Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 2nd day

Smith hundred steers South Africa

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

November 23, 2012

Comments: 105 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 2 for 217 (Smith 111*, Petersen 54) trail Australia 550 (Clarke 230, Warner 119, Hussey 103, Morkel 5-146) by 333 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen added 138 for the first wicket, Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 2nd day, November 23, 2012
Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen gave South Africa a solid start © Getty Images
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Another day, another captain's innings. Graeme Smith's century on the second afternoon in Adelaide might not have had the elegance of Michael Clarke's double-hundred on day one, but it was no less important for his side. After Australia piled on 550 in less than four sessions, South Africa needed somebody from their top order to anchor a hefty reply. That man was Smith, who finished the day unbeaten on 111, having had support from Alviro Petersen in a 138-run opening stand.

South Africa did not bat with the carefree attitude that the Australians did on Thursday, scoring at 3.23 runs per over. But that was only natural. When the opposition has such an enormous headstart, a certain amount of vigilance is required to ensure the situation does not become diabolical. The boundaries might be expected to flow more freely on the third day, if they again start solidly. They will begin on 2 for 217, with Jacques Rudolph on 25 alongside Smith.

It was a day on which the Australians discovered that the benign Adelaide Oval pitch that had been their friend over the first four sessions could just as easily become an enemy. Morne Morkel found something from the surface in the opening session, completing his first five-wicket haul against Australia to make sure South Africa would not spend another full day in the sun. Australia's bowlers toiled for little reward.

It took a run-out to break the opening partnership. On 54, Petersen pushed the ball to mid-on and set off for a run, but found himself on a collision course with his partner Smith. After taking a wide berth to get around his captain, Petersen compounded the problem by not sliding his bat in his reach for the crease, although it may not have saved him from Michael Hussey's direct hit in any case.

The only breakthrough made by an Australian bowler came through the occasional legspin of David Warner, who lured Hashim Amla (11) out of his crease. Amla played the wrong line and despite the wicketkeeper Matthew Wade struggling to grasp the ball cleanly at first, was so far down the pitch that he couldn't get back in time to avoid being stumped.

It wasn't Wade's first shaky moment. On 46, Smith, who has never been stumped in a Test career spanning 182 innings, advanced down the pitch and tried to flick Michael Clarke through leg and when he missed, Wade, who appeared to have lost sight of the ball, fumbled and lost the chance to take the bails off.

The Australians also thought they had Smith caught behind on 78, when James Pattinson came around the wicket and nipped a ball away off the seam. Smith dabbed at the ball and was given out caught behind, but when he asked for a review, there was no evidence from Hot Spot that his bat had touched the ball and the decision was overturned. They were important moments for Smith, just as Clarke had had some close calls in his innings.

Smart stats

  • Graeme Smith's unbeaten 111 is his third Test century against Australia in 32 innings, and his second in the country.
  • Australia have scored 550 or more in four of the last five occasions when they've batted first at the Adelaide Oval.
  • On the five previous occasions when teams have scored more than 500 batting first in Adelaide, they've won only twice, lost twice, and drawn once.
  • The 138-run stand between Smith and Alviro Petersen is their fourth century stand in Tests. In 31 innings together, the pair have scored 1403 runs at an average of 46.76 runs per partnership.
  • Australia's last five wickets added only 68, which is their lowest in their first-innings in Adelaide for the last 20 years. The last time they suffered such a collapse was against India in January 1992.
  • Morne Morkel's 5 for 146 is his first five-wicket haul against Australia. In nine Tests against them, he has taken 31 wickets at an average of 37.16.

Otherwise, Smith played well, leaving the ball and waiting for those he could dispatch or work through the gaps. He brought up his century from his 198th delivery, with a cut behind point for four off the bowling of Nathan Lyon, and it was typical of his innings - wait for the bad ball. Smith battled what appeared to be cramp during his innings but he should return fresher on the third day, and notably for South Africa, the team has never lost a Test in which Smith has scored a hundred.

They can also take heart from the fact that twice in the past decade, a team has lost having posted a 550-plus total batting first at Adelaide Oval - something that outside Adelaide has only happened once in Test history. South Africa's chances of victory might be slim, and not helped by the fact that Jacques Kallis has a hamstring injury and will struggle when he bats, but they know Adelaide can provide them with as many runs as it did Australia.

The Australians added 68 to their overnight score for the loss of their last five wickets and the majority of their runs came from the No.9, Pattinson, who played some impressive strokes in reaching his best first-class score of 42. He crunched Dale Steyn for a pair of boundaries through the off side and cleared the rope twice off Imran Tahir before he was the last man out, edging Steyn to Smith at slip.

The day had started on a positive note for South Africa when Morkel bowled Clarke, who added only six to his overnight score and was dismissed for 230. The rewards kept coming for the hard-working Morkel when he had Wade caught behind for 6, trying to drive a delivery that angled across him, and his five-wicket haul arrived when Ben Hilfenhaus hooked a short ball and was caught at fine leg for a duck.

Morkel's previous best in an innings against Australia was three wickets, and he finished up with 5 for 146 from 30 overs, his workload having increased significantly due to Kallis being unavailable. There was also a moment of relief and joy for Rory Kleinveldt, who claimed his first Test wicket when he had Peter Siddle caught at slip for 6. The umpire called for a replay to check that Kleinveldt, a serial no-baller, had not over-stepped, and by a matter of millimetres his wicket stood.

