Australia v South Africa, 1st Test, Brisbane, 5th day

Australia on points as South Africa battle to draw

The Report by Daniel Brettig

November 13, 2012

Comments: 189 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 450 (Amla 104, Kallis 147, Pattinson 3-93) and 5 for 166 (Kallis 49, Lyon 2-41, Pattinson 2-58) drew with Australia 5 for 565 declared (Clarke 259*, Cowan 136, Hussey 100, Morkel 3-127)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


James Pattinson dismisses Alviro Petersen, Australia v South Africa, first Test, day five, Brisbane, November 13, 2012
James Pattinson defeated Alviro Petersen early, and his aggression was a notable feature of the final day © Getty Images
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South Africa began the first Test looking every inch the world's best team. They ended it cornered, scrapping unattractively to secure a draw, having weathered a sustained and significant resurgence by Australia over the final two days.

The loss of Saturday's play due to persistent rain deprived the match of enough time for a result given the benign nature of curator Kevin Mitchell's pitch, but Michael Clarke's team will depart Brisbane with the kind of spring in their step that England took from the Gabba after a similar recovery at the outset of the 2010-11 Ashes. Such confidence will be derived as much from how James Pattinson and Peter Siddle discomforted South Africa's batsmen on the final afternoon as from the way Clarke, Ed Cowan and Michael Hussey dominated the visiting bowlers.

On a tense afternoon characterised by a series of frenzied Australian appeals and grim South African occupation, Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis all flirted frequently with danger while the hosts dictated terms. Pattinson and Siddle frequently pushed the line of acceptable aggression with their words and appeals, but did no more than Clarke had predicted before the match.

A lone exception to the prolonged passage of Australian aggression and South African diffidence was a two-over period before tea in which the spinner Nathan Lyon was clumped for 26, but even he recovered in the final session with a neat spell that returned the wickets of Kallis and Jacques Rudolph.

Clarke had declared with a lead of 115 after he reached the highest individual score in Tests at the Gabba. His unbeaten 259 featured some rollicking shots on resumption, lofting drives down the ground and heaving over midwicket with plenty of force. Hussey's advance to a hundred was a little more fraught, and on 99 he escaped being lbw on South Africa's referral via the thinnest of edges picked up on Hot-Spot.

The pitch was starting to show the very first signs of deterioration, Morne Morkel extracting some variable bounce to strike Clarke in the ribs and on the back, while Vernon Philander gained some disconcerting seam movement. After Hussey lifted Morkel to cover - the first wicket to a bowler in 120 overs - Matthew Wade took his time getting in, and was beaten several times. However once he had his sighter, Wade unleashed a trio of rasping offside strokes, the first a drive that might have decapitated Rory Kleinveldt, and hurried Clarke towards his declaration.

South Africa's response to the scenario confronting them was uncertain. Pattinson found his rhythm and some early swing, and it was the combination of speed and movement that drew Petersen into an ambitious drive that resulted in a thin edge through to Wade. Smith battled through the session, snicking Siddle just short of the slips, and Amla was grateful for the third wicket off a no-ball in the match when he dragged Pattinson onto the stumps but was reprieved by Asad Rauf's referral.

The afternoon began with a tense and occasionally ill-tempered duel between Pattinson and Smith. Pattinson was irritated when Amla survived a caught behind appeal that was proven faulty by a decision review, and was further annoyed by Smith pulling away from one delivery as a bird flew across his eye-line. There was plenty of chatter over the next two overs before the bowler had the final say by coaxing a sliced drive that was well held by Rob Quiney at gully.

At the other end Australia lost their second and final review when Ben Hilfenhaus thought he had Kallis caught behind from an inside edge, but replays showed a large gap between bat and pad. The loss of the two referrals seemed costly when the hosts went up in unison for a caught behind appeal by Siddle against Amla, but again the video evidence of an edge was lacking.

Kallis survived another appeal from Siddle when avoiding a short ball that passed desperately close to his gloves, and Lyon's entry to the attack brought a brief flurry as both Kallis and Amla lofted down the ground with skill. Amla would lose his wicket shortly before tea when he pushed Siddle to Hussey at short cover, but it seemed at the interval that the South Africans had done enough to stave off the prospect of defeat.

AB de Villiers and Kallis held out for another hour but made very few runs. Lyon returned to bowl with the batsmen in their shells, and was rewarded when he drifted the ball across Kallis, finding the edge and allowing Clarke clasp a neat one-hander at slip. Next over Rudolph eluded a raucous lbw appeal because Siddle's delivery had pitched outside leg stump, and Australia's frustration showed they felt they were still a chance.

Ultimately Rudolph survived until just before the final hour was due to commence, at which time he was lbw to a Lyon back-spinner that pinned him on the back pad. This wicket encouraged Clarke to push the match into its last 60 minutes. The fact he was able to do so was a considerable moral victory for Australia, just as the final two days had been.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 16, 2012, 2:09 GMT)

Spelele - It's nice to know that South Africa pushing the scoring rate on day 3 - closer to 3 an over was too much for them to handle and as such they lost 7 wickets. If your point is correct then it shows the obvious weakness in the South African team.

Posted by pat_one_back on (November 15, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

@Spelele, good to know SA are weak batting even on 'roads' when the asking rate jumps to 3 per over... We're also able to manipulate clowns here but I'm sure you guessed that much.

Posted by Spelele on (November 15, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

@Chris_P on (November 15 2012, 03:45 AM GMT): Your so-called mathematics only but confirms my point. Wickets fell on Day 3 when SA were pushing up the rate, and on Day 5 when the pitch had slightly deteriorated. Other than that, the pitch was indeed a road!

Posted by Chris_P on (November 15, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

@Spelele. Just for you here is how the scores got that way. South Africa scored 7/195 on day 3. They also scored 5/165 on day 5/166 which makes it 12/361 runs by the maths taught to me. 12 wickets for 361 runs and you say it was a road? LOL.

Posted by henrystephen on (November 14, 2012, 23:27 GMT)

Great to see a close game after fears of a one-sided series! Also refreshing to see lots of positive comments from the Oz and SA players and fans, (ignoring the usual trolling from some of the less classy English and Indian fans).

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

@pronoysircar on (November 14 2012, 22:33 PM GMT)

I was fairly certain I'd not get any converts to my way of thinking :). There is also a good chance that in this particular match Steyn was underdone in preparation.

I am starting to rate Pattinson. Thought after a terrible first spell (3 over from memory) bowled well all match.

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 14, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

@Bonehead_maz : Wow. Well, thats one thing in common I guess, passionate love of the game. The only difference is that you actually played it. But on a parting note, I'll still disagree with you on Steyn. I have seen him make batsmen like Dravid look very silly. I rate him not based on what his stats are, but based on what I have seen him do. But well, anyway. we'll see in the next match

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 14, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

It is amazing how the silent majority of Aussie fans for the first two days come on here so quickly when it goes better.As for Randy Oz you have to believe he is almost an act of comic genius.

Lets face it South Africa should have lost the last test in England and their record over here was a bit false. One record though that can't be denied is the Ashes will come home once more next year

Posted by Spelele on (November 14, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

@PFEL on (November 14 2012, 00:19 AM GMT): I think it is you who didn't watch the match! The pitch had clearly deteriorated on Day 5, although not as much because a day was lost. As to your argument that Aus had batted on the same wicket, yes indeed they had, but they had only done so untroubled on Day 4, and to a lesser extent towards the end of Day 3! On Day 5, they were clearly troubled a bit with some balls rising or keeping low. Please watch some highlights! Not to mention that Aus were batting without the pressure of being a batsman short!

Fact is: wickets either fell when batsmen looked to up the scoring, or when the pitch had slightly deteriorated. Overall, the pitch was a road! However, as a Saffa, I'm happy if your lot underestimate the Proteas going into the second test.

@ Chris_P on (November 14 2012, 02:26 AM GMT): "So, after day 1, South Africa managed 12 for 360 runs and you call that a road?". Lol, what are you on about? Weren't SA 255/2 after Day 1!

Posted by Spelele on (November 14, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

@Meety on (November 13 2012, 20:40 PM GMT): that really doesn't add anything to your argument. SA's run rate fell because they lost wickets quickly. They were looking to push the run rate up, and the Aus bowling performance had also improved drastically. I'm taking nothing away from Aus's performance. Think about it, if SA were not stepping up the gas when they lost their wickets, then why would the so-called ever-cautious Kallis had gotten out playing an uppish cut at a ball he could easily have left? Other wickets fell in similar fashion!

Fact is: wickets on that pitch fell mostly when batsmen looked to up the rate, and on Day 5 when the pitch had slightly deteriorated. Overall, it was flat! Good on you to realise, unlike some Aus fans, the impact that the injury to Duminy had.

I'm happy if Aus fans underestimate our team going to the second match. Although I doubt it, I can tell you that if Clarke and co. take the same approach, I won't see most of you on here after Tetst 2 :)

Posted by Spelele on (November 14, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

@Facebook user on (November 14 2012, 09:49 AM GMT): Yes mate. And that logic fully supports my point. Kallis and Amla might well have scored heavily at a slow rate, and we might well have scored 600 plus in 3 days, or whatever. Fact is: SA would have played it differently with JP in the mix.

Your argument about Kallis and Amla only but strengthens my argument that one way or another, this match would have been a draw even with a full Day 2. Why? Because, in addition to slow batting by our batsmen, the pitch was a road on which wickets fell when batsmen were either pushing for runs, or when the pitch had deteriorated on Day 5.

And oh, please show some respect. There is no need to get personal and start calling people idiots. We all have a right to express our viewpoints; even if they are different to yours!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 14, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

Rain saved Australia again before South Africa bowled unusually badly at Clarke on Days 3&4. But Don't worry people, South Africa are warmed up and will absolutely vaporize you in the remaining tests, with Australia's infamous house of cards batting line up struggling to get past fifty again!

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 14, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

@Meety on (November 14 2012, 09:02 AM GMT)

That truly is meaty ! Would not have dared said it myself but 100% agree. Having a bowler mentality I am still choking that Amla wasn't out for 0 on first day. Yet as you have often said yourself, what if, if only, haha that why test cricket's the greatest...... unlimited permutations and combinations.

This was an interesting game that means nothing except maybe some mileage under the belt for some. Fun to watch and conjecture upon though :)

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 14, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@pronoysircar on (November 14 2012, 08:45 AM GMT) In Sydney grade cricket got to play with and against some that became or were previously a bit special. When you see what that tiny difference is you maybe notice it ( at least I tried/try to ). lol ..... maybe a thinking bowler ;) In short a nobody who writes badly, yet loves this game passionately, played it so long I broke family records (lol not so easy in my family).

Anyway this match and fast bowling :) I was impressed with Pattinson and as always that I've seen, Morkel just a foot either side of perfect length. Siddle tried as did Steyn, Hilf hid effectively.... Thought after that first horror day Klienveldt bowled ok. So strange no real swing for either side - weird weather conditions. I'm pretty sure that with so many genuine swing bowlers it should have .

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 14, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

@splitvocal..... the Saffers were to win by a road (street) according to any Englishmen or Indian, the game lost 2 sessions and South Africa were 50 odd ahead with 5 wickets in hand 4 if JP does not bat. other than Australia who in the last 12 months has taken it to the Saffers ??????

Posted by crh8971 on (November 14, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa - I know you are probably trying to get a rise out of a few of us Aussies but I think you actually raise a good point. Both teams played some good cricket and both played some bad in the first test. There was a bit of luck involved both ways and a combination of the weather, the pitch and the performance of the teams conspired to produce a draw. We can analyse the game all we like about who takes the advantage going into the second test but the reality is the scoreboard says nil all. we would be completely naive to believe that South Africa wont come back hard. They are not the number one team for no reason and any team with Steyn and Morkel will always be a threat. Nice to see you actually attempt some aggressive cricket though. Australia was definitely the more entertaining of the two teams at the GABBA.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 9:49 GMT)

Aussasinator - so the world knows that Clarke can't play a rising ball to save his life. You would think, then, that during his innings totalling over 1000 runs since January at an average of 110+, the world might have thrown down the odd short pitched one to test him out.

Spelele - Love your theory. If Day 2 hadn't been washed out then SA would have scoired 600+, and if the tealeaves had aligned the right way Kallis And Amla would have known that the washout was coming and would have scored 500 before lunch on the first day. Actually, by my reckoning, if SA had got anywhere near 600 it would have taken the best part of 3 days anyway.

The most annoying thing about idiots is that so few of them can recognise this most endearing character trait in themselves.

Posted by Meety on (November 14, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

@Wesley Lazarus - I was agreeing with you until "...the stark reality here is for Australia the performance was as good as it can get..." That comment is completely baseless. If you draw a line over the last 3 tests between these teams (the most relevant form guide). It is 1 all, with Oz getting the better of a draw. Yes the Saffas were a batsmen down, JP may of got a duck or he may of scored a ton. I think his injury DID impact on the Saffas mind set, they didn't attack on Day 3 - although some of that was due to good bowling. But back to the point, Oz have beaten the Saffas in the last 3 matches, & I would argue that Oz's pace attack was below their best on Day 1. Pretending Jp Duminy was NOT hurt, AND that Oz took all their chances, your mob COULD of been bowled out for 300 & lost by an innings! (That is a stretch, but completely possible based on best case scenarios). So I would say Oz can certainly bowl better & I believe if Punter gets past the first 20 balls, he'll score heavily

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 14, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

@ Bonehead_maz : Wait a second. You played against McGrath? Exactly who are you? and more pertinently, have I been guilty of preaching to the choir? :P. My apologies if I have indeed preached to the choir. If you have batted against McGrath, and found that he could only bore you out, then I'll take your word for it . Statistics is for non playing watchers like me :P. Incidentally, I might have had a bright cricketing career myself, if a chronic chucking problem that would not even be covered by even a 30 degree arm rule surfaced around the time I was 12, and it still persists.

Posted by mateyman on (November 14, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

@ Wesley Lazarus, Australia bowling on a "zippy" deck were they? Why did they get most of their wickets on the 3rd day, when SA allowed the Cowan/Clarke partnership to really start? This: Australia get SA out for 450 means Australia bowled badly SA can't get Australia out because pitch is a road etc. is absolutely wrong Also, those saying, "Australia can't get any better etc. when we were 3/40 proves just how little those people know. There is just as much room for our top 3 to improve as SA's bowlers

Posted by PFEL on (November 14, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

@RightArmEverything, declaring behind would be absolutely pointless, as would declaring without enough of a lead that you expect not to have to bat again. You'd just have to make the runs in the second dig anyway, so might as well make them while you are already out there with set batsmen and not risk a possible loss. If we had an extra day or so Pup would have batted on for a 200+ lead before declaring probably, giving enough time to knock over the 10man SA batting side.

Posted by splitvocal on (November 14, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

all i can say is australia couldnt beat a team with 10 men!! wheres the momentum in that

Posted by raj_24 on (November 14, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

When Australia bowled in first inn. it was said it was bad bowling etc.

When Australia batted it was labelled a road national highway etc.

Truth is the so called and over rated RSA attack failed completely.

Clarke batted beautifully.

Austrlaia and england have much much better back ups in pace bowling than RSA.

Australia win in Adelaide and WACA to go either way.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

There is no bones about the collective bowling performance, but the same bowlers have had games like that before and bounced back, I know it is trite to start proclaiming that the walls are coming down, and they may very well come down but there are still tests to come and I am not one for prophecy. So I break it down like this, Australia did allow us on a green deck with zip and bounce to get 450 with out a batsmen contributing, so it may very well have been 500-600 runs scored on a greenish surface, they then recovered a dire 40/3 brilliantly and made our bowlers wave the white flag which I haven't really since since our Kolkata defeat to India, but the stark reality here is for Australia the performance was as good as it can get while the Protea's can only get better. I just hope those calling Steyn, Morkel and notably Philander average don't have to have humble pie by the time the series closes, which is a very big possiblity as well.

Posted by KK_Cricket on (November 14, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

Poor from SA.. Clarke making 259 is fine but not playing Tahir was a blunder.. Of course the 1 player difference made it look bad for SA and very good for AUS.. Why cant Phangiso be in the test squad? He bowls well and can contain a few free flowing Aussies... SA need a good spinner or two in their squad.. Phangiso can trouble the Aussies for sure..

Posted by Meety on (November 14, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

@ Percy_Fender on (November 14 2012, 02:58 AM GMT) - bollocks. Check the weather conditions for Brisbane in the fortnight leading up to the Test! It was below average temps & buggar all humidity. So the pitch didn't have the spice & the ball didn't swing. That was why it was hard work for the bowlers - that said, Oz have a pretty good pace attack - why would we nullify it?

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 14, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

Now that the dust has settled after the first Test, as a Saffa Im pretty happy. Our bowlers didnt bowl well, the pitch wasnt that bad and we picked Kleinveld instead of Tahir who was rubbish and we lost JP which had an impact on us. Clarke, Cowan and Hussey batted really well - ALL THIS AND WE STILL GOT A DRAW. Now youve got to be happy about that if you are a saffa. Im loving all this ozzie talk of our bowling attack being rubbish and not that good, its the exact motivation our boys need to come steaming back. I dare the next groundsmen to prepare a remotely lively track, dare them !!!!! Will Clarke and co. repeat their heroics??? Time will tell but our boys pride has been dented and they are coming back.

Posted by anver777 on (November 14, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

A good effort by Aus !!! Cowan, Clarke & Mr.cricket Hussey positive approach made SA struggle for a survival in the end..... for the 2nd test SA need to add some spin to their attack to stop Aus's run flowing.... I wonder SA is not playing positively in this series and playing for a draw to keep in tact their No.1 spot

Posted by Marcio on (November 14, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

@Percy_Fender, you are just grasping at straws. While the Gabba is usually lively the first two sessions, it has a history of flattening out - e.g. England's 1/500 there in the last Ashes in their second dig. The rest of your post just sounds like sour grapes. Australia's strength is also fast bowling, so why would they deliberately produce a flat deck? CA is not sitting around in smoke-filled rooms presiding over the fate of all game preparations, and firing off secret memos to curators demanding conditions be set a ceratin way.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 14, 2012, 5:14 GMT)

Percy Fender. I completely disagree with your summation there. Australia rarely has green tops we dont have the climate to get enough water into pitches. Last year against India we served up 3 flat tracks in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and the bouncy Perth. Tracks are consistent year in , year out. Two years ago Alistair Cook 240 on this track. The next test at Adelaide will be flat because it always is (however is a drop-in wicket for the first time and will vary only slightly from the norm). When we get to Perth it will be the same bouncy track that we always serve up. Every year the tracks are the same and this pitch wasnt changed because the South Africans were here. I think people have read too much into the state of the pitches for recent shield games but when it comes to test cricket you will always get the same as the year before.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 14, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

@ too many to remember - the several beers coming before the conversation lol.

My "crazy " opinions formed by thinking "how would I go against this man". Times change, conditions change, cricket doesn't. Is it possible that this era of Steyn and Anderson (I agree they're best around for last few years) there are no great bowlers ? 20 wickets available every match no matter how bad the individuals are. Someone's got to take some. I think /feel..... just IMAGINE how you'd go against this ? and then decide ...... insane I know..... ! But I know (at least to me) that guys like Holding who were never world's best are WAY better than these.......

Posted by Andross on (November 14, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

@Percy_Fender You may be quite right in saying that the Gabba wicket was designed to nullify the pace attack of the Saffas, but the rest of your argument is illogical, if it was a road as you were saying, then why not did South Africa score 600+ given that they batted on the same pitch? SA did not bowl well in Brisbane, taking only 4 wickets to the Australians 14; whether that changes further on in the series remains to be seen, but Aus well and truly had the measure of SA in this test.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (November 14, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

Re Sth Af, I'm surprised that De Villiers keeps wicket for tests given that he will prob be captain when Smith is gone. He's obviously capable but I'd have thought starting to find the next long term keeper now would be a good idea. Being a top 5 bat (prob top 4 when Kallis retires), WK AND captain would be a heavy load. It's a luxury to have Duminy (or another batsman) at no.7. I think not picking Tahir was a bad decision, especially if they'd had to bowl on day 5. The fact that Duminy (only a part-time spinner) got injured just highlights that. With Steyn, Morkel, Philander and Kallis, you already have 4 fast/medium bowlers.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (November 14, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

Like many others on here, I think people criticising the pitch are forgetting the day lost to rain. Re Clarke's declaration, I wondered if it would happen in the last session on day 4, behind on runs, to allow more time to bowl them out and set up a quick chase - maybe that would have been too risky?

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

The facts are simple here people. South Africa 14/616 at a run rate of 2.8 averaging 44 per wicket. Australia 4/565 at a run rate of 4.09 averaging 141.25 per wicket. One team played to win this game, and that team will end the series victorious.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 14, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

Flander's average jumped nearly 2 points after this match. 15.9 to 17.6

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 14, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

@ pronoysircar on (November 14 2012, 01:11 AM GMT)

The young Sachin is second best batsman I ever saw bat after Barry Richards. I was lucky enough to be in Perth (as well as Sydney) on his first tour here. When art is lost because professional sport takes over, I always get sad..... I am VERY old fashioned.... And lol don't bother rating Wasim with Mcgrath.... (incomparable - one could bowl really well and the other - who I often played against could only bore you to death) Wasim didn't bowl as well as Waqar and the effectiveness shows when making that comparison. Waqar and Malcolm Marshall are only better fast bowlers I've seen that to me are better than Lillee.

Sometimes watching proves wrong, but usually those that look better ARE better ? I learned to think like this, by watching some of the greatest cricketers ever, when they were making selections. @ Meety - dead right I never rated Greenidge or Gavaskar either - picked Anwar as my opener from best ever seen.

Posted by crh8971 on (November 14, 2012, 3:15 GMT)

@pronoysircar - whilst I have some sympathy for Bonehead when he says that stats aren't the be all and end all like you I think it is very hard to ignore Steyn's record. You don't take 5 wickets per match over 58 tests at better then 24 unless you are a very, very good test match bowler. I also remember having the impression of Steyn on his last tour to Aus that his real strength was bowling sustained pace, over long spells with great control and accuracy and well remember his performance at the MCG where he took the 10. Who is the better bowler out of Steyn and Donald sounds like a conversation to be had over several beers. Pattinson could be better than both of them though!

