The Battery of Googly Bowlers of South Africa: Part 3

Aubrey Faulkner : One of the greatest all-rounders of all time

Aubrey Faulkner : One of the greatest all-rounders of all time

During the first decade of the 1900s, Bert Vogler, Aubrey Faulkner, Reggie Schwarz and, to a lesser extent, Gordon White, stunned the world by forming a lethal battery of googly bowlers. Their deeds were instrumental in making the world sit up and take notice of South Africa as a third dimension of world cricket. In this four-part series, Pradip Dhole tells us about the googly quartet who came to the fore even as the wrong ’un was still in the formative stages as a bowling weapon.

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2

The Englishmen of 1909-10

The memory of the 1-4 drubbing on their 1905/06 tour of South Africa must still have been festering in the minds of the English cricket Establishment when the selection panel met on 17 March/1909 to choose the team for the proposed 1909/10 tour to South Africa. Chaired by Lord Harris, the panel consisted of HDG “Shrimp” Leveson-Gower, the designated skipper for the tour, and CB Fry. There had been a request from South Africa for England to bring over a team of amateur cricketers, but that proved to be difficult on two counts: many of the prospective amateur cricketers were unable to spare the time, and it was felt that the presence of only amateurs in the touring party was likely to weaken the squad, particularly in the bowling department, a risk that England were unwilling to take given their experience of their previous tour. Selection of a suitable side proved to be a long and involved process and it was only on 30 Aug/1909 that the 13-member team was formally announced. Reserve wicketkeeper Neville Tufnell was added to the party in September. 

It was a fairly strong contingent this time with the likes of Jack Hobbs, Wilfred Rhodes, Frank Woolley, Fred Fane, and Herbert Strudwick, all established and highly acclaimed cricketers filling the ranks along with Colin Blythe, among others, and with Leveson-Gower leading the group. At the final count, there were only 5 truly amateur cricketers in the selected team. Departing from Waterloo Station on 6 Nov/1909, the tourists arrived at Cape Town on 23 November.

 England played 13 first-class matches on the tour, and these included 5 Test matches. They won 7, lost 4, and 2 matches were drawn. There were only 2 first-class games played before the 1st Test, England winning one and Transvaal the other. For the Test matches, the arrangement was for 6-ball overs, 5 days’ play of 5 hours each day, split up into 3 sessions, the first and last sessions being of 1 ½ hours duration, and the middle session being 2 hours long. The follow-on margin was fixed at 150 runs, and a new ball could be taken after 200 runs.

 In his most informative book England: The Biography: The Story of English Cricket, author Simon Wilde says: “The 1909-10 tour of South Africa saw Hobbs and Rhodes break the power of the amateurs in another way. Just as a captain led out his team when they were fielding, so it was seen as the duty of at least one amateur batsman to walk out to start the innings. Even if it was no more than a symbolic act, in the eyes of the gentlemanly class who ruled the game it was still a ritual to be observed.”

Well, while the skipper, Leveson-Gower, was an amateur in the truest sense of the term, the other dollop of English snobbery had already been laid to rest when Tom Hayward and Jack Hobbs, both professional cricketers, had opened the English 1st innings together at Lord’s in the 1st Test at Lord’s against the 1909 Australians. The 1909/10 South African tour was to put more nails into the coffin of the concept of class elitism in a cricketing sense.

The 1st Test began at the Old Wanderers Stadium of Johannesburg on Saturday, 1 Jan/1910 with South Africa winning the toss and batting first. South Africa had a new captain in Tip Snooke. In a rather unexpected move, the home team opened the batting with 2 debutants in Billy Zulch of Transvaal and Louis Stricker, also of Transvaal. The English bowling was opened by the right-arm fast bowler Claude Buckenham, making his debut in this Test, and, for reasons unknown, Jack Hobbs, in his right-arm medium-paced avatar.

