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

Smith, Amla help South Africa sprint away from Australia

Daniel Brettig

December 1, 2012

Comments: 204 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 225 and 2 for 230 (Amla 99*, Smith 84) lead Australia 163 (Wade 68, Hastings 32, Steyn 4-40, Peterson 3-44) by 292 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ricky Ponting leaves the middle after his dismissal, Australia v South Africa, third Test, day two, Perth, December 1, 2012
Ricky Ponting was lbw for 4 © Getty Images
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When the critical moment of the series arrived, South Africa grabbed it with a ruthlessness entirely befitting the world's No. 1 team. On the day they had hoped for a valedictory Perth century from Ricky Ponting to capitalise on a strong opening to the match, Australia were instead dismantled with the bat and run ragged in the field. Hurried along at a cracking pace by Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith, South Africa's lead is already a vast 292 runs.

Dale Steyn joined Smith and Amla in turning in a command performance, and the hosts' response was limp, with only the isolated batting resistance of Matthew Wade and a pair of startling catches standing out amid mediocre batting and worse bowling. Ponting's rapid exit was a sombre subplot as South Africa's bowlers clambered all over Australia's batsmen, and Michael Clarke's team were simply overwhelmed in the final session by the poise and aggression of Amla and Smith. Much like Steyn, they identified the time to strike with fearful precision.

United when Alviro Petersen fell shortly after tea to Mitchell Johnson's thrilling return catch, Smith and Amla tucked into poor spells from John Hastings and Mitchell Starc in particular. While Smith enjoyed a series of deliveries directed heedlessly at his pads, Amla toyed with Australia's bowling and fielding placings by moving across the crease with impunity to flick to the legside or drive handsomely through the off. He finished the day only a run shy of a century in the final session.

Smart stats

  • Australia's total of 163 is their lowest in the first innings in Perth since January 1993, when they scored 119 against a West Indies attack of Curtly Ambrose, Ian Bishop and Courtney Walsh. In 19 Tests at the WACA between these two matches, Australia had never scored less than 200.
  • For only the second time in the last 75 years, and the fourth time ever, each of Australia's top seven batsmen scored less than 14 in their first innings of a Test.
  • The 178-run stand between Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla, which came off 153 balls, is the third-fastest 150-plus stand recorded in Test cricket.
  • Dale Steyn is one of only two bowlers to dismiss Michael Clarke seven times in Tests. Ishant Sharma is the other. Clarke is one of four batsmen to be dismissed seven times by Steyn.
  • Since the beginning of 2007, only once has Amla had a spell of more than four successive innings without at least a half-century in Tests.
  • South Africa's 414 for 4 in 2008 is the highest winning fourth-innings total in a Perth Test.

Smith too deserved a century, but was thwarted in his quest by a hook he did not quite control and another stunning catch, this time by Nathan Lyon. Whatever succour Australia took from this moment was to be greatly reduced when Lyon appeared to lose his footing and spilled a simpler chance offered by Jacques Kallis shortly after - the drop more representative of the hosts' foggy approach to the evening's play, which completed perhaps their worst day's cricket at home since Clarke became captain.

It was almost as though Australia's players had been overcome by melancholy at the events of the morning. Granted an opening by David Warner's poor stroke to Dale Steyn's first ball of the day, the visitors produced bowling of the highest quality on a WACA ground pitch that had quickened overnight to rumble the hosts for 163.

Quieter than usual for most of this series, Steyn pounced on what may come to be remembered as this series' most pivotal day, moving the ball at high pace and conjuring arguably the ball of the series to find the outside edge of Australia's captain and batting cornerstone Clarke. Vernon Philander contributed the wicket of Ponting, his skidding trajectory winning a second lbw of the innings on a surface not lending itself to such dismissals with its steep bounce.

Robin Peterson extracted a measure of revenge for a pair of earlier sixes by defeating Wade after lunch, and the left-arm spinner added the wickets of Mitchell Johnson and Hastings to round up the innings and more than justify his selection.

Resuming at 2 for 33, Warner and the nightwatchman Lyon were charged with setting a foundation for Ponting and others. Warner kicked his commission away however with a flat-footed swish at his first sight of Steyn, an edge clearly audible though the opener compounded his error by calling haltingly for a review. With no strongly contradicting evidence available on replays, Richard Kettleborough's finger was raised a second time.

Ponting nearly shovelled his first ball to midwicket, but found a sharp single to get off the mark in his penultimate Test innings. That brought Lyon on strike to face Steyn, and first ball he was turned around by a well-pitched outswinger and the snick was held in the gully.

Willed on by a capacity crowd and countless television watchers, Ponting swivelled into one pull shot from Philander, the stroke looking attractive but not timed with the precision of his younger days. It was to be his only signature moment, as Philander whirred one down the line of middle and off to pin Ponting lbw. For what seemed reasons as much emotional as tactical, Clarke unwisely allowed Ponting to refer the decision, which confirmed the right call had been made, thus stripping the hosts of their remaining review.

Dominant as he has been this year, an outstanding delivery was required to dismiss Clarke, and Steyn duly provided it. Angling into the stumps before bending away treacherously late, Clarke did well to edge it, and South Africa rejoiced Australia's punch-drunk tally of 6 for 45. Wade and Hussey resisted for a time, the wicketkeeper taking the attacker's role while the senior batsman tried to weather a hostile spell from Morne Morkel.

Wade's innings showed that runs could most certainly be scored, but he lost Hussey not long before lunch as he pushed indeterminately at a Morkel delivery from around the wicket and presented a slips catch to Smith. Hastings fought out the remaining minutes of the morning, and after lunch gave Wade some stout company.

The stand was worth 40 when Wade miscalculated against Peterson, ending an innings that might have tilted the match had it been allowed to continue for another hour. Johnson's defeat was the result of subtle variations in flight from Peterson and a not-so-subtle response from the batsman, while Hastings was last out when Petersen took a steepling chance and then regathered it after stepping momentarily over the boundary rope at long off.

The opening overs of South Africa's innings featured a couple of nervy moments for Smith in particular, but all 10 wickets remained intact when tea was called. Alviro Petersen would be lost shortly after the resumption when he popped up a bouncer off glove or bat handle that Johnson did wonderfully well to catch after an athletic chase and dive, but the rest was to be a procession. South Africa are not quite hoisting the ICC's Test Championship mace yet, but after this day's domination they may as well be.

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

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Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

We weren't good enough in the first two tests and fella part in this test match! If Australia wants to regain top spot it must do better than this effort! They must become tougher and be prepared to fight harder for success!

Posted by viking_legend on (December 2, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

I think SA have to make 600 plus to bat AUS out the game. Being Ponting last game i would really like to see AUS show some fight. I have to say he has been one of the greats.I think Aus would go for a win regardless of the score SA post as the chance to be no 1 in the world wont come thier way soon. The game is setup for a great finish either way. Top shelf again by amazing Amla and Smith. They negated the seam movement by using their feet effectively.

Posted by broken_chairs on (December 2, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

@Marcio well i was directing my criticisms more at AUS's long term problems rather than this series in particular. The previous matches were characterised by flatter pitches which were tough work for the bowlers. the success AUS had in those matches (eg 480 in a day) were set up by only a couple of batsmen -clarke, hussey. we've been completely reliant on those two batsmen for the past 1-2 years, and you can't expect them to perform every single innings. the centuries by cowen/warner were nice but they don't contribute anywhere near as consistently as they should, which is why AUS often ends up with massive collapses. Perth in contrast is an excellent bowling pitch, and both our batsmen and bowlers were undone in the face of that. I don't get to see SA play all that much, so I can't really comment, but by the looks of it yeah they're not a SUPER batting team either and have their issues. But their quality bowling is what really sets them apart.

Posted by Marcio on (December 2, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

@ broken_chairs, "this had to happen. It really highlights Australia's 2 huge problems - a ridiculously brittle top order and an impotent bowling attack." So, when Sa were getting carted around the fiield a little over a week ago, going for 480 runs in a day, was it "inevitable"? Brittle batsmen? When SA were 6/60 in the first innings here, and 4/70 after 80 overs in Adelaide, was it a "ridiculously brittle top order"? The only logical conclusion, taking the series as a whole, is that SA's bowlers and batsmen are just as brittle. A couple of good days at the end of a series where you were well behind almost all the way, does not define the team's performance, nor does two bad days define Australia's. Remember, Faf was given out twice early in his innings in Adelaide, one DRS showing the seam pitching just 2mm outside leg when he was on 37, 40% of the ball over. That is how close AUS came to winning this series. 2mm. AUS played some superb cricket, and 1-1 would have been a fair result.

Posted by No_1_again on (December 2, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

Sack the Aussie bowling coach. What is he doing? Very impressed with Alan Donald's work; watching the game, talking on one way to cricket analyst and passing tips to the bowlers, and talk to bowlers at the boundary line. When Mcedormett used to coach we to see him. Who is the Aussie bowling coach these days?

