Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 4th day November 25, 2012

Bowlers keep Australia in control

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South Africa 388 and 4 for 77 (du Plessis 19*, de Villiers 12*) need another 353 runs to beat Australia 550 and 8 for 267 dec (Hussey 54, Morkel 3-50, Kleinveldt 3-65)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Zero to one millimetre of rain is forecast for the final day in Adelaide. One millimetre can be enough to save a batsman if a bowler has overstepped the crease but it won't be sufficient to rescue South Africa in this Test. They will need either an unexpected deluge or something equally miraculous from their remaining batsmen if they are to avoid defeat, and although South African sides have done remarkable things before, it is impossible to see any way out of this predicament.

Michael Clarke left Adelaide Oval on the fourth evening knowing that only six wickets stood between his men and a 1-0 series lead. Even though the Australians were one bowler down after James Pattinson was ruled out of the rest of the Test summer due to injury, the strong start provided by Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon meant the effect of his absence was significantly lessened. At stumps, South Africa were 4 for 77 in their chase of 430, with AB de Villiers on 12 and Faf du Plessis on 19.

The target never appeared particularly realistic. Smith's men have done the seemingly impossible before, chasing down 414 in Perth four years ago, but the Adelaide Oval pitch had started to break up and was providing a much sterner challenge. The highest successful chase ever recorded in Test history was the 418 scored by West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003, and once this target had moved into such territory Clarke was happy to declare and give his bowlers four and a half sessions to do their job.

His declaration paid off handsomely. In the first over of South Africa's innings, Smith edged Hilfenhaus to slip and was snapped up sharply by Ricky Ponting. Soon afterwards, Hashim Amla (17) also departed to an edge, his drive at a straight ball from Lyon flying to first slip, where Clarke juggled the chance on his second grab.

Jacques Rudolph at no point looked like a threat and was out for 3 when he clipped Lyon off his pads and was brilliantly taken low to the ground by Ed Cowan at short leg. And the man who had been at the other end while all of those wickets fell, Alviro Petersen, made it 4 for 45 in the next over when he played on to Siddle.

By the time de Villiers and du Plessis came together, the South Africans had clearly decided to shut up shop. Crease occupation was their only concern for the remainder of the day and the pair managed it. By the time stumps arrived, the South Africans had managed only one boundary in the past 43 overs, a remarkable figure given the tiny dimensions of Adelaide Oval square of the wicket. De Villiers had 12 from 101 balls; du Plessis 19 from 74.

It was hard to believe it was the same match that had produced 482 runs on the first day. Australia's runs also came quickly in the final stages of their second innings as Hilfenhaus (18 not out) and Pattinson (29 not out) found the boundary a number of times before Clarke called an end to the innings at 8 for 267, about an hour into the second session.

Earlier, it was Michael Hussey who kept the scoreboard ticking over. The South Africans really needed to pick up where they left off on the third afternoon, when their fast men troubled Australia's top order. But the runs flowed a little too easily for Hussey and Clarke during the morning, especially off the legspin of Imran Tahir, who continued to leak nearly a run a ball and ended up with the most expensive wicketless analysis ever in a Test match, 0 for 260.

Dale Steyn broke the 70-run partnership when he had Clarke lbw for 38, a hopeful review from Australia's captain not saving him. But the runs kept coming from Hussey, who was not only lightning fast between the wickets but was finding the gaps in the field with impressive regularity, and brought up his half-century from his 81st ball with a punch through cover-point for four.

Hussey fell for 54 in the last over before lunch when he tried to pull Morne Morkel and succeeded only in top-edging a catch to Steyn at midwicket. Matthew Wade departed soon after lunch when he tickled a catch behind off Morkel, but by then South Africa's task was already substantial. By stumps, substantial appeared an understatement.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY SuperSharky on | November 26, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    This will be one of the best drawn cricket games ever, if the Proteas could manage to bat the whole day and survives. Australia were luckier to draw the first Test due to a whole day of rain. South Africa had to work harder to earn a draw. It's easier surviving a whole day of rain than to face psych-up Australian bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | November 26, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    @ Waleed Tafheem. Kohli better than Amla at handling pressure is beyond a joke, and suggests you know little or are posting comments designed to create controversy. Before you make such comments, do some research - such as Amla's record in India during SA's last tour there.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | November 26, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    Love the filed placings, Michael Clarke looks like placing Australia back on number one very soon. It's been a while, August 2009. Sincerely hope that this time we don't carry on like pork chops, respect the opposition and play the game the way it should be played..

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | November 26, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    I really hate this negative play that happens against australia. Its very rare for a team trying to save a test actually does survive a whole day.

  • POSTED BY L4zybugg3r on | November 26, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @whofriggincares - I'm going to have to disagree here. Lyon has been doing very well considering but the pitches have been boring and too flat. At the Gabba they lost a day to rain but there was only a shot at a result because Aus batted so aggressively. Same again in Adelaide, what was it 450 on the first day, you could probably count the number of times that's happened in a test match on one hand. Then when SA batted Aus looked very unthreatening until Peterson ran himself out. There's a lot pressure on Aus to increase the tempo just to get a result in 5 days. The pitches are just too flat. Besides, before the series everyone was talking up both pace attacks like it was going to be an exciting match up but we haven't really had a chance to see that. I'm pleading for a fast bowler's paradise wicket in Perth this time.

  • POSTED BY the_informant on | November 25, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    @valleypf Well said mate, at least Australians know their cricket history. Chavs like RednWhiteArmy don't realise that England's all too brief moment at number one was a false dawn and they will return to their default position as laughing stock of the cricket world.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | November 25, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    @ Jono & Meety- not saying Smith captaincy shouldn't bear some of the responsibility, of course it should, but some posts are blaming Smith entirely. I was making the point that there were other factors that contributed to the situation SA find themselves in. Namely some sublime batting!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | November 25, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    @ JG2704. Good luck with your guys, that will deliver a message to some. Let's see how the day pans out, there is rain forecast, so it depends a lot on how thw Aussie bowlers attack. Thumbs up for the "part time: bowlers who have bowled 12 overs for 15 runs, effectively shutting one end up & allowing our 3 remaining strike bowlers leverage.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    @popcorn. I'll go with the exceptional captain. I'll even concede there are a few exceptional players in the side, including the captain. But this is far from an exceptional side in my view. I'm not going to single players out on the other end of the spectrum because the performances speak for themselves. Exceptional? You might say that.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 25, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    @Jono Makim - re: AB Keeping, I picked that one well before the series started. If you go on stats alone, it is more effective for AB NOT to keep wickets - assuming his ave of about 25 when keeping v career ave of 49. Dropping Rudolph who averages about 37 - for Tsolli who's FC ave is about 28 (i think) - they "lose" 9 runs in the direct swap, but gain 20 odd by AB being a batsmen.

  • POSTED BY SuperSharky on | November 26, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    This will be one of the best drawn cricket games ever, if the Proteas could manage to bat the whole day and survives. Australia were luckier to draw the first Test due to a whole day of rain. South Africa had to work harder to earn a draw. It's easier surviving a whole day of rain than to face psych-up Australian bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | November 26, 2012, 2:38 GMT

    @ Waleed Tafheem. Kohli better than Amla at handling pressure is beyond a joke, and suggests you know little or are posting comments designed to create controversy. Before you make such comments, do some research - such as Amla's record in India during SA's last tour there.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | November 26, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    Love the filed placings, Michael Clarke looks like placing Australia back on number one very soon. It's been a while, August 2009. Sincerely hope that this time we don't carry on like pork chops, respect the opposition and play the game the way it should be played..

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | November 26, 2012, 0:27 GMT

    I really hate this negative play that happens against australia. Its very rare for a team trying to save a test actually does survive a whole day.

  • POSTED BY L4zybugg3r on | November 26, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @whofriggincares - I'm going to have to disagree here. Lyon has been doing very well considering but the pitches have been boring and too flat. At the Gabba they lost a day to rain but there was only a shot at a result because Aus batted so aggressively. Same again in Adelaide, what was it 450 on the first day, you could probably count the number of times that's happened in a test match on one hand. Then when SA batted Aus looked very unthreatening until Peterson ran himself out. There's a lot pressure on Aus to increase the tempo just to get a result in 5 days. The pitches are just too flat. Besides, before the series everyone was talking up both pace attacks like it was going to be an exciting match up but we haven't really had a chance to see that. I'm pleading for a fast bowler's paradise wicket in Perth this time.

  • POSTED BY the_informant on | November 25, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    @valleypf Well said mate, at least Australians know their cricket history. Chavs like RednWhiteArmy don't realise that England's all too brief moment at number one was a false dawn and they will return to their default position as laughing stock of the cricket world.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | November 25, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    @ Jono & Meety- not saying Smith captaincy shouldn't bear some of the responsibility, of course it should, but some posts are blaming Smith entirely. I was making the point that there were other factors that contributed to the situation SA find themselves in. Namely some sublime batting!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | November 25, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    @ JG2704. Good luck with your guys, that will deliver a message to some. Let's see how the day pans out, there is rain forecast, so it depends a lot on how thw Aussie bowlers attack. Thumbs up for the "part time: bowlers who have bowled 12 overs for 15 runs, effectively shutting one end up & allowing our 3 remaining strike bowlers leverage.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    @popcorn. I'll go with the exceptional captain. I'll even concede there are a few exceptional players in the side, including the captain. But this is far from an exceptional side in my view. I'm not going to single players out on the other end of the spectrum because the performances speak for themselves. Exceptional? You might say that.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 25, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    @Jono Makim - re: AB Keeping, I picked that one well before the series started. If you go on stats alone, it is more effective for AB NOT to keep wickets - assuming his ave of about 25 when keeping v career ave of 49. Dropping Rudolph who averages about 37 - for Tsolli who's FC ave is about 28 (i think) - they "lose" 9 runs in the direct swap, but gain 20 odd by AB being a batsmen.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 25, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    @Meety - re our game , even in batting Broad managed to run out Prior. Seriously he's one of my fav players but he needs dropping. Great to see Monty doing so well. My favourite moment was when he hit a 4 with bumble commentating. But we're certainly not there yet. Re your game , I said 10% SA but realistically it's much less. AB and Faf are still there but arecertainly not flowing. There's still Kallis to come but that's about it. I'd probably say 90-95% Aus win and a draw maybe 5% and a SA win much less likely still. All the best

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    I hope South African batsmen bat out the remaining overs tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | November 25, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    i cant express the delight in seeing everything i have said before the series playing out in the middle. and this mighty australia team is only going to get better and better. @whofriggincares -- if england avoid back to back ashes whitewashes they will have done well.