It was all part of a much more pleasant day for South Africa than day one.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 24, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

Funny to see a couple of comms from the usual , who can't find fault in the cricket who have to find fault in the pitch , just 2 days into the match

Posted by Biggus on (November 24, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

You'd have to say that the pitch is proving an excellent surface for this test. Here we are, one session in on the third day and SA are 7 wickets down. As always, at Adelaide the rewards go to those bowlers who deserve them and there are few cheap wickets. A draw is most unlikely, so what is all this moaning about the pitch? The T20 generation just doesn't have the attention span to 'get' test matches, except for a few who can see past the manufactured excitement of the shortest form and relish the extended tussle and it's many faceted nature of twists and turns. Nothing beats Test Cricket. Anything can happen from here and if SA can roll us cheaply in the second innings they could pull of a remarkable heist but the edge must still be ours.

Posted by Marcio on (November 24, 2012, 2:08 GMT)

@ bigwonder, @xylo, simply sour grapes. So many like you come here and bash Australia, turning even the most wonderful scenario into a negative. It was absolutely magnificent batting on day one by Australia. The pitch a dust bowl? You haven't even been watching the game! There were 2mm of extra grass left on this pitch for this game! Just utter ignorance. The pitch is hiding Australia's weaknesses? LOL. The truth is that you guys are so full of jealously that it is you who have failed to acknowledge Australia's strengths. Australia have outplayed SA this game so far, and this series. How about you stop reaching for absurd excuses. You are just looking desperate.

Posted by Gazooligan on (November 24, 2012, 1:13 GMT)

Must say I'm enjoying watching the No. 1 test team being mown down on this "road". It'll be interesting to see if there's a follow on or will Australia come out for some more "bullying" on this flat track?

Posted by disco_bob on (November 24, 2012, 0:46 GMT)

What you lot do not appreciate is the reason the scoring rate is unheard of in Test cricket, no matter how flat, is that, (and even more so with 3 down for 55) it takes great courage to do it. Especially so because batsmen not only are playing truthfully without fear, but that getting out as well would be even worse playing big because not only will they have failed but they would be deemed reckless and so on.

For this very reason, it doesn't just put on quicker runs, it messes with the bowlers heads, they become fearful and perplexed. Clarke to his credit, picked up on the vibe, he knows his responsibility but he also knew this was the moment. This is probably why the SA fans are really annoyed because they clearly have the best top 7 by far, yet they'd never have the courage. Appreciate it guys you'll not see that again for a while.

Amla's capable of 200 on this flat track, is he too much of a gentleman to be so crass as to take advantage of the deck, unlike those cheatin' oz.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (November 23, 2012, 22:03 GMT)

Disappointing batting from Australia early on day 2 - they fell short of 600 which would have been the ideal total. Good bowling from the saffers.

Interesting to see more moaning about the pitch - for the moaners, have a look at some of the past Adelaide results, it is a quite common for 3-4 wickets to fall a session on the last two days.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 23, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

The blue Android are you telling me that a pitch where spinners bowl 70 overs on the first day is good for test cricket. I'm not sure it gives all bowlers a chance to ply there trade. Havent India gone into this game with one paceman. I think wickets should give equal opportunities for paceman and spinners to shine.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 23, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Anyway back to this game. Australias exceptionally high scoring rate has given themselves more time to get South Africa out. 330 runs to catch up still is a lot of runs and a wicket that will start to get worse. Australia has bowled much better line and lengths than SOuth Africa did (although Morkel did hit back on the second day). Should be an enthralling day of test cricket ahead. TO me this is proper test cricket with two very good sides going at each other and all three results possible. I love test cricket when it is played by the best playres.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 23, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

I find it hypocritical that certain nationalities will condem the Aussie players for so called sledging, but as soon as an aussie article appears, they cannot post a sledge fast enough. This will be a good test match pitch with a result, played by two good sides filled with quality players.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 23, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

Again everyone going on about the wickets in this test series. It is the same test wickets that we served up last summer. Australians arent scared of Steyn and to be honest he has been well below his best this series. Australia also have 3 good fast bowlers as well. Clarke a flat track bully - scoring 200 in a day no player in the world can do that so it still makes him the best batsman in the world at the moment but someone try and explain the 150 he made in South Africa against this attack that everyone is still claining is the best in the world on a green wicket. Both these teams are quality and there are too many quality batsman to not take your chances. It seems to many Indians complaining about the flat wicket well i have news for you these are the same flat wickets that you failed on last year. Anyway this is test cricket at its best, looks like going deep into the 5th day with all 3 results possible.

Posted by the_blue_android on (November 23, 2012, 21:23 GMT)

People who believe there would be a result in this boring run glut of a test match are also the kind who buy lottery tickets. The pitch inspector should pull up the curator and give him a warning. Pitches like these kill test cricket.

Posted by leggetinoz on (November 23, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

Are we still going on about the pitch? It still is just your regular Adelaide Oval pitch, lets see what it does on days 4-5. If you go back and look at previous matches you will usually see big scores in the first innings from either team and then some not so big innings. There is a stats guru page that should help you.

Posted by Newlandsfaithful on (November 23, 2012, 20:26 GMT)

Give Smith his due. He may have areas of vulnerablility and he may not always look pretty when he plays his shots, but he's been a rock out there today. We've all seen him get out plenty - but I don't remember him ever doing the kind od brain freeze things that Petersen and Amla did to day. He's a cool customer, very tough, very brave. If SA get themselves out of the mess they made yesterday, it will be due to ironman Smith. No doubt, he's the man.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 23, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

SA finally woke up and bowled one straight at Clarke, now newly-crowned the world's most notorious flat-track bully. SA won't make the same mistake twice. Wade confirmed as the worst keeper/batsman in the world (he really should look at how Prior bats, but you do have to have the talent after all) and Lyon continues his ineffectiveness. Bring back Warne!