Posted by Percy_Fender on (November 14, 2012, 2:58 GMT)

The wicket was in stark contrast to the kind normally served out to visiting teams to Australia when matches do not last the distance. The reason for that was to nullify South Africa's pace attack and ensuring that the home batsmen do well. Clarke is an excellent batsman in any any condition but I am not convinced that Cowan would have prospered in the manner he did but for the flat track before him. Batting second was an advantage for the Australians. Losing Duminy made a big difference to the Saffas because he was an ideal bat in these conditions apart from being a more than capable spin bower which they could have done with. I wonder if Australia will mull serving up green tops to nullify South African batting. That is a possibility considering how Pattinson almost came to fisticuffs in this game. But let them be forewarned. Steyn and Co have not yet bowled a decent length so far. When they do things could get hot for the Australians. Even if there are only 2 tests left.

Posted by   on (November 14, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

I thought it was a great test match with all the twists and turns and drama you like to see between two teams who love to compete against each other. In so many ways it proved why these are the 2 teams vying for the no. 1 world ranking . As for the level of "debate" and opinion on this site, all I can say is this - "On the internet you can be anything you want. It's strange that so many people choose to be stupid." (not sure who to attribute that quote to). People, a bit more respect and a lot less jingoism - cricket is a fantastic GAME! Don't lose sight of that.

Posted by Chris_P on (November 14, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

@Spelele. So, after day 1, South Africa managed 12 for 360 runs and you call that a road? I got to see how the world looks from your side of things!

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 14, 2012, 1:11 GMT)

@Bonehead_maz : Ok, frankly, it feels so weird having to defend McGrath or Steve Waugh from an Aussie, that I won't even attempt to do it. You seem to rate players on the the aesthetic component, and that is totally fine. But here , I would also like to point out to you that cricket is a sport, not an art form. The aim of a batsman is to score runs, the aim of a bowler is to take wickets. If they look good while doing it, then thats good, but most people will rate cricketers on their effectiveness. I mean, does Sachin's batting please as much as a Martyn or a Laxman? No. But still, he is the greatest batsman of the modern era , because he is more effective than any batsman of the modern era. By extension, in my book, there was and never will be any fast bowler like Wasim Akram, because he literally could make any batsman look sill. But I would still rate McGrath as the greater bowler. But I respect people who don't look at numbers at all. The world is too preoccupied with numbers today

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 14, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

@Bonehead_maz : I checked the score card for his ten wicket test. You should too. His middle innings spells where he took bucketloads of wickets were 6 - 8 overs , once again showing what I have been saying. He is simply an awesome bowler if he has been bowling for some time. I say, its time Smith the captain got out of his blinkered and conservative mindset. He is what every South African captain I have seen has been. Going through the motions. He might inspire, but tactically, at least with respect to Steyn, he has shown a remarkable lack of insight.

Posted by PFEL on (November 14, 2012, 0:19 GMT)

@ spelele, you obviously didn't watch the match and are just reading off the scores, the pitch was far from "a Road". It would have been an almost perfect 5-day result. SA's batting in the 2nd innings, the pitch was no different or any more "deteriorating" than when Aus were batting. The difference was intent from Aus bowlers and skipper, that SA lacked completely. as far as not reading into the results because of Duminy's injury, i think the fact that Australia made 3x the amount of runs per wicket should be very telling, and losing duminy to injury has little to no effect on that stat.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 14, 2012, 0:19 GMT)

@ pronoysircar on (November 13 2012, 20:50 PM GMT)

lol yeah I know - use of stats is hardly ever a legitimate thing to do. I judge cricketers not by their records but by watching them play. I (and I did say personally) don't rate Steyn as high as his numbers or the majority of the world would expect. To put that into perspective I have always thought Donald was a better bowler. I am "out there" in my opinions based on "feel" I never rated McGrath or S Waugh either. Doesn't mean I don't truly believe in what I think /feel.

I do also sometimes think people adopt popular opinion rather than forming one. In this match I watched the "world's best batsman" bat twice with a partner who to me, looked a full class above........

Anyway - hope you enjoyed the game. :) Pity the pitch was underdone by the weather and even bigger pity that the box of Kookaburra's at the ground didn't seem to swing.

Posted by PFEL on (November 14, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

@ jango_moh --> that's probably because the pitch really wasn't that flat. I watched the whole match, Kallis and Amla batted really well but the aussie bowlers did a great job for most of the match (other than day 1). Most of the comments about the pitches flatness come from the Aus innings (particularly day 4), but the fact was the pitch was NOT THAT FLAT. SA bowlers were ordinary, except for Morkel, and the tactics/aggression/field placings and captaincy by Smith were PATHETIC. In stark contrast to Clarke's methods

Posted by Meety on (November 13, 2012, 23:12 GMT)

@ pronoysircar on (November 13 2012, 20:50 PM GMT) - whilst I agre with what you say, the reality is IF the only times you see a player when they haven't been at their best, you would naturally not think as highly of him compared to others who you've seen do better. In Oz, I never saw Murali at his best - I accept he is a great, but really didn't achieve anything more than a Shield trundler in Oz could of. BTW - IMO, Steyn is the best in the world fullstop. @mikey76 on (November 13 2012, 18:22 PM GMT) - yet we out performed your "great" bowling attack from just a couple of months ago. Watch out when we get good players, we'll be #1 for ten years!

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 13, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

@Bonehead_maz : lol. I don't really think that is a legit thing to do :P. If you take away all the hundreds Ricky Ponting has scored, he has scored 7000 odd runs at an average of 33. That surely doesn't look like the stats of one of the greatest of his era. And if you take away all the 4 wickets or better in an innings performances by warne, his average shoots up to a rather ugly 39. The thing is that the best players are only the best on an average. If one says that Steyn is the best bowler, it is the statement that on a given day Steyn is most likely to deliver as a bowler. And that is what statistics gives us. The likelihood of a good performance from a given player. And that statistical information is composed of both his best days and how worst days. You cannot take away his best days and say that his statistics on his bad days were bad. They are supposed to be.

Posted by Meety on (November 13, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

@Spelele on (November 13 2012, 15:13 PM GMT) - FACT! Saffa's run rate FELL on Day 3! @Biggus on (November 13 2012, 11:44 AM GMT) - "...Chux in a puddle of Passiona..." - brilliant!

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 13, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Bowling wise - the thing that amazed me most on this match was that in the whole match the new ball barely and rarely swung. This is Brisbane we are talking about !!!! With a normal amount of Brisbane swing this "road" lol would suddenly have many more teeth. Swing with a new ball after all has NOTHING to do with the pitch.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 13, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

@ pronoysircar on (November 13 2012, 11:15 AM GMT)

:) I of course didn't see those matches you mention (although later saw some video of Nagpur match - Still can't believe there weren't lots of complaints about that ball change). I have only watched Steyn bowl against Australia. Maybe it's only against Australia that Smith uses him in short sharp bursts ? I am not getting at anything other than I didn't see his spell lengths in this match as unusual compared to the 3 previous tests he played in this country. Steyn has twice got "5 for" in those 4 matches - twice in the same game 10/91 when Morkel terrorized everyone and got 3. In his other 3 matches in this land, he has taken 9/509.... .... back in the "good old days" that wouldn't count as world's best bowler.

Posted by mikey76 on (November 13, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

Lyon has the cutting edge of a rusty spoon. Fifth day pitch and he prizes 2 wickets out, one of those was a bad shot. Hilfenhaus is about as menacing as Jonathan Trott with a side strain, while Siddle bowls about as bad as he looks. Pattinson looks good but no doubt will pull up injured soon. Aus are kidding themselves if they think they can be the best team in the world. Two good batsman and one good bowler ain't gonna cut it.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 13, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

Firstly I expected a result here, next I expected it would be SA raking up the runs and Aus fighting for a draw. The last thing I expected was the Steyn and co being taken apart and SA fighting for a draw. Its the beauty of test cricket when the big boys get on the park. Aus were absolutely sensational after SA got to 250+ for 2 and then having the Aussies 40/3. From then on it was a different game and the disdain with which the SA bowlers were treated will concern SA. Another point is Aus got 15 wickets while SA got only 5. Aus go to Adelaide with confidence and it should be another high scoring affair.

Posted by getsetgopk on (November 13, 2012, 16:41 GMT)

For a moment I thought Auss dont have it this time around but boy they are still kicking it as hard as they supposed to be. Clark is a class fighter. Pity I cant catch the live action because of the different time zones. SA will be fully awake by now and will have to get their hands dirty if they wana get out of it in one piece. All hail test cricket.

Posted by jango_moh on (November 13, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

i saw some of the match, it was very absorbing on the last day, AUS were really aggresive, i thot both teams played well, although i expected SA seamers to do better, definitely a boost to AUS before the 2nd test..... BTW, as an Indian fan, i have to say this... the pitch was FLAT!!!!! i dont see too many comments about the flatness of the pitch... obviously bcos its not in the subcontinent... i hope ppl r consistent about flatness of pitches wherever it is, infact i feel if the bounce is true like it was on this one, its easier to bat on than a subcontinent flat pitch where bounce is less.... overall, a pretty good game, hoping to see a good series!!

Posted by Aussasinator on (November 13, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

The South Africans lack aggression and thinking, in bowling. their pacers can be a lot more hostile than they looked. They were bowling drivable length balls to Clarke and Hussey when the world knows that Clarke cant play the rising ball to save his life. The SAFs seem to have fallen for the verbal, misleading mindgames of the Aussie captain and coach in the prelude to the test. the Aussies cleverly made the SAFs abandon their aggressive, bouncy swinging bowling and made them resort to line and length. All said and done, the SAFs are pretty dumb and the series will be over by the time they realise it. A golden opportunity to beat a lesser team would have been lost.

Posted by OzWally on (November 13, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Much pontificating on why SA (after England and India) struggle once they reach #1. The reality is Australia had no problems maintaining that mantle for near on a decade and only lost it after 8 of their 11 retired at the same time (only Ponting, Hussey & Clarke remain). But don't worry, we've almost finished reloading and you guys won't have to worry about "the pressure of being #1" again until around 2020.

Posted by RandyozSenior on (November 13, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

We are going to loose the series 2-0 no doubt. thats what happened after winning the perth test last year.

Posted by Spelele on (November 13, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

Hahaha, please people! Since when is a farcical match on a road when one of the teams had lost one of their premier batsmen (and bowling option) an indication from which to draw inferences for the rest of the series?

Yes, the pitch was a road, and was pretty disappointing! To those who use the loss of Day 2 as an excuse, please, SA would have batted very differently had a day not been lost! They would have piled up 600 or so, and AUS (with their incredible batting this match) would have piled up a similar score. This pitch was clearly a 600/8 decl type of pitch, but various factors such as attacking intent and the loss of Duminy led to SA being bowled out for less.

FACT is: Wickets fell on Day 3 when SA were trying to up the rate, and on Day 5 when there was some minor deterioration on the pitch. Outside of that, not many wickets fell as the pitch offered nothing. Let's get some 250 - 300 all out pitches going please! Shield is getting them; why not this series?