  • POSTED BY IAS2009 on | November 25, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    SA defensive midset was the reason for the loss, bowling was not backed up by good field placing when Aussies were batting and when SA replied they were very slow. Once Aussies scored at that rate there will always be much time left in the match. i think they should have attached Aus and go for runs this would move the infield away, they could not survive 120 overs in defending, it never happens. They also need to get wicket keeper AB is too good to sacrifice his talent. If SA have to win next test match they have to match Aus intensity.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 16:48 GMT

    Once again the idiots who say Adelaide is a boring wicket and a road and blah bah blah, just look at this test and many in recent memory. 482 runs on the first day, lots of wickets in the mornings, spin and pace taking wickets all through the match. And then previous great tests such as Windies v Aus 1 run test, the great comeback by Aus v England in 2006-7. Gayle's epic century a few years ago that lead to a tense draw. Adelaide is the best ground in the world and gives fans everything they want from a test match.

  • POSTED BY BravoBravo on | November 25, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    Whatever happens to this test (AUS can't loose from here), I feel sorry for Mr. Ponting and Mr. Tahir for there future with their respective teams. My guess they will fade in oblivion now.

  • POSTED BY Paulk on | November 25, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    I don't think Smith's captaincy was a major factor. While strategic captaincy certainly has a role to play, IMHO it is over valued by some pundits. Normally you wouldnt bowl someone (Tahir) who is leaking 6-8 runs per over so much, so perhaps he erred in that. At the same time, Kallis injury (and Steyn's for a short while) may have forced his hand. I think SA ran into two batsmen in red hot form (Michael C. and Michael H.) plus the fact that SA lead strike bowler Steyn has not quite been penetrative except very briefly are the two main reasons for their rather anemic display. And the fact that the lead spinner refused to change strategy and just try to stem the flow of runs, instead of trying to attack all the time despite that plan backfiring spectacularly. Perhaps Smith and other seniors could have had a word with him - you have to adjust your plans continuously based on results.

  • POSTED BY akautsiro on | November 25, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    The way South Africa approach their batting (as proven by their current run rate and defensive mode) is the main reason why people are being put off Test Cricket. The best mode of defense most times is to attack. If they continue playing this way they will surely lose the series and the coveted No. 1 ranking and may never regain it.

  • POSTED BY Peterincanada on | November 25, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    @Meety- I totally agree with your analysis. The ultra defensive approach has ruled out any chance of a SAF win. This means attacking fields can be set with impunity and wickets can be bought. In the glory years OZ always had runs on the board and Warne bowling to agressive fields just waiting for bat pad or snick. I well remember the last day at the Oval in 2001. With a bit more agression England could have managed a draw. Instead they batted tamely and died a slow death. I don't agree with those bashing SAF. Injuries to Duminy, Kallis at the pivotal moment, and I also believe Steyn is also carrying an injury is more than they or any other side could handle.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | November 25, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    So who still doesn't think Lyon is the best spinner in the world? Swann got smashed by the South Africans and Lyon is making them look like bunnies. Absolute domination by Australia, the best team in the world.

  • POSTED BY a1s2 on | November 25, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    @shaggy076 absolutly the wrost call indeed kohli hasn't scored even a half century against england in the ongoning series with the advantage of being at home.amla already scored a century against australia in the first test and @waleed tafheem did you see how kohli got out under pressure. a low full toss!!!!! disgraceful

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | November 25, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    @Proteas-13thman ROFL at your post, I feel your pain. Tsotsobe recently was the No1 bowler in world ODI rankings - how is he not even considered for the squad??? I think Tahir has played his last test, he just has no control over his deliveries both Eng and Oz have smashed him. I'm not a Smith fan as captain but am as an opening batsman. The thing is who would be the next captain, AB or Alviro..???

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | November 25, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    SA are hardly there in these games. Only Morkel of the bowlers is really showing his stuff, and though the major batsmen are performing-Smith, Petersen, Amla and Kallis have all been on show at times, De Villiers is wasted as keeper(he really is far too good to dilute his talents), and Rudolph needs to produce big time. Tahir lloks completely out of sorts and Steyn is not doing it. Hardly the side of 4 months ago and I suspect the crown is pretty much up for grabs for England or Aus.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | November 25, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Real leadership issues here for SA. They have just been too negative. As has been pointed out, they appear to have underestimated the opposition greatly. Certainly, judging from comments here by some SA fans and SA writers, the team was just built into something that it could never live up to. Having said that, this is a v good SA team on paper, with a few big weaknesses too. I do hope AUS can win this game, as they fully deserve it. Silly Pommie trolls like RednWhiteArmy are living in the past, thinking Australia hasn't learned anything since the Ashes two years ago. Mr RnWA, far from beating Australia regularly, Eng have won 9 of the 18 internationals they have played AUS since the 1st AshesTest in Brisbane - AUS have won 8, one draw. I'd call that pretty even.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | November 25, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @disco-bob someone been going through his thesauus again in a vain attempt to look clever 'hubris'......

    Youre right though, as an SA fan its been very dissapointing. Tahir was rubbish and just played his last test match for SA. I do still think its a great toss to win but that just makes me look like a sore loser. Aus just batted so much better and our batting stars didnt really come to the party with AB and Amla both failing. Both seam attacks were fairly blunted on the pitch and Aus spinner was miles better than Tahir just through pure control and economy.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | November 25, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    SA needs a miracle and that's just for a draw. Not sure what happened to SA who surely would not have expected to be in this position - two played with only a reasonable chance of drawing. Aus have been nothing short of sensational and I guess two double hundreds from the captain helps list the team and negate the best bowling attack in the world. The Aus bowling attack, very inexperienced and no where in the rankings comapred to SA, have managed to keep knocking over quality batters from SA. The game could still be a draw as the wicket hasnt really misbehaved but credit where its due and Aus deserve lots of it - they have been senstaional in the first two tests.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | November 25, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Another very good day's cricket and it looks as though Australia will win fairly easily. Personally, I'm delighted- with England on top against India, the two old enemies are rising to the top of the rankings and next (English) Summer's Ashes series will be for all the marbles. Clarke has been immense, both as a batsman and a captain. He's pulled this team together and made them into a fine side. SA look tired after a lot of cricket away from home against two good teams. Aus to win this game, then on to Perth!

