In 1889, South Africa became the third test-playing nation when it played against England at Port Elizabeth,[9] captained by Owen Robert Dunnell.[10] Soon after, a 2nd test was played at Cape Town. However, these two matches, as was the case with all early matches involving the erstwhile 'South African XI' against all touring teams, did not receive the status of official 'Test' matches until South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference with England and Australia in 1906. Neither did the touring English team organised by Major Warton even claim to be representing the English cricket team; the matches were marketed as 'Major Warton's XI' v/s 'South African XI' instead. Even the players who participated did not know that they had played international cricket, and the side that played South Africa was regarded to be of weak county strength. The team was captained by C.A. Smith, a decent medium pacer from Sussex, and for two of the Major Warton's XI, Basil Grieve and The Honourable Charles Coventry, the two Tests constituted their entire first-class career. Even so, the nascent, fledgling 'South African XI' was very weak, losing both tests comfortably to England, English spinner Johnny Briggs claiming 15–28 in the second Test at Cape Town.[11] However, Albert Rose-Innes did make history by becoming the first South African bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Tests at Port Elizabeth.
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