Posted by Basil777 on (December 2, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

Now you why SA is No. 1 super bowlng; great batting and excellent team performance

Posted by popcorn on (December 2, 2012, 3:26 GMT)

I cannot understand Michael Clarke's bowling changes when Smith and Amla were on the rampage. He should have slowed down the game by bowling himself, Warner and Lyon. He should brought Shane Watson on - he has excellent figures of 5 - 2 - 17 - 0. What is the big idea of keeping Shane Watson wrapped up in cotton wool,just because he has to bat at Number 3, when all along you say he HAS to play as an all -rounder? Watson is a wicket - taker, a partnership breaker. Unlike John Hastings who has hit the wall.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 3:01 GMT)

Amla is probably the most watchable batsman in international cricket today because his grace and elegance and his calmness at the wicket As a neutral I was willing him to get that century in that last session.

It was unfortunatete that Smith gave his wicket away when close of stumps was fast approaching. Kallis set about getting a feel of the wicket by playing defensively and inevitably Amla was starved of the strike within touching distance of a brilliant century. It was very frustrating and it got to Amla. He played two injudicious strokes and was lucky to survive. I am looking forward to watch him bat for a long time.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 2:35 GMT)

I notice some biased comments by South African supporters asserting that the Aussie curators deliberately prepared flat pitches in Brisbane and Adelaide to negate the South African pace attack. Well, in other words, are they saying Steyn, Philander and Morkel can only bowl on greentops??? Warne and McGrath on the other hand were able to succeed on all kinds of pitches and test all batsmen to the nth degree on any surface. Flat pitches are as much part of the game as greentops and middle of the road pitches, and in any case, the Aussie bowers had to deal with these flat pitches in Brisbane ans Adelaide as well.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (December 2, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

the crowd won't be confusing lyon with ponting again... lyon is the bloke who guts it out, has the ability to hang around for his team and scores some runs..... and doesn't selfishly use up reviews when he's absolutely plumb...

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (December 2, 2012, 2:11 GMT)

Stupendous batting by Smith and Amla. Sout Africa is the no. 1 test team in the world and Amla is the no. 1 batsman in the world. Ponting and Tendulkar's era ended 2 years ago. Ponting realized this and retired, but Tendulkar and his fans are in complete denial. Sadly, he will keep on playing and getting humiliated.

Posted by dsig3 on (December 2, 2012, 2:10 GMT)

Extremely disappointing. After having these guys on the ropes for the last 2 tests it looks like we are finished here. Our chance will come again, but this was a golden opportunity to grab the number 1 and we let it slip. I hope this hurts the boys as much as it hurts the fans who have supported them.

Posted by Aspraso on (December 2, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

The great beauty of a Test-match lie in the turnarounds and results that are unexpected that happen. So of a 5-days match, the first 2 days are still early days.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 1:15 GMT)

It was a great bowling effort from SA, but the way that they batted highlighted just how poorly the Australian batters had done earlier in the day. That was not the wicket that should have generated a failure by every one of the Australian top order (none past 15).

And then we bowl, and realise that that bit of variety that is gained by bringing in a good left hander, is lost when all you have is left handers (as you true pace attack).

At the other end are two solid but again not too dissimilar medium pacers.....

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 2, 2012, 1:09 GMT)

The question is : How many do SA need to cover the Clarke factor? 500 should be plenty.Anyway it never rains in Perth in summer and there is so much time available. Good that someone has shut randyoz and jonesy2 down.Looking ahead it would be nice for a year or more of it-13 months 10 days to be precise.

Posted by Marcio on (December 2, 2012, 1:08 GMT)

@Greatest_Game, that's unfair on @Hammond. He's back, just batting for the other team ;-)

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 2, 2012, 1:07 GMT)

That was a truly remarkable day's cricket. Very poor showing by the Aussie top order but they did come up against some rather good bowling. The SA batsman hadn't done much better though. I think the main difference was that SA had an established batsman still at the crease for the tail-enders to support while, once Wade fell, the Aussie tail-enders had to try to do the scoring themselves. That second innings batting from SA was something else though. They made Australia's scoring in the previous Test look pedestrian. It will be interesting to see whether they fall back to a more usual scoring rate on day 3 or continue to attack. There's still lots of time left in this game so, if Australia can bowl SA out on day 3, they still have at least two days to knock off the runs. That's a definite possibility, as long as the pitch stays true. R Peterson did a good job in the first innings but there's still the possibility that SA could miss Tahir on the last day.

Posted by Marcio on (December 2, 2012, 0:58 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa, just as well you were so generous in your praise ten days ago when SA had the worst day in its modern bowling history. No doubt that was a perfect day's play by SA. However, given that the shoe was on the other foot just days before, it's unnecessary to declare the end of the world; such as someone else's comment "Clarke will only score 200s vs SL." I have a short memory too, but wasn't it just a week or two ago that he scored one against SA? This game is over. But who knows? Maybe the pitch will stay true and Steyn will break down without bowling a ball, leaving SA with 3 bowlers, and AUS will bat out 4 or 5 sessions to avoid a massive loss? It's happened before. ;-)

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

if he played like this he will becomes a number one test batsman of the year and I hope next year he will get the """ICC AWARDS TEST and ODI""" player of the year. so plz guys prayer for him

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 2, 2012, 0:54 GMT)

@Zaheerahmed on (December 01 2012, 14:27 PM GMT), every team employs similar delaying tactics when they are in the field and getting the worst of it and every team doesn't like when it's done to them. The fact is that, while it's a shame that Amla didn't get to a hundred, he had plenty of time to get there. Smith fell at 32.3 overs and Amla was on 92. He had another 5.3 overs to make 8 runs, which would be plenty of time under normal circumstances but more than enough at the rate Amla was scoring. The reason Amla didn't make his hundred was that Kallis took so much of the strike for those last few overs. That's not to criticise Kallis, because he was playing himself in, but he could have tried harder to give Amla the strike and Amla could have played the balls he did face better.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 23:50 GMT)

its disappointing when all you have to do on a pitch like this is stick to a fullish good length, SA are a very disciplined unit, they will bowl length all day and be patient, when they bat, they bat for there team mates and there country and fight right to the end, these guys keep things simple but they do it very well, the aussies had there chance but were a bowler down on the 2nd test, this test we bowled them out for less then 250 and failed to capitalize on the fantastic position we just put our selves in, yes SA had a 64 or more run lead but its not a massive lead, but we never bowled with a plan, every long hop wide short ball or leg side delivery our bowlers bowled hurts us and is just letting your team mates down, SA are a disciplined unit and deserve to be number 1, Aus wont be for a while until we do the simple things right.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (December 1, 2012, 23:49 GMT)

South Africa will bat all day & declare then the aussies will have to chase about 550 to 600. They will, however only get about 47 of them.

Posted by srriaj317 on (December 1, 2012, 23:44 GMT)

How sad that despite absolutely dominating SA in the first 2 tests, Australia will end up losing the series because of failing in just 1 innings! Justice is very scarce in this day and age...

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

I believe all sportsmen or sports persons should always play the game in the spirit of the game--win or lose--after all only one team will win and only one tam will lose. Why not to play the game to the best of your ability and capability. Players should always remember that each and every activity on the field is watched by millions at the same time.

Posted by kumarsSansai on (December 1, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

Steyn is vary good player. really i like to watch his bowling. or why even me all world like to watch his bowling..

Posted by thectexperience on (December 1, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

Before SA's 2nd innings, my thoughts were that if Australia could more consistently produce their best bowling -- worthy of Starc's two bowled wickets, Johnson beating Amla repeatedly and delivering fearsome short balls, and Hastings bowling the out-swing that removed de Villiers -- then, perhaps then, SA could be removed on a flattening deck for ~200 runs, leaving Australia with a challenging total pushing 300 in the final innings. Yet instead of the Aussie bowlers turning things up a notch, they dropped down two levels. It will take something spectacular for them to remove SA cheaply on Day 3 then chase a big total.

Certainly we can say that SA deserve the series win. SA fans should leave the gloating out of it though. If it weren't for the rain in Brisbane and Matthew Wade's dropped catch on Day 5 in Adelaide, it could be a very different picture

Posted by kumarsSansai on (December 1, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

Great SA. Amla Super...........

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

No excuses from me - Australia were blatantly outplayed yesterday. Great bowling by the Saffer quicks and exhilarating batting by Smith and Amla. Dave Warner, unless he rescues us in the 2nd dig, has to take a lot of responsibility for the mess Australia finds itself in. That shot yesterday was totally irresponsible given the state of the match - I wouldn't be surprised if the NSP sends hm back to Shield cricket to leanr how to construct an innings. My top six for the first Test aganist the Lankas would be Watson, Cowan, Khawaja, Doolan, Clarke and Hussey. Let's hope there are a couple of early wickets today, otherwise we can kiss goodbye to this match, the series and the number 1 ranking.