Posted by fennocious on (November 23, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

everyone whos whinging about another draw have clearly not seen a test match at adelaide before. day 3 is always a turning point in adelaide and from there on it becomes a tough batting pitch. instead of everyone hating on the pitch we should be admiring the strong performances by warner, huss, smith and in particular clarke who is in bradman form. this pitch will prove a result, i guarantee it.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 19:42 GMT)

Looking into my crystal ball I find it hard to believe that SA will bat more than another four sessions, particularly with the pitch starting to turn and a new ball sometime around the first drinks break tomorrow, about the time the effects of the morning roll start to wear off. This will most likely be the moment to watch out for on day three. If Smith and Rudolph can see it off they'll be well on the way to matching or bettering Australia's score, if on the other hand it brings a couple of wickets then the South Africans will more than likely begin to wobble. SA with a huge job ahead of them, i'd say.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 23, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

Ponting's dismissal was hilarious. He ended up on all fours on the ground after a flop, and completely castled. It was a picture-postcard moment, if ever we needed another one of Ponting, of a batsman long past the standard of test cricket. His embarrassing inability to let go of his test career continues.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 19:33 GMT)

@Alan Montgomery, how exactly does this pitch favour the Aussie bowlers? Which one exactly, Dave Warner?

Posted by disco_bob on (November 23, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

Posted by xylo on (November 23 2012, 15:03 PM GMT) "The pitches for this series have been atrocious... You knew this match was doomed when David Warner 'smashes' a century" David Warner also carried his bat for a big ton on a pitch no one else could play on. These endless comments from are whinging of the most ridiculous kind.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 23, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

@Neuen on (November 23 2012, 11:08 AM GMT) Well, yes I suppose Clarke is a 'flat track bull', he's also a natty player of spin, not to mention someone who can score 150 on a treacherous pitch where everyone else on both sides falls like 10 pins. And all this under pressure too. Yes flat track bully is but one of his many hats.

Posted by indian_jim on (November 23, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

@essex_man::: well what test cricket is i request you to read about...

t20 inclusion or not 5.50 runs an over for 86 overs isnt test cricket... yes i understand warner belting it out the park but the more composed hussey too almost a run a ball 100 doesnt give me the test cricket point of view...

take a closer look at 1st day's play between india & england...

runs are supposed to be easier to come by in the subcontinent but wats the score at the end of day's play??? 266/6

a TUSSLE BETWEEN BAT & BALL!!! dats what test cricket is supposed to be!

Posted by Fourworldcups on (November 23, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

There's a twist or two still to come in this. I'm predicting a crazy day 5. Looking forward to the rest of this exciting contest between the two best teams in the world.

Posted by jb633 on (November 23, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

@Essex_Man- no sir no they don't. Most of these jokers have absolutley no clue what real test cricket is about. If this pitch starts turning on days 1 and 2 then this is a perfect test match wicket. Let the trolls troll and enjoy their rank tunrners and non bouncing strips.

Posted by samincolumbia on (November 23, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

1 double hundred and 4 hundreds in 2 days! Warner scoring a century in tests tells us all we need to know that is this pitch is another road like in the first test. The scarred aussies have turned pitches into ROADS to counter Stey's pace which is a shame.

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 23, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

Why is there this perception that if one team manages to bat well and score a big total, if the other team bat well also, it's the pitches fault? If one side batted well and the other side got rumbled, then the wicket is fine, or if both sides are bowled out inside 50 overs, it's fine. I think people need to understand that this is test match cricket and a good innings normally lasts longer than 20 overs. A par1st innings is around 350. This is a good deck with some smallish boundaries, so you can add a few to the par, so it's around 400. I think there'll be a result in this test match. A few early wickets for Aus and you'd have to think with SA 300 behind they'll be in a spot of bother. Alternatively, they could hammer Aus tomorrow and be 50-100 up looking to declare and Aus will be under the pump...who knows - no one. So don't be too quick to call the draw a foregone conclusion here because "it's a flat track."

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 23, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

Good batting by Smith. Tahir bowled god awful but it could still go either way.It seems like it is time for Ponting to go now although it would be nice to see him next year getting bowled in ten minutes each time

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

If you take out the three century makers the score card would be dreadful for Australia

Posted by Essex_Man on (November 23, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

Shaping up to be another fascinating Test match. Very strong comeback by Saffers but Oz still in the box seat if they can grab a couple of early wickets on Day 3.

I can't understand all the posters who wail about "roads" and "flat tracks" in the early part of a 5-day match; do you guys actually understand what Test cricket is all about?

Posted by aahahaa on (November 23, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

SA have to bat bettr. get close to the Aussie total or match or even slenderly ahead would help much. Aussie top is suspect and the tail got blown today, whats holding them is their captain and Hussey. mantra to SA bat. bat. and bat like your life is dependent on it.. and when you bowl keep Tahir away far far away from the bowling crease. ooh la la lah test cricket whats better

Posted by bigwonder on (November 23, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

What a dreadful pitch. This has a "draw" written all over it. Why would Australia build such dust bowls? Australia gave their wickets easily but SA has been very careful so far. Both SA wickets were hard fought but not induced by good bowling. Good double century by Clarke but he is starting to look more like Shewag (flat track bully). His record this year has been good, but all of them have been on easy to bat pitches. Pointing has been a failure again (he was lucky against India's weak bowling attack). Australia is again playing against SA team of 10 (without Kallis) and will still be able just get a draw.