Simpson-Hayward: The last of the great lobsters

Simpson-Hayward: The last of the great lobsters

The second wicket fell at the total of 33, but a 3rd wicket collaboration of exactly 100 runs in 80 minutes between Faulkner (78) and Dave Nourse (53) brought some respectability to the card. South Africa were bowled out for 208 in 63 overs, with Test debutant George Simpson-Hayward capturing 6/43 with his right-arm slow underarm lobs. The new firm of Hobbs and Rhodes opened the batting for England in the 1st innings, and were unseparated at stumps, the score reading 147 for no loss. The opening stand ended at 159 with the wicket of Rhodes (66), while Hobbs went on to score 89. The English innings ended at 310 all out in the 91st over. Although a total of 8 bowlers had been pressed into service by Snooke, himself included, the wickets were shared by Vogler (5/87) and Faulkner (5/120).

 The home team’s 2nd innings total of 345 was built around a masterful century by Aubrey Faulkner (123, in 195 minutes, with 17 fours), supported by skipper Snooke (47). That left England a winning target of 244 runs in the 4th innings. England ended the 3rd day on 144/7, with all-rounder George Thompson batting on 25 and skipper Leveson-Gower on 12. The match was brought to an exciting finish on the 4th day when England were dismissed for 224, the South Africans emerging winners by 19 runs. The heroes for the home team were Faulkner with scores of 78 and 123, and bowling figures of 5/120 and 3/40, and Bert Vogler, with bowling figures of 5/87 and 7/94. South Africa were now 1-0 up in the series of 5 Test matches.

There was to be an interesting debut when the 2nd Test got underway on Friday, 21 Jan/1910. It was the venue, Lord’s No. 1 Ground at Durban, otherwise known as Lord’s, Durban, one of the oldest cricket and rugby grounds in the Kwa-Zulu-Natal area of South Africa, and the first of the 4 Test matches ever played on this ground was about to commence. Skipper Snooke won the toss and South Africa batted first. Leveson-Gower must have read something in the wicket that others may have missed, because he nominated Colin Blythe, one of England’s most successful left-arm spinners, for 12th man duties for this Test.

On a truncated first day, South Africa went in at 89/4 with Faulkner on 32 and wicketkeeper Tom Campbell. In his second Test, batting on 3. South Africa made heavy weather of their 1st innings total of 199 all out, the innings lasting 107 overs. Faulkner’s 47 occupied an hour and forty-five minutes, whilst Campbell’s 48 two hours and forty minutes and contained 3 fours.

Interestingly, both teams were tied on their 1st innings total, England, however, getting there in their 76th over. It was mainly the first wicket stand of 94 runs between Hobbs (53) and Rhodes (44) that got them there. Vogler (5/83) and Faulkner (2/51) struck telling blows for the home team. When South Africa batted again, Gordon White scored the first ever Test century on the ground with his 118 (in 4 ½ hours, with 10 fours and 1 six). The total reached 347, and the Englishmen needed to score 1 run more to win the Test.

England, however, were dismissed for 252 on the 5th day, with only Hobbs (70), Thompson (46), and all-rounder Morice Bird (42) keeping the Union Jack flying. Faulkner (6/87) was the bowling hero for South Africa, backed up by Vogler (2/93). South Africa won the 2nd Test by 95 runs and went 2-0 up in the series.

The teams were back at the Old Wanderers for the 3rd Test beginning on Saturday, 26 Feb/1910. Winning the toss and opting to bat first, South Africa were immediately in trouble with their 3rd wicket going down at 30. Faulkner (76) and White (72) then shared a 4th wicket stand of 114 runs to steady the innings. A 54-run 5th wicket stand between White and Mick Commaille (39) added a little more substance to the innings, the finishing touches being added by 9th wicket partnership of 59 runs between Vogler (65) and debutant Sid Pegler (11*). South Africa totalled 305 in 84 overs. Claude Buckenham captured 5/115, his first five-wicket haul in Tests, and completed the landmark of 750 first-class wickets.

