England v South Africa: The post-war battles

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1947: Compo's golden summer - 753 runs in the series, four hundreds (3,816 and 18 in all first-class games). In the Second Test at Lord's Denis Compton made a kingly 208, shared a then record third-wicket stand of 370 with his partner in breaking bowlers' hearts, Bill Edrich, and England won by 10 wickets. Anybody who was there says they really don't make them like it any more and it is easy to believe them. Series score: England 3, SA 0.

1951: After the tourists took a series lead with their first win for 128 Tests and 16 years, England struck back. Winning the Second, they dominated at Old Trafford in the Third. Alec Bedser took 7 for 58 and 5 for 54 and Len Hutton scored 98 not out in England's second innings to secure a nine-wicket victory. Had they needed just a few more he might have become first batsman in history to score a 100th hundred in Tests, beating Geoff Boycott by 26 years. England 3, SA 1.

1955: In a supreme, unforgettable spell of fast bowling, Brian Statham bowled 29 successive overs through nearly four hours, taking 7 for 39 at Lord's in the Second Test, including Jackie McGlew for a three-ball pair. Rubber goes to the wire, all five matches producing a result. England 3, SA 2.

1960: A sensation in St John's Wood. The South African bowler Geoff Griffin not only takes a hat-trick (including Mike Smith for 99) but is also no- balled for throwing 11 times by the umpire Frank Lee. England win the match by an innings; Statham is again prominent. Whole controversy over throwing is brought to the fore, though Griffin was unable to straighten his arm following a schoolboy accident. He was destined never to play Test cricket again. England 3, SA 0.

1965: At Trent Bridge, in humid conditions, South Africa are 43 for 4. Graeme Pollock makes imperious 125 out of 160 in 140 minutes from 145 balls. England's reply is undermined by other Pollock, Peter. At high pace and with steep bounce (he hit John Edrich on head earlier) he took five wickets in each innings. England 0, SA 1.

1994: First series between the pair for 29 years ends in astonishing fashion. With the match at The Oval delicately poised and England slightly behind on first innings, Devon Malcolm wreaks havoc after being struck when batting and uttering immortal phrase: "You guys are history". Three wickets fall for one run, the last six for 38. In 99 balls Malcolm has 9 for 57, the sixth-best innings analysis in all Tests. England race to the 204 they need for victory, smashing deflated opposition round the ground. England 1, SA 1.