Posted by drnaveed on (December 1, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

in this series, AUS have proved that they are poor finishers. despite being in a winning position, in both the first 2 test matches, they could not forced a win in their favour.whereas , the SA side fought their way out till the end, and drew the 2 test matches,which in a way was a win for them.remember, they were not playing with their full strength side, as they lost services of Duminy just after the start of the 1st test, and than lost Kallis again in the early part of the 2nd test, and than when they were in trouble in the first innings of the 3rd test match ,they fought back well to take the lead . in the second innings they took full advantage of the situation with a positive frame of mind and put the AUS on the back foot.they thoroughly deserve the number 1 test side ranking.

Posted by pat_one_back on (December 1, 2012, 22:33 GMT)

@Zaheerahmed, you must have missed Faf being cautioned for time wasting in the last hour of Adelaide. Morkle wandering off to square leg, I take your point but it's a bit rough to call Clarke out for a common tactic. Many are still upset at Eng intentionally bowling wides just to prevent Gilly scoring the fastest ever Test hundred in Perth, hundred in a session doesn't mean that much these days (record wise).

Posted by sama74 on (December 1, 2012, 22:31 GMT)

I fail to see why people think pitches were deliberately prepared flat in 2 tests and then lively in the 3rd.It just makes no sense.These are Aussie conditions,have been the same for years.There is no evil conspiracy.Goodness me ,stop calling pitches roads when it suits your team and demons when it doesent.Great efforts from steyne,wade and amla,thrilling to watch.

Posted by sama74 on (December 1, 2012, 22:15 GMT)

Great bowling by steyne.If only for a bit better shot selection at times from the Aussie bats.Wade and Johnston's dismissals I felt where a bit poor.I thought another hour or so and oz could've ground out the deficit,much the same as faf and the lower order did.after all the saf top order collapsed as bad as the oz did in the first innings.some poor bowling 2nd innings has seen amla pounce,credit to him.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 1, 2012, 22:08 GMT)

@ Zaheerahmed on (December 01 2012, 14:27 PM GMT) Well said. I have to agree with you. Putting pressure on a batsman as he approaches a milestone is a perfectly acceptable tactic as it increases the chance of a valuable wicket. Unfortunately, Clarke stepped way over the line and it became clear that he was playing with very negative intent, neither attacking nor defending, but simply delaying. Throughout the series a lot of criticism has been directed at Smith, with some commenters here claiming that he was playing for the draw from day 1 at Brisbane. It seems clear now which skipper is not a positive, sporting leader. It will be a shame if Ponting's last test goes down in history as one defined by the poor conduct of the man he groomed and mentored. Surely, Ricky deserves a more sporting farewell than this?

Posted by maf17 on (December 1, 2012, 22:00 GMT)

Hello, suddenly a lot of SA fans on here shooting their mouths off. Didnt hear a peep from them when Clarke & Hussey were thrashing their attack all over the ground in Brisbane & Adelaide. Bit premature too. Seem to have forgotten that theri own team chased down 400 plus last time on this ground, and there's time enough in this match for Australia to chase down 500 if necessary. The pitch is certainly docile enough to do it.

Posted by shahrukh1965 on (December 1, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

it was batting master class by Amla. he is the calmest cricketer playing today.

Posted by krishna_cricketfan on (December 1, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

Aussies will fight till the end. Today it was good batting by SA. The ball that dismissed Clarke was a beauty. It takes a great delivery to dismiss him. Anything can happen in this match. What if, Australia is left to chase 400? Aussie fan seem to dismiss this team. I do not know why. Having held upper hand in 2 matches, but not giving the KO, there is every reason to believe this is going to be an interesting match. Take the example of the 2 catches held by Johnson and Lyon. That is called fighting spirit. It will take fantastic bowling by SA to KO Australia without a fight. The match is on.

Posted by OzWally on (December 1, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

Had an ill feeling about this game after we failed to put them away in the first two. You can't keep a true champion down forever. That being said, I can't believe this OZ side is (was) only one win away from being back to #1 yet still has so many obvious holes in the side. Can't wait to see the "new" line up in Hobart and see how they perform.

Posted by popcorn on (December 1, 2012, 21:23 GMT)

Will Cricket Australia accept part of the blame for scheduling two back -to -back 5 day draining Test matches? And the selectors for dumping Ben Hilfenhaus?

Posted by bonobo on (December 1, 2012, 21:22 GMT)

I think it was an unusual choice for the Aussies to leave out both Hilfenhaus and Siddle, given this is the last Test, I dont know what they would be recovering for. Particualrly with Pattinson out and neither Cummins or Harris coming back. I understand they feel Siddle could not play, but if Hilfenhaus was tired, then having Watson back should have eased his workload. Still I dont think it would have made a signficant difference, Safrica were favorities before the series, its just taken them some time to turn up. Australia really are a developing side, and if they lose this match, fans should not be too hard on them, they have lost, but had the better overall in a series against the Worlds No 1. As an England fan I wont be sleeping easy on the evidence of this series and I am sure neither will any Saffers until they see the back of Clarke in the 2nd innings

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 1, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

Draw is not option for this test now. This match will be ending in a result by Day 3 in SA favor. The other scenario, AUS has to put a herculean effort to win this match from here. If AUS bowlers click, and fold the whole SA team within 70 run, and if Ponting clicks for the very LAST time, then AUS may win. But there are TOO MANY "ifs" for AUS win from here. Good Luck SA and Ponting. Just hoping that this match will be a memorable match for THE BATTING LEGEND Mr. Ponting.

Posted by popcorn on (December 1, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

David Warner started the rot with the very first ball he faced yesterday - flashing outside the offstump. And he got out today to the worst ball that Dale Steyn bowled - again flashing to a ball wide outside the offstump.Warner is irresponsible - he shoiuld realize that an opener's job is to blunt the new ball, build a slid foundation - his centuries are a flash in the pan like Phil Hughes' centuries.Warner does not ave a Test Opener's technique like Justin Langer or Mathew Hayden or Simon Katich or Mark Taylor. He is a Twenty20 player. By throwing his wicket, he gave South African bowlers confidence.Why can't we select Usman Khawaja in his place- the guy has opened for NSW and has good technique.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 20:53 GMT)

Target of 600! That ought to nail it!

Posted by SATID on (December 1, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

Bit presumptuous to call a winner 2 days in. Will be enough time to score 900+ runs so expect a few more twists. As a Proteas fan...may the Aussies suffer an embarrassment not soon forgotten.

Posted by SCC08 on (December 1, 2012, 20:52 GMT)

@Marcio - all series you have been mouthing about the Aus dominance.. Fact, scoreline is 0-0 and yet another fact, today we saw real dominance. When SA go on to win this test and the series, are you going to admit that a dominant side is actually the side that wins something? Therefore SA are the better side...

Posted by pat_one_back on (December 1, 2012, 20:35 GMT)

SA have finally gotten a rise in an otherwise lopsided series, Aussies will need a miracle 4th dig chasing whatever total SA set. Still every exceptionally good/bad day in this series has flipped the following day so let's to throw in the towel. Fairweather @Hammond, I assume you include yourself there after all your gushing praise in Brisbane.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 1, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

There is no way back from here. A completely abject team display from Oz.

Posted by maddy20 on (December 1, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Its not how hard you are hit, its about how fast you get up - Well it seems like SA is seemingly unperturbed by the hits they took in the first two tests and have got up to deliver a knockout punch to the Aussies. Gonna be a sad sad farewell for Punter. Will be some consolation if he can atleast get a 50, but the way he has been off-late, that seems highly unlikely.

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (December 1, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

Amazing how much stock people put into one day of cricket, and how quickly they forget. The Saffa top order were rolled just as certainly in the first dig as the Aussies.

That said, the tactics employed by Smith and then Amla in the second dig seemed to throw the bowlers off their 'plans' and they didn't adapt. For maybe the first time as skipper Clarke looked genuinely nonplussed and rattled in the field. If not for two amazing pieces of fielding it could be even worse.

Well played Sth Africa...while I would like to stick to the theme I started and say "It's only one day of cricket" ... it was a KEY day in this series and SA did a great job with bat and ball. I'll take heart from the fact that every time

Aus will be a better team for having played this series, regardless of the result....or who you want to see win, or who you love to stick it to when they don't...pretty sure NONE of that has a bearing on the outcome the next time we face India in India or England.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (December 1, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

Poor Ponting. I am not in favour of streching careers like ponting and sachin. Amla kallis are back bone of SA wins. Styen was bowling brilliant spells yesterday. Cowan is useless and crap. Marsh are Khawaja could be very good add ins. Starc is future star of Aus.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 19:29 GMT)

THIS is how a world number 1 team plays learn INDIAN cricket team

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

Finally South Africa play to their potential and Australia play to theirs.There is enough gap between these sides to drive a monster truck through. If this Australian team can dream of being no.1 it is the height of optimism.. What happened to Clarke?? I thought only Indians are flat track bullies..