England replied with 322 all out, David Denton (104, with 18 fours) registering his maiden Test century. Surprisingly, Hobbs (11) batted at # 7 and Woolley (58*) came in at # 8 in the innings. Once again, Vogler (4/98) and Faulkner (4/89) headed the wickets column. South Africa began their 2nd innings with a 17-run deficit and scored 237 all out, the only fifty of the innings coming from the bat of skipper Snooke (52) as he shared a 55-run 8th wicket stand with Vogler (22). The Georges, Simpson-Hayward (5/69), and Thompson (3/54) accounted for the majority of the wickets. England ended the 4th day on 7 for no loss, chasing a victory target of 221 for their first win of the tour.

The 5th day saw England scoring 221/7 in the 59th over to win the Test by 3 wickets. After the 6th English wicket had fallen at the total of 93, victory had seemed an improbable prospect. A 7th wicket stand of 95 runs in just about an hour between Hobbs (93*) and Bird (run out for 45) almost got them over the line. It was left to Hobbs and skipper Leveson-Gower (12*) and their unfinished 33-run 8th wicket partnership to nudge England to their first Test victory on the tour. Appropriately, the winning run came from the blade of Jack Hobbs. Between them, Vogler (4/109) and Faulkner (2/75) captured 6 of the wickets to fall. At this stage, the series stood at 2-1 in favour of South Africa.

The 4th Test was played at Newlands, Cape Town, from Monday, 7 March/1910, and was completed in 3 days. Leveson-Gower thought it prudent to stand down from the captaincy for the rest of the tour, and Fred Fane won the toss for England in his 4th Test as England captain. It was not a very auspicious start of the Test for England, the first three 1st innings wickets going down by the time the total reached only 2 runs. There were only two contributions of any substance in the innings, Woolley with 69 and Bird with 57, both registering their highest Test score till date. The innings ended at 203 all out. The wickets were shared around for once.


The South African response was not much better, and they were dismissed for 207 on the second day. Opening the batting, Commaille top scored with 42. The second day ended with England on 159/8, as 16 wickets fell in the day. The England 2nd innings ended at 178 all out, with Woolley again playing a lone hand of 64. It was again the familiar pair of Vogler (5/72) and Faulkner (3/40) sharing the honours in the wickets column. With the dismissal of stand-in skipper Fane in the 2nd innings, Faulkner reached the landmark of 50 Test wickets.

South Africa won the Test on the third day by 4 wickets, scoring 175/6. Faulkner contributed a patient 49* in a shade over 2 hours, and Schwarz hitting a boundary to clinch the victory. South Africa were now 3-1 up in the series.

The 5th Test was also played at Newlands, the match starting on 11 March/1910, which was a rather surprising bit of scheduling given that the scheduled 5-day 4th Test had begun on 7 March and had ended prematurely on the 3rd day. There were 3 debutants in the Test, with England opting to delegate the wicketkeeping duties to Tufnell although Strudwick was also in the playing XI. South Africa included right-arm fast-medium bowler Norman Norton and the right-arm off-break and fast -medium bowler, Sivert Samuelson. Interestingly, this was to be only Test match ever played by each of the three debutants in the Test.

Jack Hobbs batting at Cape Town during the 1909-10 series

Jack Hobbs batting at Cape Town during the 1909-10 series

England won the toss and batted first. Hobbs (187, in 225 minutes, with 24 fours) and Rhodes (77, in 144 minutes, with only 4 fours) shared a record 1st wicket partnership of 221, the first double century opening stand in Test history (they were to better this record themselves with their 323-run partnership against Australia at Melbourne in the 4th Test of the 1911/12 series in Australia). This partnership laid a solid foundation for England’s ultimate 1st innings total of 417 all out in the 109th over. New man Norton (4/47 from his 15 overs) and Faulkner (3/72) were the main wicket takers. The innings ended early on the second day.

 It was a sorry precession when South Africa began their 1st innings, and the innings lasted only 39 overs and realised 103 only runs. Opening batsman Billy Zulch carried his bat heroically for 43, scored in 2 ¼ hours and replete with 7 fours. Zulch thus became the second South African batsman to achieve this feat in Test cricket, after the pioneering effort of Bernard Tancred (26* in a total of 47) in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test against England at Newlands in March/1889, the very first instance of any batsman carrying his bat through a completed innings in Test history.

