip Snooke (1906) and Bert Vogler (1910).
1935 — Dudley Nourse, bowled for a duck in the first innings, scores 231 in the second innings as SA hit back in Johannesburg in the second Test against Australia. Nourse, who would become the first South African to score two double centuries in 1951, batted for two minutes short of five hours as SA amassed 491 in their second innings. Australia, needing 399 to win, were 276/2 after the final fourth day’s play.
1966 — Wicketkeeper Denis Lindsay scores 182 as SA, behind after the first innings, take control on the fourth day of the match as they post 620 in the second innings of the first Test against Australia at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. SA won the match the following day when Lindsay took two catches to become the first international wicketkeeper to score a century and claim five dismissals in a test.
1997 — In one of the great upsets by an SA boxer, Zolani Petelo stops Ratanapol Sor Vorapin to lift the IBF strawweight title in Thailand. So confident were the Thai’s handlers that they didn’t get the SA camp to sign the usual options contract, which gives the champion’s promoter control of the challenger for three fights if he wins. Sor Vorapin had held the title since 1992, apart from a brief hiatus in 1996. His promoter tried to get Petelo’s manager, Mzi Mnguni, to sign the contract afterwards, but he deflected it using a “lack of privilege” trick. “I told them only the white bosses in South Africa could sign.” In a different part of Thailand, Petelo’s countryman Vuyani Moss was stopped in the sixth round by Fahprakorb Rakkietgym for the WBF bantamweight title.
1996 — The Proteas avenge their recent 1-2 series defeat in India as they smash Sachin Tendulkar’s men by 328 runs in Durban on the third day of the first Test of the home series. Set a target of 395 runs, the visitors were blasted out for 66 in 34 overs and one ball. Rahul Dravid, unbeaten on 27, was the only Indian to reach double figures. Allan Donald took 4/14 and Shaun Pollock 3/25.
1992 — Allan Donald produces his career-best bowling figures as he takes 12 wickets in the third Test against India in Port Elizabeth. Donald took 5/55 in the first innings and then 7/84 in the second as India lost the match by nine wickets inside four days. The win gave SA a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The SA record for test wickets in a match is 13, shared by Kagiso Rabada, Makhaya Ntini and Hugh Tayfield, who did it twice. Dave Richardson took nine catches in the match, an SA record for a wicketkeeper, surpassing Denis Lindsay’s eight from 1966. It was twice equalled by Mark Boucher, in 2008 and 2010, and eventually beaten by AB de Villiers in 2013.
1952 — Off-break spin-bowler Hugh Tayfield becomes the first South African to take 13 wickets in a Test match as SA beat Australia by 82 runs in the second test in Melbourne. Tayfield took 6/84 in Australia’s first innings and then 7/81 as the home side was dismissed for 290 in their second innings. Tayfield would equal his 13-wicket haul against England a few years later, and it would be matched more than 50 years later by Maykaya Ntini, and more than 60 years later by Kagiso Rabada.
1997 — Jacques Kallis scores his maiden Test century for SA to save the first Test against Australia in Melbourne. Set a target of 381, SA survived until stumps on the final day on 273/7. Kallis top-scored with a 101 that lasted almost six hours, with skipper Hansie Cronje adding a 170-minute 70 runs.
1999 — Gary Kirsten, resuming on 126, goes on to score a record-equalling 275 in the follow-on innings as SA fight back to draw the third Test against England in Durban. Kirsten’s total matched the then SA record, an unbeaten 275 by Daryll Cullinan in New Zealand, although it was – and remains – the highest score by a South African on home soil. He lost his wicket to part-time bowler Mark Butcher, a top-order batsman. England used nine bowlers during SA’s second stubborn innings of 572/7. Three batsmen have since surpassed that: Hashim Amla (311 not out), AB de Villiers (278 not out) and Graeme Smith (277).
2008 — The Proteas claim their first Test series in Australia when they win the second test in Melbourne by nine wickets. The visitors had won the first match of the three-test series in Perth by finishing strong. In this match, however, the hard work was done up front, having enjoyed a first innings lead of 65 runs and then bowling the Aussies out in their second innings for 247, with Dale Steyn taking 5/67 to end with 10 wickets for the match. Chasing 183, captain Graeme Smith (75), Neil McKenzie (59 not out) and Hashim Amla (30 not out) needed 48 overs to get there. In eight previous tours of Australia from 1910, SA had lost five series and drawn three.
1938 — SA’s cricketers kick off the second Test against England in Cape Town. This was one of only seven Tests involving SA that started on Old Eve’s Day, and this was the only one that ended in a draw, after four days of play. SA lost the other six matches, played from 1910 to 1966, of which five were against Australia and one against England.
1965 — All-rounder Eddie Barlow scores 138 on the opening day of the last Test on SA soil to begin on New Year’s Day. Barlow and No 3 Tony Pithey took SA to stumps on 252/1 in the third test against England at Newlands. Barlow was dismissed without adding to his score the next day, but Pithey went on to make 154 before SA declared on 501/7. The match ended in a draw. Of the 12 matches that started on January 1, SA won only one, the first in 1910, and lost six and drew five.
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