  • POSTED BY ajayrcs on | November 25, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    JG2704 & dalboy12 Hi! Amazing comment just one series and Clark is comparable to Sachin and better captain than Ponting let me make it clear to you Clark is into his good years when he will flop he will be the first to be kicked out of team and Poting didn't had Bowlers like Pattinson, Starc he had Johnson,Hillfy and White or Krejza as spinners So don't blame him. if you look this way he never had good 11 Australi best was Gilly, Mcgrath, Warne, Ponting, and bit of Hussey that it and you can't make a team and Ponting Made an almost Invincible Team. That's why he is GREATEST CAPTAIN, PLAYER AND BATSMAN EVER.

  • POSTED BY YorkerStump on | November 25, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    @popcorn

    You mean a mediocre Auzzie side with a more than exceptional captain. ;)

    Kudos to ABDV and FDP for putting up a life draining partnership. But still, a wonderful days worth of a cricket with four tests being played at the same time.

  • POSTED BY Essex_Man on | November 25, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Another gripping day's cricket. I wonder if the stubborn resistance from Faf and AB has given the Saffers a sniff of a great escape? Aussies still odds-on favourites, though. Such a shame this isn't a 5-Test series!

    @popcorn - Aussies are improving, and Pup is having the purplest of patches, but I think you're getting slightly carried away!

  • POSTED BY Redbac on | November 25, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Great day from the hosts again. Yesterday I tipped Australia to win by lunch. I am sticking with that forecast, with a tolerance of an extra hour of South African stonewalling. De Villiers and Du Plessis did a fairly solid impression of shopkeepers putting up the shutters in the last hour today. A steady stream of members retreating to the Green behind the new stand to seek refreshment there put more money in the SACA coffers, enough to encourage them to keep the back open for Day 5. Like the January Test vs India, Lyon might well snaffle a bag. I'm still debating: work...or see the kill? I know which I'd prefer.

  • POSTED BY Herbet on | November 25, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    There is no doubt this South Africa are a class team, but I have always thought they bat too slowly. They run up big enough scores for it to usually not effect them, but in this game they have been too conservative. Sometimes you have to be careful, in England for example, but against quick bowlers, on hard pitches in small grounds 4 runs an over should be in reach. Obviously in a match saving situation it doesn't matter.

  • POSTED BY mondotv on | November 25, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    Pup declares and takes the inititiative Would SA have declared in that situation? Would any other of the major teams in world cricket? I always thought Clarke would be our best leader since Taylor and he may well prove to be one of the great Captains though he still seems very reluctant to bowl himself before the likes of the innocuous Quiney. Perhaps preserving his back which is fair enough given his value with the bat. Smith is a puzzle for me - earlier in his career he led his team with courage and imagination but perhaps the wrong people have been whispering in his ear and that mentality of playing not to lose has seeped through the attitude of the whole team.

  • POSTED BY thirdmanboundary on | November 25, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    Need 4 major changes for Perth: 1) No need for a spinner--bring over Chris Morris (quick, aggressive) to replace Tahir; 2) Bring in Tsolekile to keep. He's an OK batter and even if he scored a double duck it would be worth it just to return ABD to the form he displays when not keeping; 3) Replace Rudolph with anyone. Let's see if Elgar can do something; 4) What to do about Kallis? Maclean is no substitute, but might be the best bet. Or if we want to go in w. only 4 bowlers (dropping Tahir and Rory, addling Vern and Morris), could go in without an allrounder.

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | November 25, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    @valleypf Stop living in the 1800's. Back to back ashes victorys, brother. Back to back! & 4-0 in the recent odi's.

  • POSTED BY Potatis on | November 25, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    @trumpoz yes anything can happen, including Australia winning in Perth and England becoming #1 with a series win in India. Neither Aus, SA or ENG are clear #1 sides IMO... yet.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | November 25, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    I knew the Adelaide pitch is a result pitch, but I predicted a draw not due to the pitch but due to what I expected would be a world class comeback from the no.1 team who always save their best for Australia. Little did I realise that they would turn up playing like they were on tranquilizers.

  • POSTED BY pat_one_back on | November 25, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    Awfully quiet in here tonight, where are all the negative voices undermining Clarke's runs, Lyon's skills, 'benign' Aust pitches and average fast bowlers now??? How frustrating it mut be when reality get's in the way of posting supremely ignorant mean and unsporting rubbish as though your an authority on the game.

  • POSTED BY nthuq on | November 25, 2012, 12:25 GMT

    Honestly quite frightened of the possibility of the draw here tomorrow. AB and Faf, while probably not doing the best thing by not scoring, certainly don't look to be getting out. Though if we continue with the trend of morning collapses in this game and manage to catch AB and/or Faf a bit bleary eyed, we'll do alright. After which the next gambit is the second new ball. If any two of AB, Faf and Kallis survive past the 2nd new ball, it could be a saddening draw.

