I recall very little about this two-day visit. Perhaps it was the excitement of the Olympic summer that made this match pale, because looking at the scorecard the match was an absolute cracker:
I can’t even work out who joined me on the Friday; I think Janie came with me both days in the end. I can only find one e-mail, to Ian Theodoreson, quite late in the day, explaining that I had clean forgotten to sort out this match in all the excitement. He had to decline.
I recall arranging to meet Heinrich Groenewald and perhaps one or two others from his entourage during intervals, so I guess they had sorted themselves out with tickets way ahead. I know Janie was with me for those gatherings, which is one of the reasons I’m coming round to the idea that she joined me for both days that time.
I vaguely recall sitting in the Edrich Upper (or perhaps the Compton Upper) with Janie for this match. I think this might have been one of the occasions we had our ears bent by a pair of former Reuters journalists, who told us exactly the same old stories the second time as they had a couple of years earlier, without twigging that we had sat next to them and heard their stories before. But whether this match was the first time or the second time we endured that pair I cannot recall. I think the second time.
But what a match. Bitterly disappointing for England that they couldn’t quite turn things round and level the series, but on balance I think South Africa were the stronger side (just) at that time.
Yup, I blame the London 2012 Olympics for suppressing most of my memory of this one; unusually blank for me, this.