Steyn leads SA to brink

2008-12-29 00:00

Melbourne — Dale Steyn and Ricky Ponting were the stars as South Africa bowled out Australia for 247 and reached 30 without loss at stumps on the fourth day of the second Test at the MCG yesterday.

South Africa made a bright start in search of 183 to win the Test and clinch the series while Australia have rued the lack of support for Ponting.

“The guys have got a sniff of achieving something and creating some history here,” Steyn said. “Everybody is very excited.”

Steyn dimissed talk that the South Africans would be overawed by the prospect of beating Australia in a series at home for the first time.

“I’ve only played two Test matches against Australia so I’ve got no history that is on my back,” Steyn said. “Many of the guys on this tour have also never lost to Australia. There’s a fresh breed of players out here that are not really worried about the history. We’re more worried about the way that we play cricket and what we’ve come to achieve on this tour and how we’re going to get there.

“This is big. Coming into Australia and being able to do that against an Australian side is fantastic.”

Steyn said the typically aggressive Australian approach at the crease had helped him.

“The way that the Aussies play, they really like to have the scoreboard ticking over and like to see boundaries flow and they’ve got those kind of players,” he said.

“Even though you’re going at four an over, you always feel like there’s a chance ... ”

Ponting, who scored 101 in the first innings, once again tore into the South African bowling and had cruised to a marvellous 99 as history beckoned. He was set to become the first batsman in the history of the game to score hundreds in each innings of a Test on four occasions, but it would all end in tears.

With a crowd of 20 000 banging on the boundary boards, Graeme Smith moved himself to short cover and Morne Morkel, in the middle of another fine spell, induced a drive straight to his captain.

Ponting, in prime form, and Mitchell Johnson had added 32 runs in 13 overs, but the captain’s dismissal left Australia in serious trouble on 212 for eight and just 147 in front.

Jacques Kallis then picked up the wicket of Nathan Hauritz, bowling him for three with a ripper of an off-cutter, and Johnson decided it was now or never as he hit out to score 43 valuable runs.

It was Steyn who eventually wrapped up the innings by having Peter Siddle caught behind for six, finishing with five for 67 and 10 for 154 in the match. It gave the Phalaborwa Express his 150th Test wicket in his 29th game and a remarkable 74 wickets for the year.

It left South Africa with six overs to bat before stumps and Smith ensured it would be no dowdy half-hour.

He added 25 more runs to his year-leading tally of 1 606, with five fours off 19 balls, but there was no sign of a return to form for Neil McKenzie.

He struggled to three not out and survived being bowled by a Brett Lee no-ball, once again offering no stroke to a delivery that hit the top of off-stump.

— News24.

Australia 1st innings 394

(SM Katich b Steyn 54, R. Ponting 101, M. Clarke 88 not out, B Haddin 40, D. Steyn 5-87, M. Ntini 2-108).

South Africa 1st innings 459

(G. Smith 62, JP Duminy 166, P. Harris 39, D. Steyn 76, P. Siddle 4-81, M. Johnson 2-127. N. Hauritz 3-98).

Australia 2nd innings

M. Hayden c Duminy b Steyn 23

S. Katich c Boucher b Steyn 15

R. Ponting c Smith b Morkel 99

M. Hussey c Amla b Morkel 2

M. Clarke c McKenzie b Steyn 29

A. Symonds c Kallis b Steyn 0

B. Haddin c Kallis b Ntini 10

B. Lee b Kallis 8

M. Johnson not out 43

N. Hauritz b Kallis 3

P. Siddle c Boucher b Steyn 6

Extras (b 1, lb 3, nb 5) 9

Total (all out; 84.2 overs) 247

Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Hayden, 10.4 ov), 2-40 (Katich, 12.2 ov), 3-49 (Hussey, 15.3 ov), 4-145 (Clarke, 43.1 ov), 5-145 (Symonds, 43.6 ov), 6-165 (Haddin, 53.1 ov), 7-180 (Lee, 58.3 ov), 8-212 (Ponting, 71.3 ov), 9-231 (Hauritz, 78.6 ov), 10-247 (Siddle, 84.2 ov)

Bowling: Steyn 20.2 3 67 5 (1nb); Ntini 14 1 26 1; Morkel 15 2 46 2 (4nb); Harris 21 1 47 0; Kallis 14 1 57 2.

South Africa 2nd innings

GC Smith not out 25

ND McKenzie not out 3

Extras (nb 2) 2

Total (0 wickets) 30

Bowling: Lee 3 0 17 0 (2nb); Siddle 3 1 13 0

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