SA cricket: Captain courageous shows true grit as SA come close

2009-01-07 00:00

A gallant lower-order fightback by the Proteas fell 10 agonising deliveries short of denying Australia a morale-boosting victory in the third and final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday.

The incomparable Graeme Smith, with a broken hand and a debilitating elbow injury, strode out with eight overs left, determined to thwart Australia again.

Seemingly dead at 190 for seven, the tail wagged profusely in an effort to provide this epic series with one late, dramatic twist.

Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn defied an increasingly desperate home attack for over an hour, before Steyn eventually departed.

Smith received a hero’s welcome, the SCG crowd recognising the huge risk that he was taking.

Defying medical opinion, the SA skipper jabbed and winced his side ever closer, with an icreasingly cavalier Ntini at the other end.

With just 10 balls to go, however, Johnson got one to slip through Smith’s limited defences and knock back the middle stump.

That Australia won by 103 runs hardly tells the story of a riveting final day in Sydney. The crowd, and indeed the Australian team, stood back and acknowledged Smith’s immense contribution to a match and a series that has re-energised Test match cricket.

Fittingly, Smith was named Man of the series as testimony to his creative leadership, fine catching and inspired batting. The return series, starting in late February, cannot come soon enough.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.