The Newlands Cricket Ground was formally established in 1888 and is considered one of the most beautiful cricket venues in the world.
The ground, close to Newlands Stadium, is known for being overlooked by the Table Mountain and Devil's Peak, two of the prominent sight-seeing landmarks in Cape Town, South Africa.
The first international match played at the Newlands Cricket Ground was the second Test between South Africa and England in 1889. Since then, it has hosted 58 Tests, 43 ODIs and 21 T20Is.
The last international match at this venue was the third and final T20I against England in 2020. The next scheduled fixture at the venue - the third ODI - was indefinitely postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Newlands Cricket Ground is the home of Western Province Cricket and Cape Cobras in domestic cricket. Following a string of renovations, the stadium has increased its seating capacity to 25,000.
If anything, the venue is one of the few grounds in South Africa that assists spin bowlers.
Interestingly, the Indian cricket team has never won a Test match at the Newlands Cricket Ground, drawing two and losing three in five visits.
Newlands Cricket Ground Test records
Highest team total – South Africa’s 651 runs against Australia in March 2009 is the highest Test score at the Newlands Cricket Ground. Centuries from Ashwell Prince (150), Jacques Kallis (102) and AB de Villiers (163) guided the Proteas to a mammoth total after Aussie’s first innings score of 209 in the third and final Test. While South Africa won the match by an innings and 20 runs, they lost out on the three-match Test series 2-1.
Lowest team total – South Africa’s 35 all-out against England in 1899 is the lowest Test score at the Newlands Cricket Ground. Chasing a target of 246, the Proteas were bundled out within 22.4 overs. Opener Albert Powell was the only player to score runs in double digits (11 runs).
Most runs – Legendary South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis has aggregated the most Test runs at the Newlands Cricket Ground, with 2181 runs in 22 matches at an average of 72.70. It is worth noting that Kallis registered his highest Test score at this very venue (224 vs Sri Lanka, 2012).
Highest individual score – Stephen Fleming’s 262 against South Africa in 2006 is the highest individual score for a Test batter at the Newlands Cricket Ground. The New Zealand skipper smashed 31 boundaries and two sixes as he went on to score the highest individual Test score by a New Zealander against South Africa.
Most wickets – Dale Steyn is the bowler with the most Test wickets at the Newlands Cricket Ground, scalping 74 wickets in 15 matches at an economy rate of 2.94. The speedster averaged a wicket every 22nd ball he bowled in Test matches at the venue.
Best bowling figures – Johnny Briggs’ haul of 8 for 11 for England against South Africa in 1889 is the best bowling figures in a Test match at the Newlands Cricket Ground. After registering a haul of 7 for 17 in the first innings, the left-arm spinner returned with eight wickets at the cost of just 1.13 runs in his 14.2 overs.
Newlands Cricket Ground first-class records
Highest team total: Titans’ 647/7d against Western Province in a Division 1 match of the 4-day franchise series in 2021 is the highest team total at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Centurion in first-class cricket. Batting first, the Titans were provided with a strong start by Grant Mokoena (154) and Dean Elgar until the latter was dismissed for 117 at the start of the 59th over. After some hiccups, the visitors got their scoring rate on track thanks to unbeaten knocks from Jiveshan Pillay (113*) and Ayabulela Gqamane (117*). In the end, the Titans won the match by an innings and 139 runs.
Lowest team total: Western Province’ 44 all-out against Orange Free State in 1927 is the lowest team total at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.
Highest individual score: Cape Cobras’ Pieter Malan’s 264 against the Knights in 2021 is the highest score at the Newlands Cricket Ground in first-class cricket. The southpaw reached the double hundred smashing 26 fours and four sixes in the innings. Malan en-route his knock of 264 broke the highest first-class score by a Cape Cobras batter, previously held by JP Duminy (260 vs Lions, 2015/16)
Best bowling figures: Western Province bowler Stephen Jefferies’ 10 for 59 is the best bowling figures in first-class cricket at the Newlands Cricket Ground. Jefferies achieved the feat back in 1987 against Orange Free State.
Author: William Paul
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Featured photo: AFP / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA