Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 3rd day

South Africa fight, but still face hefty chase

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

November 24, 2012

Comments: 91 | Text size: A | A

Australia 550 and 5 for 111 (Warner 41, Kleinveldt 3-14) lead South Africa 388 (Smith 122, du Plessis 78, Kallis 58, Hilfenhaus 3-49) by 273 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Faf du Plessis pulls during his half-century on debut, Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 3rd day, November 24, 2012
Faf du Plessis made an impressive 78 on debut © Getty Images
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Plenty of things went right for South Africa on the third day in Adelaide. Faf du Plessis made an impressive 78 on debut, Jacques Kallis shrugged off the pain of his injured hamstring to score a fighting fifty, and Rory Kleinveldt took three quick wickets late in the day to rattle Australia's top order. But when stumps rolled around, one unavoidable fact remained: South Africa were going to need to complete the biggest Adelaide Oval chase in 110 years - and possibly of all time - to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Adelaide might be renowned as a batting paradise but the way the surface can break up on the fourth and fifth days can make run-scoring difficult. The biggest successful chase in Adelaide Oval Tests was 315, scored by Joe Darling's Australians in 1902, and by stumps on Saturday, Michael Clarke's side already led by 273. Clarke was at the crease on 9 and Michael Hussey was on 5, and the score had moved on to 5 for 111 thanks largely to a solid opening stand from David Warner and Ed Cowan.

But if any team knows about hefty pursuits it is Graeme Smith's outfit. Four years ago, they chased down 414 at the WACA, with only four wickets down, and six members of that side are also playing in Adelaide. They can also take heart from the fact that James Pattinson is almost certain not to bowl in the fourth innings after being sent for scans to assess pain that he felt in his left side early on the third day. Kallis can bat injured, but Pattinson won't be much good with the ball.

The Australians will hope for the same kind of bowling success that Kleinveldt and his colleagues enjoyed on the third afternoon. Cowan and Warner put on 77 for the opening wicket and Warner was enjoying the chance to thrash boundaries off Imran Tahir's legspin when Kleinveldt ended the party. He drew a leading edge from Warner, who was caught at cover for 41, and two balls later Rob Quiney's Test future was placed in serious jeopardy when he edged behind for a duck, an almost identical dismissal to the first innings.

Kleinveldt also got rid of Cowan, who on 29 played on to leave Australia at 3 for 91 and Tahir relieved after he should have had Cowan earlier in the innings. Cowan had been caught at cover off a leading edge and Tahir celebrated what he thought was his first wicket of the game, but replays confirmed what the umpire suspected - he had over-stepped, an unforgivable error for a slow bowler, and Cowan was briefly reprieved.

Smart stats

  • The lead of 162 is the second-highest for Australia in Tests against South Africa in Adelaide (since 1990). On the previous occasion they conceded a bigger lead (1994), South Africa lost by 191 runs. Click here for matches when Australia have batted second and here for matches where South Africa have batted second.
  • Faf du Plessis' 78 is the highest score by a South African batsman on debut against Australia (Tests since South Africa's readmission). The previous highest is Andrew Hall's 70 in Cape Town in 2002.
  • Jacques Kallis' innings was his first at No.9. His score of 58 is the fifth-highest at No.9 for a South African batsman against Australia.
  • The 93-run stand between Du Plessis and Kallis is the sixth-highest eighth-wicket stand for South Africa against Australia and their third-highest eighth-wicket stand in Australia.
  • In his last nine innings against South Africa, Ricky Ponting has aggregated just 102 runs. His last century against them came in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne in 2008.

The wickets kept coming as stumps approached. Ricky Ponting played on to Dale Steyn for 16 and the nightwatchman Peter Siddle lasted 16 deliveries for his 1 before he edged behind off Morne Morkel. The South Africans were pumped up. They sensed the momentum shifting, and stumps could not come soon enough for the Australians. At least they knew that their efforts in the first innings had given them the advantage.

Australia's lead might have been much bigger were it not for the determination shown by Kallis and du Plessis. They combined for a 93-run partnership for the eighth wicket that held Australia up significantly. Kallis, who injured his hamstring early on the first day, batted at No.9 and was hampered in his range of movement and running between the wickets, but remarkably toughed it out and picked up most of his runs through boundaries.

Kallis struck ten fours and a six, pulling, cutting and driving despite the pain in his leg. He reached 58 from 93 deliveries before he was finally dismissed, caught attempting a sweep off the bowling of Clarke. The umpire Billy Bowden gave Kallis not out but Clarke was convinced by the catcher Matthew Wade to ask for a review and the replay showed the ball clearly deflecting off the batsman's glove before lobbing up to the wicketkeeper.

That left du Plessis with only the final two batsmen for company but, as he had during the first part of his innings, he showed excellent composure and lifted the scoring tempo with a series of well-timed lofted strokes, down the ground and over cover. He lost Morne Morkel, who was bowled around his legs by Nathan Lyon, and when du Plessis chipped a catch to short mid-on off the bowling of Hilfenhaus for 78, the South Africans were all out for 388 on the stroke of tea.

Ever since he walked to the crease, du Plessis had looked like a Test batsman. He showed a solid defence and was able to work the ball with strength through the gaps on the leg side. His half-century came up from from his 124th delivery, with a single pushed through mid-on, and his performance will give the selectors something to think about when their batting line-up is back to full fitness.

