South Africa in Australia 2012-13

Steyn fires but Australia A show fight

The Report by Firdose Moonda at the SCG

November 2, 2012

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Australia A 7 for 325 (Quiney 85, Doolan 76*, Smith 67, Maxwell 64, Steyn 3-43) v South Africans

Dale Steyn dismissed Australia A's openers, Australia A v South Africans, Sydney, 1st day, November 2, 2012
Dale Steyn was the best of South Africa's bowlers by a distance © Getty Images

Two century stands denied the South African attack the chance to live up to their reputation as the world's best. Australia A chose to bat on a green-tinged but slow pitch at the SCG and survived an early wobble and a quartet of batsmen - Rob Quiney, Steve Smith, Alex Doolan and Glenn Maxwell - went on to score half-centuries.

The South Africans rested both Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis because they had both played continuous cricket since the July tour to England and their absence showed somewhat. The numbers accurately reflected the degrees of performance. Dale Steyn was the best bowler by some distance, and moved the ball well to show no signs of having not played first-class cricket since August.

Rory Kleinveldt backed him up well with decent pace and Vernon Philander was mostly consistent, although he had no reward. Imran Tahir though, lacked discipline in some instances and was expensive early on. As a unit, the much vaunted attack did not click as they may have wanted to, especially after a first glance at the pitch.

The South African bowlers would have built up a good appetite when they saw the green on the track but they soon discovered it was about as tasty as a glass apple. Instead of offering pace and bounce, it was fairly lifeless and there was little assistance.

Steyn showed that he can perform in spite of that with a blistering spell up front. He built up a head of steam to go with his swing and the wicket of Liam Davis seemed inevitable. It was a classic Steyn delivery that pitched on middle and off and then jagged away to beat the bat and hit the top of off stump.

With much attention on Phillip Hughes, especially after his success against South Africa in 2009, he had a tentative start. He survived an appeal for caught behind off Steyn when he was on 1 but added only four to his score before engineering his own demise. In frustration, Hughes slashed at ball from the newcomer Kleinveldt and dragged the ball back onto his stumps.

With the intention of giving the Test bowlers as many overs as possible,Tahir was brought on in the 10th over. The move may have raised eyebrows but Tahir enjoyed some early success. His top-spinner had Andrew McDonald lbw for a duck and Australia's top order were shot out with 49 on the board. McDonald's phrase about them being "crash test dummies" appeared to be coming true.

But not for too long. Quiney watched the damage from the other end and sedately built what began looking like an impregnable fortress. He showed weakness once, when Philander induced the edge but the ball fell short of Smith at first slip, an indication of the lack of carry. Apart from that one lapse, Quiney was strong on the front foot and drove confidently on the off and on sides and Steve Smith's sprightly innings helped him take Australia A to lunch on 3 for 89.

But the South African attack was made to work hard after the break. Every time Philander's length veered on the side of just a little too full, Quiney drove him to the boundary. On an outfield that would not look out of place on Bondi beach, Quiney timed his shots to perfection, particularly the one through mid-on which took him to his half-century.

Smith executed the pull well and Tahir was the bowler who took most of a pasting. He erred on the side of too short, too often as he searched for wickets. Smith took boundaries off him at will but reached fifty with a scampered second run.

With the partnership growing, Graeme Smith turned to his go-to man to get a wicket. He brought back Steyn and the strike bowler struck. Quiney hit Steyn for four through mid-wicket and looked destined for three-figures but two balls later, the edge carried. Smith took a low catch to stop Quiney's charge and one wicket soon brought another.

Smith was Tahir's second lbw victim when he played across the line and the South Africans had two new batsmen at the crease. Moises Henriques may have had a point to prove after his recent good form but seemed to think he was still at the Champions League T20 after tea. He reached for a loosener from Kleinveldt and was caught behind. The next ball, Kleinveldt had an lbw shout against Glenn Maxwell but it looked to be going down leg. Kleinveldt thought he had another wicket when AB de Villiers appealed for a catch and Alex Doolan tucked his bat under his arm and started to walk off. Kleinveldt joined in late and the umpire did not give him out.

That was all the luck Doolan and Maxwell needed. As the afternoon drew long, they went on to make the South Africans' experience even longer. The pair scored mostly off JP Duminy and Philander and were untroubled but for the chance Maxwell offered Tahir. He hit the ball back to the legspinner, whose outstretched fingers could not grasp it.