Posted by aa61761 on (November 13, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

SA was playing one batsman short and even then Aus was not able to beat them. I don't see Aus winning this series. Time will tell.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

why south Africa didn't play tahrir or any other specialist spinner???that hurt them much....the bowling looked same all through....all the main bowlers are world class pacers but u need variations to strict Australian line up...i hope smith & selection committee will look at that & play spinners....GD LUCK SA...:D

Posted by marlboro19 on (November 13, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

SA were playing for a draw from day one. Kallis with a strike rate of 40+ is not going to WIN matches for SA , that much is evident. Some enthusiastic SA fans would compare him to Lara, Ponting or Tendulkar , but i would argue that Sehwag with an avg of 51 and strike rate of 80+ is far superior than Kallis. Kallis epitomizes SA attitude - play slow, play safe , build stats.

Posted by Sinhaya on (November 13, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

I think if not for rain on day 2, this game was for Australia to win. I think SA missed a trick by not playing a spinner like Tahir. Also, this excellent performance by the Aussies is a real warning for the Lankans as to what to expect next month. Honestly as a Lankan I want Australia to thrash Sri Lanka 3-0 in tests and inside 3 days. Why? I am very very angry with my senior players Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan etc for not protesting about our cricket board culling off test matches next year from our schedule (2 tests against WI and 3 against SA). When Aussies clobber us, then only will our players realize the value of test cricket and regret their decision. Australia is simply the best in test cricket.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

I'm very happy with the way Clarke is leading the team on the field. I just have one question, why didn't he have a bowl today? The way Lyon was bowling he would surely have been more likely to pick a wicket than Quiney? Also nice to see Lyon knock over Rudolph with a new variation, he could have taken a whole bag full of wickets perhaps given the extra two sessions that weren't made up.. Bring on Adelaide!

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

Australlia was clearly the better team, but they need few chnages. Starc or hazel wood should play instead of Hilfy who lacks pace to cause any serious threat and then warner should make way for cosgrove.

Posted by jlw74 on (November 13, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

Very interesting and enjoyable test match such a shame that day 2 was washed out. The no ball situation became a bit farcical in the end and believe that for the sake of millimetres common sense should prevail meaning that the bowler should be able to own the line batsman get too much of a leg up in modern day cricket. The deck started to get exciting yesterday with a few gremlins and again what a difference it would have made if we didn't lose an entire day.(for both sides) Michael Clarke's innings was one of the best captains knocks you will ever see from 3-40 and walking off at 5-563 simply amazing with strokeplay that was just divine. James Pattinson continues to impress and am very happy for Ed Cowen knew he was under pressure but I like him in the side. Also have a feeling that if this is the last time Kallis tours Australia its a tour and series that will be spoken about for a long time he looks in imperious touch. Bring on Adelaide.

Posted by hris on (November 13, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Hilfy looked so mediocre in this test, Reminiscent of 2010 ashes. Hope its just one match. Siddle looks decent. I would love to see Pattinson, Starc, and Cummins together. They are still the 3 best fast bowlers we got and they form a varied pace attack. But their fitness is an issue. Siddle, hilfy look very durable. So for now they should stay. Still dont understand how Ben Cutting gets ignored.

Posted by RFC73 on (November 13, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Definately advantage Australia as SA's main weakness is exposed. Their first XI is probably the best in the world but they lack depth. Steve Finn v Kleinveldt as a reserve fsat bowler? No contest! And now JP is injured who do they bring in - Du Plessis or Elgar ? Having seen both in england when they were walking wickets, neither is going to be a threat to Australia (nor are they as good as Johnny Bairstow) You need more than a great first I to stay as world no 1

Posted by jb633 on (November 13, 2012, 13:51 GMT)

RandyOz- people will only ever listen to your opinions if you are consistent. When Oz were having a poor first two days you were nowhere to be seen. The best Aussie fans to listen to by a mile are Meety and Marcio. It really bores me on this site all the trash talking, would far rather listen to people with a decent knowledge of the game and give some constructive criticism and praise where it is due. I completley concede that this batting performace from Oz far outstripped anything we managed in the SA series. The margin between Eng and Oz has narrowed massivley since the last ashes series but Aus have to prove it by beating us. I am sure any reasoned Aussie fan would agree with this. I admit some of the England comments here are trash too, how anyone could suggest that Aus did not have the better of this game is beyond me. Australia should not write off this SA side yet though as I do not think they will bowl as bad as this again. My prediction is 1-0 Aus this series

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

It seems everyone is ignoring the affect that the loss of Duminy's bowling had. While he is not a front line spinner the coaching team would not have dropped Tahir if they knew his off-breaks would not be available. It is certain that they were relying on him to spin a decent number of overs if required - which it was! The criticism of the fast bowlers is fair in that they did not bowl with enough discipline for long enough as you have to on such tracks. But on the other hand Clarke and Co batted really well and with your debut bowler (Kleinveldt) and make-shift spinners bombing it makes it really hard for the front line bowlers to keep the pressure on. Another thing that is being ignored is how both AB and Kallis gave their wickets away in the 1st innings. Unforced batting errors. Oz won 2 days and SA won 1 day with Day 2 being shared. Things need to improve but it is hardly a train smash as some people are carrying on.

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

@RandyOZ Right on! Not only that, but Lyon also took more wickets in this series than Ajmal, Ashwin, Narine or Vettori!!!!! No doubt at all who's the best spinner in the world at the moment! Impeccable logic mate

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

@thebarmyarmy...you obviously did not watch or read about the game. Had there been an extra day Clarke would have continued on and set them 280-300 in 3.5 sessions instead!

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

why have the useless ricky in the team.He's like Harbhajan singh of India-OUTDATED

Posted by Marcio on (November 13, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

I would have given the MOM to Cowan. It was he who faced the SA new ball and took it to Steyn and Morkel, and shifted the momentum of the game. @Hammond, nice to see you saying some nice things about AUS. I agree it was a gutsy performance to come back when they were on the ropes. Like Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle! I'm not prediciting any Aussie series victory, however. I just hope we get two good games and compete well. SA are deservedly the #1 team. It was pure foolhardiness by some SA fans to predict a demolition of AUS in Brisbane, where they haven't lost for well over two decades.

Posted by Simoc on (November 13, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

After all that it appears the teams are more evenly matched than I thought. Good to see Pattinson having a go though he may be rested for Perth now. Cowhan was excellent and the SAs went back into their shells when-ever the pressure went on. Its' worked for them so far. The highlights for Oz were the form of Clarke & Cowhan under pressure while Kaillis and Amla were working as usual for SA. Things should liven up from now on.

Posted by Marcio on (November 13, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

Well, I did say that SA were being way over-hyped before the game, and the predicted ego-fall materialised. They just took AUS way too lightly, were too defensive, and AUS fought all the way and controlled 3/4 days of the test. That really is bad for SA - now AUS have confidence. Having said this, it's now a 50/50 call for the series, I reckon. Another prediction - that in AUS Philander would have to settle on being a support bowler to Steyn and Morkel, has certainly materialised in his first two games (no wickets). I read the first day wicket very wrong, though, and Smith got it right by batting. But it wasn't a total road. By the 2nd day of play (day 3) the AUS bowlers were getting a fair bit of zip off it, and it got quicker as the game went on. The fact is, in this game the batsmen on both sides had a HUGE amount of good fortune, and that made the pitch look more placid than it was. It was definitely batter-friendly, but no road in the end.

Posted by cool2cool on (November 13, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

@RandyOZ: Mate, I can understand your feelings. You have struggled against one team at their home (your best batsman scored 17 runs in 2001 in 3 test match series), kicked you out of 2011 WC, even their under 19 team beat you in U19 WC final. Against other team, you have lost 3-4 series in a row.

Posted by SnowSnake on (November 13, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

@Randy OZ: It is too early to say anything about Australia. One strong performance masks all problems. Australia is playing in Australia so they are really good at playing at home as most teams are in recent times. It is hard to pick a good team now-a-days. No sooner a team gets to #1 ICC rank, its decline begins. Australia will hardly be an imposing #1 if it gets there. Its fast bowling is hardly superior as it used to be. Its good batsmen are all in their 30s so their decline is just around the corner. Given so many average teams around the world, the bar for great team has been lowered. Australia has crossed that low bar. Relatively it is a better team but not the best in absolute terms. It has a long way to go to be the best, if anything like that can ever be achieved in today's cricket environment filled with T20 league games.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (November 13, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

I've just opened thislink from the USA to see how it panned out (England fan) and there are 3 posts from Rangy0z talking about England, the word obsession comes to mind. Clarke is a great captain it seems.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (November 13, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

good effort by the aussies to gain momentum for the next test. one change needs to be made immdeiately starc in for hilfenhaus. hilfy has gone back to his slow and predictable ashes form. I say drop him and make him prove his pace in shield cricket. starc is in good form, fast, young, and most importantly is the kind of reliable inswinging lefty that mitchell johnson wishes he was. as for ponting, warner and quiney i would give them another chance in the next game but more failure they should be dropped

Posted by Inducker on (November 13, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

@discoBob. Let's see. Oz got the better of this one but even top sides don't perform all the time e.g. Oz in SA wining 4 and losing the 5th in Durban and they had a patchy record in India. Also in a way SA have lost their front runner status and will play better for it.Touring sides often start indifferently. They also won't repeat their selection mistakes and will have an extra batsman. There are fine lines particularly on flat wickets - losing the breakthrough via a noball can be costly as Siddle found. Oz were nearly 4/110 and I doubt whether Clark would have batted freely from that position. The great pity for him is he made such a big score and the end result is only a draw - what a waste of an innings! I thought SA rolled with punches quite well. Don't expect Steyn to go wicketless the whole series and please keep on underestimating SA's bowlers Ian Chappell!

Posted by heathrf1974 on (November 13, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

A concern for SA is Philander 0/103 for the match. They need a spinner next match and a specialist wicket-keeper to ease the workload for the de Villiers.

Posted by CustomKid on (November 13, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

@Daniel Edwards you're kidding right? Or maybe you're related to Dan. I'm a South Aussie and support the rubber backs (red backs), Dan Christian is barely of shield quality let alone test material. He's got 97 FC wickets @ 35 a piece. The saffas would dine on his pies all day long. God forbid he gets a spot in the test team. His style suits the short form of the game where variation is required but he lacks the ability to consistently put it on the spot and ask questions over the long form of the game which is a must for tests. As for his batting that too is more miss than hit with a FC average of 29. Test team? No thanks.

Posted by CustomKid on (November 13, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

@Tommytuckersaffa - change your tune much? After day 1 your team is the greatest sporting nation on earth. By day 5 which is actually a day 4 pitch your team is fighting to hold out for a draw and you're blaming the grounds man! Perhaps take those blinkers off for a moment and look at your bowlers efforts. They took 1 wicket in almost 5 sessions conceding over 4 runs an over. The australians took 5 wickets this afternoon and didn't seem to have any real issues on the same deck. I'm not dissing your team as they are an outstanding unit but give me a break by having a dig at Kevin Mitchell junior for a poor deck. If day 2 wasn't washed out in all probability there would have been a result. Which team would have won I don't know, but just because it wasnt the mine field everyone initially predicted doesn't mean it was a bad deck. It had bounce for the spinners and accurate pace bowlers, runs for the batsman who applied themselves. One side took 14 wickets it can't be that bad!