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

Was great to see the Protea's engine room operating like it should. More of a relief than anything else. But the game is not over yet. I think we may still have a few thrills and spills on this roller coaster ride. And what a ride it has been. Will be sad when it is over.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 18:45 GMT)

Austrailia, winners of trash talking, on and off the field. Even to the so call pundits who like to write it on this site ! The talk is now about the ashes. The balmy army will be celebrating again in grand style on both sides of the Pacific.

Posted by 1983naps on (December 1, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

A batsman in his 'nervous' nineties should face tight, attacking bowling.Clarke saw it fit to slow down the game to deny Amla when he may have had a go at him and who knows ???Aussies really allow their unsportmanlike conduct to transcend all aspects of their game and in the end we are all the poorer.

Posted by cricket-is-best on (December 1, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

its like the same thing happening to india.(though i m not comparing india to australia..they are far better than us)..home team losing to a visiting team on a pitch tailor made for their particular bowlers,but the opponent team outplaying the home team. england outplayed india on a turning track,despite the latter having a battery of spinners,while SA outplaying aussies on a fast bouncy pitch despite the latter having a battery of quality fast bowlers.

Posted by RagTagTeam on (December 1, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

So many comments on here are already convinced the Aussies have lost. When SA declare 600 ahead with 2 days left then maybe. Horrible day for the Aus bowlers, except for ... Johnson... who bowled some good spells. Tomorrow will be different. The Aussies are never that poor for 2 consecutive days, no matter how green their bowlers are. Johnson is going to fire, Starc to actually hit his lines and get epic swing with the new ball and Lyon to do his thing. And then you've got Clarke in immense form backed up by Warner, Watto, Huss and Wade to make a quick 400 runs... If two of those batsmen fire, it is on!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 1, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

Marcio - G'day Mate. Now this is your kind of cricket, right? "Intent to win," "risk-taking," "courage," and "innovation," the characteristics you spoke of at length during the first 2 tests. Isn't it just great to such a high run-rate? 6.05 runs an over - nearly a run an over quicker than the 5.12 per over that Oz scored in their Adelaide 1st innings - now that shows some intent from the Saffers. At that rate they could add another 550 tomorrow. I hope you are going to do the same stats analysis thet you did during the Adelaide test - that was really interesting. Be great to compare the 2 matches.

Hope you are enjoying this match as much as I am.


Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

Am a indian fan but i like test matches between Australia vs south africa more because of their fighting spirit and professionalism. if ICC want to promote test cricket, the cricketing world need more matches between these countries. All the best to both teams.Am expecting cracking contest tomorrow !!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 1, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

Think it's one of the best day's cricket I've seen. To bowl Aus out for less than 170 and then have one partnership make more than that at 7 to the over... unbelievable. Not over yet as SA chased 400 here easily, but to be 300 ahead in the 3rd innings after only two days is hard to beat. Looking forward to Marcio's statistical analysis.

Posted by sticket on (December 1, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

Finally, don't back down now SA. do not back down.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 1, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

@Beertjie on (December 01 2012, 14:24 PM GMT) Is Hilf injured? Anyway , in the 1st inns it was the batting that let you down more - or maybe I should say quality SA bowling.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 1, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

@Pras_Punter on (December 01 2012, 11:26 AM GMT) You sound very downbeat there bud. I'd also have to disagree with you on a number of points. For starters a bit harsh on Hastings there. He bowled a tidy spell in the 1st inns and they would have been much further behind if he hadn't contributed with the bat. Also this series aint over even if you lose. If your team can get bowled out for 47 and lose the test and then bounce back and win the next test they show they have it in them. Also as an Eng fan , I expect a really tough series even in Eng. Also very harsh on Clarke. I seem to remember him coming in on 100 odd for 3 in the 1st test (about 350 behind) and (along with Hussey) turning the game around and he got them off to a flyer last time out. There's bound to be occasions when he won't save you but I'd swap him for any middle order batsman in the England side. Also there's still the 2nd inns in this one

Posted by broken_chairs on (December 1, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

Hate to say it, but this had to happen. It really highlights Australia's 2 huge problems - a ridiculously brittle top order and an impotent bowling attack. this was the 17th test in a row that Australia were 3 down for less than 100 runs. terrible. we need to find a top order that performs consistently. if clarke's the best batsman in the world at the moment why the hell doesn't he bat at no.3 and lessen the burden on watson? who let's face it, is an OK batsman at best. The bowling attack is just as awful, siddle and hilf are trash and deserved to be "rested" for this match. you can be as "courageous" and" hard-working" as you like, but if you can't take wickets or bowl threateningly/create pressure you don't deserve a place in the side. their inability to take wickets have been a thorn in our side for years and yet selectors still persevere with them. pattenson and cummins are the best things to happen to australian cricket in 10years, and they're both injured. bummer.

Posted by Spelele on (December 1, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

Surely if you prepare roads on which you score meaningless doubles and break all sorts of inconsequential milestones, you've got to be willing to face the music when the pressure is on (i.e. when the ball is moving inches each way)? The strategy of preparing flat pitches in the first two and then taking a risk in the last has surely backfired?

Oh well, I guess we've seen what SA can do when given sporting pitches. I've been really disappointed with what seems to have been a deliberate ploy to negate SA's pace attack. What have Aus gotten from preparing roads in the first two? Neither team got anything out of it which proves that those kind of pitches kill test cricket.

I'm really surprised at the lack of confidence to prepare sporting pitches and challenge our batsmen against what is an inexperienced but surely worthy pace attack. But who knows, after today's events, it may well be that Aus were right in not taking the risk of sporting pitches against this pace attack.

Posted by johntycodes on (December 1, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

Ponting hurt us 3 times during our innings. First he made lyon come out to bat with 25 minutes to go in the day making our batting order shift down a place then he went out for next to nothing and finally wasted our last review on his decision. Just go ponting.

Posted by SamRoy on (December 1, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

The commentary team with exception of Ian Chapell and to some extent Mark Taylor is outrageously horrible. They are about a million times worser than the bad commentary we get with Shasti and Gavaskar. All the rest of the guys are only talking about Australia should do. I thought commentary involves giving a balanced perspective (At least that was what Richie Benaud taught us). These guys need to be fired for doing an incompetent job. Slater, Healy, Lee, Gilchrist were all fine cricketers but are extremely lousy commentators.

Posted by Spelele on (December 1, 2012, 16:49 GMT)

Where are all the haters who bashed SA batsmen for getting what turned out to be a reasonable score on this pitch in the first innings? I had been waiting for this kind of day the entire series. When SA are at their best, they are unstoppable as they proved today.

However, I guess the above proves that SA are not yet as great as the Aus and WI teams of the past. They need to click before demolishing teams as they've done today, and as they did in England. But the Aus and WI were thrashing people even when not at their best. That's the mark of true greatness.

Great as the WI and AUS or not, SA showed exactly why they are the best there is at the moment. To take advantage of the conditions as they did was just unbelievable! They've been criticized for not taking initiative to win this series, but they've responded in the best possible manner. See what happens when SA try? Lol demolishment!

Posted by SamRoy on (December 1, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

Ponting gone. Hussey to go in a year or so; with only Clarke and the injury prone Watson and the extremely inconsistent Warner from where is Australia going to find it's next generation of solid batsman? Everyone they have tried, have failed. Marsh, North, Cowan, Hughes, Steve Smith, etc, etc. A far cry from the early 2000s when everyone they tried used to succeed and Aussies were so good that that their second eleven was better than all other teams. I think Khawaja might just work but he has to improve his off-side play if he wants to be a quality player at test level.

Posted by samincolumbia on (December 1, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

163 all out!! But as per aussie fans, their batsmen are the best when it comes to playing pace and swing. Take out flat tracks and they are brutally exposed. No ton from Clarke this

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

Australia may have had periods dominating the first two tests but the fact that they couldn't turn either test into a win (even with home ground advantage) is telling. AUS partial domination of the first two tests was more due to SA not showing up as opposed to any great AUS play - bar a knock or two. Let's leave all the "if this, if that's." Both play their best team available at the time - barring the occassional selection disaster. There is a bigger gap between these two teams than most people think. They are made to appear closer due to SA not really showing up until now and AUS's home ground advantage. Regarding Ponting - he won't be missed. Don't confuse passion and bad manners!! A good cricketer he was, a gentleman he was not!! The AUS commentary was priceless. I'm going to find a podcast of it and savour it for many years to come - it was ALMOST as good as the cricket itself. Back to the game: It's not over yet but at this stage AUS would do well just to secure a draw.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 1, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

So sad for Punter, his last game could be a LOSS. Have to blame the spineless batting and bowling by the Aussies. SA have shown why they are world no.1. Australia had the opportunities in Adelaide and they blew it. This game is as good as over IMO. SA have the bowlers to wrap it up in the second innings.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

Hilarity as Warner wastes a review that could be heard all around the ground. Doubt the Aussies have grasped the concept of the UDRS.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

After all the talk about AB and Faf from Affies in Pretoria, how about Peterson and Petersen, who like Prince, are from St Thomas High School in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

What an amazing performance by the proteas! To the Aussie fans that argue : "This is our second string attack and what would SA be without Steyn,Morkel, Philander" What absolute rubbish. To compare the World's no.1 (Steyn) & no 3 (Philander) to Siddle and Hilfenhaus is nothing short of disrespectful! As for a second string attack, the aussie media were going nuts calling for the 'future superstar' Starc. 10 overs for 76...really? Hilfenhaus and Siddle are average bowlers and i doubt they'd make any difference.