Maxwell and Doolan reached their fifties off back-to-back deliveries and the South Africans had to wait for the new ball to break their 133-run stand. Steyn had Maxwell caught behind in his third over with the second nut, as the batsman tried to guide the ball past gully. Doolan continued to the close and finished day with Tim Paine and a personal milestone in sight.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Heisenburg on (November 3, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Doolan seems like a great choice to replace Watson if he's unable to play.

Posted by masoodali150 on (November 3, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

Where is Kallis in the SA Squad.

Posted by joseyesu on (November 3, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

It is Aus batting all 9 Vs SA. Obviously Players will be tired to this lineup.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 3, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

Petersen seems to be a bit nervous on this dead road, 6 off 27 deliveries at a SR of 22. Just had a look at Kev talking about the Gabba pitch, it's said to be more than usually fast and bouncy. Although he wouldn't commit, I felt that there could be a trap being set regarding using 4 seamers.

Posted by Meety on (November 3, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

@Greatest_Game on (November 02 2012, 18:23 PM GMT) - there we declared - so enuff of your sooking. Complain about our pitches when your curators learn to prepare safe pitches!

Posted by Meety on (November 3, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

@satish619chandar on (November 02 2012, 07:37 AM GMT) - I was only kidding - which gets a bit depressing when people like @edgie take you seriously!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 3, 2012, 1:33 GMT)

Can smell a spicy contest here eh ? Is it true from what I have been hearing, is this game shown LIVE on TV ? Someone please let me know.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 3, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

@Greatest_Game, so Flanders is having trouble buying a wicket, get over it.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 3, 2012, 0:56 GMT)

@ Greatest_Game on (November 02 2012, 18:23 PM GMT) and to think these brash young Aussies are going on with it again today, how can they bat for 4 sessions against the likes of Steyn and Philander they must be doing it with smoke and mirrors, why cannot they be good sports like you, well at least youse have them running scared. haha.

Posted by Hammond on (November 2, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

I've always thought Quiney should be in the national test side. Philander will struggle on our pitches, the Kooka stops swinging after 15 overs and doesn't really reverse on our wickets.

Posted by   on (November 2, 2012, 20:06 GMT)

@Disco Bob That's cool. Thought youse might'a been a Saffer, so I was sticking up for the kids. Actually, how old is McDonald... he is not young anymore. Watched a bit of the stream from CA. One camera, SCG looks awful, is the sound meant to work, or am I an idiot? Oh yeah, in my previous post, I got the batting order of AusA from this site... Seems it may not have (not could it have) been entirely accurate. Is awesome to get Philander used to 0-??? on Australian pitches

Posted by Greatest_Game on (November 2, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

A real sportsman that Doolan. Knew he was gone & started walking. No surprise that the Aussie ump told him to stay & do his job for CA, whose idea of a sporting warm up is a team of all-rounders on a dead pitch trying to wear down the visiting bowlers. A desperate move really, telegraphing they're dead scared of the SA attack, but then they have no way of testing the SA bats with their fragile trundlers underdone & breaking down. Cummins gone again, Harris too, dare not expose Siddle's back/shoulder/ankle weaknesses, & Watson is so risky he can't play 20/20.

SA's bowlers don't mind: Steyn loves the exercise - see Cricinfo's current feature article "Steyn's Masterclass in Durability." Philander knows to keep himself fit for the big game as he's keen on spanking Aus again with another 5 for 15. Kallis & Morkel are resting, amused by the silly antics. Quite sad really, how far Aus cricket has fallen. Even the Poms have more backbone. Wonder what they'll try next - bodyline bowling?

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 2, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

Why couldn't SA drop some catches in England? It pains me to say it but well done to the young aussies, that's not a bad score against the saffers. What went off with Philander here? maybe the Aussies should have given him half a season with a state side like we did!

Posted by   on (November 2, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

While the Aus A side did well yesterday, I can't say the same with the individual performances for the Test team. Ponting out for 5, Hussey for 3 after 65 in the 1st inngs, Wade for 8, Warner for 2, Clarke for 8 and Watson 33 and I don't know why Lyon didnt get a single over. I know SA havent had much time to prepare for the test but they have seasoned players who have done well recently and are the No.1 in the world and I think its Oz that needed to prepare more this this season. Cummins are I just read is gone for the rest of the summer before it even began whilst Starc's admited that he's not 100% due to his body weight having dropped.