Posted by Hammond on (November 13, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

Welcome back Randy, went awol for a while I see. Back in fine fettle. Please don't take away my joy at a very dominant Australian performance.

Posted by Hammond on (November 13, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

@thebarmyarmy- in all honesty, that was a silly comment. An extra day would have seen an Aussie victory after the way that Australia batted, Clarke would have got a triple century and probably a 250+ lead with Australia still to in their second dig.

Posted by Beertjie on (November 13, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

@Meety, mate I agree with you that taking a bit of confidence from this game is all that Oz can reasonably hope for. We remember how after coming sooo desperately close to winning at Cardiff in '09 we lost at Lords. @Bonehead_maz on (November 13 2012, 08:29 AM GMT), like you I've thought that about Steyn but never posted it for fear of being considered a sour grapes Oz supporter. He's damn good but Donald may end up being considered better.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

I really hope Dan Christian get a shot over Rob Quiney much better bowler and yes i know hit batting is a bit up and down but very useful with the ball and that is what aust seem to be needing atm.

Posted by Biggus on (November 13, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

I said in my post after day one that it had been an odd day of cricket, the most perplexing aspect of which was the Saffers not putting us to the sword when I felt they could have, and this is still the lingering memory of the game for me. They are on paper a fine team indeed, but what on Earth posessed them to go so easy on us on that first afternoon? One-eyed Aussie partisans will correct me be replying that the bowling wasn't really that bad, but it was pedestrian and unfocused, let's face it, and the only excuse for poor scoring rates might perhaps be found in the pitch being a little slow and the ball not coming on to the bat, but that's clutching at straws as well, when you only have to deal with Quiney or Hussey. So I'm still perplexed, and whilst I do expect them to come back hard at us I do also want to see some more intent, since I assure you that given the slightest sniff of a victory our guys will suck it up faster than a Chux in a puddle of Passiona.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 13, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

Where are all the poms gone? Note Lyon taking more wickets than Swann in the entire series!

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 13, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

Absolute domination by the mighty Australia. Makes the minnows contest in India look embarrassing.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 13, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

Another domination by Australia's batsmen and bowlers. How poor does this make England look!

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 13, 2012, 11:27 GMT)

@Handalf The-Bez :That is exactly why Smith doesn't please me as a captain. He has no tactical astuteness. This might be a new ball pitch for the ordinary bowler, but Dale Steyn is the kind of once in a generation fast bowler who can make the ball talk on any surface. The only thing about him is, he is not Wasim Akram. He is a clever bowler who will work the batsman out , but over a period of time. He won't bowl a mesmerizing ball out of the blue that will leave everyone stunned. Smith is trying to conserve Steyn till the second new ball, whereas, really, with a bowler like him in his ranks, he should be looking to get the opposition at least 6 down before 80 overs. A winning strategy is a strategy that wins in every situation, and Steyn is Smith's winning strategy, no matter what the pitch looks like. Unfortunately for the saffas, Smith the captain is not much different from Ponting the captain : One dimensional captain in charge of an extraordinary team.

Posted by srriaj317 on (November 13, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

To those harping about Duminy's injury - yes, it might have affected the Saffer's mindset but wouldn't have made a decisive difference to the game. He was replaced on the field by Faf du Plessis who is one of the best fielders in the world and he stopped some rasping drives from Clarke and Hussey going to the boundary. Duminy's bowling while being the only major spinner wouldn't still have troubled the set batsmen much. The only contribution I could have seen is about 40-odd runs in the 1st innings which would only have made the game longer and the possibility of a draw higher. Get over it.

Posted by Supa_SAFFA on (November 13, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

A great opening flourish by AUS, but SA will return close to full strength in the middle game. Grandmasters win in the endgame.

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 13, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

@ Bonehead_maz : The fact of the matter is that he is what you call a thinking bowler. He works the batsman out, and that is simply not possible when he is only seeing the batsman for 3 overs, and then not bowling at him for the next 15 overs at all. A Michael Clarke batting on 75 is a different batsman than a Michael Clarke batting on 25. So really, do your research before randomly suggesting that Dale Steyn is not to be rated too highly. Not only is he the best bowler in the world right now, but by the time he hangs up his boots, he may well be the greatest fast bowler of all time. And I am not the only one who says that.

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 13, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

@Bonehead_maz : Not sure what you are trying to get at. Steyn used to bowl in short sharp bursts behind the lead of Ntini in 2006. We are talking about the Steyn that terrorized batsmen the world over 2007 - 2011. Steyn is the best bowler in the world, and seriously, it is juvenile of you to suggest that he will "fold" if he has to do all the work. Remember 7 - 51 against India at Nagpur? I remember it very well, being an Indian. His opening spell was 9 overs long. Again, remember India vs SA in cape town, India's first innings? A contest so memorable that I remember it being dubbed as "an immovable object meets an irresistible force" on some cricket website. Steyn positively breathed fire in that innings, and guess what, none of his spells were shorter than 5 overs. In fact, he had at least two seven over spells , counting the ones where he switched ends in the middle of a spell. Steyn actually excels only when he has prolonged shots at the batsmen

Posted by Bowler_Fetchez on (November 13, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

I firmly believe that SA played within themselves in this test. Especially in the bowling department. For me the bowlers just looked flat especially Dale Steyn. Vernon was just ordinary and Morne seemed to be the only bowler willing to play. But besides that, I think SA needs a keeper. I cannot remember AB scoring a 50 ever since taking the gloves from Boucher. So clearly keeping affects his batting. SA has depth of talent sitting on the wings waiting for a chance to play. But Gaza still gives preference to someone who is explicity vocal about his non-desire to kee if not the tried and tested(Thami). SA also needs to replace Rudolph - He's not going do anything special anytime soon. (Also tried and tested). The less said about Rory the better. Otherwise it was a good effort from SA considering the payed at one man disadvantage and away from home.

Posted by thebarmyarmy on (November 13, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

Shame there was'nt another day. Another hundred runs or so for SA and Australia would have been batting 2 sessions for survival.

Posted by hycIass on (November 13, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

@VivGilchrist and @Macca_Mat I take your critisms and will try to be more positive. The truth is that Cowan played well, and that Khawaja is among the best young batsman in the country. I did critise both these players over the last year but will give credit to both, Cowan got a century in a tough game and Khawaja is leading shield scorer this season averaging 50. My critisms of Khawaja's trigger movements were incorrect as well as he has scored on some tough decks this year showing he has a very good technique. Going forward will try to be more positve

Posted by Mary_786 on (November 13, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

@Hyclass on behalf of almost everyone on this site, can i say that you should be more positive in life. Cowan played well and desrves credit for his innings. Your constant critism of Khawaja on articles which have nothing to do with him with incorrect facts is also getting old. Khawaja is the leading run scorer in shield this year so not sure what more he should be doing. With regards Cowan he got runs against the best attack in the world so give credit where its due.

Posted by Meety on (November 13, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney on (November 13 2012, 08:35 AM GMT) - I think that losing JP Duminy really affected the Saffas mind set. Whilst I love going over what-ifs, that was the biggest game-changer for me.

Posted by viking_legend on (November 13, 2012, 10:50 GMT)

@disco_bob All i'm saying is that Mr Brettig is giving too much credit to Australia. As for the better team, time will tell

Posted by Meety on (November 13, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

@VivGilchrist on (November 13 2012, 09:34 AM GMT) - I am fairly certain the person you think is Hyclass is an impersonator! Note the I instead of the l!!!!3 @ Gupta.Ankur on (November 13 2012, 08:09 AM GMT) - do yourself & everybody else a favour & follow Baseball please! As others mentioned the pitches weren't spiced up for India & dulled down for Sth Africa. Fact - India did not play at the Gabba last year - so ABSOLUTELY ZERO comparisons can be made!

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

Very entertaining draw. I dont see anyone having any sort of advantage going into the adelaide test. The problem for australia was their first innings bowling, they were pitching it far too short, making me cringe nearly every delivery. Yet the problem with South Africas bowling is they have too much of a same ness to it, lacking variety. Steyn, Morkel, and Philander all bowl too close too the stumps. The only time in australia i saw SA having variety was 2008-09, when they had Steyn and Morkel, but they also had Ntini bowling from a totally different angle, and Harris bowling tidy. Not sure what to make of it, but AUS bowled SA out, and SA have Steyn who i rate highly. If SA dont fire up by the time perth comes around, i cant see them winning the series, that said, AUS havent done much wrong since Clarke has become captain, and he his far more imaginative then Smith

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Clarke is a slow captain one thinks...he should have declared late on teh fourth day for his bowlers to attempt a south african dismissal...and south africa seem to have lacked a spinner going in with five pacemen...when rain ruins one day than it is usually upto teh captains to do things a little faster..people would have come on teh final day if clarke had put the south africans in an hour before stumps on teh fourth and taken a couple of wickets...

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (November 13, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

I think it is safe to say Australia can claim the ascendency in this match, after firmly wrestling it from SA on Day 4. However, I would be cautious in deriving a prediction of the result in Adelaide.

I'd like to see Hilfenhaus dropped for Adelaide until he fixes his action - he looked pretty ordinary in this test and was possibly undercooked from a lack of long-from cricket. Starc will make a good replacement, and Hilf can come back when Pattinson is rested.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 13, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

Big luck here for the Aussies, it seems as if everything went in their favour this test. Hosping SA come back at them. Nice flat track first up so they can get a look at the bowlers... and a load of extra lives for the batsmen.

Posted by gdamsaaregood on (November 13, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

Well done to Aus - They showed the usual fight expected from an Australian Team (which seemed to be missing for the last couple of years) Clarke was sensational!!

Coming into this series, I thought it would be really tough for SA - They left England on a high (to claim the No1 Ranking) and this test would always be a tough ask for South Africa as the incentive to get to No 1 is now gone.. I feel that Australia with the home advantage and the added incentive to reach number 1 would blow SA away in the first test. For SA to come away unscathed is a great result. I really think SA will push on from here and just shade the series 1-0.

Good Luck to SA and Aus and may Test Cricket live on forever!!!

Posted by CustomKid on (November 13, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

just got to say how good is test cricket? Long live this grand game and i wished T20 would just roll over and die.

Nothing comes close to this great game. Very impressed with the Aussies second effort in the field, and at least SA have a fight on their hands.

Can't wait for my home test next week to see these guys go at it again. WHile I'm going for the aussies I'm stoked to see this superb SA team in action next week in the flesh, such a quality unit especially Hash Amla.

Aussie might have got it on points but it doesn't count for anything in 9 days time. 0-0 with two to play. Lets play

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

Well played by Clarke and his men... with that being said, SA did well to come away with a draw. Looking at some poor decisions being made, like leaving Tahir out. He hasn't had a Philander-like start to his test career but he has taken key wickets for SA at crucial times, think the likes of Prior and Bairstow in England just to name a couple. Smith made a terrible call leaving him out. And the misfortune of loosing Duminy, with Rudolph in horrible test knick, being a batsman light (especially of JP's skill) and the lack of decent spin in the SA line-up was bound to hurt us. Well the boys just need to chin up and look forward to Adelaide. Go Proteas!

