Home > Features > Moments in history >

George Lohmann routs South Africa single-handedly with figures of 9 for 28 at Old Wanderers

George Lohmann bowled. Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia
George Lohmann finished the series against South Africa in 1896 with 35 wickets at 5.80. Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

George Lohmann routed the South Africans almost single-handedly on March 3, 1896. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the cheapest nine-wicket haul.

The tour was expected to be a mismatch when Lord Hawke’s team embarked for the third English tour of South Africa, and the outcome was not a lot different. George Lohmann, one of the champions of the side, was also the Business Manager of the tour. It was he who controlled the course of the series the way few people have in the history of the sport.

The South Africans were all at sea in the first Test at St George’s Park without the presence of Bernard Tancred, Alfred Richards (who made his debut and led in the third Test), and George Rowe: England, especially with Lohmann, were too heavyweight an opposition for them, dishing them out a 288-run hammering.

While the tourists scored 185 and 226, Lohmann again routed the hosts for 93 and 30 with magical figures of seven for 38 and eight for seven (still the cheapest eight-wicket haul). The match figures of 15 for 45 were the cheapest 15-wicket haul at that time (though it was later bettered by Johnny Briggs’ 15 for 28). Barring Briggs, only Bert Ironmonger (11 for 24), Glenn McGrath (ten for 27), and Ernie Toshack (11 for 31) have taken cheaper ten-wicket hauls than Lohmann.

Day One: Tom Hayward builds

One of the oddities of the second Test at Old Wanderers was the appointment of Audley Miller as umpire. Miller had played for England in the previous Test. When Lord Hawke’s team arrived at the ground they were in with a bitter surprise: the club buildings were populated by the survivors from a dynamite blast close to the place.

With Rowe back for the second Test the South Africans had a chance to put up some resistance, which they did: England lost both Lohmann and Tim O’Brien with only eight runs on the board. Once they saw off the initial burst of Rowe and Jimmy Sinclair, however, Hayward and CB Fry eased into the proceedings. They added 119 before Fry (64) hit one back to Rowe; Hayward then added 122 more with Arthur Hill (65) before becoming Rowe’s third wicket: he had scored 122.

 

Sinclair kept striking at the other end, and from 291 for four England suddenly dipped to 307 for seven: it seemed that South Africa were in with a chance to keep the English score under control when Hugh Bromley-Davenport joined Charles Wright. They played out patiently till stumps with the former on 30 and the latter on 19; England were 350 for seven at stumps.

Day Two: Lohmann breaks

Three quick blows on the second morning could have given South Africa a chance to claw back into the Test. The blows happened, but only after a 154-run eighth wicket stand between Wright and Bromley-Davenport. It took the perseverance of Rowe to break the partnership when Bromley-Davenport eventually holed out to Clement Johnson for 84.

Christopher Heseltine fell for a duck, but Wright kept on playing his strokes and was last out, bowled by Billy Frank for 71. England finished on 482. Rowe returned figures of five for 115 while Sinclair had four for 118. The score was perhaps a tad too high for the South Africans, given their dismal show in the first Test.

Sammy Woods provided England with an early breakthrough, clean bowling Tommy Routledge. However, Sinclair and Robert Poore dug in, and at 70 for one it seemed South Africa would claw back into the match — which was when Lohmann struck, clean bowling Poore, and having Frank Hearne caught-behind for a duck. Sinclair and Johnson followed shortly afterwards — both too Lohmann — and South Africa found themselves reeling at 85 for five.

A few tense moments passed as “Barberton” Halliwell and George Shepstone tried to bring some life back into the resistance. The hundred came up, but Lohmann broke through soon afterwards, having Halliwell caught, Fred Smith bowled, and Billy Frank caught-and-bowled in quick succession.

Shepstone eventually found some support in Charlie Llewellyn, and the pair hung around, taking the score from 111 for eight to 142 before Lohmann ran through Shepstone’s defence. He finished things off by removing Llewellyn, and South Africa crashed to 151. Lohmann finished with figures of nine for 28 from 14.2 overs (12 six-ball overs) — the first nine-wicket haul in Test history.