In the first session, South Africa had struggled and added only 56 runs for the loss of five wickets. Siddle provided the spark Australia needed by getting rid of Smith, who added only 11 to his overnight score and was caught behind for 122. Smith was given out by the umpire Billy Bowden and immediately asked for a review; Hot Spot showed a faint mark that supported Bowden's decision but Smith was clearly unhappy with the outcome.

Siddle also removed AB de Villiers, who on 1 was struck dead in line and saw Bowden's finger being raised almost before the Australians appealed. Out of hope more than anything, de Villiers also asked for a review but there was no reprieve. Kallis did not walk to the wicket at No.7 as expected, and instead the South Africans sent Steyn and Kleinveldt in ahead of him.

Neither man had any lasting impact, though, Steyn caught at slip for 1 when Hilfenhaus curved a ball away and Kleinveldt comprehensively losing his off stump, out for a duck when he tried to thump Hilfenhaus through the leg side. It completed a very successful period for Australia in which they had collected 5 for 17, beginning with the dismissal of Jacques Rudolph, who added only four to his score.

On 29, Rudolph was enticed by an excellent delivery from Lyon, whose flight and drop meant Rudolph's drive flew straight to Quiney at cover. It was the perfect start for Australia, whose bowlers had struggled on the second day. By stumps, the question was how they would cope on the final two days without Pattinson, who pulled up injured bowling his second over of the day. Clarke will need plenty from his remaining bowlers, because as he knows all too well, the South Africans don't mind a big chase.

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

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Posted by othello22 on (November 24, 2012, 23:33 GMT)

Shaggy076 & Meety - I hope you are right, but everyone was saying the same thing in Perth. "It can't be done", they said. Then they did it. After the Cape Town debacle last year, I refuse to underestimate this Aussie side's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I will feel comfortable only when the match is won.

Posted by Moppa on (November 24, 2012, 22:49 GMT)

@Ralph Argus Zielke: congrats, one of the most ignorant posts on this website I've seen, and that's saying something. The last innings was one of Lyon's best in Test cricket, and 2 for whatever don't reflect how well he bowled. Compare to Tahir and how Day 1 turned out! @JG2704, I wish you were right that Aust are a 60% chance of winning, but I'd say it's more 50/30/20. South Africa would be 50/50 in a sub-350 chase without Pattinson (Smith is the arguably the greatest 4th innings batsman in history). @TommytuckerSaffa, yeah, judging by the lack of comments here and the stream of excuses in Brisbane, you'd think Duminy was a better bowler than Pattinson! Hilarious! Given Kallis' injury, Australia can't and won't rely on that as an excuse if we lose, but I'd say if Patto was fit, the odds from here were more like 70/20/10.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

@bluefunk - Flogging has the same meaning as thrash, annhialate, Shtoomp, dominate, bash. If you think using any of these terms in relation to a cricket match is racism then you need to go back to school.

Posted by Supa_SAFFA on (November 24, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

The match is still delicately poised but I reckon the outcome will be decided during Tahir's opening spell on Day 4. Smith would do well to bring himself and DuPlessis on if the pace bowlers need a rest.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 22:37 GMT)

Whilst the discussion about batting form is being given the beating it deserves in the media I find it strange that no one has mentioned the Keepers inability to catch the ball close to the stumps. Wades keeping has been well below the expected standard for someone who's job it is to catch the ball. He has yet to make a stumping from a clean take and the only stumping he managed in this test was because Amla was so overcommited Wade had time to recover from the inevitable fumbles.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 24, 2012, 22:37 GMT)

@sawifan Im afraid alastair cooks 277 or whatever it was against australia at the gabba in 2010 was better than clarkes innings. Why? Simple. Cook doesnt hide from the new ball.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 24, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

Othello 22 - I think the Perth history is irrelevant, Perth pitch stays hard throughout and plays a lot less tricks than Adelaide. I think if the South Africans win from here it would be an even better performance than that test. I know there is a lot of talent there but it would be an amazing performance if it was done. If AUstralia add another 100 runs and you would need 380 runs and bat through two new balls, a couple of reverse swinging balls and a crumbling pitch.

Posted by Meety on (November 24, 2012, 21:57 GMT)

@ bluefunk on (November 24 2012, 10:20 AM GMT) - I don't believe there was any racism involved in Roebucks case, we are on a sports site, where flogging is a common term to describe the magnitude of a victory.

Posted by Meety on (November 24, 2012, 21:53 GMT)

@othello22 on (November 24 2012, 21:14 PM GMT) - Perth will only give the Saffas confidence (not a bad thing), but is totally irrelevant as History says, batting 4th at AO is VERY tough. In Adelaide's long history, there have only been 12 team innings higher than what Oz already lead by. SHOULD Pup & Huss get some runs, & Oz add another 100 runs for their last 5 wickets, there is ONLY ONE 4th innings higher than 370, by India in 1978. That match was notable, in that Jeff Thomson got injured in a colission that day & only bowled 27 balls for the match. Oz MAY have that problem with Patto? One advantage for Sth Africa is IF, they wrap Oz up in say 3 hours, at least they will have SOME batting on Day 4, batting Day 5 will NOT be easy.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 21:17 GMT)

Cardmak - Quiney was picked because he's been outstanding in shield cricket and was outstanding against South Africa in the Australia A game just before the first test. Personally I'd like to see Quiney and Cowan open the batting and Clarke at number three. The big question is what to do with Ponting...

