Proteas show the Aussies why touring SA is not a walk in the park

2014-02-24 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — It is not always a picnic to tour South Africa.

That much a shocked Australian cricket team found out yesterday when the Proteas beat them by 231 runs at St George’s Park in the second Test match.

By doing so the home team succeeded in bringing the Australian team, who caught the Proteas unaware at Centurion in the first Test, back to Earth with a bump.

It may also be a blessing for the Proteas that they secured their victory in four days as the weather bureau predicts bad weather for today in Port Elizabeth.

Although the Proteas dominated yesterday’s play, their chances for a victory could have gone down the drain with the rain had the match continued today.

It was sweet revenge for SA captain Graeme Smith after his team had — in his words — been “blown away” by the Aussies at Centurion.

“The week before the Test was very difficult. We had to come up with new ideas on how to handle the earlier defeat,” said Smith.

“Not many teams would have been able to do what we did today. My team showed true character.”

Australia captain Michael Clarke praised the South African pacemen for their performance.

“South Africa deserved a lot of credit. They dominated us with bat and ball,” said Clarke.

“I think we have also seen an excellent bowling performance with reverse swing from SA’s three pacemen, especially Dale Steyn.”

But Clarke said the third Test, which starts on March 1 at Newlands, gives his team an opportunity to show where they stand when compared to the world’s number one team.

There was nothing to be seen of the almost smug attitude of the visitors after the Centurion match. During that match David Warner was seen to dance to the the Village People.

Yesterday it was the supporters of the Proteas who expressed their excitement.

When Dale Steyn got rid of Michael Clarke and Steve Smith in successive balls a little girl was seen doing cartwheels under the main score board.

With the score at 167/6 the spectators started singing: “Bye-bye, Aussies”.

But it was not that easy and the victory was only secured in the final over of the additional half-an-hour’s play.

Chris “Bucky” Rogers, who scored 107, was also an irritation to the home team — not just with his batting but with his mere presence. At one stage JP Duminy dived in an effort to catch Warner from his own bowling, only to hit Rogers and miss the catch.

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