Posted by xylo on (November 23, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

The pitches for this series have been atrocious. They have been masking the weaknesses of Australia. You knew this match was doomed when David Warner 'smashes' a century.

Posted by Marcio on (November 23, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

I didn't see much today, but as expected the surface is at its best on day two and three. It may start to turn a bit more by the end of tomorrow. Sa did well to get AUS out for 550, and esp at the time they did; right at the end of the period where there was any life in the pitch at all, which is typically after the first hour of day 2 in Adelaide. If Australia had batted out that first hour, they would have posted a huge score. At any rate, we should get a result in this game. I suspect SA will grind away in their conservative, risk-free manner all day tomorrow, and probably take a smallish lead on day 4 sometime. Since they are batting last, they really need a lead of 100 or so. If they get close to 700, they will be in the box seat, as that will effectively make AUS bat last. But that's miles off yet.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

the smart money must lie with SA.i think the Aussies need to be castigated for preparing strips like this one and the Gabba.The strips favour the home sides bowlers-I think time has come for the third umpire to oversee matters.SA also plays on a ground where gate money is stunted because of building additions- does this affect the players or the ACB? Its a pity SA has had so many injuries.Oz has senior players who need to be replaced soon-SA has too.Which is the side who has a bigger talent pool.

Posted by gdamsaaregood on (November 23, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

To all the people thinking that SA are batting too slowly - what on earth are you talking about. Test Match cricket is a strategic game. Aus batted well to score 550 an put South Africa on the back foot. Before SA can even contemplate winning the game, they need to get on a even keel and going in just to try and match Aus's Extraordinary run rate would be foolish - thats how you lose wickets and ultimately Test Matches. SA have played this perfectly - get back in the game and then go on to try and win it. SA will be cautious with their approach tomorrow morning as well and so they should be - if they get settled and get up to 500 then try and increase the run rate and push for a result. Good Luck to them and hopefully they will continue their record in away Tests!!!

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

Australian pitches are flatter than sub continent for sure. if this was held in Asia we could see all the flat track comments

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

I hope South Africa can bat through and at least get aprity and then potentially a lead. Big difference in bowling from the 1st day, problem is Warner looks more threatening bowling spin than Tahir ... Hope they can sort that out

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

@Jared Hansen. You guys used to make the best barbecues, when you used to invite foreigners like us to your garden parties. Now, you started barbecuing your hands first before the meat gets ready, to be picked up? I agree with your observation. What a shame!

Posted by Percy_Fender on (November 23, 2012, 13:16 GMT)

My mind goes back to 2003/04. when India were playing at Adelaide. Australia scored 660 in the first innings in which Ponting scored 242. Then India batted and Rahul Dravid scored 233 and Laxman 148. But there was nothing much frm the rest and India folded up for 523. Australia were bundled out for 196 in the second innings. India had to score around 240 odd which they did. Dravid scored 72 to take India home. Are we going to see something similar ?

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:14 GMT)

I didn't know that average wicket keepers can just Wade in and Wade out into national TEST teams with so much ease! It looks an invariably " inverarity" choice. Not necessarily the best.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 13:10 GMT)

The break between the 2nd & 3rd innings of the match will be ideal for both Ponting in Australia and Tendulakar in India to announce their respective retirements. And, then play their last test innings in front of their adoring home crowds. (Of course, it will also be good for more young players like Clarke & Pujara to knock the doors down and get in... or at least get a chance to tap the shoulders of the selectors!)

Posted by disco_bob on (November 23, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

This will be a draw. Gabba and Adelaide are destined to be sparring. Either could have had a result, the reason they didn't/won't is because the teams are closely matched overall.

As the Perth Test will decide the number one ranking for these genuine contenders. It is fitting that Adelaide and The Gabba give a tasty set up to what will effectively be a world title fight. None of the spectators have any illusions any longer.

We all know what the teams and individuals are capable of but we have no idea what will happen in Perth. Any of the Batters can get out for a low score or a big hundred. Same with the bowlers. We know what steyn and patto can do but we don't know if they will. This is what cricket is all about. This is why I hope it's a draw in Adelaide because then both teams must play to win. Perth should be one of the best matches for a long while. No one will be confident that their team will pull off the World No. Title.

Posted by SnowSnake on (November 23, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

It sure looks like flat pitch or Australian bowling is just bad. There are two types of flat pitches: one that spin and others that don't do anything. This one appears to be latter because a spinning flat pitch gets results in 4 days.

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 23, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

me thinks for england to get anything out of this series we have to win a toss. when you look at past series the only teams winning the toss stands a chance of a draw/win against india. so losing the toss twice is not a good omen. the indian captain looks to have got his wishes. the new guy has batted very well, as with a few of the other when out of india, we will have to see with the moving ball. but maybe some of other countries captains should be more vocal in the type of wickets that groundsmen prepare. as they say whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 23, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

Bad day for Aus today. They really should've capitalised on their commanding position. Clarke looked very weary and his complete lack of footwork to a fairly straight delivery showed it. That said, Morkel bowled beautifully and showed that there are wickets to be taken if you get it right. Aus need to take heed and bowl in the same manner on day3. They also need to take all their chances too as they mightn't come around too often. Big day in this series tomorrow...

Posted by premclement on (November 23, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

Why no body says this is a flat pitch. I watched the match for half a day on day one and I realized that this an utter flat pitch. So this match will also end in a draw.

