Sixth Test-playing tour of England by South Africa
(April - September 1947)
On their sixth official visit the South Africans relied for batting upon their veteran players. The selectors decided to do without Eric Rowan and did not pick him. Whether or not they might have enjoyed more success in future years by balancing this level of experience with giving more responsibility to younger players - only two were aged under 25 - the brilliant if ageing Nourse, Melville and Mitchell were the standout players on this tour.
Among the bowlers, none really shone but they were up against Compton and Edrich at their best who took more than 2000 runs between them off the tourists’ bowling attack
The tour party had seventeen members in readiness for anticipated injuries, and ironically was much less seriously affected by injury than on former tours.This state of affairs worked to deprive some of the less experienced players of opportunities.
•Alan Melville scored a century in each innings (189 and 104*) at Trent Bridge
•He and Nourse (149) shared a third wicket partnership of 319, the highest for any wicket for South Africa
•Melville scored 117 at Lord’s, his fourth Test century in consecutive innings (starting with 103 in 1939)
•Left-arm spinner Mann started his debut Test with eight successive maiden overs at Nottingham.
•At The Oval Mitchell equalled Melville’s feat of scoring a century in each innings (120 and 189*)
Other first-class matches
Return to South Africa
The final tour fixture, a festival match against H D G Leveson Gower’s XI was cancelled because of altered shipping arrangements.
The team sailed from Southampton on the ‘Durban Castle’ on 11 September 1947. Although he was operated on for appendicitis the week before Dyer was able to travel with the team.
The ship berthed at Cape Town’s E Dock at dawn on 25 September, exactly twenty five weeks after the team’s departure from South Africa. The Transvaal players left for the Rand, apart from Harris who sailed on to Durban with Payn and Smith.Mann disembarked at Port Elizabeth.