Colin Blythe

Colin Blythe

 Colin Blythe decimated the South African 1st innings with brilliant figures of 18-5-46-7, sharing the new ball with Hobbs. In his 5th Test as England captain, Fred Fane exercised his prerogative of enforcing the follow-on. The second day ended with South Africa on 102/3, with skipper Snooke (31*) and Faulkner (39*) at the crease and a mountain to climb to get back into the game. Well, the 4th wicket stand between Snooke (47) and Faulkner (99) realised 120 runs in 104 minutes. Although Sinclair (37) and wicketkeeper Murray Bisset (27) put up some semblance of resistance, the resurgence came too late. South Africa were dismissed for 327 in 99 overs, leaving England to score only 14 runs for a win.

Thompson, Blythe and Woolley each picked up 3 wickets, Blythe making it 10 wickets for the match, and Hobbs captured the other scalp. In their 2nd innings, England lost their first wicket without any runs on the board when Vogler dismissed Morice Bird for a duck, caught behind. The other opener, Rhodes, did not open his account, and it was left to the one-drop man, Denton (16*) to finish off the Test with a boundary four. England won the Test by 9 wickets, making the final tally 3-2 to South Africa.

 The two outstanding successes of the series for South Africa were Aubrey Faulkner and Bert Vogler. According to Parry and Slater: “Of the 85 English wickets to fall to bowlers in the series, Vogler took 36 at 21.75 (37.47 balls per wicket) and Faulkner 29 at 21.89 (43.27 balls per wicket). No other bowler took more than four wickets. Schwarz played in the first two and the last two games and did not take a wicket in his total of eight overs, and Gordon White who played in the first four Tests ended with only two wickets. Given that he was bowling on average more than 40 overs a Test, Faulkner’s batting was nothing short of prodigious. He scored 545 runs (almost double the total of any other South African batsman) in nine completed innings at an average of over 60.55. Seldom, if ever, has one cricketer so dominated a series.”

The clash of the Southern Superpowers

It may be recalled that the Australian authorities had not been very receptive to the idea of sharing the financial rewards from their 1909 tour of England with South Africa, their reluctance in this regard being the principal reason why the idea of a Triangular Tournament being arranged had had to be summarily dismissed for that season. The then Secretary of the Australian Cricket Board had remarked at the time that if “South Africa so ardently desires the scalp of Australia, she must come after it……, and not try to claim it in England.” At the time when the Triangular Tournament of 1912 was in the planning stage, Australia made it clear that the precondition for their participation in the multi-nation Test series would be for South Africa to undertake a Test tour of Australia in 1910/11.

 The names of the squad for the first ever Test playing tour of Australia by South Africa were announced on 12 Sep/1910. Not wanting to jeopardise his prospects of a promotion in the mining firm in which he was then employed, Gordon White withdrew his name on 21 Sep/1910.  Having considered several options to replace him, the selectors decided to include Jimmy Sinclair in his place. Tip Snooke, who had also withdrawn his name initially for the same reason, thought it fit to reconsider his decision and ultimately made the tour.

 The 15-member tour party under the captaincy of Percy Sherwell had RP Fitzgerald as Manager and the ever-reliable Bill Ferguson as Baggage Master-cum-Scorer-cum-general factotum. While the rest of the party arrived at port Adelaide on 26 October, Jimmy Sinclair joined the rest of the group at Melbourne on 27 November. The book entitled 200 Years of Australian Cricket 1804-2004, compiled by Garrie Hutchinson, and with a forward by Gideon Haigh, informs us that the local Australian press had reported at the time of a generous gesture on the part of the Australian Board of Control in approving a fee of £ 25 per player per Test match, the 12th man included, and also sanctioning railway expenses and a daily allowance of 12s for Hotel expenses per man.

 The playing conditions for the series agreed to by both teams were as follows:

·       There would be 5 hours of play per day, split into 3 sessions of 90, 105, and 105 minutes each

·       Each Test would be “timeless’, or, in other words, would be played to a finish

·       There would be 6 balls per over

·       The follow-on margin would be of 150 runs

·       A new ball would be available after 200 runs.