Posted by othello22 on (November 24, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

This doesn't look good for Australia. I disagree with the assertion that they are ahead in this game - They are 5 down with not much left to come and although it will require a good chase from the Saffas, they have done it before (Perth '09, anyone?) and perhaps most tellingly Australia is a bowler short. Plenty of time left, no need to rush, SA will chase these down at a canter because Australia will not be able to bowl them out again without Pattinson. By stumps today all the talk in the media will be about how Australia managed to throw away the massive advantage they gained from the first day and lose the unlosable match. I feel nauseous already.

Posted by shiven. on (November 24, 2012, 19:43 GMT)

This test will set the boys apart from the men ......Because ...if some1 can score a century on day 4 and 5 on that pitch ???? That's worth more than clarke's double century in the 1st innings because that will take a lot of skill n determination ....Don't Dream of a bowler getting hit for 5 four in a row on that pitch at the moment ....

Posted by RagTagTeam on (November 24, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

Shame Patto is out, I was hoping the lads body would stand up to test cricket after the start of the SS season... Real shame Quiney probably wont be selected for the next game as well. Oh well, Starc and Watto to come in. If selected, big Starc to take 10+ wickets in Perth - go Homebush boys! And watto is coming off insane T20 form, he should be playing. Anyone else surprised they didn't select Starc but then brought him to Adelaide instead of letting him get match practice for NSW?

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 24, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

slightly worrying that Aus could be world number 1 with half a batting order a spinner who cant turn anything and fast medium bowlers who get injured quite so easily. Lets hope South Africa can show some of the quality they did this summer. If Aus go number 1 then test cricket really is weak.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 18:33 GMT)

Nobody in their right mind would disagree that Ponting has served his country well over the course of his career. But a sportsman must know when it's time to move on. This is arguably one of the most difficult decisions he/she must make. Sometimes it's made for the player when he/she is in denial or pride/ego cloud the mind.

Mind you, Ponting is still capable of a flash of brilliance every now and then. But the days of him fashioning tons at ease are gone. Better to call it a day than be pushed off the cliff. Bow out gracefully, without having to hang your head in embarrassment. Allow some young whippersnapper to get a chance to make a name for himself wearing the baggy green. C'mon Mr. Ponting, time to go. Time to collect the proverbial gold watch for service to Aussie cricket well-rendered.

Posted by cardmak on (November 24, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

We have a game at hand. I suspect South Africa will get close but in the end Aussies should prevail-even in the absence on one bowler. Ponting needs to retire amicably. Quiney should be dropped. Bring in batsman who are doing well in the Shield games. That is the right thing to do.

Posted by binojpeter on (November 24, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

I agree that absence of Pattinson is a blow for Australia. But I think Australia is still in driver's seat. I think that Adeleide pitch has something for spin bowlers from Day 4 and 5. So I believe that Clarke and Warner can cover for Pattinson.

Posted by sush4dhs on (November 24, 2012, 16:20 GMT)

Mr. Ponting, Mr. Tendulkar, I have always been an admirer of your respective games. But I guess its high time you guys call it a day. In the process of finding your own form you guys are being obstacles in the path of emerging players. You certainly cant be as consistent as Mr. Kallis even at this age.

Posted by sawifan on (November 24, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

@front-Foot-Lunge... like bunging average/ over-rated English bowlers around a park?! Like Kallis and Amla recently?! C'mon, give Clarke some due. His innings on Day 1, was better than anything any English player in the last 20 years could have produced. And ur obvious reference to Cook, well, Clarke scored 151 on the same piteches, on debut! You comment soley for reactions, but ur knowledge of cricekt really is lacking sir!

Posted by swat1999 on (November 24, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Du Plessis is very impressive. Australia still very much ahead but South Africa fight back wel. I love Test Match, very exciing day op cricket

Posted by pat_one_back on (November 24, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

@Front-foot-lunge, this threads about Smith's South African team not Cook's.

Posted by landl47 on (November 24, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

This has been a great game. Both sides have had fantastic contributions from some, failures from others; the momentum has swung back and forth; injuries have been (and will be) a factor and it's a game that has been played at a cracking pace- 1049 runs and 25 wickets in 3 days. Anyone who thinks test cricket is dull hasn't watched this game. Either side could win, which is how it should be. As a neutral observer, I'm loving watching great cricket from two excellent sides.

Posted by Nishuramjee on (November 24, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

We must remember that Australia has only 3 bowlers with pattinson's injury, so if SA bat well, anything is possible.

Posted by beefman138 on (November 24, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

Front-Foot-Lunge : G'day Mate! I'm not sure anything I stated is relevant to any pitch conditions or opponents. All I'm saying is, Clarke has the best record of any player over the last 18 months of Test Cricket. Just because the SAF Bowlers aren't good enough on Aussie pitches isn't Clarke's fault.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 24, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

@Beef: Bunging full toses to the boundary on a road doesn't say a jolt about how good you are as a batsman I'm afraid to say. To check out real skill, see the highlights of Cook's innings on crumbling minefields in India. That's a different kind of game.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 24, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

Not much mention by people here that Pattison probably wont bowl tomorrow or the 5th day. This is huge is you plan on bowling a side out, Siddle is already looking a little worse for wear as he shouldered a lot of work today already !!! Lyon is turning the ball but its offspin and SA do have good players for spin (faf, ab, amla, kallis). Clarke and Hussey also can push the game incase they lose early wickets yet they cant waste time either. If SA can get oz out by lunchtime for a 320 deficit - its game on. Chasing down 350 in 5 sessions when the bowling attack is strike bowler down is do-able.

