Peter Kirsten’s finest moment for SA was on this day in 1994. He’s our Legend of the Week, brought to you by Aquavita.
The batsman’s Test career was a short one, lasting from April 1992 to August 1994, but the second Test against England in Leeds was his to saviour, as his first and only Test century came on day three, in what was his penultimate appearance in white clothing for his country.
At the ripe old age of 39 it was Kirsten’s last chance to shine, and indeed he never played in another Test series again. Half-brother Gary Kirsten, 12 years younger, had his whole career ahead of him and played a huge role in South Africa’s massive 356-run victory in the first Test. The second Test, however, belonged to Peter, as he scored 104, this after coming in with the team on 91-4 and in deep trouble after England posted 477.
It was an inspired performance from the veteran as they managed to compile 447, before holding out for a well-played draw, keeping their series lead.
The Kirsten brothers opened together in the third Test, but it didn’t work out as planned as they scored 19 runs between them in the whole match, for England to win and level the series. To add to his 12 Tests, Peter also played 40 ODIs, hitting nine half centuries with a best of 97. Peter, a fine fielder in his day, scored 22 653 runs throughout an illustrious first-class career for Border, Western Province, Derbyshire and Sussex.
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