Solid reply by SA on day two

2009-01-04 00:00

SYDNEY — The Proteas put the unfortunate injury of their captain, Graeme Smith, behind them to make a solid reply to Australia’s first innings on the second day of the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) yesterday.

By the close they had reached 125 for one on a pitch of varying bounce and, although they still trail by 320 runs, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla have already put together an unbroken partnership of 49 for the second wicket in only 15 overs, with the pair hitting 11 boundaries between them.

Spin bowler Paul Harris, who returned the best figures for the Proteas of three for 84, said that they had probably allowed the Australians to get a few more runs than they wanted following the 142 run partnership for the seventh wicket between Michael Clarke, who made his 10th Test century (138 off 250 balls with 17 fours) and Johnson, who has grown in stature as an all-rounder in this series (a career best of 64 off 124 balls with 11 fours).

Harris said: “We would have liked to keep them below 400, but that was not to be.

“Our first innings is going to be very important as batting looks as though it is going to get very difficult when it comes to the fourth innings.

“We always play to win and we will just have to see where our first innings total ends up and take it from there.”

Dale Steyn is suffering from a severely bruised left foot which reduced his effectiveness and workload, but the medical team is confident that he will be able to play a full role in the second innings.

Smith suffered a fracture to the fifth metacarpal of his left hand while batting and is unlikely to take any further part in the match. He had batted with all his current form and confidence in making 30 off 31 balls (five boundaries) when he was struck on the hand by Australian left-hander Mitchell Johnson.

Medical opinion is that he will not require surgery — the injury has been placed in a plastic cast — and that the recovery time should be approximately six weeks, the same length of time he is likely to require to allow his elbow to recover.

The chances are good that he will be fit to lead the Proteas for the return Test series against Australia in South Africa starting at the end of February.

Another report from Sydney said that Brett Lee had undergone left ankle surgery to correct a long-standing ankle problem. The surgery involved the removal of bone fragments that had been causing pain at the back of the ankle.

Lee also sustained a stress fracture of a metatarsal (fourth) bone during the second Test and as this injury was expected to keep him out of cricket for some time, it was decided it would be an opportune time to address the ankle injury.


Australia 1st innings (overnight 267/6)

MJ Clarke c & b Duminy 138

AB McDonald c Boucher b Ntini 15

BJ Haddin b Steyn 38

MG Johnson c Smith b Steyn 64

NM Hauritz c Duminy b Harris 41

PM Siddle lbw b Harris 23

DE Bollinger not out 0

Extras (lb 7, w 3, nb 8) 18

Total (all out; 136,2 overs) 445

Fall of wickets: 1-62 (Katich, 12,6 ov), 2-63 (Ponting, 13,5 ov), 3-109 (Hayden, 33,3 ov), 4-130 (Hussey, 40.6 ov), 5-162 (McDonald, 56.4 ov), 6-237 (Haddin, 81.4 ov), 7-379 (Clarke, 120.4 ov), 8-381 (Johnson, 121.5 ov), 9-440 (Siddle, 134.3 ov), 10-445 (Hauritz, 136.2 ov)

Bowling: Steyn 27-5-95-3, Ntini 29-5-102-1 (3nb, 1w), Morkel 27-3-89-1 (5nb), Kallis 20-6-54-1 (1w), Harris 29.2-6-84-3 (1w), Duminy 4-0-14-1

South Africa 1st innings

ND McKenzie lbw b Siddle 23

GC Smith retired hurt 30

HM Amla not out 30

JH Kallis not out 36

Extras (lb 2, w 2, nb 2) 6

Total (for 1; 39 overs) 125

To bat: AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, MV Boucher, M Morkel, DW Steyn, PL Harris, M Ntini

Fall of wickets: 0-35* (Smith, retired not out, 12.5 ov), 1-76 (McKenzie, 24.3 ov)

Bowling: Siddle 10-4-21-1, Bollinger 10-1-42-0 (1nb, 1w), Johnson 8-1-28-0 (1w), McDonald 6-2-12-0 (1nb), Hauritz 5-0-20-0

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