Posted by beefman138 on (November 24, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Wow! No matter what happens for the rest of the series, Michael Clarke must surely be rated the best Test Batsman in the World!

*Hand Up*

Yes, I'm one of the people who said he shouldn't be in the team 2 years ago.

So, for all those who say "Where are those people who were calling for Clarke's head 2 years ago?"

We are here. We will always be here.

It's only natural to be disappointed with players when they don't perform. It's just as natural to applaud them when they're doing well.

We all support our COUNTRY, more than a particular player. And when any player does well for our country, we love him for it.

Clarke has made history with his 4x200+ Innings in a year, and we should celebrate it.

Simply awesome!

Beef

Posted by SurlyCynic on (November 24, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

I don't know why everyone is already calling for Quiney to be dropped. Sure, he's only averaging 3, but he made one of the best '9's I've ever seen at Brisbane and you can't just discard that sort of talent.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (November 24, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

Fantastic day at the Adelaide oval today, there are not too many better grounds in the world. Clarke can't keep saving us from top order collapses, Khawaja and Hughes must be rewarded for their shield perfomances

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

After a day of 13 wickets for 280 odd runs I find it hard to see how SA are going to chase down anything over 300. I'm expecting all the Aussie bowlers to be quite a handful with early swing for Hilfy, variable bounce for Siddle and lots of spin for Lyon and Co. If South Africa can prove that wrong than they deserve to remain No.1.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (November 24, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

Where are all the Quiney and Cowan supporters now, Quiney's selection was a joke and Hughes is showing that. Quiney should never be allowed near the Aussie side, absolute terrible batting on the best batting pitch in Australia

Posted by shiven. on (November 24, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Although its a daunting prospect for south Africa ...the match isn't over yet ...if clarke goes n huss ...the Aussies will be in a predicament .And South Africa will be in it .And the batting line will not give in that easily they are all fighters if my memory recalls they batted 2 days a lords to save a test ! ..n it might nt be the same pitch bt they have the character to do so . And Australia are 1 bowler down .So I'd say this is another great advertisement for test cricket .

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (November 24, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Khawaja, Doolan and Hughes are the answer to our top order woes. Given our issues are with the number 3 spot Khawaja is the man as he is the best option for the number 3 spot.

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (November 24, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

Khawaja must be bought in, he allong with Hughes is the leading shield batsman this year with 430 runs. He got 138 on a green deck where Tasmania got 95 as a team and that included Bailey, Cosgrove and Doolan. The game before he top scored in both innings in another man of the match performances against a star NSW attack. Boof listed his innings against Tasmania on an absolute green deck as the best innings he has seen, now that's saying something.

Posted by Mary_786 on (November 24, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

@TheloneStranger and @HandyAndy agree with you guys, Khawaja needs to be bought in to the batting lineup. I think our top order woes are showing that Khawaja and Hughes are the future and they are both the top run scorers in shield this year. Khawaja in particular looks alot sharper between wickets and his catching has been fantastic this season. We need to get these guys ready for the Ashes by bringing them against Sri Lanka.

Posted by Amol_Ind_SA on (November 24, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Test Cricket at its best! i hope SA win this one...and they are well capable of.

Posted by hycIass on (November 24, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

@handyandy agree with you mate, Khawaja needs to be bought in, our top order woes can't continue and we are even struggling to make runs at Adelaide. Khawaja's 138 against Tasmania was rated by Lehman as the best shield innings he has seen and he has 4 out of the 5 man of the match performances for the Bulls in their last 5 games.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (November 24, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

@Marcio, he didn't get a century he got 90 something. And that 90 something is his only decent score in first class cricket in recent time. Alex Doolan made an unbeaten 161 in the same game and is outperforming Quiney with ease in shield along with the likes of Hughes Khawaja and Ferguson. His selection is not warranted at all.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 24, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

I thought Aus. had more sense than to use a nightwatchman! Seriously, what is the point? Sending in an inept batsman against a fired-up bowling unit in diminishing light... Dizzy Gillespie knocks only happen once in a blue moon! Great fight back from SA today. Getting Clarke and/or Hussey out early tomorrow (big, big ask I know!) will really liven things up even more. I fear this is the end of the road for Ponting... burns me up because I'm an avid fan.

Posted by No_1_again on (November 24, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

Marcio on (November 24 2012, 09:42 AM GMT) Which match are you talking about, only Doolan scored century in that match. I think QUieny should be gone when Watto comes back and if Punter fails in Perth Kwahja should be in. I don't know why ppl still talking about Shaun Marsh and Mitch Johnson. Strac will provide what Mitch failed to do so

Posted by eyballfallenout on (November 24, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

loving the test match on this "road"... i think 300 is enough normally on this wicket, but these saffas are a good side, since there is enough time, if we can get to 350-400 i would be more comfortable. by the way Kallis is a legend, shame to see him on one leg. oh well hope patto can have a bowl tomorrow.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

No,wonder SA has had a great fightback but aussies were more impressive. As per the current situation Aus are rather more ahead.As everyone know Huss and PUP are still the best player and perhaps the best partners in the crease .Both are sensible enough and fighting to lift their to a position where the chance of their Winning becomes 99 percent guaranteed.So, even this stand fall cheaper Wade might be eyeing something big to satisfy the selectors who prefered him over Haddin.Thus it is almost sure that the game is fully over the hand of AUssies.Bst of lck Aussies test No.1 Crown is waiting for you ahead.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 24, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

Kallis you ARE a legend... wonderful.

