Blasts from the past: Doug Watson inspires all-gold SA
Today in SA sports history: March 6
1950 — SA suffer their heaviest cricket Test defeat, losing by innings and 259 runs to Australia in Port Elizabeth. The match was scheduled for four days, but was over in three. Three Australians scored centuries in their total of 549/7 declared. The South Africans were bowled out for 158 and 132. Only skipper Dudley Nourse managed a half-century, making 55 in the second innings. That remained SA’s worst losing margin until 2002.
1953 — SA’s cricketers begin their first-ever Test against New Zealand in Wellington. SA go on to win by an innings and 180 runs in four days. Opener Jackie McGlew top-scored with an unbeaten 255 in SA’s 524/8 declared. New Zealand were bowled out for 172 and 172. John Watkins, Hugh Tayfield and Anton Murray each took five wickets.
1976 — SA win all four gold medals on offer at the world bowls championships at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, the only time in the history of the tournament that one nation has achieved a clean sweep. SA also secure the Leonard trophy as the top team. Doug Watson, 31, is crowned the youngest singles world champion at the time, although on the last day’s play he loses his final match to England’s 1966 world champion David Bryant. SA’s Bill Moseley, Kevin Campbell, Nando Gatti and Kelvin Lightfoot narrowly defeat England 15-13 to take the fours gold. Several days earlier Watson and Moseley had triumphed in the pairs and Campbell, Gatti and Lightfoot in the triples. Watson, a salesman from the East Rand, is regarded the star of the SA team. He took up bowls at 20 after breaking his right arm in two places during a rugby match. “It was not set properly and gave me a lot of trouble afterwards,” said Watson, who as a result quit rugby, tennis, cricket and soccer.
1982 — SA’s cricketers engage in their first-ever limited overs match, although it never counted officially as a one-day international because it was against a rebel English team during international isolation. Captain Graham Gooch plays aggressively as he hits 114 runs off 132 deliveries to help the tourists reach 240/5 at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth. But it wasn’t enough with the hosts in rampant form. Openers Jimmy Cook (82 from 118 balls) and Barry Richards (62 from 89) laid the platform, but it was 38-year-old Graeme Pollock, clubbing an unbeaten 57 off 44 deliveries, who earned the bulk of the praise as SA won by seven wickets with 16 balls remaining.
1999 — Zolile Mbityi is beaten on points over 12 rounds for the WBU’s vacant flyweight title by Englishman Peter Culshaw in Liverpool. Culshaw fought four SA boxers in his career, including Baby Jake Matlala in 2000, and he beat them all.
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