Oz leave Proteas with it all to do

2008-12-18 00:00

PERTH — The South African cricketers, who sensationally lost five wickets while adding just seven runs, will have to draw on some of their tough experiences of the past 12 months to avoid defeat in the first Test match against Australia at the Waca.

At the close of yesterday’s second day, the Proteas still trailed by 132 runs on the first innings with only Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini left to support Mark Boucher. This sudden change of fortune was the result of a brilliant spell by the left-handed fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson, who returned career-best figures of 7/42 in 18 overs, the second match in a row in which he has managed five wickets in an innings. It included a spell of five wickets for two runs off 20 balls after the Proteas looked well in contention at 234/3 with back-to-form Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers sharing a century stand.

Both players made 63, with Kallis facing 111 balls (six fours and a six) and De Villiers 130 balls (seven fours and a six). But then Johnson ripped through the Proteas’ lower middle-order to put the home side well on top. The Proteas will now have to fall back on their experiences at Lord’s against England, where they had to follow on, but still managed to save the match, and at Chennai, where Virender Sehwag’s brilliant triple century also condemned the Proteas to a big first innings deficit. This match they also managed to draw.

Kallis said the team will come out on the third morning in a positive frame of mind, determined to get back into the game.

“When you play the number one side in the world, you have got to be on top of your game all the time. We have got some hard work ahead of us.

“We have been in positions like this before, so the guys have got to put up their hands and get as close to the Aussie score as we can,” said Kallis.

“Then we have to make sure our bowlers get the ball in the right areas as they did with the new ball to the Australian openers in the first innings. This game is a long way from over. I am sure we will come out in a very positive frame of mind in the morning.

“Mitchell Johnson produced a top-class spell and he must be given credit for that, but we don’t see the game as down and out. We will have to fight hard. It is not going to be easy, but then beating Australia in Australia has never been easy.” Kallis also reflected positively on his own return to form.

“We all know 60s don’t win you games. We have got to get big hundreds, but at least I have got some runs on the board again.

“It is a good batting wicket,” said Kallis, “but there is something in it for the bowlers if they get the ball in the right areas.”

— Sapa.

Scoreboard

Australia first innings

M. Hayden c Smith b Ntini 12

S. Katich lbw Morkel 83

R. Ponting c de Villiers b Ntini 0

M. Hussey c de Villiers b Steyn 0

M. Clarke c Smith b Harris 62

A. Symonds c McKenzie b Harris 57

B. Haddin c Duminy b Ntini 46

B. Lee c Duminy b Steyn 29

J. Krejza not out 30

M. Johnson lbw Morkel 18

P. Siddle c Boucher b Ntini 23

Extras: 7lb, 3w, 5nb, 0b 15

Total: 98.5 overs) 375

Bowling: Ntini 19.5 1 72 4; Steyn 23 4 81 2; Kallis 15 2 65 0; Morkel 20 1 80 2; Harris 21 2 70 2

Fall of wickets: 1/14 (Hayden), 2/14 (Ponting), 3/15 (Hussey), 4/164 (Katich), 5/166 (Clarke), 6/259 (Symonds), 7/298 (Haddin), 8/303 (Lee), 9/341 (Johnson), 10/375 (Siddle).

South Africa first innings

N. McKenzie c Krejza b Johnson 2

G. Smith b Johnson 48

H. Amla b Krejza 47

J. Kallis c Haddin b Johnson 63

AB de Villiers c Haddin b Johnson 63

JP Duminy c Haddin b Johnson 1

M. Boucher not out 2

M. Morkel c Krejza b Johnson 1

P. Harris c Krejza b Johnson 0

D. Steyn not out 1

Extras: 5lb, 4w, 6nb, 0b 15

Total: (8 wickets, 78.0 overs) 243

Bowling: Lee 16 3 41 0; Johnson 18 2 42 7; Krejza 25 2 102 1; Siddle 16 5 43 0; Symonds 3. 1 10 0.

Fall of wickets: 1/16 (McKenzie), 2/106 (Amla), 3/110 (Smith), 4/234 (De Villiers), 5/237 (Kallis), 6/238 (Duminy), 7/241 (Morkel), 8/241 (Harris).

• The scoreboard for the first day’s play in the first Test was omitted from yesterday’s Witness. Humble apologies to readers.

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