FAF welcome to test cricket you sure look like you belong... :) Siddle ... big effort ... thanks :) Lyon well bowled, Hilf well swung.

Top order BADLY played !!!! Klienveldt , congrats and well bowled....

Just love test cricket :)

Posted by Redbac on (November 24, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

At last I got to see some cricket at the Adelaide Oval. It was strange looking east towards the hills from the new members' stands on the western side. Take away the building paraphernalia, raw earth and peripheral, early-laid foundations and you have the eastern side of the Adelaide Oval circa 1967, before the original addition of the Victor Richardson Gates. Today's play saw a major a major power shift away from the bat in favour of the ball. Australia grabbed 5 for 56 in the morning. South Africa hit back for a while through du Plessis and Kallis on his dodgy hamstring, but were dismissed trailing by 162. Australia began well but lost 5 for 40 in the final hour to lead by 273 with two days left and a result tomorrow a distinct possibility. The ball has started to keep low. Thirty years of viewing tests live at my home ground tells me that batting will be hard tomorrow and South Africa will need Huss and Pup gone quickly and then a miracle. My tip: Australia to win by lunch on Monday

Posted by Meety on (November 24, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Top stuff by the Saffas. I think they'd be confident if the can roll Oz for under 200. That said chasing anything over 300 will NOT be easy here on a Day4/5 pitch. I didn't see any of the match as I was out all day, looks like it was a top day of cricket. Interesting that the "road" yielded about 13 wickets today! Some comments from Day 1 really showed their ignorance. This really is a batle between the two best teams in the world. Under normal circumstances - I'd say Oz SHOULD win from here, but the Saffas have done pretty well for the last 2 days - another good day & this match is theirs to win. From an Ozzy POV, we have Huss & Pup at the crease - who else in the world would you rather have????? (btw - I think Wade will at LEAST get a 50)!

Posted by henchart on (November 24, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

Odd it might sound but if Clarke and Hussey get going then it would in a way eat into time for Aussies in their effort to bowl our Proteas.Clarke would be in a dilemma regarding the target ,especially with three frontline bowlers in his armoury.Smith ,Amla and Ab can bat through a day and Quarter with support of Rudolph and Alviro.What to say about Kallis!Mind you,here is where Warne and McGrath were devastating.If Aussies are dismissed around lunch or just after that with Proteas left to chase a target in the vicinity of 365-380 in 140 odd overs then it is match on. Target of 475-500 in 115-120 overs would force Proteas into defensive mould and easily killl prospects of a thrilling final day and instead end up throwing a drab one.

Posted by bluefunk on (November 24, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

@Marcio: I wish you would avoid the metaphor of flogging, which can have unpleasantly racist connotations for some (remember Roebuck?). In any case, you are deluding yourself in your imagining of the disgruntled. Remember Adelaide 2003?

Posted by Marcio on (November 24, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

Good fightback by SA. So much for the road prepared to hide Australia's deficiencies. Amazing how the disgruntled (after getting flogged here last summer) continue to invent mythologies of the 'evil other' to help soothe their wounds. Wonder where these perpetual victims are now? Anyway, this will be interesting tomorrow. The pitch is starting to turn big, and there's movement and bounce. Australia will look to bat as long as possible. A lead of 350 should be enough on this deck, but against a good batting side and down their main strike bowler, a SA victory is a small but reasonable possibility - 20% perhaps. Batting isn't easy - even du Plessis & Kallis got HEAPS of edges. I suspect Pattinson will be able to bat OK. A side strain shouldn't affect his batting or running too much.

Posted by handyandy on (November 24, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

This test could be a nail biter ... particularly if the Saffas can restrict Australia's lead to around the 350 mark.

Johnson is a Perth specialist and an obvious replacement for Pattinson. Strarc will complete the 4 man pace attack .

Australia has a lot of problems at 3 and 4. Khawaja should have been there in the first place. Ponting's spot could depend on whether or not Watson is fit.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 24, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

I checked in to see all the road calls again but couldnt find any. This has been a great test match and looks like that hour of cricket where South Africa gave up 100 runs in 10 overs gave Australia too much momentum and it would be hard for them to lose from here. The way the pitch has deteriated with the sideways movement 200 is going to be hard to chase down. However, it is a great South African batting line up so it is important for Australia to get as big of a lead as possile. The agressive batting from Clarke and Warner with the substandard bowling from day 1 for South Africa looks to be the difference in this match. Cant see a draw happening now and would have thought its an 80% chance that Australia will win. This series has been great so far with so many brilliant performance and both sides are showing that right now they are the best 2 test nations.