Once the English admired the way the Sheffield Shield worked as the base of Australia's Test cricketers but with players playing a couple of days then leaving the team will make a mockery of it.

Posted by   on (November 2, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

alex doolan will be playing for australia very soon. he has been the leading run getter in fc cricket tthis season with 149, 95, 60 not out and 76 not out his last four innnings.if he needs to continue this form till the end of the season, he will play for australia in test cricket soon.

Posted by   on (November 2, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

Posted by Saffie1987 on (November 02 2012, 10:51 AM GMT)

@ RAMPANT Aussie: Where did you get the livestream from? Thanx anyways mate :-)!

From the CA website.

Posted by Basil777 on (November 2, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

The Ozzies is making a big thing out of nothing again. So what if Philander did not take a wicket who cares; we know what he can in a real test. Who forget the 28 for 8 ; I think that is still in back of the Ozzies minds.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (November 2, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

In England, we'd be cock-a-hoop if the lions fared this well against South Africa, a side which then went on to maul us 2-nil in the tests. However, I guess the lion's were deemed too weak to play against the SA 1st team, hence why it was never scheduled.

Posted by Saffie1987 on (November 2, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

@ Nthuq! Go look at the Scoredcards of South-Africa versus Somerset and other English County Teams they played before the Test Matches versus England Started! Those counties had the better of the games! But tell me, who won the series between England and South-Africa :-) ;-) :-P?

Posted by Wozza-CY on (November 2, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

It looks as though Oz A got a few chances in the field which perhaps flatters their score somewhat. In saying that, you've got to take the opportunity when you get dropped or get a reprieve early on. The saffas would want to smarten up their fielding in the 2nd innings.

Posted by Saffie1987 on (November 2, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

@ RAMPANT Aussie: Where did you get the livestream from? Thanx anyways mate :-)!

Posted by Biggus on (November 2, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

Let's all settle down, nothing has really happened yet. Nevertheless a tidy total so far for the 'crash test dummies', as McDonald would have it.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 2, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

Good day for rookies, IMO they have enough runs not to lose the game Quiney, Doolan, and Smith did their careers a big favour, Hughes and mcdonald sadly can make IPL and F/C cricket a priority now. Tomorrow I hope the bowlers bowl to the first teams tactics to each batsmen, but at a third of the venom.

Posted by Meety on (November 2, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

@edgie on (November 02 2012, 05:55 AM GMT) - "...Only people who are scared are the Australia side...." - no, you are!

Posted by disco_bob on (November 2, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Calm down edgie, it's just a bit of Oz humour.

Posted by Rampant_Aussie on (November 2, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Good article. Watching the live stream I thought Steyn bowled really well. Good pace and good shape, especially the ball that dismissed Quiney. The other bowlers weren't penetrating and I thought were flat. I was disappointed in Philander and if Tahir bowls anything like he did today, he'll get murdered around the 'Gabba by Clarke and co. All in all a decent day for Australia A in the end. On another note, curious looking Australia A side. "A" teams should be the best 2nd XI in the country. This isn't our best 2nd team. Where's Burns, Cosgrove Khawaja etc. I'm not saying there aren't some good players in that side, but having half a dozen all-rounders does not make for a balanced side (you can't have Tim Paine coming in at 9 for example). Perhaps CA should adopt the same strategy as the ECB and have a dedicated "A" team like the England Lions.

Posted by snoopypalombo on (November 2, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Looks like Messrs Fry and Reiffel got the same message from the hierarchy, jonesy2

Posted by   on (November 2, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

Oz selectors, just seeing how some of our younger blokes cope with World Class bowlers. I don`t care who you are, or where you are from, Dale Steyn, is by far the best Test bowler over the past 5 years, and he treats every game of Cricket, like it`s his last. It would be a bloody frightening prospect for most these players, facing him for the first time, he can push past 150 klick`s, has a snaking away swinger that pitches on leg, and rattles off-stump, and a vicious slippery bouncer. Oh! and he has un-relenting aggression & accuracy, great experience for most these young `Aussie`, batsmen, too face the best of this era.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 2, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

Well thats no wickets for Philander at nearly 5 and over, so well done boys that'll do nicely.

