Australia dominate the first session

2011-11-18 11:38

Australia built on their excellent bowling performance in the last session of the first day of the second Sunfoil test as they motored to 169/0 at lunch on the second day.

Openers Shane Watson and Phil Hughes feasted on the wayward South African bowling, scoring at a One Day International rate of 5.1 an over.

Australia began their innings watchfully, with the opening bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander bowling probing lines in cloudy and muggy conditions.

With 266 being an inadequate total on a good batting surface, it was only a matter of time before the Australian openers cut loose.

While the first four overs were quiet, the leather-chasing began when the left-handed Hughes drove Vernon Philander for four. That boundary ushered in a period where the Australian openers carted the bowlers around the park.

Watson hooked a short ball from Steyn for six and Hughes followed suit with square cut boundary.

The introduction of Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis made no difference to the Proteas cause as they were carted for boundaries in their opening overs.

Captain Graeme Smith pushed the field back to stem the flow of runs, but it proved useless as the openers pounced on any loose deliveries.

Hughes was given a life on 30 when he was dropped by Hashim Amla at short leg off the bowling of Morkel and received a further reprieve when he got an inside edge onto his pad and was caught by Boucher.

The South African slip cordon appealed but chose not to review the decision, which replays showed that the umpire’s original decision could have been overturned.

Hughes, whose main scoring areas were in front and behind square on the off-side, reached his 3rd test 50 off 68 balls (9x4) with a rasping square cut of Philander while Watson raised his 16th test 50 off 74 balls (9x4, 1x6).

The pair continued to dominate after their landmarks, with Watson being particularly severe on legspinner Imran Tahir, whom he lofted for six over midwicket.

Hughes flashed Steyn through the vacant second slip region to reach 1000 test runs, but followed the streaky shot with a meaty cover drive.

The South Africa bowling figures were nothing to write home about, with Philander being the only bowler not go at five an over with figures of 0-30 in eight overs.

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