  • POSTED BY trumpoz on | November 25, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    To those people who are saying South Africa are about to say goodbye to the number 1 spot. There is one more test and us Aussies have a habit of collapsing at bad times.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | November 25, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    This is an exceptional Australian side led by an exceptional Captain.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | November 25, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    So much for boring draws then eh... Australia favourites for the win by the looks of it. Nobody here slagging Lyon now! Trolls have all moved over to the England/India game instead.

  • POSTED BY postandrail on | November 25, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy And if England can beat Australia 31 more times without Australia winning a Test they'll be even!

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    @Meety, not just this afternoon, but more particularly when they batted in the first innings. At 2-200 they were just knocking half trackers from Dave Warner around for singles and not getting after the likes of Quiney at all, it just lets the Aussies get away with having no Watto. There is the point of difference, the Aussie batsmen just kept on demanding that Tahir and Kleinveldt had to keep on bowling. Come this innings and they are letting the Aussies get away with three bowlers! They just aren't asking the questions! The SA top order needs to find a 2nd gear and they also need to find someone else to do the keeping as their one batsmen capable of dominating just looks like he is on another planet.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    @Wozza, I can't really agree as I just think Smith let the game get out of control on day 1, so its his own fault. Why you'd have Tahir bowling around the wicket on day 1 is mystifying, little wonder he got smacked. He probably shouldn't have been playing at all. And then when they were getting smacked they seemingly did nothing to change up what was happening, just kept on sending down the same stuff, over after over, getting smashed!

  • POSTED BY Proteas-13thman on | November 25, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    The match was lost before it began~! the team should have been : Smith , alviro peterson , Amla , Kallis , AB dev , Faf , Robin peterson , Philander(if injured replaced by Tsostsobe who is not even in the squad???) , steyn , morkel and imran tahir. Ridiculous choosing rudolf and kelinveld. Robin petersen could have easily held up and end and built pressure if imran did what he did and bowled pies all day~!

    If this teams is not selected for the next match(kallis apart) and we lose then I officially will stop supporting the PROTEAS. I have watched almost every game since i was 12~! thats 20 years of dissapointment. I won't punish myself any longer

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 25, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    @ JG2704 on (November 25 2012, 09:06 AM GMT) - good luck in your match, I think your boys will do well - they haven't used Broad yet! LOL! In seriousness, it makes you think how stupid not select Monty was! @Jono Makim - yes, the Saffas should of kept the scoreboard ticking. What they are doing is like a boxer closing his eyes dropping his gloves & sticking his chin out. If the Saffas had scored at 3rpo, they'd be 4/150, & a good (or better than no-chance), chance of winning (280 on the last day is plausible). What they're doing is just letting Clarke dictate. It's no use, letting the tail have a swing, they need to come out & show intent (the word Oz have been using) & make Pup earn his bucks! @Wozza-CY on (November 25 2012, 09:17 AM GMT) - true, but I also think that Sth Africa have brought some of this on themselves. Oz had ?-marks over Watto - they didn't select him, there was ?-marks over Kallis & they played him, & he's injured. I also think Day 1 involved poor captaincy!

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | November 25, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    Waleed Tafheem that has got to be the worse call in history. Kohli has played 11 tests averaging 40. That wouldnt even get him a game in the SOuth African side.

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | November 25, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    It's hard to win a test match series without respecting the opposition. Australia found that out in England 2005. India found it during their Australian tour last season.

    It appears to me Smith's lack of imaginative captaincy is partly due to his belief in the superiority of his side in comparison to the Aussie line-up. Now statistically they are superior it is true, but the execution has been severely lacking. The fact there was only a plan for dismissing Clarke formulated for the second test (and it was the lame "bounce him out 'cause of his bad back") is indicative.

  • POSTED BY realist1 on | November 25, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Saffas are just one dimensional team, that is the reason why despite having the best pace bowling attack in the world cricket right now they can't win a test match. I am sorry but Tahir just doesn't cut to be a good test spinner. Oz will be 1 - 0 up going to Perth and may just wrap it 2 - 0.

  • POSTED BY Ragav999 on | November 25, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    @Wozza-CY: You are right that most commenters are harsh on SA. But unfortunately that is the way the international sport and its fans are most of the time. The gap between the current SA and Aus side is not as huge as it is shown to be in the last 2 Tests. The inform players Clarke and Hussey have more than covered all the weak links in Aus (Ponting and Quiney) and the Aussies have taken their catches well this time around compared to the Ashes or the previous SA tour of Aus. There have been many series that come to my mind like these if one looks at it objectively especially after 2007 when the teams world over are closely matched.

  • POSTED BY Potatis on | November 25, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    It's been a great match. Australia are well on top, but both teams have had to battle very hard and look tired. It's a shame for them that there are only a few days between games, but I can't wait for the Perth test. I admire the fighting spirit of the SA players, something we didn't see from the India side last Summer. I love the twists and turns of test cricket, it's the ultimate format.