Posted by nthuq on (November 2, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

Hope to see Doolan reach the mentioned milestone. The sheer depth of the batting lineup Aus A has presented South Africa has worked as expected and we've kept the Saffers in the field for longer than they would have liked to be. If our second string batsmen can milk half centuries like this, we should be fine when the tests run along. Though it's doubtful the Gabba pitch will be as forgiving to the batsmen as this pitch has been. Interesting to see Philander get clobbered the way he has been, and he's bowled far too many no balls as well. Kleinveldt seems like a better bowler than Morkel on less responsive pitches as these, though I don't doubt Morkel will be picked for the Gabba.

Posted by Ben1989 on (November 2, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

that picture on the front page of Smith "driving" is a disgusting shot! he's no where near the ball!@Meety I was also surprised about Richardson coming in at 3 thought he must've been coming in as a pince hitter! I found out he opens for his grade side though, surprisingly!good days cricket & @edgie didn't look like we were running scared today mate!!

Posted by   on (November 2, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

Another good hit for Doolan, on something of a roll going past 50 in his last 4 FC innings. His overall record is okay for a young-ish batsman. The real deal?

Posted by Meety on (November 2, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

Oz A have half done their job - which is to bat as long as possible. The scoreline is pretty good & there would be hope that they can get a couple more partnerships going. Maxwell has certainly put his hand up - thought Smith was good, & Quinney - well I am happy for him.

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 2, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

@Meety : Kallis - Needs resta fter CLT20 and absolutely deserved rest. Morkle is not a hide. He is always inconsistent. Either a guy who goes at 6-7 with wayeard stuff or a tormentor himself with a unplayable spell. Underestimate him at your own peril. Aus A did a wonderful job in keeping Philander at bay. Not sure whether Philander will get the same results as early in Australia but he was always questioned to come up unhurt until now. Lets wait till the main draw where it matters actually.

Posted by edgie on (November 2, 2012, 5:55 GMT)

jonesy2, as usual, you dont know much. Morkel has been playing extensively in the T20 version of the game, from the world cup though to the Champions league, so he has played alot of cricket lately. And Meety, really, running scared? Only people who are scared are the Australia side.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 2, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

I should also point out that when this article first appeared and I posted, it incorrectly stated that Australia put SA in.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 2, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

@John Smith, it was a bit tongue in cheek but the trad role is for the Aussie A team to tenderise the touring party before roasting. However its been a good comeback after the early wickets. And if they can keep Philander wicketless that will be a job well done.

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 2, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

Meety- could be true haha do you love how we have gone in with a batting lineup that has legit batsmen all the way to number 9 then allrounders at 10 and 11? haha making the SA bowlers toil for three days i think is the plan from the hierarchy!

Posted by bobagorof on (November 2, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

@John Smith: Henriques came in at 7. I don't think the batting order has ever been set in stone. I'd be surprised if Hastings comes in after Coulter-Nile.

Posted by Meety on (November 2, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

@John Smith - almost as weird as Kane Richardson batting at #3 for Sth Oz! Weird but true! @ jonesy2 on (November 02 2012, 03:12 AM GMT) - perhaps Kallis & Morkel have been hanging out with the great Marsh brothers too much & have been dropped for disciplinary reasons from the flight over?

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 2, 2012, 3:12 GMT)

morkel rested? how can someone who is inconsistent and wayward be rested not to mention he hasnt played in god know how long. or has he been dropped?

Posted by Meety on (November 2, 2012, 2:21 GMT)

Hiding Kallis & Morkel means the Saffas are running scared!

Posted by   on (November 2, 2012, 1:46 GMT)

Softening up of who, Disco Bob? None of the Aus A side are near the First XI. Well, except Paine and maybe (but hopefully not) Hughes, S. Smith and Coulter-Nile. Very strange side Aus A has. Hastings, with a FC batting average of 24, is coming at no. 11, Coulter-Nile (FC average of 16 with no 50's) at 7 and Paine test aver. 35 is batting at 9.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 2, 2012, 0:15 GMT)

Looks like Hughes didn't have to wait that long. 10 mins to be precise.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 2, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

And so the softening up process begin.

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