It’s bad to worse for Proteas on day two

2014-02-14 00:00

CENTURION — The South African cricket team were on a collision course with Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson yesterday on the second day of the Test match at SuperSport Park.

As a result South Africa found themselves in a bigger hole than their gloomy position after the first day.

After Johnson decimated (4/51) the top order, AB de Villiers single-handedly battled the overwhelming odds (52*, 164 minutes, 94 balls, 4x4, 1x6) until rain brought welcome relief from a South African perspective with the Proteas staggering at 140/6 at the end of the day, 257 runs behind.

Earlier, Australia accumulated another 100 to end on 397. Shaun Marsh (148, 432 m, 288 b, 15x4) and Steve Smith (100, 292 m, 213 b, 13x4) increased their partnership for the fifth wicket to a record 233.

Smith was caught in the slips soon after he completed his fourth Test century. Marsh, however, kept going to reach his highest Test total before he became Vernon Philander’s sole victim. Dale Steyn (4/78) bowled the last two batsmen.

Then entered the left-hander with his characteristic moustache. Johnson surprised Graeme Smith (10) with a short ball in his first over and the captain was caught in the slips.

“You can practise in the nets as much as you wish, but nothing prepares you for the intensity and pressure to bat against someone such as Mitchell,” said South African coach Russell Domingo.

“To face his slinging action is already a tremendous challenge and then he succeeds in getting the ball to shoot up from the pitch.

“He has the X factor and we are facing him at a time when he is hot,” said Domingo, adding, “The Aussies are without doubt in control and we will have to do something special to get out of this hole.”

Johnson (33) said while batting yesterday morning he realised that the pitch still had some life and he exploited that later.

“I decided to hit the pitch hard. To bowl short is part of my tactics and I will continue to do so,” he added.

Scoreboard

South Africa first innings

G. Smith c Marsh b Johnson10

A. Petersen c Haddin b Johnson2

H. Amla lbw b Siddle17

F. du Plessis c Clarke b Johnson3

AB de Villiers not out52

JP Duminy c Johnson b Lyon25

R. McLaren b Johnson8

R. Peterson not out10

Extras: (b-10, lb-2, w-1)13

TOTAL: (for six wickets, 43.3 overs)140

Fall of wickets: 1-11 2-15 3-23 4-43 5-110 6-126

Bowling: Harris 12-3-33-0, Johnson 13.3-1-51-4 (w-1), Siddle 7-0-21-1, Lyon 11-0-23-1.

Australia first innings

C. Rogers c Duminy b Morkel4

D. Warner b Steyn12

A. Doolan c Peterson b McLaren27

S. Marsh c Smith b Philander148

M. Clarke c Philander b Steyn23

S. Smith c Petersen b McLaren100

B. Haddin lbw b Peterson0

M. Johnson b Peterson33

R. Harris b Steyn19

P. Siddle b Steyn2

N. Lyon not out4

Extras: (b-4, lb-8, w-11, nb-2)25

TOTAL: (all out, 122 overs)397

Fall of wickets: 1-15 2-24 3-72 4-98 5-331 6-332 7-348 8-391 9-391

Bowling: D. Steyn 29-6-78-4 (w-1), V. Philander 24-5-69-1, M. Morkel 22-5-73-1 (w-1), R. McLaren 20-4-72-2 (nb-2, w-1), R. Peterson 15-0-49-2, JP Duminy 12-1-44-0.

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