Posted by Andre117 on (November 23, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

Scoring so fast can be a disadvantage in the following manner. If you score 550 in 2 days you only have 3 days left and the team batting 2nd might play for a draw as a win would be unlikely for them. If you score 550 in 4 sessions the 2nd team has an extra 2 sessions in which to manufacture a winning position without the necessity to score as quickly as team 1, i.e. less risk-taking.

Posted by Simoc on (November 23, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

If SA bat to their normal potential they'll score 300 runs or less tomorrow but end up on or over the 500 run mark by early drinks on day 4. It should end up being a very good test and Tahir and Lyon will have a chance to show their talents on turning pitches. Oz have performed beyond expectations to date and that is due a lot to a rare talent in Michael Clarke.Oz to win; at least that`s what my crystal ball says.

Posted by bull01 on (November 23, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

The run rates of each side needs to be put into context. Smith was aggressive and therefore allowed many more boundaries in pursuit of wickets. Runs flowed. Clarke on the other hand chose to be more conservative and less attacking by putting men all over the boundary from as early as the 15th over. South Africa have therefore just played what has been put there. I think Smith edged through what would have been an easy 2nd slip catch. You can save runs or play to take wickets. It cost South Africa on the first day, but it has been pretty easy batting for South Africa who have given two wickets to Australia instead of them actually taking them. The danger for Ozzies is that South Africa just bat and bat. What happens then if they collapse in the second innings? Aussies have scored more than 550 several times in first innings and lost twice ...

Posted by ozwriter on (November 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

on form we have 3 of the best batsmen in the world playing in current test matches. probably something like 1. clarke, 2. amla, 3. pujara (new indian no.3).

Posted by heathrf1974 on (November 23, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

Game on. The wicket is still playing well. Might start to take some more turn on Thursday. Australia would hope to prevent getting SA a lead. Smith and De Villiers are the danger men. If Australia gets them out then it will be then they should be in the box seat. Although the batting depth of Australia is not great neither is South Africa's. I think Hilfenhaus won't play in third test and it will be Johnson and Starc.

Posted by Brenton1 on (November 23, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

I think there will be a result in this test. Either SA bat the whole day tomorrow and into day four, get a bit of a lead and have a go at the Aussies on day 4 and 5 or they fold tomorrow giving a lead to Australia and then get bowled out late on day 5. Expect Steyn and Morkel to do some damage to the Aussies 2nd innings either way

Posted by Neuen on (November 23, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Clarke managed 26 runs against the new ball. Flat track bully IMO. Australia sacrificing a 38 year old to bat against the new ball. Move Ponting down the order, He might do better but then again Hussey and Clarke moving up might end their run streaks

Posted by Marktc on (November 23, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

As I said yesterday...you can only judge a first innings once the other side has batted.....and SA look pretty solid. Oz batted well for their score....and I predicted (easily) that SA would never match their run rate. Who can? Given that they are chasing a massive score, it would have been suicide to try to score as the Oz team did. Well done to Morkel and Smith. Thumbs down to Amla and Peterson, who both threw their wickets away. Of course, as a South African, the knife twists when I see a massive score, but alll credit to Clarke.....he is in wonderful form and played some brilliant cricket.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 23, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

Australia in position A. Lyon looking incredibly menacing. What a match. Really makes that battle of the minnows in India look insignificant.

Posted by stormer1980 on (November 23, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

Jeez .. I'm a true Saffa supporter .. My blood is green .. But hats off to Michael Clarke ... Good Grief .. Wat a year he is having .. Awesome stuff .. Quality batting is Quality Batting , no matter who is batting ... So as the aussies would say " Clarkie , you beaut ... Go you good thing , Go !!!

Posted by Andre117 on (November 23, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

As is most often the case, whoever dominates day 3 should should win this game. If we are still batting on day 4 we will be on top and vice versa. Good batting track and some weak points in the Aussie attack will help us even though runs on the board means Aus is still on top even though we're on 217/2. Smitty makes me want to pull my hair out with his occasionally hairbrained captaincy and Clarke should take benefit for Amla's wicket. GOTTA LOVE TEST CRICKET! :D

Posted by whofriggincares on (November 23, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

@UNOMAAS, I just stopped rolling around laughing at your bat till tea on the 4th day comment. You must be a newcomer to the world of test cricket very very funny. This test is perfectly set up as most Adelaide tests tend to be. Some of the comments about the pitch on here over the last few days have been moronic and people who make them get disregarded as it proves they know nothing about our great game. What makes a good test ? 1st innings 220 second say 280 third ummm I mean for crying out loud if you love cricket the last few days must have been very enjoyable right? As for the saffers dominating the series l(like so many on here predicted)well lets talk about run rate , over rates , accuracy of attack ,captaincy ,LEG SPINNERS LOL, fitness ,entertaining cavalier batting etc,etc,etc. Sad part for SA is your bowling unit is at its peak (or maybe in decline) our pace attack is very much a work in progress and with some of the bowlers we have on the sidelines the future is very bright

Posted by Greatest_Game on (November 23, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Left out of the first India vs England test, the serially unappreciated Monty Panesar has now, with India 6 down, dismissed Sewag, Tendulkar (both bowled!) Kohli and Dhoni, & given a battered England (3 wins, 3 draws, 7 losses this year) a modicum of respectability & some hope.

(It's about time the Poms pull out the cheque book and pay the bill for stocking their team with Saffer batsmen. Right now Kirsten would trade two Tahirs for one Panesar, & Monty is the better fielder and batsman too! Ouch!!)

Robin Petersen is South Africa's Monty Panesar, & should have been out on the Oval for the last 2 days, not sitting in the dressing room. He has better test bowling figs than Tahir (not difficult after yesterday,) & is a very good fielder & effectively aggressive lower order bat.