  • POSTED BY Ross_Co on | November 25, 2012, 9:33 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy - I dare say SA's win/loss ratio against Aus since readmission dwarfs 'England's'. You can always count on the Saffas fighting for their country. I suppose being an 'England' fan you don't even know what that means.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    Saffers totally outclassed. A great day for Aussie cricket. Looks as if south Africa will hold onto number one as long as they did the first time.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Great show by the Aussies who are masters of 'pressure and patience' as Mickey Arthur put it. From a South African point of view, obviously I would like to see a miracle but the Aussies absolutely deserve to win this one. I agree with some of the other comments that Smith does not seem to have a plan B when the S hits the F. It is sad that when we get on the road to greatness, we cannot seem to maintain the journey. I say this with respect to the brilliance the Aussies have demonstrated - South African teams seem to bring the best out of them.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | November 25, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    I think people criticising the Proteas are being a little harsh. Smith has unfortunately been chasing the game since day 1. The speed at which Oz scored their runs (namely Warner, Clarke & Hussey) is very rare indeed in test match history. The loss of Kallis can't be underestimated. He is the best all rounder of modern times & the Saffas 'go-to' man. A specialist spinner was the right selection but what can you do about Tahirs execution on the day? So SA have always been chasing the game, mind you they have had their moments where they have fought back & actually done really well. Are people seriously knocking Amla? Two dusty innings & he's rubbish?....

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    Very dissappointing mindset from the South Africans throughout this series so far, that, apart from anything else is what stands out. Australia, barring bad weather will go one up tomorrow and South Africa will have just let it happen to them. You can not hope to maintain the no.1 ranking playing this style of cricket.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 25, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    SA might be able to play out a draw, but that is far less likely than an Aussie win. Du Plessis looks a good player to me (as does Petersen) and AB is obviously no mug. Then there's Jacques. .. like I said, not impossible, just not likely.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 25, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    have to agree with dalboy12 on (November 25 2012, 08:31 AM GMT) comms. Clarke is immense and a similar quality side which Ponting captained is performing so much better than the side Ponting left. Where are all the trolls that were purely moaning about the pitch , saying the game was heading for a bore draw now? Australia 80% , draw and SA 10% each and I think in reality the Aus win is higher than 80%

  • POSTED BY one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on | November 25, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    @disco bob, yes it was rare and special. But it also had a lot more to do with England's "dear in the headlights" second inning batting which gave Australia a sniff followed by a Ponting master class.

  • POSTED BY one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on | November 25, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Talking about trolls, I turned over to the Indian/England test match and saw an Indian fieldsman clearly claim a catch after the ball touched his helmet prior to the catch being taken. He would have clearly been aware that it touched his helmet as it happened in front of his eyes. All the corresponding discussion skirted around the batsman's experience (Bairstow, with more experience should have questioned the umpire) or that it was a poor decision by the umpire (these things happen in cricket, especially without DRS...it was a howler). there was no discussion about the integrity of the fieldsman claiming an unfair catch which he would have patently been aware of. Imagine the uproar we would hear if an Australian had have done the same?

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | November 25, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    I guess England are the only team who regularly beat australia

  • POSTED BY RoJayao on | November 25, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Have to agree with many comments here, I can't believe this South African team that's turned up to defend their new no. 1 status. Maybe we're seeing just how a team of great players does not necessarily make a great team always. Save for a few sessions when Kallis, Amla and to a lesser extent Morkel and Steyn have done well, this so called "average" Australian team have dominated the best team in the world! South Africa have had some poor luck with injury, as have Australia I might add, they may well draw a match they've never come close to winning, and they may even win in Perth. But two inescapable truths have emerged from this series: Smith is an extremely one dimensional captain with no idea what to do if plan A doesn't work, and this South African team now is not a patch on the team four years ago that won in Australia!! SA can thank Clarke for not being close to Smith in mindset, because frankly SA have not "deserved" to have any chance in this match

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    As I said on day2, this match was never going to be a draw! Those that were so sure a draw was the only result possible, really have no idea about the game.

  • POSTED BY dalboy12 on | November 25, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Clark is the difference between these teams - his runs and captaincy have been superb. SA don't look like the #1 team, they look very average - Steyn is not his normal self and surely Tahir and Rudolph will never play test cricket again. This test is gone, it won't go much beyond lunch i reckon. The only hope for SA is that they do what Aussies did in the last series and bounce back after a heavy defeat to win the final test to draw the series. To do that they need Steyn to find his consistency and then get him to apply some deep heat where it hurts the most and rip through the Aussie lie-up. In Perth, if I was a selector - with Rory bowling well now and them having to win in Perth, I would go in with four quicks. Morkel (who needs to get angry - insult his mother or something) Steyn (see the above), Rory, and Vern.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | November 25, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    @therealutopianindigent. A well researched thoughtful post indeed. First, answer to your question, We beat India 4-0 last season. Secondly, due to injury, I am not playing for a while so got to go to the Gabba & day 3 of the Adelaide test. Your guys looked slightly off their game, a bit jaded. They are, despite what many post, a high quality team, & they never toss in the towel. Amla looked a million dollars in Brisbane. From an Aussie pov, I hope you keep the gloves on AB as it affects his batting. But as a cricket enthusiast, his batting is very special, as he is. A quality player & person, but really, the extra burden is affecting him badly. Rudolph is a quality player, but just out of form.

  • POSTED BY Paulk on | November 25, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    Given the fact that SA was 4 down for not very much, I enjoyed the rearguard action of AB and Faf. This is Test matches as they used to be - you have to change strategy on the circumstances and the situation at this time called for some real hard defensive game. You need a defensive game to fall back on. I dont think they will be able to pull it off tomorrow - with only an injured Kallis before the tail starts - but it was still great defensive batsmanship. They executed it perfectly atleast until this evening, otherwise the game might well have been almost over by stumps.