Posted by raghavan88 on (December 1, 2012, 16:31 GMT)

Take a few blows and deliver the knockout when the opponent is the most vulnerable.SA have done it.Chokers no more,atleast in the longer format.

Posted by Eskimo on (December 1, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

Australia are not completely out of this match yet and yes the ball will do more in the morning in Perth. It always does if memory serves. Still, they will need to take 8 wickets in 150 odds runs and then chase down a record 450 odd which is possible, the wicket stays true once the batsman are settled. If SA bat until Tea tomorrow it will be too late for Australia.

It is true that without Steyn, Morkel and Philander the SA attack would be weak. We don't have the bowling depth. AUS relied heavily on the heroics of Clarke in the series. And he delivered every time AUS were in trouble. Wonderful batsman as he is, he can't do it on his own. He will have off days.

I still believe he should be Man of the Series, because he was the difference between the two sides in the first 2 tests.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 16:07 GMT)

Isn't it interesting to gauge what makes South Africa a perennial choker. World Cup Blemishes apart look at what they have done in three days particularly after their first inning disaster. Seems like South Africa plus WACA is going to be a repeating history for Aussies.

Posted by on (December 1, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

m so happy today...finally steyn provd his mettle...i prayed fr u steyn....i dont know if i wud eva get 2 meet u man...but gotta say am ur biggest fan....i hv copied ur bowling action...nd m getting wickets as well...plz cricinfo post dis...i want 2 meet steyn..i just luv him...frm an indian

Posted by swat1999 on (December 1, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

Wel, South Africa played like World Champion. I have no doubte South Africa No. 1 Team in the World for the Test Cricket

Posted by VinodGupte on (December 1, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

SA had AUS for breakfast today. there is no way SA will lose this one. SteynGun will fire once again and knock AUS out on day 4.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 1, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

What has happened to the Aussie bowling? I thought that Starc, Johnson, Lyon, Hastings etc could have 6 or 7 SA wickets by stumps today. Amla and Smith batted superbly like an ODI and was a treat indeed. Well Clint McKay may have been a better choice than Hastings I feel.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

This is my post after the last test: Is it a coincidence that both pitches were road strip flat??? Traditionally sa and aus pitches are similar, they offer assistance in bounce and side ways movement to the bowlers. I'm extremely disappointed CA is preparing such poor pitches in an effort to take sa bowlers out of the game. So far it is working for them, but now they run a risk of producing 3 draws and sa retaining the number 1position( even worse eng retaining the number 2 position). I bet they will leave some few patches of grass @ perth and we all know who will bowl better if there is any swing.......pitch preparation is killing test cricket. It is such a BCCI tactic to prepare flat pitches so that sachin and co score 100's and the whole of india can sleep well. It works well when you have a brilliant spinner in your team....lyon is far from brilliant and you can't expect him to win you a test match his not a shane wayne!I dare CA to prepare a green pitch

Posted by buet_abir on (December 1, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

SA still can't take it easily,With Clarke being in the best form of his career,anything less than 600 is easily achievable, also pitch is getting more helpful day by day.SA has the upperhand,but still not enough for securing wiin

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

Go SA !!! :) You r d best !

Posted by SAF-Fan-no-1 on (December 1, 2012, 15:18 GMT)

What a Master Class knock by Mr. Hashim Amla. He is the one the Best and Cool Cricketer in the world. World knows that if Mr. Hashim once is going he will never see behind who the Bowler is. Evenh pento can see blexzing century by Mr. Hashim Amla. I'm big fan of him and South Africa. New era raising for new telent. Well done SA deserve Nember One Team in the World...........They respect more Mr. Hashim Amla and world should do too...!

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

what a incredible last session , SA scored more runs in that session than the 1st 2 innings . Great batsmanship by Smith and Amla . Aus should stay positive and remeber that SA chased around 420 in last innings at this very ground in 2009 . 3rd day will also be good for batting and if warner gets a quick 70/80 the chase may be on with cowan to anchor one end .It is very important that they restrict the lead below 450 .

Posted by the_heisenberg on (December 1, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

South Africa and England make Australia's bowling attack look very weak at home. Any team that relies on mitchell johnson is in serious trouble vs elite batting line-ups.

Posted by usernames on (December 1, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

@Greatest_Game--Ha, they'd be drinking some beer together. The best team in the world will fightback... oh wait, it already has, grabbed the momentum, and is on the verge of a famous win.

Posted by dragon_slayer_s on (December 1, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

Nice play by South Africa .Hopefully they will win the match.

Posted by azzaman333 on (December 1, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

As expected, Johnson back in the team and we can't build pressure on batsmen to take wickets or keep it tight. Credit to South Africa, after about a weeks worth of cricket where they've been convincingly outplayed, they finally turned it on and Australia could do nothing about it. All I can say is it's about time.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Australian selection committee has to work hard to pull back Aussies, i thing hasting and david warner does not deserve for test match selection ben helfinhaus is a better choice for test match,

Posted by Zaheerahmed on (December 1, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

It was really shameful to see Michael Clarke wasted time and ensured that the last over of the day is bowled in more than ten mins so that Amla should not get the opportunity to score a fabulous century in one session. Sorry Clarke you have lost a lot of your fans for this unsportman like act. This will only delay the inevitable.

Posted by Beertjie on (December 1, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

@JG2704 on (December 01 2012, 09:43 AM GMT)

Aus will feel hard done by to go a test down after being on top in the 1st 2 tests.

As an Aus supporter I acknowledge that if you get the better of a worthy opponent but can't put him away for whatever reason/s, he'll get you eventually. The inexperienced attack was ruthlessly exposed with no leader there. When will Harris return? He and Siddle should alternate as leader. Likewise, manage young guns like Pattinson, Starc, Cummins, etc properly by keeping them for tests and longer formats. That's the way to eventually become worthy #1!

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 14:21 GMT)

The game is not over yet folks. Australia are a good side and if they bat to their potential, than anything can happen. Good luck to both teams.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (December 1, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

This series has been quite an arm wrestle, until today. South Africa has almost delivered a knock-out punch. The frailties of Australia's top order has finally done the damage to Australia's chances of winning this series. Hughes and Khawaja must be a good chance of getting a start during the Sri Lankan series. If Australia want to have any hope of wining they will need to take advantage of the cooler morning conditions and try to expose the tail. But it's not looking good for them.

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

Undoubtedly the no.1 Test team,Go SA!!

Posted by landl47 on (December 1, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

If South Africa win this test (and it's not guaranteed) then the hero of the series will be Faf du Plessis. Having saved the side in the second test, he dragged SA out of the mire in the first innings here and gave them something to bowl at. Australia has played well in this series, but my fear was always that the batting would collapse at some stage and unfortunately it happened here. Up to now Clarke and Hussey, with Cowan and Warner contributing one good innings apiece, have kept Aus afloat, but 19 runs from the #3 spot and 24 from #4 for the series spells trouble and it caught up with Aus here. SA, having had the worse of a draw and a miraculous escape in the first two tests, finally showed up here and look like taking the series away from Aus. That wouldn't be a fair reflection of the series, but then there's nothing in the rules that says the results have to be fair.

Posted by mathmaxt on (December 1, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

None of the Oz bowlers tried fast yorker length balls. Who is the bowling coach?

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

Sa keeps best 4 last.... shocking Aus gong to losse here,,, very sad faf is the hero.. save 2nd test and save 3rd test 1st innngs and Dale prove what he is.. yet again....

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (December 1, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

Australia has big time problem with its top 3. I don't think it has any settled look since last 2-2.5 years. Earlier Ponting was misfiring at #3, Warner always a lottery and 1/15 success, Cowan still has to get things right. Even against Indian attack (can I call that attack? very embarrassing being an Indian), they were always 3 down for 50 odd except once or twice. Hardly ever they get any substantial contribution from top order. Well top order problems or not the way Steyn was bowling I am amused Aus did not folded sub 100. Do not like Punter much, but he is great batsman, can he do 'Faf de Ponting'? Knowing him as much as I can, I am sure he won't do walling, if he gets in, he will try to win it as he always has done.