It's not that SA don't have spin bowlers. They just seem to like to hide the better ones - like Robin Petersen, or Johan Botha, the new skipper of South Australia, also not bowling at the Adelaide Oval!

Posted by the_blue_android on (November 23, 2012, 10:35 GMT)

Another day of run fest. these pitches are ruining test cricket. another boring draw. How many hundreds so far in this match? Take a leaf out of Indian pitches. Day 1, on a difficult pitch young turk Pujara scores a century against the best spinner in the world. Definitely a result oriented pitch and not a doctored pitch to negate SA bowling.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 23, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

I don't just want Australia to win this series I want them to win it in a fair fight. This is why the SA supporters are so apoplectic complaining about everything they even seem to think it's our fault that they have injuries, you see they just want to beat us, they don't care if it was deserved or not, they somehow feel that they have the best bowling attack in the world and the deepest most experienced batting and they had better win and they aren't going to sit there and watch these sneaky Australians with their evil pitch conspiracies and bad sportsmanship (not letting Duminy be replaced) get away with tripping them up.

If we do win in Perth expect a chorus of "We Wos Robbed"

Posted by mthi4life on (November 23, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

I do not why people are talking about a draw, both teams have a chance to win this match.Day 3 will give us a clear indication of of who is going to win,who ever has a lead will have a great chance to win this match.Tahir and Lyon will decide who wins this one.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 23, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

My prediction South Africa out for 500 - Early Day 4. Australia to get 220 setting up South Africa with 270 to get on a cracking fifth day of cricket.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 23, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

@ 5_day_tragic on (November 23 2012, 09:45 AM GMT)

I love seeing Aust play cricket like we have this series. I do hope fortune favours the brave ! To attack means to win or lose in attempt. I'm proud of us.

"Tahir could possibly have won them this match ?" I was being deadly serious. It's also written in past tense ! ( Batting day 5 could be tough seeing Warner got one or 2 to "spit"one day 2.)

Posted by disco_bob on (November 23, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

The truth of the matter is that SA and Australia are probably evenly matched. Each will have equal bad and good days and sessions. That is why even though Adelaide and The Gabba usually produce a result (even though they both get called 'flat' during flat periods), they match will also be a draw. Not because it is flat but because both teams seem to have similar strengths.

Suddenly it was Amla's turn for a small score. Suddenly Warner fires. Cowan goes bit, when it mattered. Smith get's blown out in the Gabba but now it works for him. It's quite weird, even each teams best all rounders are out. Maybe they'll both be back for Perth.

After feeling each other out for two matches we have had the best preparation possible for both teams to play the Perth Championship Match For The World Title.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

Well done to SA for reading the situation and playing accordingly. With Kallis struggling with a hamstring they are doing well to give him sufficient time to recover. It may mean a slower runrate than Aus but if SA gan eek out a small lead by the end of day 4 they may just be in with a chance if the pitch deteriorates significantly from now onwards. First objective tomorrow morning is to see out the morning session and the new ball when it is due. Then if they have wickets in hand try to accelerate the scoring rate to see if they can put themselves in a winning position. SA will be weary of not giving Aus too much time in their second innings being a bowler short. The goal would surely be to try and bat once and leave Aus 150 to chase to save the game in the last 2 sessions.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 23, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

SA bat and bat to get 700+ and then put pressure on weak Aussie top order. Draw the likely outcome as Tahir is dreadful. Both teams spin attacks are laughable, Amla will be having nightmares about that dismissal or years. As for Wade....oh dear. Back to school.

Posted by CutHis_ArminHalf on (November 23, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

I told ya there was still plenty of fight in this test.

Australia not going onto 650 and batting most of the second day could cost them. Day 2 is usually the best batting at adelaide.

It has usually been the second innings where an Adelaide test gets exciting. There will be a 50 run lead either way and that could end up being decisive. Can the Saffas score quickly enough to set this test up? Do the Saffas have the attack to bowl Australia out for 200 on day 4? - and if they do will they risk a loss to go for a win? Can Lyon become the hero and rip through the saffas on day 5?

This is going to turn into a typical nail bighting adelaide test.

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (November 23, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

@Bonehead_maz

That does sound funny to me. Do you think Tahir would get MoM in that case? C'mon mate...how can scoring 550 runs @ 5+ an over ever be a negative. If Australia fail to handle conditions in the third dig, it won't be the first innings speed of scoring that costs them the game. Lets look at alternative options...they bat for just under 4 sessions and score 350 (which would match SA rate) , or they bat for 2 days to score 580? Neither of those are as attractive to me if winning tests is the goal....as opposed to NOT losing.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 23, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

Neuen, How many batsman int he world can smash a run a ball 200 with an older ball. Even if your point was correct still puts him as the number 1 bat in the world at the moment. Seems like he did his job and you have a crack. After scoring that many runs in a day you have to get a little tired. Anyway 550 is enough first innings runs and set this game up for a result for either team.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 23, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

@ 5_day_tragic on (November 23 2012, 07:53 AM GMT)

It could have worked against us .... IF Sth Africa wanted to win they wouldn't pat full tosses and half trackers gently into infield. IF they'd scored 50 or 60 more today in the best batting conditions, and IF they had any intent to win, then either side might win, IF their inning completed by tea tomorrow with a 50 or so run deficit. At this rate they won't be in front till near lunch on day 4, IF they bat that long. IF fortune favours the brave, Sth Africa will lose this series. From ball 1 in Brisbane they have shown no desire to win.