Posted by dunger.bob on (November 13, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

@ Gupta.Ankur on (November 13 2012, 08:09 AM GMT): The way India played out here last time, they would have needed a bare concrete pitch to do any good. And, they would have been lucky to make 200 against either the Aussies or Saffers on THIS track. .... and, we don't doctor pitches here. We think about the good of the game, not the good of certain players stats. .... Changes for the second test: SA will surely play Tahir now so I suppose K will miss out. Other than that, I think they look pretty settled and should be fairly happy with their performance. Will DeVilliers keep keeping ? Is there a specialist keeper on tour ? Not that he went badly or anything, it's just that he's such a good bat. .. For the Aussies, I guess Watto will come in for Quiney (who is a cracking fieldsman btw) and possibly starc for Hilfy or Siddle. .. other than that, it looks to be steady as she goes for both sides. ... to wrap up, I thought it was a pretty absorbing contest and not at all boring.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 13, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

I do think the groundsman needs to take a bit of flak here. If Duminy wasnt injured S.A. could have realistically got themselves up to 500/550. Couple that with Ozzies score doesn't really leave much of a test match. We don't want to watch flat track test cricket like they have in the subcontinent, where the highlight is watching tendulkar score 500 runs. We want to see contest with bat and ball. Innings scores of around 300/350 always is a great contest when the teams are even.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

It is no coincidence the entire South African performance dipped terribly once the draw appeared inevitable. It is not the attitude of a team aspiring to be as good as the Aussies once were but I would not read too much into the last two days' play. Not sure why the Aussies bothered referring Amla's caught behind. It is a well known fact that Hashim walks when he is out. Waste of a referral.

Posted by challagalla on (November 13, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

A day lost due to the weather, injury to Duminy, who knows what may have happened but for these. The draw is a fair result and i have to admit the Aussies had the upper hand in this test. Pretty bad bowling from the aussies on the first day, a middle order slump from the saffas on the third and some very nervous batting by the australian top order to begin with. Seemed like a boring match brought to life by an interesting final day. Somehow tests against australia have a certain excitement and edge that matches against other nations lack. I only hope it does not turn out like the last ashes in Australia where they were comprehensively beaten after drawing the first test. The next test should be really interesting. I only want to see some really close matches going down the wire to the last hour of play. Long live test cricket.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 13, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

@viking_legend on (November 13 2012, 07:59 AM GMT) Mate, your post is an absolute classic, you say that your batters got themselves out, the bowlers took wickets that didn't count and your fielding was not good.

Therefore SA was the better team apart from their batting, bowling and fielding.

Posted by crh8971 on (November 13, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

@RednWhiteArmy - just checked the result from last year and the Adelaide test was apparently played on two pitches. One an absolute road and the other a bowlers paradise. The Aussies it seems were lucky enough to get the road to bat on and racked up nearly 800 runs across two innings for the loss of only twelve wickets. The Indians had to bat on a minefield and could only manage 272 and 201 with the best batting line up of all time facing a mediocre attack. It seems it was both a fast seeming wicket and a square turner because all the quicks picked up wickets and that known hack N Lyon grabbed a four for in the second dig.

Posted by Essex_Man on (November 13, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

As a cricket-lover (but neutral fan in this series), I have loved watching this Test match. The ebb-and-flow and swings in momentum were gripping. Superb high-quality performances from several players on both sides. Just a real pity that the poor weather on day 2 robbed us of what should have been a classic match. Also disappointed by so many no-balls (I can just imagine Mikey Holding grumbling like mad!).

I don't understand the various comments complaining about the track being too flat. It didn't look like a road when Oz were 40-3 or when SA were battling today. Both these sides have some fantastic batsmen who are bound to get a hatful of runs once they get in; that doesn't mean there's something wrong with the wicket. A perfect Test would end with a result on the 5th evening...which is probably exactly what would have happened here if a whole day's play hadn't been lost.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 13, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

geeze i cannot wait for Indias next test match, just like the posts. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by troyboy69 on (November 13, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

@ Pat Clarke , first day attendance of 28000 is i think is best at gabba outside an ashes test. rain is going to put a lot off people. England population approx 53 million what the attendenace there at test matches. Fifth day of test on Tuesday with draw most likly result, are you going to spend at least $50 and lose a days paid?

Posted by mateyman on (November 13, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

Why all the Indian whining? IF the pitches were so venomous last time, how come Australia could get to 600 twice, and only be dismissed once in the series for under 300? Indian fans need to admit that their team was just comprehensively outplayed in all facets of the game.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 13, 2012, 9:36 GMT)

GuptaAnkur not sure what you are on about. Australian pitches are the same every year. The gabba was a little bit lively than usual but still given 5 days of cricket would have produced a result. How do you explain Indias batting on the flat SCG last year when Clarke made a triple century. India also got to play on a very flat Adelaide oval and MCG. None of these decks were bouncy, seaming tracks. Perth is always bouncy but overall India were found out on very flat Australian tracks.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (November 13, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

@Hyclass, I think on behalf of most people on this site, I'd like to say that you are a miserable, miserable person. Remember, one day lost to rain Mr Grumpy Pants.

Posted by crh8971 on (November 13, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

@HyClass - Australia has never in my memory and definitely haven't in this series imposed a "policy", as you put it, in relation to the preparation of Test pitches. It is the state associations that are responsible for the stadiums and the pitches. As test match crowds are an important source of revenue for them curators are instructed to produce 5 day test pitches and this one would almost certainly have produced a result if a day wasn't missed to rain and the normal aging of the pitch also slowed due to the pitch spending a day sweating under the covers. I agree this has robbed some Aussie pitches from some of their previous character and this has been to the benefit of batsmen. For example it is a while since the WACA has been a super fast pitch with strong bounce for the bowlers because 3 day tests cost you money. The idea that CA are doctoring pitches to suit the home team is quite frankly offensive.

Posted by Dolci on (November 13, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

A very good game. In my opinion SA were slightly better, especially because they are the touring side.

Cant wait for the next match.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

SA seems to be drifting back to their legacy style of post 1991-readmission. Ultra defensive. Graeme Smith took over to change that mode but has now reverted to the old ways. Scoring just 450 in 150 overs on a pitch like this was way too defensive. The Aussies showed how it is done at >4 rpo. The bowling also lacked discipline and sharpness except for a few spells mainly from Morkel and Steyn. This is not to take away anything from the Ozs who showed glimpses of their glory days with Clarke leading again with the bat. The third dimension was the Gabba pitch which lacked its usual sting and pace and was more like a subcontinental pitch! That said, the saffers have to show more positive intent in the coming Tests if they have to cling on to their #1 rank.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

a few nervous moments this afternoon at The Gabba for Graham and his boys........bring on Adelaide :-)

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Loving the nay-sayers and excuse makers.

It was the pitch They didn't win Test cricket sucks anyway

Smiles wiped firmly off your faces! GO AUSSIES!!!

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (November 13, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

@ GsterinPE on (November 13 2012, 07:38 AM GMT) I would say SA did not take advantage of being 2 for 255 at stumps day 1, and having the worlds best batsman allrounder and bowler in Amla, Kallis and Steyn

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

That's what happens if you go into a test match without a recognized spinner (TAHIR) and lose one of your top batsmen (DUMINY) during the game.

Would not be too confident if I were Australia....

Posted by eyballfallenout on (November 13, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

it really is so funny the indian supporters call last years wickets green top seamers, its just laughable.... do we need to point to the score card again at the runs scored.

Posted by derpherp on (November 13, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

What was up with the "fast" bowlers this test? Maybe its just because im so use to watching Brett Lee steaming in, but in my opinion, a fast bowler should be bowling at least in the 140 km/h plus for a stock delivery. Pattinson and Steyn however were well below that for their average speeds. From what iv heard steyn is the top bowler in the world cause he could bowl 145km/h plus outswingers. Didn't see much of that in this test. The pitch was a batsmen wicket but it would have been great to watch some genuine fast bowling. Shame there wasn't much of it from either side. Hopefully the upcoming tests we will see it.

Posted by Meety on (November 13, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

The heading says points to Oz, but other than some confidence, it doesn't mean anything. Sth Africa (if ever in doubt), now know they are in for a battle! I am sort of happy it ended a draw as it would of been a shade hollow (to me), beating a side that lost a batsmen who didn't contribute at all to the match. I don't believe that JP Duminy would of had any effect in the field - he would barely of bowled 10 overs - IMO. The batting is where he was missed, the Saffas could of inched closer to 500, & at the end it would of been ABD & JP batting out the final overs. So Oz came close, happy with the way they fought back from Day 1. Again - the what ifs in this match are endless - 4 dismissals over ruled for no-balls! The odd drop catch. The Amla - no-ball was very crucial, if you assume Amla out bowled by Patto - all things being equal, we may have had Phillander at the crease 7 or 8 overs earlier. Would-of, could-of maybe's! Gotta love Test cricket!

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 13, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

Lets hope the groundsman at Adelaide Oval doesnt prepare a 500/8d vs 650/5 style pitch.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

I'm really impressed by the fight in this Aussie side. So many people were writing them off - English fans, Saffers and Indian fans alike. Even some Aussie fans and their press. They outplayed South Africa in this test - they bowled better and Clarke, Cowan and Hussey were really impressive. As a South African and as a Proteas fan, I am very excited for the rest of this series. The Proteas will have to work hard and will have to come back fighting in Adelaide because these Aussies are a much better team than they have been given credit for. Here's SAs chance to prove they are deserving of holding onto the no. 1 ranking and mace. I believe they can do it and am excited to see them try. This was a great way to start the series.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

Test match cricket is not a mere accumulation of factors but a multiplying of small effects that ultimately amount to a tension that breaks the wall of the opponent. Weather and an injury to a main batsman and only spin bowler were both scale 10 earthquakes as far as SA was concerned. It take some playing for 9 players to overcome these hurdles and keep a 10-pack Oz at bay, a pack of yelping dogs in their own backyard.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

Philander's first wicketless test, and Steyn not as dominant of late as he has been in the past. @pronoysircar I think you're 100% correct, Steyn is the best bowler in the world when he gets into decent rhythm and look out if you get him fired up. Australia's attack seemed to take the points here taking 9 wickets more than the (arguably) best attack in the world. Bring on Adelaide! Look for Ponting to have a big one here. I am predicting the Proteas to bounce back, maybe a draw in Adelaide and SA take the series 1-0. If Morkel bowls with that aggression he showed today after Clarke hit him back over his head, and Steyn is able to hit his straps that is.

