JP Duminy blunts Australia’s bowling attack

2014-02-21 16:04

South Africa: 423 all out (Duminy 123, De Villiers, 116, Elgar 83, Du Plessis 55, Lyon 5/ , Clarke 1/10 Smith 1/30)

South Africa were bowled out for an imposing total after tea on day two, buttressed by centuries from JP Duminy and AB de Villiers.

South Africa looked to kick on after going to tea on 413/8 but Australia wrapped up the tail in double-quick time. Duminy was trapped in front by Nathan Lyon for a well-played third test hundred while Morne Morkel was run out.

It was Duminy’s first century in two years.

Test centuries have not been a dime-a-dozen for the silky left-hander but one of his jobs was to blunt the Australia bowling attack.

It worked to an extent. Clarke was reduced to using his part-timers as his bowlers have not been subjected to long stints in the field.

In this innings, the Proteas more than doubled their batting quota compared with Pretoria.

Grinding down the opposition is South Africa’s forte and that is something they were doing to perfection. The runs did not come as quickly as they did in the morning session but keeping Australia in the field for five sessions should have the desired result.

If there is one thing South Africa could rue it’s the omission of a “front-line” spinner on a track that is proving to be receptive to slow bowling.

The proof of the pudding lies in the fact that the wickets in the session fell to Clarke and Lyon.

Both were caught and bowled, indicating the stop-start nature of the pitch.

However, Du Plessis made a superb hundred in light of the precarious position he came into.

The 149-run partnership between him and Duminy more than put the home team on the right track and for the first time since the 2013 Ashes in England, Australia conceded more than 400 runs.

They will be subjected to scoreboard pressure when they get their batting opportunity, when it does come.

As for Duminy, it will be an innings that will keep the wolves away from the door in the short term and it again gave credence to a conservative but working policy of playing seven batsmen.

Vernon Philander did not last long, along with Wayne Parnell, who also fell to Lyon on the stroke of tea, but the spotlight deservedly falls on Duminy and his wonderfully restrained innings.

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