  • POSTED BY whofriggincares on | November 25, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @tommytuckersaffa, did you mean "not a MINEFIELD" because it most certainly is a MINDFIELD out there. As anyone who has played the game knows it is largely played between the ears. If the aussies do win as we all expect ,it will go down as one of the great captaincy triumphs ever. The way pup batted on day 1 destroyed the saffers confidence. SA has always been a superbly talented side but always seems to be let down by a lack of mental toughness. The aussie team has always prided itself on its mental toughness and will to win . That is why they are able to match it or outplay sides that on paper look superior. And that is why we see so many supporters of other countrys sinking the boots in at any sign of perceived weakness.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | November 25, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    @Meety. I think the "experts" need to look up what a road is in relation to a pitch. I was there on day 3 & saw 13 wickets fall. Not bad for a supposed road. These "experts" show theiir complete lack of cricket knowledge almost to a point of amusement.

  • POSTED BY Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on | November 25, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    @whofriggincares, hear hear. The trolls are quiet tonight because even they know that actions speak much, much louder than words. What has surprised me in these two tests is the contrast between the two teams in strategy - Australia has been far more aggressive both with the bat and in the field. Of course it's always harder playing away from home, but surely Australian conditions and pitches are closer to South African conditions than any other country playing tests. Kallis is the only Protea to have really stood up, and his loss will really be felt.

  • POSTED BY KunzMan on | November 25, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Loss was highly likely for SA after the clobbering they received on first day. But this has been a meek performance to put it mildly. Without a doubt Aussies outplayed SA and SA were always playing the catch up game. But as @Tommytuckkersaffa put it, this has been a painful chase. I grew a beard when the score was in the 40s. Rudolph unfortunately looks completely clueless (however good his domestic records maybe). As i said in the earlier comment, SA going down 0-1 by mid-day tomorrow (max).

    I would still retain and injured Kallis. (The legend is more aggressive and dangerous on one leg than any other player in SA right now) replace Rudolph, Kleinveldt and Tahir with Elgar, Philander and Peterson respectively. Atleast Robin can have more control and containing ability than Tahir. Ponting might pick a wicket before Tahir. Well played Australia!

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | November 25, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Those saying South Africa should try and chase down 430 now on a last day Adelaide Oval wicket are deluded. Once they lost 4 wickets they have done the right thing and trying to show fight. Onnce the ball gets old on a crumbling pitch it is very hard to score runs and as for the sporting declaration I expect Clarke knew there was very little chance of losing. SOuth Africa still had to score at 3 runs an over for 4 and half sessions. I'm glad there is no more bashing of this wonderful pitch which has created a great game or for Lyon who is always improving. His advantage as an off-spinner is he really does get good bounce. Congratulations Australia well played finish this off and then switch on for Perth. All the South African fans who should replace Smith if he was to be suspended for the pathetic overate on the first day.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | November 25, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    @Meety, the trolls, only make our useless bowlers like sid, hilf, and club cricketer Lyon, dismantling the worlds deepest batting lineup and our fragile batsmen making the world's most destructive attack look bewildered and bereft of ideas, all the more sweet.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    SA can't bowl, can't bat, can't field and the captain goes out for a duck. Australia will win the series 2-0 and Smith would resign the captaincy after the series. Gary Kirsten and Allan Donald would have to explain why SA were so woeful in Adelaide? Hashim Amla, a rare failure or a form slump or he just thinks he's too good-only for Eng but not Aus. Say goodbye to the no.1 ranking it is australia's to keep. Steyn looks very pedestrian, Philander went wicketless in Brisbane, is this really the no.1 quality team? or a shadow of itself. It seems as if whichever team has gone to no.1 has struggled afterwards. Would that happen to Australia, let's see.

  • POSTED BY therealutopianindigent on | November 25, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    As the world's no.1 fan of Jacques Rudolph as a cricketer I have to admit that this was probably it for his international career. Unless injuries force the selectors to play him against their will in Perth he will be dropped forever.

    Nathan Lyon's giving spinner classes to everyone who's watching. I think the Proteas will do well to rather play Duminy & Du Plessis in tests in future rather than forcing a spinner into international cricket without properly testing him first.

    But what a series Clarke's having! I'm no fan but it does not hurt to sing the accolades of someone who has brought us such beautiful batting. Also Morkel seems to have arrived at last in test cricket. It was always there but now he's become the main strike bowler.

    I am still not a fan of Amla. I resolved at some stage that one cannot keep on ascribing his success to luck but really he does not play hostile pace well.

    Final comment: When was the last time one of your teams won a test series in Australia?

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | November 25, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    @one-eyed-but-keepinitreal, nevertheless after knocking England over for not many on the final day in Adelaide in the 2006 Ashes, Australia overhauled their target which was larger than England's final innings total, at the spritely clip of over 5 RPO

  • POSTED BY zdrgn on | November 25, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    ausssie bowlers looked a bit more tired. i am afraid that there is still a possibility of draw.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | November 25, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    This has been a really dissapointing chase, Smith nicks out on his 2nd ball and Amla out again by another average delivery, drives at a wide one and gets a nick. Then a pathetic decision by management to put Rudolph in next who was so negative in his batting approach that it plays into Aus hands and more pressure is built up. Its not a mindfield out there, nor is there Warne or McGrath. SA lost the plot when they decided to go for the draw and bat incredibily negatively. Oz will go 1-0 up in the series probably by lunch tomorrow. Ruldolph needs to be dropped ASAP along with Tahir, SA have to win in Perth to retain no.1

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Surely Rudolph has had his last chance? Robbie Pietersen must replace Tahir, Philander Rudolph and if Kallis is unavailable, Elgar could be given a chance. To be beaten by an average Aussie attack missing their strike bowler must be quite humiliating.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 25, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    @whofriggincares on (November 25 2012, 04:44 AM GMT) - it'll be fascinating to see what the trolls will say now!!!