Posted by Marcio on (November 24, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

@ TheLoneStranger, you really should pay more attention. Quiney score a centruy and backed it up with a not out in the second dig against this same attack (+Philander, - Morkel) the week before the first test. He's been one of teh most consistent batsmen going around. It's unfortunate how things went for him here, the worst possible result. If that hook shot in the first test had gone 10 inches further he would have had six runs and maybe a good score. As it is sometimes things just don't go your way, and he probably won't play for Australia again. I hope you are happy.

Posted by shwet14 on (November 24, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

This is the reason I love Test Cricket. It can throw up so many possibilities over the 5 days. All those so called Pundits must eating their words who said this is a Road of a Wicket. It was cricket at its best when SA made early inroads and Clarke responded with the agression he showed.

At this point, Aus has to be fav to win, but you never know. A fired up Steyn / Morkel can set this up for SA too.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (November 24, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Chase predictions are beginning. Numbers being put up already. These teams have a history of chases - record chases. WACA, 414. The Wanderers, 438. Clarke will well remember both those chases, as will Huss & Punter. An attacking skipper he may be, but I don't think he'll declare easily, and I'd warrant a guess that the numbers 414 and 438 will influence that decision. (Smith would nervously declare at about 900!)

A declaration presumes that Clarke and Huss continue their invincible streak. On the morning of day 2 Clarke lasted 4 overs putting up 6 runs, and all but Pattinson folded. Day 1, 2 and 3 saw a clump of early wickets in the first session. Oz put up 62 runs 1st session day 2, & 42 of those were by no.9. Pattinson. A big tail wag is always possible, but never very likely. An injured Pattinson at no. 9 is not like an injured Kallis at no. 9!

First session tomorrow will no doubt once again hold surprises, and make liars out of many. Gotta love test cricket.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

So good to see so many positive comments here, from people who clearly know their cricket. Sick of reading bs comments from so-called know it alls. Thanx guys. Well done Saffers on a great fight back, but hope Clarke and Huss can put a lead of 400 plus on the board. I think we'll need it. SA are class, and Kallis is a legend. Respect to him...he is unbelievable. good to see Kleinveldt do well too. Sad day for Quiney, prob won't play for Oz again. Bye Punter, I'll cherish the memories...20 years of pure class.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 24, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

This game has everything. It's surprising that there has been almost continual complaining. Superb Test match cricket. Well done both sides. Hope we don't have any more wounded stretchered off the battlefield tomorrow.

Posted by Faarken on (November 24, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

I reckon they should let Punter bat at 3. That's his spot. Drop Quiney and bring in Mitchell Marsh for Perth. I'm not covinced with Johnson - bring in Starc for Patto ...

Posted by JG2704 on (November 24, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

As I said yesterday , because of the speed Australia amassed their runs on day 1 this match was not necessarily heading for the bore draw some doom prophets had it. Now I'd say the draw is even less likely. SA need to make early inroads tomorrow with Australia's premier batsmen at the crease. If they don't do that then I don't see them winning and Clarke and Hussey can push the game forward so they can declare long before tea and leave SA in for a torrid 2nd inns. If SA make early inroads and can dismiss Australia before lunch (or not long after) then surely the likelihood is that we'll see a result one way or the other. As it stands I'd say 60% Australia/20% draw 20% SA

Posted by Ozzy505 on (November 24, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

Australia HAS to bat at least until lunch tomorrow - that's the minimum requirement. Otherwise SA will be the favourites chasing less than 350 with Oz a bowler short. Although I suspect it will be a bit more difficult than it was 4 years ago when they chased down 400 in Perth for a couple of reasons: 1) The nature of the pitch is different 2) Clarke has a bit more imagination & is generally a more aggressive captain than Ponting was & 3) Lyon has more consistency & control than Jason Krejza. But if Oz can make it past lunch batting at a healthy rate SA will have their work cut out for them!

Posted by PrasPunter on (November 24, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

well, where are those who complained about Adelaide being a road and that Australia had conspired to blunt the SA attack by preparing an "appropriate" pitch ? This strip has got something for all - 12 wickets on a day and a couple of well-made 50s - what else should a wicket offer ? For all those, I got only one thing to say - crying for friendly tracks is not our way , not the Aussie way !! May be it is some else's. No prizes for guessing who..

Posted by Bollo on (November 24, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

@Greatest_Game - love the passion. Pretty much with you (from the other side of the fence) re. the day`s play. Test cricket ? Bloody love it!

Posted by Simoc on (November 24, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

Well Quiney can look back on his test career and have the best 9 scored in memory plus a pair. Nice ball to get him early in the second dig will probably see him on the sidelines. Ponting wasn't good enough today so there is a batting spot up for grabs when Watson comes back in. The ball was zipping around late today and if the remaining Oz bowlers get that movement it is very hard to bat no matter what score SA are chasing. Morkel and Du Plessis were most impressive for SA today.

Posted by TheLoneStranger on (November 24, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Well, perhaps the selectors will now do what they should have done in the first place; select Khawaja. What possessed them to pick Quiney in the first place is anybody's guess. If Watson is fit to play as a batsman, Ponting has to go, too.

Posted by WonkyFNQ on (November 24, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

@ Ralph Argus. it seems you know nothing about spin bowling and the role it can play in a game. Lyon was good today. Australia would have been in trouble without him.

Siddle has demonstrated once again why night watchmen are illogical and pointless. The same thing happened for England in the first test in India. I agree with Steve Waugh's attitude.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (November 24, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

I love test cricket!