Posted by Ross_Co on (November 13, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

Advantage Australia but points even. SA with the most thinking to do though I think. I dare say that they already realised that Oz would be a lot tougher hurdle than 'England' but how much tougher - more Oz centuries scored in a single innings than 'England' managed in the entire series; Lyons took as many wickets in a single test as Swann did in the series; the Oz bowling attack keeps on hanging in now matter how hard they hit it etc etc - has probably been a bit of a surprise. It may well be that their main strategy right from go was to play the percentages & wait for an Oz mistake until they reached pace-friendly Perth but they'd have to have some questions banging around in their heads about that now. Great performances from both sides though.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 13, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

@ Nick636 on (November 13 2012, 07:09 AM GMT)

No-one who isn't silly is being harsh on the Protea's.... they are a magnificent cricket team. What everyone will always be harsh upon is the no1 ranked team (lol I know - suffered it most of my life - there were a few years in 80's and recently have escaped it). We true cricket fans in Aus expect great sides to attack at all times of all matches and have therefore been incredibly bemused by ESPECIALLY your first day dominance........ Quiney bowling maidens at 2/200+........ not attacked when a new ball due in 10 or so overs ? You guys are FAR to good to play the English style of if we don't do anything wrong we'll win. Hope you don't continue it...... looking forward to the rest of the series.

Posted by Mikecricket on (November 13, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Great stuff Aussies, we will win in adelaide

Posted by crh8971 on (November 13, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

@ Garakai - yep makes the Indian effort of last summer look even worse doesn't it. They could have had twelve batsmen and not drawn a game.

Posted by pat_one_back on (November 13, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

1. The Pitch was fair & true to all comers 2. SA are the No 1 test team, can & will play better. 3. Aust have outplayed them, we'll beyond the unfortunate impact of losing JP

Great cricket between the indisputable no 1&2 teams in the world. Bagging, belittling, trivialising, mitigating any of the aforementioned will not make any other countries team any better at cricket but go nuts anyway @Red&White Army etc

Posted by hycIass on (November 13, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Terrible pitch thanks to a defensive policy by Cricket Australia, such as flat pitch gives the perception that players such as Cowan belong when they haven't proven much except that he is a flat track bully. The crowd numbers for this test showed just how boring this match was and CA's strategy of drawing the series with South Africa.

Posted by crh8971 on (November 13, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

@Nick636 - don't know what you mean about the "best attack in the world" being overburdened. Duminy was a bit of a loss as someone who would have bowled 10 to 15 overs but wasn't a threat and Kleinvelt was only an addition to that attack anyway. The "best" reputation has been built off the efforts of Steyn, Morkel and Phillander and in this match they were far less of a threat than the Australian attack. I think if Morkel can get his length right he will be a real threat in Australia. I think he fell into the trap of bowling that short length where you can beat the bat a lot but miss the edge. He should watch videas of the length that Ambrose used to bowl out here or McGrath. Steyn is a quality bowler and will always be a threat. I am not so sure about Phillander on Australian pitches with the Kookaburra ball - he becomes basically a short, medium pace bowler who can keep it tight but will not be a threat. He is two games in and plenty of overs without a wicket to his name.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

How many times in the history of the game has a player not taken any part in the match. due to an off- field injury? Match referees should be allowed to grant a replacement for any player incapacitated prior to either fielding or batting. Duminy's loss had a big affect on S. A.'s game plan and would've detracted from an Aussie victory.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 13, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

That's a good effort from Australia. It certainly looked like SA were going to have the best of the game with Australia 3 down early in the first but that was a mighty turn around. Australia had their share of luck but then so did SA. Losing the services of Duminy didn't help and maybe that was playing on the minds of the SA batsman a bit but I think that it's safe to say that the Australian bowlers made the better of the conditions. SA may have been lucky that that day was lost to rain. Then again, they may have been batting more to save the game today, which can actually lead to more wickets lost, where they might have been batting to win it with a day remaining. That said, they may also have been an extra 200 or so behind the way Australia were batting.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

@pronoysircar: Smith only bowled Steyn in shorter bursts this Test because he realized that he'd need his strike bowlers to conserve energy since they were a bowler down on a new-ball pitch. He also needed to make sure they avoid injury. Both Steyn and Morkel typically bowled 4-5 over spells, and even shorter ones as the fourth day wore on. I haven't really noticed Smith doing this on other occasions, though. As for Steyn's wicket-taking being down overall, it's only slightly waned, but that happens when your strike partner is taking 7 wickets a Test at a strike rate of near 30. Let's not forget that Steyn's pressure has led to a lot of Philander's wickets. I do agree, though, that Steyn is a rhythm bowler - his second and third spells should always be 6-8 overs, particularly if he's coming in right after a wicket's fallen. But, like I said, in this match, Smith's hand was forced. (And credit where it's due: Australia duly took advantage of that.)

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

@ aussie supporters...I find this very interesting all the Aus supporters saying that had there been day 2 Aus will have won. Firstly SA will have batted very differently had there been a day 2 at 255/2 and would have posted a score closer to 550. South Africa also lost a key man in JP, who offers us a spin option and is a specialist bat, so effectively this became 11 against 10. Another point is when Cowen was 44 odd he was not given out because of a "no ball" that in fact Morkel had some part of the foot behind the line when the foot landed, very bad call and will have had Aus in big trouble. Lastly Clark was in fact also caught during the Philander review, upon review of hot spot if you look at one more frame you see the hot spot appear, another bad call. So even with all the DRS in favour of Aus and the fact it was 11 against 10, all Aus managed to do is tie the game.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 13, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

@ pronoysircar on (November 13 2012, 07:33 AM GMT)

I personally have never rated Steyn (and copped heaps for years by not shifting from that - I once bet a Kiwi that Ian O'Brien would have a better average and strike rate than Steyn in 2008/09 in Aust lol ). Clearly Steyn is a class bowler, the reason I never rated him, was exactly what you say has just started to happen. I have not watched much when SA were not playing Aus, but I always felt he was a "protected species" bowling short sharp bursts relying on (Back then) Ntini and Kallis to do all the work. I always thought he'd possibly fold if he was exposed to having to work rather than strike. While this game surely doesn't close and seal that file, it assuredly isn't leading me to change that 4 year held opinion.

Posted by crh8971 on (November 13, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

@challagalla - that innings by Vishwanath must have been pretty special if you think it was better than the 280 scored by VVS against us when you followed on. I rate that innings as the best I have seen given the context of the match and the series. Kim Hughes played an absolute ripper at the MCG against the best Windies pace attack when he made 100 out of a total of 200.

Posted by Hammond on (November 13, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

Australia were all over it. The saffers would not be a happy camp right now. If there was one day to play still Australia would have been favourites, and to come back from a 400+ score by the opposition and put yourself in a winning position is the type of thing only a world number 1 side will do. This series may be drawn from here, but everybody in world cricket now knows that far from being bog average, Australia are truly world class contenders.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 13, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

@Shaggy076, regarding Australia's over rate, is it true that if Australia declared yesterday that Smith would have been banned from the Adelaide Test due to poor over rate?

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

The one downside to this match were the absolutely appalling attendances on each day. Was this match being played behind closed doors or something? Last year the excuse was that "It was only New Zealand". This year there can be no excuses. South Africa are deservedly the no.1 Test side in the World and Michael Clarke's inspired and aggressive captaincy of a revitalised Australian side also surely deserved a lot better. Brisbane has a population of over 2 million and if South East Queensland as a whole is counted, it then comes to over 3 million. If they can't do any better than this, surely it's time to move Test cricket away from Brisbane, starting with next year's Ashes Test being moved to Hobart.

Posted by troyboy69 on (November 13, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

This was not flat track that so many think it was. Kevin Mitchell has put together great pitches over last three year considering the type of weather we have had in Brisbane over that time. Yes this pitch didnt have the traditional green tinge for day one, but he told us last week. I was ther day one and it was cool. Usually its warm, The green tinge makes it ideal for hooping the ball around on day one, sun dries out ptch and good batting days 2 and 3, day four a few tricks and day 5 is good day for spinners. All those knockers saying aus pitches are ordinary need to have a look at the results from aus pitches. lots of out right victories. A lot of variety compared to other countries.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 13, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

@bonehead_maz You are clearly a passionate test cricket follower like me (which is great) but we support different teams ;)

I have to say as a saffa I thought Ozzies batted superbly and Clarke is all class and I think Ed Cowan has cemented his spot as opener. Pattison looks the business, but I would replace Hilfenhaus with Starke for 2nd test.

On the SA side, Kleinvelf needs to hit the gym and get dropped ASAP and be replaced by Tahir, really dissapointed we didnt play a leggie, Warne has taken most of his wickets at the Gabba. I would like to have Faff in for Duminy. Bowling wasnt great and lacked fire, you had to work hard on that pitch, all the no balls were unforgivable by SA. From the saffa perspective, Im very happy with the draw being 1 man down in the batting and facing a resurging ozzie team in 3rd and 4th days. CANT WAIT FOR THE 2ND TEST - LONG LIVE TEST CRICKET !!!

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

i thnk both teams wil be satisfied wid this... proteas lacked a batsman and shud play tahir and faf next game in place of duminy and kleinveldt...

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

Folks, it's pretty simple. These teams were evenly matched with the exception of Michael Clarke who played an absolute gem of an innings. He, Kallis and Amla are easily the best three Test batsmen in the world right now. Australia were on the back foot after losing the toss, got some control back thanks to all the rain, and then really pressed their advantage home when they saw how flat the wicket was playing on the fourth day. Kudos to them. South Africa were unlucky to lose a key batsman (and their only spin bowler!) after the first day, but they were shooting themselves in the foot by not playing a proper spinner at the Gabba - as a result, it wasn't surprising to watch that attack tire the way it did on day 4. As for the finish, this bit of last day excitement is being overblown. The win was never really on for Aus, no matter what that TV commentary team would have you think. I'd say, overall, the draw was the fair result. And now this series is set up well for the second Test!

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (November 13, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

Well, it was England first and now Australia have chosen to produce slow flat tracks with just about seam and bounce to qualify it as a ok test track.

Unsurprisingly, in both countires, pitches were lot more venomous when India toured last year.......All venues had great seam movements to negate probably one of the best test batting line-up ever.

This year we had , SA, with one of the best attacks in 3-4 yrs and you get slow pitches to counter their bowling.

SA got let down this test by their bowlers bowling back of the length bowls, which were coming straight on the bat with no movement. Hence this mammoth total from Aus.

Posted by nthuq on (November 13, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

Ajmal may have his doosra, and Ashwin his suduku, but Lyon has his doosruku! Haha, great to see him picking up some wickets. The next match in his home ground, so we'll see how he goes. Great stuff by Clarkey again - he's shaping up to be one of the all time great captains, surely. The run scoring ability of Ponting in his prime and the tactical acumen of Taylor! Very impressive. Now we just need Warner and probably Watson performing next test. One is reminded by our dreadful performance with the ball on the first day how much he is missed.

Posted by nmperera on (November 13, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Sorry, disagree, both teams lost the match. (1) Australia should have continue and given their bowlers the opportunity to get more wickets. (2) SA should have gone a bit harder and created a lead and put Australia in to bat. Only time a match should be called off is when wickets left are more than the balls remaining. You only need 10 balls to get an opposing side all out!!!. Both teams played a defensive game.