Lord Hawke enforced the follow-on, and kept Lohmann away from bowling to begin with. There was no respite for the hosts as Heseltine dismissed Routledge for a duck and Poore soon afterwards. Lohmann was introduced after a while and he removed Hearne almost immediately, reaching his ten-wicket haul. South Africa finished the day on 63 for three with Sinclair on 29 and Halliwell on four: they still needed 268 to make England bat again.

Day Three: A meek surrender

Disaster struck early on Day Three when Woods removed Sinclair with any addition to the score. Halliwell had small partnerships with Johnson (who was run out) and the reliable Shepstone, but when he fell to Heseltine for 41 South Africa’s last hope had abandoned them. Lohmann followed by having Shepstone caught by Fry, thus reaching the 100-wicket mark in his 16th Test. He still holds the record for being the quickest to the 100-wicket mark.

Lohmann also removed Hill before Heseltine finished things off, returning figures of five for 38. With three for 43 Lohmann’s match numbers read 12 for 71. South Africa, having lost their last five wickets for 18, went on to lose the series with an emphatic defeat by an innings and 197 runs.

What followed?

-          England completed the whitewash with another emphatic victory at Newlands, this time by an innings and 33 runs. Lohmann returned figures of seven for 42 in the first innings but “failed” in the second, finishing with one for 45. He became the first bowler to finish with four seven-fors in a series — a feat equalled by only Syd Barnes.

-          Miller umpired in the third Test as well. He neither played nor umpired in another Test.

-          Lohmann finished the series with 35 wickets at 5.80 and a strike rate of 14.8 — easily the best average and strike rate among all bowlers with 25 wickets in a series. He has also taken the most wickets in a three-Test series.

-          Lohmann played only once more, in the Ashes Test at Lord’s in 1896. Though he bowled unchanged (to pick up three for 13) with Tom Richardson (six for 39) to bowl Australia out for 53 in the first innings the tourists turned things around in the second before eventually losing the Test. Lohmann finished his career with 112 wickets at 10.75 and a strike rate of 34.1. Both numbers are the best for any bowler with over 20 Test wickets.

Brief scores:

 

England 482 (Tom Hayward 122, Hugh Bromley-Davenport 84, Charles Wright 71, Arthur Hill 65, CB Fry 64; George Rowe 5 for 115, Jimmy Sinclair 4 for 118) beat South Africa 151 (Jimmy Sinclair 40; George Lohmann 9 for 28) and 134 (Barberton Halliwell 41; Christopher Helestine 5 for 38, George Lohmann 3 for 43) by an innings and 197 runs.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at London

More

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014  at Southampton

England won by 266 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Ajinkya Rahane needs to play decisive role

10 little-known facts about Sir Frank Worrell

Statistical analysis of Jacques Kallis’s ODI career

Ajinkya Rahane England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Jacques Kallis Jacques Kallis retirement James Anderson Moeen Ali South Africa

James Anderson all set to close in on Ian Botham’s record after being given clean chit in ‘Pushgate’ incident

James Anderson, Ravindra Jadeja not found guilty by Judical Commissioner

James Anderson pleads guilty of pushing Ravindra Jadeja; says no malice intended

Ravindra Jadeja playing ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin in India’s tour of England a disaster, says Erapalli Prassana

Nasser Hussain praises Alastair Cook after victory in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

India A vs Australia A 2014, Final: Last chance for future stars to shine

Gary Ballance — the headline writer’s dream and the correspondent’s nightmare

An open letter to Pankaj Singh

India vs England 2014, 4th Test at Old Trafford: Should Umesh Yadav be sent as cover for Ishant Sharma?

5 things you need to know about Graham Thorpe

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

658 Posts | 6 Fans

Sachin Tendulkar's nine dismissals against James Anderson

India A vs Australia A 2014, Final: Last chance for future stars to shine

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Shah Rukh Khan: I am bored of answering questions about Salman Khan and me

India A vs Australia A quadrangular series final Live Cricket Score: Australia A won the toss and elected to bat first

Google most attractive employer among Asia-Pacific graduates

Delhi shoppers more e-commerce savvy: Survey

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Shah Rukh Khan: I want to continue working as long as I live

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here