 During the 44 days in Australia leading up to the 1st Test, the South African googly bowlers, who had tasted success against the Englishmen through most of their home series recently, gradually grew concerned about the fast, bouncy, turf wickets in Australia, and a feeling of trepidation began to creep into their minds.

The South African qualms proved to be well-founded on the first day of the 1st Test at the SCG, Friday, 10 Dec/1910. In front of a crowd estimated to be in excess of 9,500, Australia piled on 494 runs from 99 overs for the loss of 6 wickets. The match notes state that the 50 of the innings had come in 29 minutes, the 100 in 56 minutes, the 200 in 108 minutes, the 300 in 165 minutes, and the 400 in 214 minutes.

Although Victor Trumper (27) had been dismissed early, the 2nd wicket partnership between left-handers Warren Bardsley (132 from 150 balls faced, with 16 fours) and Clem Hill, in his first Test as skipper (191 from 207 balls faced, with 18 fours), realised 224 runs in a shade less than 2 hours. After the dismissal of Bardsley at the total of 276, Hill combined with Algy Gehrs (67 in just over an hour) to produce a 4th wicket stand of 144 runs in just 64 minutes. Coming in at # 5, Warwick Armstrong scored 48 in just over an hour to add to the misery of the South African bowlers. It was a massacre of the innocents at the SCG on that first day of the Test series.

Clem Hill and Warren Bardsley. The calculated assault of these two southpaws murdered the googly attack

Clem Hill and Warren Bardsley. The calculated assault of these two southpaws murdered the googly attack

The innings ended on the next day at 528 all out in the 110th over, with the 500 of the innings coming in 295 minutes, and the runs coming at a brisk rate of 4.8 runs per over throughout the innings. It would be a fair comment to state that the seven South African bowlers used were all at sea in the face of the onslaught, with only Reggie Schwarz doing justice to his skills with figures of 5/102 from his 25 overs. Debutant right-arm medium-paced bowler Ormerod Pearse, the last bowler pressed into service, picked up 3/56 from his 12 overs. Vogler (0/87) and Faulkner (0/71) had a horrific and very forgettable experience in the Australian 1st innings.


The shell-shocked South Africans ended the second day at 140/7 in 51 overs of batting on a day when only 62 overs were bowled due to weather conditions. Faulkner went in at the end of the day batting at 45 and Schwarz remained not out on 52. There was no play on the third day, and only 6 runs were scored on the 4th day of the Test, all the runs accruing to Schwarz. South Africa were dismissed for 174 on the 5th day, the runs coming in 68 overs. Only Faulkner (62) and Schwarz (61) put up any semblance of resistance. Between them, the right-arm fast bowler from NSW, Tibby Cotter (6/69) and the left-arm fast-medium bowler, also from NSW, Bill Whitty (4/33) captured all the wickets.


Clem Hill, in his first Test as captain of Australia, exercised his prerogative of asking South Africa to follow-on. Skipper Sherwell opened the batting this time in the company of Sinclair. Although most of his batsmen floundered, Sherwell led the way with a purposeful 60 (in about an hour and a quarter, with 7 fours, and a defiant six). The other batsmen to make significant contributions were Faulkner (43) and Dave Nourse, who top scored in the innings with 64*. Bert Vogler experienced the ignominy of being dismissed for a “King” pair in the Test, the first South African batsman to suffer this fate.

Australia wrapped up the Test by an innings and 114 runs when the 5th day’s play produced 268 runs in 79 overs for the fall of 13 wickets. It was as comprehensive a victory as can be imagined and gave the tourists something to ruminate over for the rest of the series.