My fears came true in the morning session. SA batting collapse. AB looked like a confused schoolchild. Sometimes it really hurts to be a Proteas fan!

I don't make cricket predictions. I'll be wrong - guaranteed! Day 1 I did however say that if Kallis could walk he would bat, & would still be a force to be reckoned with. The man is dependable if nothing else. 58 runs, 46 of those boundaries, S.R of 62. Legend.

Good to see du Plessis bat well - I'd argued for his selection over Rudolph - but I didn't feel optimistic: a third of SA's runs scored by the debutant & the injured? When Cowan & Warner laid into the SA again bowling, & it felt like (any) World Cup all over again. Then Warner fell to Kleinveldt - no big deal. Quiney 2 balls later - interesting. Cowen 4 overs later perked me up. Then Ponting's departure got me fired up, & Siddle was icing on the cake.

Clarke & Hussey, the 2 big fish, remain. Pitch is showing life. 10 am, game on.

Test Cricket - yeah!

Posted by Bollo on (November 24, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

As most people, who knew what they were talking about, predicted,this game has sprung into life. Adelaide`s often a strange one, and this test has already taken enough twists and turns to keep the cycnics happy. I really feel for Tahir and Quiney(none for heaps and a pair is harsh stuff - even the most one-eyed of fans couldn`t have begrudged Tahir that wicket, or Quiney a run ), and Ponting of course, who has been such a brilliant and selfless player for so many years - perhaps that is it for the great man . On a happier note, great to see Kleinveldt come back strongly, and a wonderful start by du Plessis.

Anything over 250 is extremely hard to chase in Adelaide, but Oz will be keen to set 400 plus with Pattinson out.

Posted by Cricket5878 on (November 24, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

quiney shouldnot be picked for perth. he's scored 9 and two ducks and im not sure if he really bowls that often in sheffield shield so whats the deal having him bowl in tests? also australia is going to win this match probably because the lead is nearly 300 and batting on adelaide oval near the final days can be difficult. i reckon we set south africa about 360 or about there to win. south africa make 280 probably and australia get the win. go australia!

Posted by wellrounded87 on (November 24, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

@zdrgn As much as i hope you are right i wouldn't put anything past this SA side. Unless the Aussies can bat all the way till tea and get a lead of around 500. I won't feel comfortable. Amla is pure class, Smith is a grinder DeVilliers is due and du Plesis looks the goods. And for a man on 1 leg Kallis is still a machine... what an innings.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 24, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

What a test match, once again Test cricket proves to be 1 million times better than hit and giggle (T20/20). The game changes constantly.

Good bowling by Oz in the morning - particulalry Siddle, but then superb fight back by Kaliis and Faff. Oz off to a flyer 78/0 but then SA fought back hard with those wickets in the last hour. Oz still on top but a few more wickets tomorrow morning and it gets interesting. What score is good enough, 300 / 350/400/500?? Pitch looks good still, SA got their wickets through good swing bowling and aggression. I think its good night for Punto after Perth after another failure, im sorry but he just doesnt look the same player he once was.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (November 24, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

@rickyvon canterbury, I dont know where u get off making such comments. U think only u Aussies know cricket history or what? As for Lyon, we'll see what happens to him when he gets turning tracks later in India. Having seen what happened to the great Shane Warne when he toured here, a mediocre bowler like Lyon is gonna get massacred. Then u wont have any more excuses left

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

I don't understand why teams persist in selecting below par spinners in test teams many of whom are not proven in first class cricket. Remember the Windies of the 80's. If your 4 best bowlers are quicks, pick them. eg Aussies with Warner, Clarke etc don't need Lyon.

Posted by Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on (November 24, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

Look back at the Day 1 comments. So many comments predicted draws. Does anyone still think that's likely? This pitch is a brilliant Adelaide wicket. The day 1 pitch was actually the normal day 2 pitch here in Adelaide. The Aussies' scoring rate practically guaranteed a result. The Aussies have done enough to win barring a truly brilliant 2nd innings performance by the Saffers, which still can't be ruled out. It's game on and the only result which looks impossible is a draw. Five stars to the curator. Deadset genius. Final note: Punter will play in Perth, but if he gets out due to suspect footwork or eyesight that's the sad end to a magnificent career.

Posted by zdrgn on (November 24, 2012, 7:49 GMT)

@Greatest_Game, do u watch the game live on tv? pitch is becoming hard for the batsman to cope with, although australia is one bowler short; as i watched morkel getting in dippers i think anything above 350 will be almost impossible to chase. if clarke or hussey can bat till lunch, then it will be absolutely game over for south africa.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

@ rickyvoncanterbury : And on the first day everyone was complaining about the 'Adelaide Oval Road'...

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 24, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

@ 5_day_tragic..... agree 100 % re Lyon on spinning wickets he looks world class, but he is Australian and the spinning wicket is as hard to find although easier, than a cricket history fan from India unless it is IPL.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (November 24, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

Just when I thought that SA were done for, finished, Kleinveld bursts into life and takes 2... that's now 3 quick wickets for 13 runs, and it's not even a morning session.

Tahir bowls a maiden over! Then Clarke takes a only single run off an over! A maiden from Steyn, then a maiden from Morkel with a lbw shout!