  • POSTED BY KunzMan on | November 25, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    Even if JHK is injured, play him for Perth. Replace Rudolph with Edgar, Tahir with Peterson and Rory with Vern. Although Rory did bowl well in the second dig but still. This looks to be a much better side: Smith, Petersen, Amla, JHK, Elgar, ABD, Faf, Petersen, Philander, Steyn, Morkel.

  • POSTED BY one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on | November 25, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Adelaide is a characteristically different wicket to those in which large totals have been chased. Historically it gets harder to bat as the game proceeds. Generally, the side with first innings runs wins. Over the last 10+ years Perth has flattened out and become easier to bat. Antigua was flat the whole game and relied on a declaration to produce a result. Any discussions of a large run chase, even with Australia down a pace bowler, are as ill informed as those people who thought the road would not produce a result.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | November 25, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    SA's fearful capitulation and Smith's very ordinary captaining, (not withstanding some excellent bowling from Australia), has been very surprising. I would have expected SA to do a good job of chasing what was a sporting declaration from Clarke given that they had a very gettable RR to chase down a big score that was not within the realms of improbability.

    The SA fans deserved better from their team, even though their hubris has bordered on disrespectful arrogance before the series began.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Thats y i think that kohli is a better batsman than amla as he can handle the pressure well. amla most often scumbs to it

  • POSTED BY whofriggincares on | November 25, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Wow did our "club standard "spinner just get the alleged best bat in the world out? What pleasure i get from going back and reading all the very insightful comments about doctored pitches , boring draws and no good spinners. Amazing how many people think they know so much about our great game but in fact know very little. Pitches like this one are what makes test cricket the greatest game on earth .And to all the english fans that love to go the crow in the early stages of test matches , you better hope that we dont get all our bowlers fit for the ashes next year or your 7 losses from the last 12 tests is going to keep getting worse ,relegating you to your rightful and long held lowly ranking.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    Its a superb declaration, its a superb sportsman spirit for Michel Clarke who create chances for both the teams to set up victory...... Well done Pup....

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Could be Smith's last series as captain I reckon. He is way too defensive in the field and as skipper, his body language when things go against his team is atrocious and he no longer sets an example when batting.

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  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    Could be Smith's last series as captain I reckon. He is way too defensive in the field and as skipper, his body language when things go against his team is atrocious and he no longer sets an example when batting.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    Its a superb declaration, its a superb sportsman spirit for Michel Clarke who create chances for both the teams to set up victory...... Well done Pup....

  • POSTED BY whofriggincares on | November 25, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    Wow did our "club standard "spinner just get the alleged best bat in the world out? What pleasure i get from going back and reading all the very insightful comments about doctored pitches , boring draws and no good spinners. Amazing how many people think they know so much about our great game but in fact know very little. Pitches like this one are what makes test cricket the greatest game on earth .And to all the english fans that love to go the crow in the early stages of test matches , you better hope that we dont get all our bowlers fit for the ashes next year or your 7 losses from the last 12 tests is going to keep getting worse ,relegating you to your rightful and long held lowly ranking.

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Thats y i think that kohli is a better batsman than amla as he can handle the pressure well. amla most often scumbs to it

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | November 25, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    SA's fearful capitulation and Smith's very ordinary captaining, (not withstanding some excellent bowling from Australia), has been very surprising. I would have expected SA to do a good job of chasing what was a sporting declaration from Clarke given that they had a very gettable RR to chase down a big score that was not within the realms of improbability.

    The SA fans deserved better from their team, even though their hubris has bordered on disrespectful arrogance before the series began.

  • POSTED BY one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on | November 25, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Adelaide is a characteristically different wicket to those in which large totals have been chased. Historically it gets harder to bat as the game proceeds. Generally, the side with first innings runs wins. Over the last 10+ years Perth has flattened out and become easier to bat. Antigua was flat the whole game and relied on a declaration to produce a result. Any discussions of a large run chase, even with Australia down a pace bowler, are as ill informed as those people who thought the road would not produce a result.

  • POSTED BY KunzMan on | November 25, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    Even if JHK is injured, play him for Perth. Replace Rudolph with Edgar, Tahir with Peterson and Rory with Vern. Although Rory did bowl well in the second dig but still. This looks to be a much better side: Smith, Petersen, Amla, JHK, Elgar, ABD, Faf, Petersen, Philander, Steyn, Morkel.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 25, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    @whofriggincares on (November 25 2012, 04:44 AM GMT) - it'll be fascinating to see what the trolls will say now!!!

  • POSTED BY on | November 25, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Surely Rudolph has had his last chance? Robbie Pietersen must replace Tahir, Philander Rudolph and if Kallis is unavailable, Elgar could be given a chance. To be beaten by an average Aussie attack missing their strike bowler must be quite humiliating.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | November 25, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    This has been a really dissapointing chase, Smith nicks out on his 2nd ball and Amla out again by another average delivery, drives at a wide one and gets a nick. Then a pathetic decision by management to put Rudolph in next who was so negative in his batting approach that it plays into Aus hands and more pressure is built up. Its not a mindfield out there, nor is there Warne or McGrath. SA lost the plot when they decided to go for the draw and bat incredibily negatively. Oz will go 1-0 up in the series probably by lunch tomorrow. Ruldolph needs to be dropped ASAP along with Tahir, SA have to win in Perth to retain no.1