Onto certainties, this pitch is already deteriorating and with heat forecast will only get worse to bat on. Funny as it sounds, Tahir could possibly have won them this match ?

Posted by Meety on (November 23, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

Top fightback by the Saffas. They needed to! Well done Morkel, seriously is the stand out pacer of the series IMO. I didn't think he was as good as his reputation that proceeded him, but he has been the best pacer of both sides so far. == == == I would like to see Oz keep it tight tomorrow, a wicket or two before Lunch & I's back Oz from there. They need to start Day 3 well. == == == Dunno about Wade, he looked a bit shabby behind the stumps today, one missed chance - quite a few byes too. == == == What about Warner? Batting ave of 45, bowling ave of 30 & people want to drop him????

Posted by trumpoz on (November 23, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

It will come down to a battle of the spinners I think. SA to be dismissed late day 3 with a similar score to Australia and it will be game on. Gotta love Adelaide test matches. Pity that from next year it may be on a drop in wicket.

Posted by shovwar on (November 23, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

SA showed y their bowling attack is considered the best in the second morning. In a pitch like this lets see what the OZ's can bring out in their 2nd morning. Seems like SA would bat the whole 3rd day. I dont see any OZ bowlers troubling SA so far. With their best man down to injury this is the sort of a fight back u expect from the world's best. A draw would be a victory for SA in this test. Hope curators would have something for the seamers in the last test for a result. Something to aid Steyn n Morkel. Or else the series would be a drawn series. SA has a good batting line up.

Posted by mixters on (November 23, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

Another great Adelaide test always lots of runs and a result. Thats right boring draw predicters. In the last 20years there have only been 3 draws at this ground with lots of tests going down to the last day. This is what test grounds are suppost to do. Good for batting then breaking down to help the bowlers on day 4 & 5. Not spinning like a top on day one and failing to bounce at all for the rest of the match. Like a recent match with England and India!

Posted by jb633 on (November 23, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Aus have gone in with the wrong side again. I would seriously suggest that the services of Hily and Siddle should no longer be required. I don't really see them as bowlers who can take the Australian team to greater heights. Starc really needs to play and quickly. The fact that he can get balls that dip late into the right handers will be a big weapon on any pitch. He also bowls at the pace which the ball will reverse, which will be huge for Aus in the SC. Well played tothe SA batsmen though. After a shocking day in the field as skipper he has redeemed himself with the bat somewhat. Nobody doubts that he can lead from the front in terms of performance but it is his tactical nouse that comes under fire.

Posted by Taung on (November 23, 2012, 9:00 GMT)

Would Smith consider sending Tahir and Morkel in next so Kallis does not have to bat with the tail? Be a lot easier with his hamstring problem if he needs to farm the strike

Posted by Biggus on (November 23, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

Congrats to Smith for a fine captain's innings. We Aussies have a game on our hands, just the way we like it, and now I have two days free to watch, so I'm a happy camper.

Posted by Neuen on (November 23, 2012, 8:54 GMT)

So how did Clarke look against the new ball? Not lasted long. Flat track bully. After sacrificing 3 Batsman against the new ball he smashed a old ball for 200 runs on a flat track and then got out to a new ball doing something.

This match going to be another bat-o-thon draw

Posted by tiaan438 on (November 23, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

Again as they always say day 3 is a moving day, obviously who ever has the better day tomorrow will have a chance to still win the game, a result is very much still possible either way. Pitch is already turning so if sa can bat well tomorow and have some sort of lead on day 4 they can put some pressure on the aussies.

Posted by allieeb on (November 23, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

Ppl predicting Saffas to bat well are in for surprise. I see pitch going lower & lower as game goes on.Saffas bowled out to give Aus about 100 lead

Posted by mthi4life on (November 23, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

This game will depend on how the Proteas bat tomorrow, if the bat the whole day then they will be playing to win the game not draw it,but if Australia can bowl them out soon it victory for Australia.If Aus wins or loose will totally depend on how Tahir bowls in the second innings.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 23, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

Well played SA for getting the last 5 wickets out fairly quickly and for getting off to a solid start although a run out of a set batsman is not great. Still all 3 results possible because Australia compiled their runs in double quick time. If SA can score at a similar RR or up it slightly they can catch the Australian score at the end of day 3. If Aus can make inroads early tomorrow then they could force a follow on or bat 2nd with a healthy lead and MC will want to force the result in that scenario. I guess much depends on what the pitch does on days 4 and 5

Posted by pat_one_back on (November 23, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

What a great game! SA could have been a couple more down or equally could hold a lead and the upper hand by this time tomorrow. Quick runs/ SA attack's savaging yesterday all but guarantees a result here where quicks, mediums & spinners are ALL in the game, top order runs should continue to dominate tomorrow and tail ender runs could just prove the difference by day 5. Best News for Aust is that we have a new all rounder! If Tahir's a frontline bowler then Warners the new Watson. Just kidding, in his early days, Border only bowled Warne because he looked like he needed the exercise and the belting.

