What a day, Proteas!

2014-02-24 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — Facing the mighty Australians and threatening rain, South Africa yesterday showed why they are rated the number one Test team in the world.

The Proteas won the second Test at St George’s Park in dramatic fashion when they beat Australia by 231 runs to keep alive their hopes of winning the first Test series against the Aussies on home turf since 1970.

The third and deciding Test starts on Saturday at Newlands in Cape Town. Australia won the first Test at Centurion.

With seven Australians back in the pavilion, SA asked for the additional half-an-hour to complete the game. This was allowed by the umpires because of the possibility that the Test could be decided within the 30 minutes.

The Proteas gave their all within the additional 30 minutes because heavy rainhas been forecast for today in PE ,which would have robbed the SA team of a well-deserved win.

Eventually Dean Elgar sealed the victory when he trapped Nathan Lyon lbw with the final over of the day. The TV replay, however, later showed that Lyon had nicked the ball with his bat but Australia had run out of reviews.

Dale Steyn (4/55) again showed why he is still is the number one bowler in world cricket. He had not been at his best for the first three days of the Test but he showed his greatness when his team needed him the most.

Steyn took the wickets of Michael Clarke and Steve Smith with successive balls, which turned the tide in favour of SA.

When he got Brad Haddin with one of his best-ever deliveries four overs later, South Africa were in total control.

Steyn forced the struggling Clarke to nick an away-swinging ball and the way in which he celebrated the demise of the Australian captain was a clear indication that Steyn was back to his previous best.

No one could blame Smith for not surviving the first ball he faced. It was the perfect in-swinger — with a hint of reverse swing — and trapped the right-hand batsman plumb in front of his middle stump.

Steyn also mesmerised Haddin in Australia’s first innings with a reverse swing that sent his middle stump cartwheeling. Yesterday it was almost a replay of the previous innings.

He also trapped Ryan Harris lbw just before close of play.

The Proteas were at panic stations after the first two hours of the Australian innings, when David Warner (66) and Chris Rogers (107; 332 minutes, 237 balls, 12x4) quickly sent about amassing the required runs. They would have scored a world record had they reached the target of 448.

The Proteas received no assistance from the pitch and the ball was hit with contempt to the boundary. It was especially Warner who punished SA’s first-innings hero Morné Morkel and the lack of a specialist spin bowler obviously worried the Proteas. They also did not have the service of a fourth fast bowler after Wayne Parnell was ruled out for the rest of the Test as a result of a groin injury.

The two opening batsmen had put on 126 for the first wicket when Warner was given out lbw bowled by JP Duminy. After the threatening opening partnership the Aussie castle tumbled when the visitors lost six wickets for a mere 40 runs.

Earlier, SA batted for 80 minutes after the start of play yesterday morning. Hashim Amla (127*; 277 m, 176 b, 16x4) scored his 21st century. Smith declared the second innings at 270/5 and left Australia 155 overs to score the winning runs.


South Africa first innings 423

Australia first innings 246

South Africa second innings (o/n 192/4)

G. Smith b Johnson14

D. Elgar c Haddin b Siddle16

H. Amla not out127

F. du Plessis c Haddin b Siddle24

AB de Villiers c Haddin b Johnson29

Q. de Kock c Clarke b Lyon34

JP Duminy not out18

Extras: (b2, lb6)8

TOTAL: (for 5 wickets dec, 64 overs)270

Fall of wicket: 1-20 (Smith 4.1ov), 2-42 (Elgar 11.6), 3-112 (Du Plessis 25.5), 4-167 (De Villiers 36.6), 5-231 (De Kock 56.6)

Bowling: Johnson 15-1-51-2, Harris 13-1-74-0, Lyon 17-2-48-1, Siddle 19-2-89-2

Australia second innings

C. Rogers run out (sub Petersen)107

D. Warner lbw b Duminy66

A. Doolan c Smith b Morkel5

S. Marsh lbw b Philander0

M. Clarke c Du Plessis b Steyn1

S. Smith lbw b Steyn0

B. Haddin b Steyn1

M. Johnson lbw b Philander6

R. Harris lbw b Steyn6

P. Siddle not out3

N. Lyon lbw b Elgar0

Extras: (b2, lb17, w2)21

TOTAL: (for all out, 73.4 overs)216

Fall of wicket: 1-126 (Warner 29.2ov), 2-152 (Doolan 42.6), 3-152 (Marsh 43.6), 4-156 (Clarke 48.4), 5-156 (Smith 48.5), 6-166 (Haddin 52.6), 7-197 (Johnson 59.1), 8-209 (Harris 68.6), 9-214 (Rogers 72.1), 10-216 (Lyon 73.4)

Bowling: Steyn 20-5-55-4 (2w), Philander 17-3-39-2, Morkel 15-6-46-1, Duminy 14-3-33-1, Elgar 7.4-0-24-1.

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