In some sections of the match each party was aggressive, but overall a poor game plan from both teams. If you play defensive, ultimate result is a boring Draw. No wonder the crowds do not want to watch this type of cricket. In saying that, since this is first match of the series, probably both sides became defensive and played safe,

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

@foursandsixes: I can't believe people bother saying things like that. It does nothing more than make you sound bitter and petty. Every pitch in Australia is different, and this Gabba one likely would have produced a result on a legitimate fifth day. Get over it already. It seems there are still a lot of people scarred by how good the Australian team was for so long, even though that era finished about three years ago. But it seems the resurgence is imminent, but not to the same level - it will be a long time before any team has a trio like Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist, with Ponting and Hayden, and the Waughs not far behind.

Posted by Sageleaf on (November 13, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

I agree with challagalla. Clark is a class act. That's why the Aussies are the best team in the world. Others may have unofficial tag as the # 1 side in the world in all formats but when playing with the Aussies you just have to be the best. Anything less than excellent will be your nightmare. I love watching any team playing with the Aussies. It is real cricket and not set up. I feel the South Africans will have terrible time but it will be a very good contest between the two sides. I also feel South Africans are over rated. I remember the last two limited over games with Sri Lanka in South Africa, they got really thrashed by Sri Lanka even after scoring more than 300 runs. The same thing happened in the T20 world cup. The best bowling line up couldn't do anything to the Aussies in this test match.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

The ausies played well. Clark, hussy and the opener batted well. SA bowling needs to step up next test. Think Kleinveld will be loosing out and faf and tahir will come in for the next test. Our openers needs to set a good platform and our bowlers should get that 20 wickets for us to win the next one. Come on SA. Lets lift our game to the next level.

Posted by The_Griff on (November 13, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

if you played an entire match with one key player missing(JPD) and still manage a draw. Who won on points, again?. RSA played 10 against 11 and drew. on balance a better performance than AUS

Posted by viking_legend on (November 13, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

I think some of you are reading too much into this test match. SA did take wickets but they didnt count cos they were of no balls. Their fielding was horrific when they had chances. Had they taken all their catches and bowled legal balls, the conversation and situation would be very different. In saying this, SA bowled TOO Short and too straight which was evident when you look at Clarke and Cowans scoring areas.

Also, most of the "9" SA batsman got themselves out in the first innings meaning dismissals were not as a result of great bowling.

Aussies missed a step by not picking Starc. Was excellent in the champions league. Hilfenhaus wasnt effective and wasted the new ball bowling too short. Another worry would be Lyon as he only looked effective on the fifth day of the test and on a pitch that offered bounce for a spinner. Huge bail out from Clarke n Cowan

All in all, I think the aggression from Pattinson and Siddle somed it up well today. If you can't beat them, chirp them

Posted by cricmatters on (November 13, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

Very disappointed with South Africa. So much more was expected from Dale Styne and Philander. Also while batting SA looks top heavy though it would be fair to mention that Duminy's loss was unexpected and he was missed more as a bowler than batsman. Graham Smith was outdone by a rookie. I thought with all the experience behind him, he would not react to Pattinson's remarks but goes on to show that we are all humans after all. Michael Clarck led from the front. This guy is churning out big scores at will. Very impressed with his captaincy too. Hussey still looks fresh and hungry but Ponting looked out of sorts. Can't wait for the next match. Hopefully SA will lift its game.

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 13, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

@ challagalla on (November 13 2012, 06:37 AM GMT)

As a fellow lover of this great game I loved to read your post. I remember listening to that Redpath innings on the radio and having first experienced test cricket at (as it happens at the Gabba) just a bit earlier watching "Tiger" Pataudi's team here on tour, was fascinated to hear how much better Prassana and co were, than even they were here !!! (hard to imagine when having seen how good they were here) .

Long Live Test cricket - it's just an amazing game :)

Posted by GsterinPE on (November 13, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

Australia on points HOWEVER they were unable make use of both home ground and JP Duminy advantage.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 13, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

Foursandsixes - How did India go on the two flat tracks of Melbourne and Sydney last year. Australian pitches are consistent year in, year out. Everyone having a go at the pitch should look at the fact that 90 overs were lost through weather and South Africa's appaling over-rate. Im pretty sure without those circustances there would have been a result in which two class batting teams played in. Unforynately there was no soft batting efforts from an India like team to create a result in this match.

Posted by pronoysircar on (November 13, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

Is it only me or have others noticed it too? Smith seems to be bowling Steyn in shorter spells than he used to. If my memory serves me right, Steyn's most frightening spells have been longer than the 3-4 over spells Smith is currently assigning him. In fact, ever since the emergence of Philander, Steyn has become Smith's "short burst weapon". Except that steyn is more of a rythm bowler than an instant impact bowler. I think people are mislead by pace. The result? Steyn has been less effective in tests over the past year. Additionally, this would also explain why Steyn is a better test bowler than an ODI bowler. Because in tests, he gets longer spells. Of course, over the last year, it hasnt mattered, because Philander has been phenomenal. But right now on these Australian tracks, I think Smith might do better be giving Steyn three seven over spells in a day, rather than five 4 over spells. We just might see the old steyn again, taking 7 wickets in an innings, like the badass he is

Posted by Chris_P on (November 13, 2012, 7:16 GMT)

Good stuff by the Aussie attack. Not a bad effort on a supposed "flat track".

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (November 13, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

Wow - I guess some may not get excited by test cricket, but I'm glad I didn't have my heart rate monitored since Kallis was dismissed. Super effort Clarkey! the attempt to win the unwinnable was awesome !

From this game we can say .... Pattinson is the REAL thing. Very bad luck and hope you recover well Duminy. Australia has self confidence to play attacking cricket no matter WHAT happens. Kevin Mitchell Jnr is a good curator.

So sad that so many hours lost but if this wasn't exciting today .... I have NO idea what in cricket ever is.

Well done all.... being an aussie supporter I am excepyionally proud of our boys and .... lol being an Australian supporter have worried no end about Smith, Amla, Kallis, ABDeV and Steyn. I thought Morkel never didn't look dangerous.

I have some problems with technology and the way umpires perform when relying on it. Having said that , today Darr was brilliant, the way he calmed a few ruffled waters was outstanding umpiring.

Long live Test cricket !

Posted by Nick636 on (November 13, 2012, 7:09 GMT)

What a lucky save for us. (SA)

I think it is very unfair to judge SA as harshly as many on this site currently are. We were firmly in control after day 1, then the wash out and the loss of Duminy was a big knock. Losing the option of Duminy and Kleinveld having a very bad debut both contributed to the BEST ATTACK IN THE WORLD (deal with it, the facts support, we currently are) being over-burdoned.

The one major issue I have is, yet again, Graem Smith. His field setting were again like those of a lost boy guessing at what to do next. The pitch contributed but I don't feel it was the be all and end all.

TIME TO REGROUP!!! The no-balls were disgraceful and a problem for both teams.

PULL IT TOGETHER BOYS. We gambled on this one and it didn't pay off.

Posted by warnerbasher on (November 13, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

I reckon South Africa are a bit the same as India and England having got to number 1(in India's case with luck) they are having self belief issues. I first noticed this on the 1st evening with Kallis and Amla fart arsing around. In contrast when Australia was number 1 they knew they were and so did the rest of the world and won some games on reputation rather than performance.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 13, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

Well how are the SA supporters (and Indian supporters for that matter) going to spin this. It was incessant "It's a road, impossible to get any one out" nonsense yesterday. The wicket wasn't any different so either it the SA bowlers were not very good at all, or if they were done in by a pitch that wasn't helpful then our boys managed 5 wickets plus a no ball wicket when they could not manage a single wicket in an entire day.

You can't have it both ways. The fact is that it was a decent Test cricket wicket (that would definitely have produced a result) that was spoilt by a full day of rain and sweating under the covers.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 6:59 GMT)

Well there you are!! AUS has drawn with 10 batsmen.

Posted by challagalla on (November 13, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

Hats off to Clarke for going for whatever slim chance of victory was possible. He could have so easily continued for a meaningless treple and glory. I admire the Aussies for their fighting spirit and ability to put the team cause ahead of personal glory. I remember once Dravid declared in Pakistan when Tendulkar was on the brink of a double and faced hell from the media and all sundry fans. In my opinion winning is paramount and a century, incidental and worthless if in a lost cause. I remember an innings of 90 odd by G R Vishwanath in Chennai against West Indies in 1974 , which i still maintain is the best ever knock played by an Indian ever. The innings is priceless as India beat the Windies and evened the score 2 all at that stage. Some might remember the Aussies in India in 1969 and the 60 odd runs scored by Redpath in a winning cause. Aussies were 6 down for 20 odd runs at one stage. I would take that 60 by Redpath anyday over a meaningless triple. Carry on Clarke.

Posted by Basil777 on (November 13, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

This game belongs to the umpires and their silly decisions

Posted by foursandsixes on (November 13, 2012, 5:42 GMT)

Aus will make flat dead pitches when SA and Eng tour, and bouncy pacy wickets when Asian teams tour! Shows their new found insecurities.

Posted by rhtdm302 on (November 13, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

Upcoming DRS technology, "THE MICROSCOPE"...........

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

Great umpiring Asad Rauf. Tremendous bowling by the Aussies but their attitude is more hooliganism, less cricket.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 3:49 GMT)

What is stopping ICC from having a reserve day for tests ? What is the use of playing this exhibition match after a day is washed out ? They would have better stopped the match yesterday. Games like these with no results, will kill test cricket.

Posted by hycIass on (November 13, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

I don't think the last few sessions will be interesting, this is a very flat pitch which can only result in a draw, boring test cricket

Posted by RoJayao on (November 13, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

Frustrating no ball wicket again from Pattinson. Siddle looks like he's straddling the line every ball too, so chances of a repeat seem high. I used to blame umpires for picking on certain bowlers. But you can't hold them responsible if a bowler is on the line every single ball. Interesting to think about how many wickets could've been no balls in days past, especially the Windies who used to bowl ALOT of no balls in the 80's.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (November 13, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

5 dismissals from no balls - 3 to South Africa - all caught behind - and 2 for Australia. 4 of those 5 were referred for the no ball - only one (by Philander) was given as a no ball at the time.

Posted by MinusZero on (November 13, 2012, 2:18 GMT)

Is there a rule that says their foot must be on the line? They could bowl from behind the line. No-balls are unacceptable. Teams should get tough on them and suspend those who take wickets off no-balls. Especially in a game like this where there is nothing for the bowlers in the pitch, every wicket..or non-wicket is valuable.

Posted by Meety on (November 13, 2012, 2:12 GMT)

Interesting if it was at all possible to play "what-if" in regards to dissmissals of a no-ball! == == == Part of me would rather a referral for a no-ball not get overruled if it is close. I would say Siddle & Morkel's first no ball dissmissals shouldn't of been overruled. Patto was clearly no behind the line against Amla. == == == Also on contentious decisions, whilst no mistake was made, I would rather see if a ball is pitched with anything in line of the stumps - be given out, although I do think they have rightly given the Umpires more support under the new interpretations!

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

all is fair in love and war, oh and test cricket. just ask hashim amla!! how can we not love this game, howzaaaaaat!!

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 2:09 GMT)

Awesome, bu Michael Clarke! It is about time that people give some credit to Clark ........ he is a class-act, and he is HUMBLE!

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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