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 23, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

@Bonehead_maz : I totally agree with you. People have short memories. Might have something to do with so much T20 cricket being played nowadays. If SA can bat through tomorrow losing few wickets, they can be expected to be almost level with Australia at the end of tomorrow. Then the match can get really interesting, with Steyn finally getting some zip today, although I must say that you must be getting surer and surer of your long held opinion of Steyn with every passing innings ;) But maybe you'll have to change it come day 4

Posted by ajithabey on (November 23, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

767 runs in 2 days of test cricket is fantastic.The pitch looks like a bowlers graveyard.South Africa as usual is showing great character in this game.Hopefully this test may go on for 5 days unlike most other test matches which are now completed between 3 to a maximum of 4 days.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 23, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

This wicket like the Gabba wicket is designed to get a result late on the 5th day. Yeah its good for batting but if you bowl well you can create pressure. I thought there was good bounce and carry for a day and a half so not an absolute road. South Africa dropped the ball on day one and allowed Australia to score to quickly and as it stands will probably need another 4 sessions to catch the Australian score. The wicket will get harder to bat on and Australia is still in the box seat.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

Poor cricket pitch, this match will be a boring draw.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 23, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

Before anyone screams "ROAD" just note - don't usually see any balls spit or not bounce in Adelaide till day 4 and it's already started ! With the heat today and 37 C forecast tomorrow, the bounce will become less and less reliable and scoring will slow. Only 333 behind, SA will be in the lead by lunch on day 4. Draw for certain ! ROFL

Very glad to see Morkel finally get some of the wicket's he's long deserved in Australia - well bowled.

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (November 23, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

Got to laugh at speculation of teams declaring in 5 sessions time with a target score etc...It will be tough work for the bowlers again tomorrow...VERY typical Adelaide game this one. How anyone can think Australia scoring so quickly could possibly work against them is beyond me.

Posted by Prakashkumar1983 on (November 23, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

Hot spot not sure. G smith playing well. He hits double don tomorrow. Also AB hits century. This pitch is very flat track.

Posted by Mervo on (November 23, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

What a pity Starc did not play. Aussie quicks looked so benign. Still so did the SA ones. Batting last will be harder a spin will have a role.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

'Australianism' was used by some to refer to the attitude of the Aussies that a win was always attainable and to chase it against the odds. In the last few years, though, the team seems better defined by its sterling effort to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This test has swung so sharply into the Saffas' favour I'm left reeling. Are we seriously going to put on nearly 500 in the first day and then concede a first innings lead???

Posted by Markus971 on (November 23, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

hot spot should go! it doesn't pick up fine nicks! everyone has known this for over 2 yrs!

Posted by Unomaas on (November 23, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

Another road! **sigh** ! The fact that Australia batted with such a high run rate might count against them. Should SA bat till end of play tomorrow, SA should have equalled or bettered Aussie score. I suspect that Saf would want to bat till tea on on the fourth day and then give themselves 4 sessions to bowl aussies out. That should give us a 250-300 lead.

Hope Peterson gets grilled for his stupid run out! I enjoyed his innings though. It was polished with hardly a foot put wrong. I am frustrated with him because he gets out for the most stupid reasons! Morkel bowled execellent! Smith playing a skippers innings which he is so famous for! Amla a rare failure. Lyon bowling well and containing. Aus seamers proving toothless although Patinson bowling to Smith over the wicket was looking dangerous! Clarke being imaginative in his bowling and fielding placements. His review for Rudolph was daft! Rudolph needs to make a hundred to keep his place.

AB is gonna make a hundred tomorrow :P

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

333 Runs behind, Smith on 111... Nelson struck.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

This series reminds me Indian tactics for home series: make batting suitable pitches, piles up runs and pressurize the other team. Australians are doing the same thing, but on both occasions, backfired.

Posted by dalboy12 on (November 23, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Clark has been superb this test, great batting and now he is showing great captaincy, using his part-timers and rotating the bowlers really well. Smith as well as batting well is hopefully learning something here about how to use his bowlers on flat wickets. He just seemed to keep throwing it to Tahir, why didn't he have a bowl or Amla. Still surprised at the lack of slow balls and yorkers from both teams. But great stuff by Clark.

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (November 23, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Adelaide pitch is always good to bat on...Day 2 always THE BEST day to bat. lyon is turning it already...some occasional variable bounce seen too. I'd say a result is odds on fav.

Posted by xylo on (November 23, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

Rory Kleinveldt seems to be South Africa's answer to Sri Lanka's Dilhara Fernando... he was bowling no balls pretty consistently.

Posted by wanatawu on (November 23, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

What a stupid and costly run-out. I have notice that the Australia attack looks just as toothless as the Saffas on this deck. I hope ther will be a result in this game.

Posted by pat_one_back on (November 23, 2012, 3:28 GMT)

Wow, if you bowl well with a new ball you can get wickets on this road, something the curators will surely have to address for Perth, outraged. The Fremantle doctor is a breeze not a groundskeeper BTW!!!

Posted by Vikum72 on (November 23, 2012, 3:18 GMT)

This looks like an extremely flat track. Without a class spinner on either side, this test is heading for a tame draw...

Posted by solankibhavesh on (November 23, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

Good batting by Clarke and good blowing by Morkal but second day is not for host this time and the visitors get success to stop home team at 550.

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (November 23, 2012, 2:21 GMT)

Good to see the SA'fers come out and bowl well this morning. I think it's a great thing for the game, keeps it moving...so not the worst thing that could've happened for Aus. Makes a bit of a mockery of all the comments yesterday of it being a road and doctored pitch. Should be hard work for the Aussie quicks now, but if they bowl well it wont look anything like the road it did yesterday when the Aussies went nuts and SA bowled largely rubbish.

Posted by funkybluesman on (November 23, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

South Africa have actually just shown that there is something in this pitch for the bowlers and that it's not as much of an absolute road as yesterdays terrible bowling effort made it look. That should worry them! If the Australian's can bowl well here, they could make it very difficult for South Africa.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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Australia v South Africa at Perth - Nov 30-Dec 3, 2012
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