St Michael's Cricket Club


South African Expedition 2000

Tuesday 18 January 2000

The sun was beating down when we left for Centurion Park. We arrived at the ground expecting to see some cricket (at last), but the teams going through the motions towards a draw. There had been talk that Nasser Hussein had offered to scrap the match and play a one dayer, but this had been turned down for contractual and TV reasons.

And so we watched as play trundled along, just grateful that it wasn’t raining. A few wickets fell, some runs were scored, and South Africa declared.

Then came the announcement that would make test history. England declared at 0 for 0, and then South Africa forfeited their second innings. England would need to score 249 in 70 odd overs to win. GAME ON !!!

England started off confidently, keeping pace with the 3 runs per over required. But then Atherton was out, and the run rate slowed. Butcher kept on going, and scored a useful 30 odd. Nasser didn’t do much, and then out came Michael Vaughan. He looked very nervous early on, playing a missing 2 or 3 times an over. Wayward Haywood was getting particularly frustrated at not getting him out.

But Vaughan and Stewart soon started to move the score along. Stewart played the shots, including one massive 6 over long on off Peter Strydom, whilst Vaughan took the singles.

Flying the flag of St Michael's CC
Dave and Matt wave to the camera
England needed about 30 or so when Stewart was out. Adams then came in and played like the rabbit he is, and was out for one. Wickets kept on falling, and it seemed that a game that was there for the taking was going to be thrown away. Vaughan was out bowled stepping away, and it was left to Silverwood and Gough. 7 runs needed off 2 overs. Silverwood faced 5 dots (7 of 6), and then cracked Pollock for a 4 through cover, the fielder misjudging the ball and going the wrong way.

Gough was to face the first ball of the last over, and promptly smashed Haywood through mid-wicket for 4 to seal a dramatic victory. What a game.

Needless to say a few beers were consumed a Pretoria town that night. And why not ?

Tomorrow, Kruger National Park awaited.

Gough and Silverwood with souvenir stumps

Gough and Silverwood come off to a standing
ovation after securing victory

Wednesday 19 January


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