 When the 2nd Test began at the MCG on Saturday, the last day of 1910, there was one change in the South African team, with Vogler giving way to Pegler, the utility bowler, capable of delivering right-arm leg-breaks in addition to fast-medium seamers. Australia won the toss and batted first, putting up a total of 348 all out in the 80th over. There were 3 individual fifties in the innings, from Warren Bardsley (85, from 95 balls faced, with 9 fours), Vernon Ransford (58, from 82 balls faced, with 6 fours), and Warwick Armstrong (75, from 114 balls faced, with 5 fours). The wickets were shared around among 6 of the 8 bowlers used by South Africa.

 The South Africa 1st innings total of 506 all out in 153 overs was anchored by Aubrey Faulkner’s 204 (scored in 5 ¼ hours, with 26 fours). This was the first ever double hundred by a South African in Tests , a remarkable effort from a remarkable player. Discussions concerning the lack of aesthetic appeal in his decidedly two-eyed and crouching stance have often been raised over the years, but his batting skills have never been questioned.

There were other valuable contributions from the South Africans in the innings, notably from openers Zulch (42), Nourse (33), Snooke (77), and Sinclair (58*). For Australia, Cotter (2/158), Whitty (3/81), and Armstrong (4/134) took the bulk of the wickets. It may have been a novel experience for South Africa to be in a position to send Australia in for the 2nd innings under the burden of a 158-run deficit. Any euphoria they may have felt was quickly dispelled by the incomparable Victor Trumper.

Victor Trumper starting out for his 100th run at Melbourne.

Victor Trumper starting out for his 100th run at Melbourne.

Trumper was the 6th man dismissed in the innings, the total then reading 237, Trumper’s contribution being a masterly 159 (from 164 balls faced, with 15 fours, and 1 six). The other players batted around him, Charles Kelleway, in his second Test, contributing 48 from # 7 in the order. The total reached 327 all out in the 80th over. This time, it was Schwarz (4/76) and “Buck” Llewellyn, who was known to bowl a fairly deceptive googly on occasion himself, took 4/81.


In their 2nd innings, therefore, South Africa had before them a victory target of 170 runs, and the task was not likely to be easy on a 4th day track. Cotter and Whitty decided to put their hands up for Australia. Except for a lone over by Armstrong, the opening bowlers operated throughout the innings, Cotter (15-3-47-4, with 3 no-balls), and Whitty (16-7-17-6) capturing all the wickets and bowling South Africa out for 80 in 32 overs. The local press lauded Whitty for this performance, saying that it was his swing bowling that was primarily responsible for “the destruction of the ‘Afrikanders’ in the second Test at Melbourne.” Australia were now 2-0 up in the 5-Test series.

It was Adelaide for the 3rd Test from Saturday, 7Jan/1911, and this time, the “timeless” Test lasted 6 days. Vogler was again ignored, and South Africa won the toss before a crowd estimated to be about 10,000 strong, and chose to bat first. In a relatively high-scoring game, South Africa reached a 1st innings total of 482 in the 167th over. There were 2 individual centuries in the innings, from opening batsman Zulch (105 in just over 3 hours, with 9 fours, and 1 five), and from Snooke (103, in about 3 ½ hours, with 12 fours), both batsmen scoring their respective maiden Test centuries in the innings. The wickets were shared around between 4 bowlers, with Armstrong capturing 4/103 in 42.4 overs.

The Australian response of 465 all out in the 120th over was all about Victor Trumper, the darling of the country, and his imperious undefeated 214 (in just over 4 hours, with 26 fours). This was to be the highest individual score of his career, and his only double century in his 48 Test matches. The local press went to town with their ovation to him. Cricketer reported: “Probably Trumper has never played a better innings than his 214 not out, which is almost the equivalent of saying probably no better innings has ever been played.” Victor, as he was fondly referred to, was, of course, everybody’s favourite cricketing hero.

Faulkner was the hero of the South Africa 2nd innings total of 360 all out, his contribution being a magnificent 115, batting at # 3, scored in just under 4 hours, and containing 10 fours. It was almost as if Faulkner was living out a fantastic and improbable dream on the tour so far, with scores of 62, 43, 204, 8, 56, and 115. Referring to him as being a batsman of world class, members of the local press were generous in their appreciation of Faulkner’s batting qualities, and went so far overboard as to comment that “his 204 at Melbourne stands comparison with the innings of the nonpareil Victor Trumper,” the ultimate accolade, as it were.

