Fortuitous innings for Australia

2014-02-14 16:17

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Australia: 397 and 147/1 (Warner 93*, Doolan 48*, Steyn 1/41)

South Africa: 206 (De Villiers 91, Duminy 25, Johnson 7/68, Lyon 2/38)

Australia leads by 338 runs

David Warner made the most of his luck to consolidate Australia’s already strong position at tea on day three, further taking the game away from the hosts.

The short New South Welshman got to his 50 off only 63 balls but it was a fortuitous innings. He was dropped on 26, 27 and 51 by Dean Elgar, Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith.

Good players like him make their luck count and he proceeded to cane the bowlers around the park. He recorded two second innings hundreds in the Ashes and those were quick innings that deflated the visitors after a huge lead had been accrued.

During the wicket-less session, the Proteas conceded more than 100 runs and frankly looked obsolete.

The saying goes that fielding is a window into a team’s soul and if the dropped catches offer any insight into the South African team, then nothing good can be garnered from that.

Elgar dropped a skier at fine leg off Vernon Philander. Petersen could not cling onto a stinging back foot drive at second slip off Morne Morkel while Graeme Smith shelled a simple chance at first slip.

Each dropped catch elicited a dejected reaction from the team and Australia accelerated from each mistake. The visitors were motoring at more than four to the over, sapping the energy with each boundary. The hosts are already resigned to attempting the highest successful chase at the ground on a pitch that is notorious for rapid deterioration.

South Africa’s atrocious bowling should take nothing away from Australia’s batsmanship. They noticed an opportunity to take the game by the scruff of the neck and they did just that.

With Warner smoking from the other end, Alex Doolan was content to be in his slipstream. The ease at which they compiled the runs made a mockery regarding the talents of the South African bowling attack. It will be a long evening session for the home team.

Their 146-run partnership is unbroken and looked under no threat.

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