Posted by Hammond on (December 1, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

Excuses from all the fair-weather Aussie fans? Was it the coach, selection, the pitch, distracted by Muppets retirement or the toss? Take your pick.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 1, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

Wow, i still cant believe it. I havent seen an Ozzie bolwing attack get whipped around the ground like that at 7 runs per over in many many years. Maybe Hashim can get his double ton by lunch tomorrow....??

Not only was a it delightul to the eye to watch Amla and Smith thrash the bowlers but it was a delight on the ears. The blatantly bias aussie commentary team was totally silenced and were forced to show highlights of Boon playing and 'better days gone by'.... Will they ever acknowledge a superior performance by the oppostion.....never.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (December 1, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

We have not heard a word from Jonesy and Randy today. Hammond has been quiet too. Where are you blokes? C'mon fellers, let's hear what you have to say about this fantastic test cricket match!

Posted by Neuen on (December 1, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

They do not call him the Steyn remover for nothing. Flat track bully on a pitch not so flat this time and he made?

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

True, Smith and Amla tore some insipid Aussie bowling apart today, but it must be remembered they are only dealing with a second string almost rookie Aussie attack with Hilfenhaus and Siddle being "rested" due to exhaustion in the second test, and Pattinson out. The South African attack would not be nearly as venomous if you took away Steyn, Philander and Morkel.

Posted by Meety on (December 1, 2012, 13:35 GMT)

Full credit to Sth Africa, in boxing terms, they have beenon the ropes for much of the first 10 rounds (days of play), been battered black & blue & stayed on their feet & then in one round turned it all around. Hard side to beat, IMO they are NOT great, but FULLY deserved of the #1 status. For Oz, hopefully we can make a game of it on Day 3, tough ask but doable!

Posted by Marcio on (December 1, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

@Brian Sperryn, your comment is groundless. The wicket is playing like a normal Perth track - full of life and bounce on the first day and first session of day 2, then becoming a good batting wicket. As i wrote yesterday, all AUS had to do was bat through the first session with minimal damage, and they would have posted a good lead, and had control of the game. Unfortunately, they weren't good enough, and that's where the game was lost. One session has decided the whole series. Not terribly fair given the way AUS had played for the first 11 days of the series, but that's life. The pitch will start to deteriorate on day 4 - again just as it always does. And again, that's when AUS will be batting - all because of that first session this morning, which has allowed SA to dictate the game. But AUS will bounce back soon, just as SA bounced back from their embarrassing day in Adelaide. Only of course AUS won't draw the match here. It's too far gone.

Posted by gsingh7 on (December 1, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

well done sa , australia were ruthlessly exposed as mediocre side since departure of old guard , batting cupboards are as bare as bowling ones, hope that match ends tommorrow only so we cud concentrate on ind-eng epic battle for top spot

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

the batting god has done it again "amla"

Posted by Essex_Man on (December 1, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

What an extraordinarily one-sided day. Having had the better of the first 2 Tests and day 1 of this Test, that was a surprising capitulation by the Aussies with both bat and ball. It's not quite all over but the fat lady is definitely warming up.

A touch of genius about Amla in that final session. The Australian bowling was, however, appalling. Is this the weakest Australian bowling "attack" ever?

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 1, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

Total domination by SA going at over 7 runs per over and absolute joy to watch Amla and Smith destroy the Aussie bowling. It was a batting masterclass . The pure distain of Amlas batting by walking aross his wickets to hit the bowlers where he pleased.

Dale Steyn shows why he is no.1 bowler in the world by ripping through the aussie top order. Morne and Vern do the damage as Australia finally provide a pitch that provides some assistance to bowlers if you bowl well. Punto justifies aussie selectors decision to retire him with another failure.

More to come tomorrow folks so fasten your seatbelts. Kallis, Amla, AB de Villiers, Faff, Peterson, Elgar, Morkel, Vern and Steyn still have to bat. If SA are still batting by tea time tomorrow then thats a 500+ lead and its curtains for Aus. I love test cricket !!!

Posted by Marcio on (December 1, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

As I wrote yesterday, the team batting at the tea interval would be in the box seat. Australia's score didn't surprise me at all, which is swhy i said we let SA score 75 runs tooo many. Certainly the scoring rate after tea was surprising, so full credit to the batsmen. I went out and didn't watch that session, because I knew from the way the wicket was playing that it would be all the batting side. Unfortunately I was way more correct than anticipated! @Sazid, I suppose the "we will dominate if we play well" comments had to come off eventually. I still don't think it's a great claim to make (or attitude to have) entering matches of any kind. After all, just over a week ago SA were on the other side of the tracks, getting blasted all over the Adelaide Oval after similar predictions by others. But that's cricket. It's just a pity AUS have nothing to show for the wonderful cricket they played in the series up till this day. But it has been much appreciated, by me at least.

Posted by JustinCpt on (December 1, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

Watch out for Steyn in the 2nd innings, he is going to bowl like a raging bull.I can envision a few off stumps cart wheeling already. He will be leading the onslaught to victory regardless of how many runs are on the board.

Posted by mahjut on (December 1, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

R_U_4_REAL_NICK there hasn't been much between the two sides [so far] but it has been one-sided ... the bat has dominated ball in the most unappealling way for this SA fan since SA played PK in the UAE i haven't watched a session of these 3 tests since the second session of the first one (though i do regret missing the last 1.5 days of the last test), and have not been surprised at either result after a post-match check. This one i will now watch as a result seems almost certain

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 1, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

Richard Gauntlett- 1 hell of a 'lucky' no.1 team i'd say.. I mean no disrespect to SA team- real fight and grit to escape from adversity in the first 2 tests -Aus though the better team just not good enough to 'beat' their opponent's fight and achieve the result of victory on board that their illustrious peers of a few years back were able to- though rarely pushed to that level at their peak- If SA do win here they deserve the series win and no.1- though too early to reach conclusions with SA very capable providing 'stunning' twists in game of cricket..- though what you make of so called no.1 tag is anybody's guess... All I want to say is this SA team -with due credit- will most certainly been thrashed to oblivion by the 'real' no.1 teams the game has seen-The great WI team- more recently the dominant Aus team few yrs ago... Not say they don't deserve top ranking 'if' they do retain it though....

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

The Perth test has shown that SA without a doubt are the No.1 team in the world Their bowling unit is first class and the top 4 batsmen are superb. On the other hand the Aussies are lukcy to have come to this test all square because of injuries to key SA players in the first two tests.Remember the Aussies could not win in Brisbane against 10 men ( at home.)

Posted by TheDoctor394 on (December 1, 2012, 12:57 GMT)

@VijaySh - Bill Lawry biased?? I've grown up listening to his commentary and, while I generally avoid the Channel 9's commentary team now (it's certainly gone downhill with Healy, etc), Lawry has always been an extremely fair observer of the game, which is more than can be said for your comment.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (December 1, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

THis series is yet another one where Australia will pay for not fnishing sides off when it had a chance too. How many times has that happened in the last 4 years? Too many, one suspects. South Africa on the ropes again yesterday, as hey have been in so often in the series, were allowed to reach a decent score and the rest is history...

Posted by Hammond on (December 1, 2012, 12:43 GMT)

Well I suppose in the end Australia (even though they batted superbly) have overall shown how bog average they really are. They will need all the luck in the world next winter, England will be a tougher proposition in England than South Africa have been on Australian soil. Maybe Sri Lanka will make people like RandyOz feel much better about their team.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (December 1, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

One final twist tommmorrow -M Johnson ripping out Amla for 98 well made with a 149 k brute of a delivery and instigating a 'collapso' of the sort made famous by the worthless Eng side recently - bowled out for addition of barely 50 odd runs- M J to repeat heroics of 4 yrs back -cleaning up 7 Saffers with spine chilling 'cannon' guns aimed at the batsmen set to rev up the speed-gun to F1 proportions .. Hattrick? any1 ..Customary top order hit or miss -more miss from Aus with Morkel breathing fire .... then ..the stage set for the great Punter swansong- Punter punching out the finest fighting 100s ever in final inngs and with no 7 Wade scamper Aus to most famous of victories. Punter add a fairytale twist to his legend-already overflowing with the most sparkling crown jewels of acheivements possible in the sporting arena- the kind of individual and team success that almost seems impossible to be matched ever..unless you were one of the mighty Aus sides of a few yrs ago...

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

When Australia tried to neutralise the cutting edge of the SA's superior pace attack with flat pitches,... it boomeranged! (Of course, outside India, these things are done quietly, with no drama). 200 odd runs by SA batsmen in ONE session! Is it a test match, or ODI? Just like, when India tried to take advantage of their supposed to be superior spinners and exploit the supposed to be the weakness of the English batsmen, in Mumbai test... it boomeranged.

