The cricket world witnessed a strange incident on December 12, 2000 when not one of the players but the ground’s man was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Chris Scott and his staff were awarded for making sure that the rain-hit third Test between South Africa and New Zealand went ahead

Matthew Sinclair’s 150 took New Zealand to 298 at St George’s Park, and despite Neil McKenzie’s 120, Chris Martin restricted South Africa’s lead to 63. Unfortunately, nobody other than Mark Richardson put up any fight, and chasing 86, South Africa won by 7 wickets.

New Zealand dropped Craig Spearman and Kerry Walmsley at New Wanderers, recalling Tuffey and drafting in debutant Hamish Marshall. With Allan Donald injured, South Africa handed a cap to 21-year old tearaway Mfuneko Ngam.

Heavy rain and waterlogged outfield prevented any play on Day One, but the groundsmen did an excellent job. Pollock gave Ngam new ball, and he found the edge of Adam Parore (opening in place of Spearman) in his first over; Daryll Cullinan grassed the chance at slip. He did it again in Ngam’s third over.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 200 (Mark Richardson 46, Hamish Marshall 40*; Makhaya Ntini 3 for 29) drew with South Africa 261 for 3 decl. (Boeta Dippenaar 100, Jacques Kallis 79*).

Man of the Match: Chris Scott (head groundsman) and his team.

Man of the Series: Makhaya Ntini.

Scott’s work, followed by Dippenaar’sAll chance of a result disappeared when it rained incessantly Days Three and Four. There was no chance of cricket on Day Five either, but Chris Scott and his team of groundsmen did a tremendous job

A pleasant surprise awaited Chris Scott and his team after the match. They had, after all, done all the hard work over three days, while the players had slogged it out over two, one innings each. Ted Wood adjudicated the groundsmen the Men of the Match. Was this a parimatch?

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