When the Australians began their 2nd innings, they required a small matter of 378 runs to win the Test. Despite healthy contributions down the order, with even Tibby Cotter, at No 10, scoring 36*, the home team could only compile a total of 339, conceding a 38-run victory to South Africa, their first on the tour. Schwarz claimed 4/48, and Faulkner had 2/56. The series was now delightfully poised at 2-1 in favour of Australia.

‘Ranji’ Hordern

‘Ranji’ Hordern

 It was back to Melbourne for the 4th Test from Friday, 17 Feb/1911. Australia decided to blood a leg-break and googly bowler themselves, bringing the Sydney dentist HV “Ranji” Hordern into the playing XI and allowing him to make his Test debut. As an interesting side-light, Australia nominated TJ Matthews, who would later star with the ball for Australia in the first match of the Triangular Tournament of 1912 at Old Trafford, as the 12th man for the game. South Africa brought back Vogler. Winning the toss, Sherwell invited Australia to take first strike.

It was a good all-round batting effort from the home team that raised the total to 328 all out in the 95th over, although their two most experienced Test batsmen, Trumper, playing his 42nd Test, and skipper Hill, playing in his 43rd Test, contributed only 7 and 11 respectively. Bardsley (82), Ransford (75), Kelleway (59*), and Armstrong (48) did the bulk of the scoring. South Africa used 8 bowlers, the wickets being shared by 6 of them, and leg-break bowler Peglar capturing 3/40. Vogler had 1/30 from his 8 overs. The South African 1st innings total of 205 all out in the 63rd over seemed to be a relatively meek effort, with only Dave Nourse (92*) and skipper Sherwell (41) contributing anything of note. As usual, the Australian spearheads Cotter (2/16) and Whitty (4/78) were in the thick of things, and debutant Hordern had 3/39.

It was a solid batting effort from the home team in their 2nd innings that got them to 578 all out in the 127th over. A 4th wicket stand of 154 runs between Armstrong (132, from 205 balls faced, with 13 fours) and skipper Hill (100, from 98 balls faced, with 13 fours and a six) laid the foundation of the innings. This was followed by an equally fruitful partnership of 143 runs in a mere 79 minutes between Armstrong and Trumper (87). After the fall of the 9th wicket at the total of 496, Ransford (95) and Whitty (39*) had a 10th wicket stand of 82 runs in only 55 minutes, to the dismay of the South Africans.

Somewhere during the Australian innings, Llewellyn sustained an injury, and was the only man missing from the bowling line-up during the innings, apart from wicketkeeper Sherwell. Faulkner (3/101) and Vogler (3/59) took 3 wickets each, there were 2 run-outs, and two other bowlers captured 1 wicket each. In his comeback Test, then, Vogler had 4 wickets. As it turned out, these were to be his only wickets on the tour, and the last 4 wickets of Vogler’s Test career.

South Arica were faced with a humongous 701-run deficit as they went out to bat in the 2nd innings. Llewellyn was missing from the batting line-up as well and South Africa succumbed to newcomer Hordern to be dismissed for 171 in the 41st over. Faulkner, however, still kept the flag flying with an innings of 80 (from 98 balls faced, with 9 fours and 1 six). The debutant dentist had 2nd innings figures of 5/66 and a total of 8 wickets in the match at the cost of 105 runs. It may be worth recalling that the other celebrated cricket-playing dentist from Sydney, Monty Noble, had taken 7 wickets for 80 runs in his own debut Test, against England at Melbourne, in the first week of January/1898.

Australia won the 4th Test by a massive margin of 530 runs, and would be going to Sydney for the 5th Test with a score-line of 3-1. In his last Test match, Sherwell won the toss at the SCG on Friday, 3 March/1911, and for the second consecutive time, invited Australia to bat first. Bert Vogler, sadly, was not included in the line-up for this Test.