Posted by othello22 on (December 1, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

And on another note it is just typical that a champion like Ricky Ponting is now going to have to bow out of the game on a crushing loss and with no runs to his name. Can't blame the man for having nothing left in the tank, he's been going for what seems like an eternity and has carried Australia for so long, but the overall performance of the team today makes a mockery of his legacy. I never would have believed they would have shown such a lack of fight and mongrel, it's almost insulting.

Posted by crashed on (December 1, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

@chris sun - if you are reading this - i said it before and that were when the t20 world cup were on - South Africa will not go to Àustralia to just hand over the mace and number 1 status to Australia (as you had suggested when south africa took it from England) - if Australia wants to have it they have to play for it - well even a hero on the ausie side trying to save this last test would not EARN the title only a win from Australia would do it - good luck mate EARN the title do not expect it to be handed over on a dish or plate - it never happens that way. @meety trust me i still support my team well played by your team as said before may the best test team win :) it is game on :-)

Posted by Percy_Fender on (December 1, 2012, 12:38 GMT)

This would have happened at Brisbane itself if the match had not been played on a highway. Be that as it may, at least the euphoria was worth it when many people thought South Africa was an undeserving No 1. The fact is that Australia's chances hinged on Cummins and Pattinson being fit. They were not and that was it. Siddle and Hilfy were very good but could'nt stay the distance. If Adelaide was their undoing, it must be said that Steyn and Morkel too bowled there and there was no Philander. Yes it is true that in the shambles that they were in they discovered Faff Du Plessis, A champion. If Clarke loses this it will be his first defeat at home.The WACA wicket becomes easier and easier. So there is hope if a chase of 500 is offered.

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (December 1, 2012, 12:35 GMT)

In general Saffa fans are way too high when they have a good day, and way too critical when they don't . Not just those fans but the comments here in the last few weeks in general read way too much into short term results. Guess its a sign of the times.

Posted by ozwriter on (December 1, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

99* from 84 balls with the opposition bowled out earlier in the day for 163 is nothing but incredible. superb stuff from amla.

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (December 1, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

There are 3 days left, weather permitting. SA must build a marathon total with a lead of minimum 550. SA would need to be ruthless about it and run Australia down so that their only target would be a draw knowing that it would be next to impossible, weather permitting of course. The objective for SA is to win the 3rd test emphatically and make a statement. The Australians would be demoralised by the time the 4th and final test starts. Good luck to SA from a Pakistan supporter. I know that we would be playing you next.

Posted by Dirk_L on (December 1, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

After the Adelaide test, everybody's favourite Aussie fan wrote: "Here's hoping that courage and innovation and willingness to take risks are eventually awarded in this series."

I can't say that Smith and Amla in their 175-run partnership showed any of those T20 virtues. SA batted in Adelaide at under 2 runs per over because the situation demanded it; those two batted in Perth at 7 runs per over (faster even than the famous Warner-Clarke partnership in Adelaide) because the bowling allowed it. Here's hoping that traditional good solid bowling, batting and fielding are eventually rewarded in this series.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

hard to see Australia win from here with only 10 batsmen (Oh c'mon everybody knows that Ponting is past it)

Posted by mikey76 on (December 1, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

At last a cricket wicket and Australia's weaknesses laid bare for all to see. A flaky top 6 that will get tortured in England and bowlers who can't hit a line and length. At least butterfingers Wade made a contribution but he's not exactly gonna give Matt Prior any sleepless nights. All this talk of No.1 from the likes of RandyOz has just been shown to be daft bluster. Aus are also rans for the foreseeable.

Posted by Sohel_ahmed on (December 1, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

We should keep this in mind that this test has not finished yet and when time came, both sides have lost wickets in a heap. It is evident that scoring runs are not impossible as this wicket has proved it to be a tremendously sporting one. But the way Smith and Amla shifted the momentum it's only SA's game to lose.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

For the first time the Proteas are showing the cricket they are capable of.The batting and bowling were of a high standard. Aussies are exposing the depth of their cricket.They are missing Pattinson,The team does not show the patience and art that a 5 day test demands.Teams all over the world are in a instant mode and cannot craft an innings or use guile to bowl the opposition out.

Posted by crashed on (December 1, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

Simply put Australia miss a Siddle in the middle of the third test. A fully represented Ausie team could not get 18 test wickets in the first test and not 20 (with an injured kallis included) in the second test. Truly both teams were tested on form. A great series a great test and game on in the third match. I hope no injuries come from this and i hope the best team win

Posted by ozwriter on (December 1, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

amla, smith, steyn....well played. Day 2 3rd test may well be the defining day for the series.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

Simply awesome performance by the Proteas. The class shone through when it really mattered!

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 12:07 GMT)

Well then, i suppose that's why they are No.1 in the world, solid bowling unit, depth and a solid, experienced top three, one or two of which will come off when required. Well played the saffers.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

U DONT MESS WITH THE JOHAN!! :P my dearest @MARCIO: i think by now you would have perfectly understood what DALE STEYN meant :) yes there is still chance for australia to come back but for that they have to initiate capetown-esque slide to happen to SA which is highly unlikely given the pitch and FAF DU PLESSIS :P

I think SA pulled a prank on the AUSSIES for the first two tests :P :P

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (December 1, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

Well well... the scorecards for the first innings have an eerie sense of symmetry to them - very poor from the top/mddle orders, and then a wag of the tail, Faf and Wade the only two getting stuck in. Nice to see Steyn back on song; well bowled by SA in general. Very interesting to see how this game pans out now. There's been very little between these two teams all series really...

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

Guess who is the number one team?

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (December 1, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

''RICKY Ponting can rescue a nervous Australia today and go out in a blaze of glory after its second string pace attack set up the third Test in Perth again South Africa.'' I'm still laughing too much...

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

Just imagine; if Hashim Amla plays international cricket, till he is 39 (the current age of the world's greatest record holder), what all he is going to achieve!

Posted by VijaySh on (December 1, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

oh how I love to see the aussie commentators squirming - the most biased and graceless lot in the world..Ian Healy, Bill Lawry the whole lot. Would they learn some humility? Of course not...

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:48 GMT)

This is exactly what Australia were scared of when they decided to prepare flat pitches elsewhere. They were trying to neutralise the worlds best attack... seems the gamble on the final test has bitten them hard. I can't see anything else besides a draw or SA win from here. Really proud of SA.

Posted by Belligerence on (December 1, 2012, 11:46 GMT)

I think they're putting a big score for the Aussies to chase....Poting's gonna get a huge score as well....don't count the Oz out yet

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

When I saw the Australia's score card, I thought it was India's! Can't believe... None of the top six even reached 20!...A few single digits too.The major departure from the Indian plight is that India's WK can not do a 'Wade' or ' Prior' !

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

Go Proteas, now pummel them real good.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

Great game and Good test cricket, credit to Steyn, Smith and in particular Amla for turning the game dramatically. Now SA in drivers seat...

Posted by BMDeep on (December 1, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

"COMPLETE DOMINANCE" may b a right word to describe d state of play. I sometime wonder if Steyn is over rated as no 1 fast bowler of d age, but I got d answer Y. After 1 st day of Adelaide, Aussie's received a similar treatment in d last session. I am reckoning SA to win from here on but AUS can gain a lot of heart from 2nd test dat it is not all over jus by one good session or one good day. I dont find it too surprising even if SA choke early tmrw mrng leaving AUS a target of about 450 with lots of time on their side, though it is highly unlikely to chase such score in 4th innings. But Cricket is a funny game and anythng is poss. If SA can do it in 2006, AUS r very much capable of producing d same on their own backyard. I would love to c if anythng of such sorts happen and how else than this situation can Clarke and company pay tribute to d Great man. They should do this atleast for their greatest cricketer of all times. So, all d best AUSSIES..

Posted by 5_day_tragic on (December 1, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Crucial day today. The measure of a test team is really their bad days. Australia have a long way to go yet to their next peak. Great play by the saffas today...props to them.

I'm looking forward to watching Aussies grow from here.

Why these teams both play more against India and England than they do each other.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

Excellent performance by SA; true champions

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

While I entirely credit SA's bowling on day two, I don't understand how Warner was given out after his review. There was a sound, sure, but the heat flash on the side of his bat from hotspot was not the size a ball would leave, indicating that it was just a change in light. There was no deviation. And commentators all believed the decision would be overturned easily and then when he was given out didn't go on to say anything. And even though I believe SA would've had us for around the same score even if he had remained in, it seems to go against precedent that it would be given out.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

This is what test cricket is all about......always great to watch these both team playing against each other.

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 1, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

After day 2, few things have become clear.

1) SA deserves to be No1 - if a team that hasn't lost a test series away for more than 6 years is not No 1, then no other team is. Excellent comeback . Congrats, from an Aussie fan.