Whoa.…now Punter is gone for 16…leaves to a standing ovation, deservedly, one of the greats.

This is getting odder - Siddle protecting Hussey? Can't believe this all happened in 10 overs. I'd never have imagined this the way Warner & Cowan were marching along at 77/0.

Aaaaiiieee....Siddle goes! 103/5! It's Clarke & Hussey again. Last over...Huss will hang in...& he does.

Wow. Typed that as it happened. Can't believe it. This match is not over after all! 6:03 pm. I need a drink!

Note: the odds of SA winning are now much better than Quiney being picked for Perth. However, things could be worse for him. His test average of 3 is still better than Chris Martin's 2.42!

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 24, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

The Aussie curators must be the best in the world, if no play was lost in the first test IMO there would have been a 5th day result, and look at this classic, 300 can still be good enough.... but will it be, gotta love test cricket.

Posted by dalboy12 on (November 24, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

To little too late by SA, they are in real trouble here - the pitch is beginning to play up and Lyon is a class act and Kallis will struggle again. Will they play four quicks in Perth? Agree that they need to get De Villers away from wicket keeping Stewart, McCullum and Sangakara all showed how hard it is to bat in the top order, score runs and wicket keep in test cricket. Gilchrist did it - but he did it from #7 behind a very good batting line up. For all the greatness of Clark in this test and the good innings of Warner, Hussey, Smith and Du Plesiss - this test may have ended or at least put a big comma in the test careers of Tahir, Ponting and Quiney. The up and downs of test cricket.

Posted by Paulk on (November 24, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

Very impressed with Du Plessis debut innings. He showed great composure from the first ball he faced as if he'd been coming in in tough situations for years in Test matches. And of course he had to adjust his game plan while batting with an injured Kallis. Look forward to seeing much more of him. Kallis is simply a legend...shades of Greenidge on one leg. I had previously said Botham was the greatest impact allrounder in my time (Sir Gary was before my time) but when all is said and done and Kallis calls it a day, I may well revise my opinion.

Posted by DylanBrah on (November 24, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

Feel sorry for Quiney, but he should never have been picked in the first place.

Posted by Moppa on (November 24, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

So much for doctored pitches! Australia have ridden their luck all Test, but Australia's successes with the ball today and South Africa's yesterday shows how ridiculous those conspiracy theories were. I'm guessing there'll be closer to 60 comments on this article today, compared to the 360 comments, many ridiculous, on the first day report. On a more positive note, amazing effort from Kallis - imperious. And Steyn looking sharp in his opening spell today, so far without luck.

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (November 24, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

I'm an Aussie fan...but I recognise Kallis as a better allrounder than Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Ian Botham...think you would have to go back to Sobers to find one in his class.

Posted by nirmalzz on (November 24, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

alented south africa team is wasting their chances with selecting the wrong player. In next test, the team will be : Smith, A. Peterson, Amla, Kallis, DeVilliars, du Plesis, Tsolkile, Philander, Morkel, Steyn & R. Peterson.. Atleast this team can give fight to attacking aussies..

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (November 24, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

Very sporting of SA not to bore us with batting till tea on Day 4 and amassing a match winning lead on this placid road...instead they injected life into the match by getting out 162 behind. *tongue in cheek*. Lyon proving he is a spinner of test quality...averages less than Swann albeit from a smaller sample size. Shame on all that question his legitimate earning of a place in the team. Expecting another Warne would be like expecting a Bradman to come along...

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

why de villiers is still keeping?? He haven't played a single good innings since he started keeping in tests. This should be his last test as keeper and also rudolph must be dropped, he always makes 30-40 and throws it away. Tahir should be dropped to for peterson. Salute to jaques kallis, the greatest cricketer ever, it was a great knock with one leg.

Posted by Dan_Son on (November 24, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

What about the SA spinner? Drop Tahir and give Robin Peterson an opportunity. Make Tahir work for his place.

Posted by Dan_Son on (November 24, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Time to rethink why Rudolph is in the team - bring in Tsolekile as keeper, relieve de Villiers of his duty and let him bat. Have not enjoyed waking up to SA losing 5 for 17 runs. Either that or Bring back Mike Horn for a pep talk.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (November 24, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

Pleeeeeeeease no more of Quiney bowling. I really don't want to see it anymore. He is not an all-rounder, he is not even a part-timer, he is a walking wicket with a good pair of hands.

Posted by dinosaurus on (November 24, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

Since Smith didn't review immediately yesterday (it came so late that it raises the suspicion that the SA bunker had already evaluated the replays), it looks like he went for a "strategic" review (I know I'm out, but a review might work). Today he had excellent reason not to know that he had edged the ball (the bat hitting the ground would over-ride the feeling of the nick) he naturally went for the review. When the replay showed the hot spot, that's it, I'm afraid, with no ambiguity whatever. No point showing that you don't agree.

Posted by akiladaplayer on (November 24, 2012, 3:08 GMT)

south Africa has lots of talent but they are making a major mistake by letting de villiers keep ! he should play as a batsman only because ultimately he will be mediocre in both departments if continues to keep wickets

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 2:45 GMT)

Brave of Kallis to bat. really great character. Siddle is amazing even on flatter pitches. i remember the delivery he generated on a flat pitch to get rid of gambhir.

Posted by   on (November 24, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

so much for nothing in for the bowlers,well done oz

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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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