Reshuffling their batting order, Australia opened the batting with Kelleway and Macartney, two relatively young and new Test cricketers, Kelleway playing his 5th Test, and his partner playing in his 14th Test. A crowd of about 7000 saw Australia scoring 281 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in 74 overs on the opening day. The not out batsmen at the end of the day were Bardsley (83*) and Whitty (2*).

The highlight of the day was the maiden Test century by Macartney (137, from 210 balls faced, with 16 fours). Hordern (50), surprisingly sent in at the fall of Kelleway’s wicket, helped Macartney to add 124 runs in about an hour and a half for the 2nd wicket. After Hordern departed, Macartney and Bardsley added 145 runs for the 3rd wicket in 100 minutes. The Australian innings ended on the second day at 364 all out in the 97th over, with Bardsley being ultimately dismissed for 94, and with Trumper scoring 31 from # 6. For South Africa, Schwarz (6/47) was the most successful bowler, whilst Llewellyn and Sinclair captured 2 wickets each.

The South African reply lasted 50 overs and 1 ball and realised 160 all out, with the ever-reliable Faulkner contributing a valiant 52, the only fifty of the innings. Googly bowler Horden had 4/73 from his 21 overs. Asked to follow-on, South Africa scored 401 all out in the 2nd innings, with Zulch setting the trend from the top of the order with a patient 150, his highest Test score till date, and crossing the landmark of 500 Test runs in the process. As had become customary of the tour, the other major contributor was Faulkner (92). Whitty (4/66) was the major wicket-taker for the home team, while Hordern took 2/117.

Australia were left with a winning target of 198 in the 4th innings. The top 3 batsmen laid the foundation of the innings, as follows: Macartney (56), Bardsley (39), and Trumper (74*). Trumper later shared an unfinished stand of 64 for the 4th wicket to guide Australia to a victory by 7 wickets. Dave Nourse took 2 of the 3 wickets to fall. With this win, Australia took the series 4-1, and proved themselves to be the deserving victors.

Bill Whitty - Most successful bowler in the series

Bill Whitty - Most successful bowler in the series

The much-vaunted South African googly bowlers had found their match, and, with the honourable exception of Reggie Schwarz, the others had been forced to bite the dust. In his 5 Test matches in Australia on the 1910/11 tour, Schwarz captured 25 wickets at 26.04. Faulkner’s 10 wickets in the series came at an average of 51.40. On the batting front, however, Faulkner was easily the star of the series, both sides considered, aggregating 732 runs from his 10 innings, and averaging 73.20, with 2 centuries and 5 fifties, a highest score of 204, and earning the plaudits of the press to boot.

On the home front, the star bowler was unquestionably Bill Whitty, with 37 wickets at 17.08. Tibby Cotter took 22 wickets at 28.77. The surprise package on the bowling from for Australia turned out to be Dr HV “Ranji” Hordern, who captured 14 wickets from his 2 Tests at 21.07.
Victor Trumper, in his penultimate Test series, topped the batting figures for Australia with his 661 runs in 9 innings at 94.42, with 2 centuries and 2 fifties. The other Australian batsman to aggregate in excess of 500 runs was Warren Bardsley, in only his second Test series, with his tally of 573 runs from 9 innings at 63.66, 1 century, and 5 fifties.

Meanwhile, what of Bert Vogler, the man who had been rated as being the best of the South African googly brigade? He was unable to come to terms with his woeful lack of success on the tour and with his resultant fall from grace. He was used for only 2 of the Tests and took only 4 Test wickets on the tour, appearing not to have been successful in adjusting to the playing surfaces in Australia. His lack of success led to a feeling of low self-esteem, perhaps resulting in a state of depressive psychosis. It is rumoured that he tried to find his solace in the ambrosia that befuddles the mind. His alcoholic escapades did not escape the notice of the tour committee and of the South African cricket authorities when the news filtered back home. He never played another Test and only played 2 more first-class matches in his career. The unkindest cut of all, perhaps, was the fact that the South African Cricket Union authorities withheld his tour fees of £475 as a penalty for his alcoholism.