2) Ashes will remain in Eng for the foreseeable future, unless Eng gives up interest.

3) Hastings should never play in an Australian team again.

4) Aus miss Billy - what on earth is Ali De winter doing ? coach them to bowl pies like this ? Aus players have butter-fingers , being paid to drop catches and bowl dollies like this.

5) Expect more double hundreds from Clarke against the likes of SL this summer, but none when it matters the most.

6) India is a pathetic team, given the way they played the same Aussie group last summer.

7) No hope for Aus from here on when playing teams like SA and Eng. Even God can't save us.

Cricinfo, please publish this !!

Posted by Mary_786 on (December 1, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

Most fans including me get nervous when we see the top order, our issues at the top can't continue. I really hope the likes of Khawaja and Doolan make big ones in the coming warm up game against Sri Lanka as we need some solid top order talent and these 2 are among the best we have. I hope we can get quick wickets tomorrow morning to get back in this game otherwise it will be too late.

Posted by eight41 on (December 1, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

Wow!!!, What a day for SA.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Oh impressive to watch.

When 11 against 11 Proteas seem to be dominating, scoring at 6 to the over. So much for all the nay sayers, critisizm of the Proteas in this series. They missed key personal in both tests, and Aus made wickets to negate Proteas edge in bowling.

Note we still below our best, because Kallis not bowling.

Also want to point out that the real risk takers in this game were Aus, with a untried bowling attack on a bouncy wicket.

They rolled the dice, so far they losing badly.

But it is NOT over, if Pup and Punter, with Mr Cricket get going any score may be gettable!!!

Posted by no-ball on (December 1, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

What a masterclass lesson on how to play devastating, winning cricket. It's taken a bit of time, but when this South African side eventually stood up, they dismantled Australia with unnerving ease. It reminded me of the old Aussie side with Mcgrath, Warne Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting and the Waugh brothers! South Africa toyed with Australia showing the true gulf between these two sides. Steyn produced when it counted most, and Smith showed his captaining qualities. What a partnership between him and Amla, and were it not for a freakish catch, he would have gone on to make what would have been a well-deserved century. Australia looked shell-shocked, much like what happened when England were last over there.

Posted by 777aditya on (December 1, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

The second innings batting by RSA was absolutely breathtaking! Even Alviro initially tried to hit his way through, but the way Smith batted and Kallis and Amla still going strong, Australia could well be chasing 400 plus on a good pitch. Really wish Ponting could score a century in his last innings, but still want RSA to win the match!

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (December 1, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

I really liked the game is played between two professinal teams. Though it is a test match, it really creates some sort of excitment. But, i feel, the writer of this article has exagarrated by saying SA may well had this test match..however we must the pitch behavior tomorrow morning & then conclude. Ist session tomorrow is key

Posted by hycIass on (December 1, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

We are not out of the game yet, a few quick wickets in the morning session and we will be back in. However our top order woes continued today and we need to get a batsman who helps stop our top order woes once Punter retires and I think Khawaja is the man. 3 out of 5 state talent managers have recommended him to take Punter's spot and its because he has scored runs on some crazy tracks against Tasmania and NSW this year and has the technique needed to bat against quality pace attacks. Watch out for Punter in the second innings, and Aus will get back in the game with quick wickets tomorrow.

Posted by ravikini on (December 1, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

Going to be a sad farewell for Punter. Credit goes to SA for their hunger to win this match. It was an awesome display of Bowling first and then followed by batting fire play that has rekindled the interest in test matches. SA can only lose this from now on. I expect them to tighten the nuts tomorrow morning with the same scoring pace. As for Australia, they are on the mat now and unless a dramatic collapse by the SA tomorrow, they can kiss good bye to this match. I would love to read the headline a couple of days later that Aussies humbled at home by a ruthless professional SA. Great match this......

Posted by shiven. on (December 1, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

south African's said they haven't played their best cricket .And they said they where going to deliver this match and boy o boy have they delivered the Aussies looked like school boys .Question is now not when are they going to get bowled bt wen are they going to declare and how many more will Amla get this will be four centuries in 6 matches hope he gets another triple :)

Posted by yankinsa on (December 1, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

Beautiful days play for the #1 team in Test cricket. I see them batting for another 3/4 sessions and then declare with a lead of 600 !! Much bleating will then follow from the Aussie commentators about negative tactics, not sporting, ruining the spectacle for their spectators etc. I say, good riddance to the Aussies who regularly refuse to travel over Christmas, or granting the # 1 team in cricket a full 5 Test series. When they collapse again in the second innings to lose the series, I wonder if that will drop them to #4 in the ICC rankings....I hope so !!

Posted by MSCologne on (December 1, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

South Africa will retain their rightful place as the top test nation. They destroyed Australia just as they destroyed England. Amla is a class above any other batsman on the planet besides Kallis. Steyn is head and shoulders above any other bowler. Expect de Villiers to really punish Australia tomorrow. It is his kind of situation (although he showed he can block just as well recently). Kallis started ominously. Can't wait till tomorrow, it is going to be a feast.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 1, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

Australia got taught an absolute thrashing of a lesson by a far better team. Mitchell 'Eight-an-Over' Starc and the other 'Seven-an-Over' bowlers just aren't test standard. The cupboard, long bare for Australia, continues to hold nothing for them. Their batting continues to be sub-test level. What a hopeless display from the minnows down-under.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

Thats more like the number one test team, they should extend their lead to 600 and give aus no chance to get back, steyn can do the rest. 3rd day should be best for batting, it will be tough to get amla, hope he gets another double.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 1, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

One of the best days of cricket I've seen. To bowl out Aus for 163 (including a spirited innings by Wade) and then bat like that, a 150 partnership at 7 to the over... incredible performance. Plenty of stats for Marcio to analyse too. Last tour SA easily chased 400 here so need more runs.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 10:56 GMT)

Amla and Clarke are easily becoming the two best batsmen in the world at this moment

Posted by Ahmad991 on (December 1, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

Outstanding inning by Amla & smith....south in good position....i think it iz most run score by a team in 38 over ...

Posted by Sanjiyan on (December 1, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

Selling Humble pie!!! With a special discount for Australians!! For all the doubters of SA..iSA have finally turned up for this Test series. So sit back, grab a beer and enjoy the show!

Posted by maddy20 on (December 1, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

Well it looks like the lions are finally awake and they are about to have the OZ for a full course meal. This is gonna be fun!

Posted by please_concentrate on (December 1, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

What's happened to all the Aussie posters today? South Africa have been seriously undercooked up until now in this series, and it felt inevitable that eventually they would wake up and show the sort of form seen in the series defeat of England earlier this year. Steyn in particular looked highly menacing, and Amla and Smith's partnership has set a platform for a very challenging run chase - I don't think Smith will voluntarily settle for less than 450. The Aussies will need to dig deep to get anything out of this.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (December 1, 2012, 10:42 GMT)

Same old, same old from Australia. Same old batting errors - Clarke and Hussey still moving at the contact point, Ponting and Watson unable to play around their pad after planting it straight down the line of off with their heads falling over, Warner wafting at one way outside off with zero footwork.

Same old short and wide bowling in the final session, allowing Smith and Amla to pile up runs square of the wicket with zero risk. Clarke kept 2 slips and a gully despite the constant back of a length bowling.

Same old choking after dominating a test match and failing to finish off the opposition; Cardiff 09, Brisbane 10, and now Adelaide 12.

I think if nothing else, today underscores the utility/effectiveness of the Hilf+Siddle+strike bowler pace attack. Let's get these guys eating meat again please!

Posted by hmmmmm... on (December 1, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

Our bowling looked like the second XI this afternoon - Starc and Hastings looked out of their depth. Surprising to see Johnson as the most consistent bowler in both innings, what is happening to the world? Perhaps they should have paid more attention to the fantastic bowling on display in the first hour this morning...we are going to have to bowl well tomorrow and bat even better to survive this one!

Posted by Simoc on (December 1, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

Great day for South Africa. It took a while but they finally came good and showed why they are number one and why Oz have a way to go. We can still win but the Oz batting and bowling frailties were all exposed today. It's a shame Wade didn't carry on batting as he wasn't troubled. The rest weren' t up to it today though the ball that got Clarke was the best.

Posted by Safalicious on (December 1, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

This is the difference between the teams. SA at well below their best coult not be beaten by an Aussie side at the limits of their powers. Now SA have stepped up a gear and there is clear daylight. Big difference between the results the teams achieve when they throw their best at the opposition. This test isnt done yet, though it would be a monumental effort for Aus to claim the spoils here, and if they can, they would deserve the number 1 mace. Somehow, it doesnt seem likely though as there is only Hussey and Clarke that can really be depended on.

Posted by cbradbury on (December 1, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Still not much there in the Aussie batting line-up, is there? Merely flat-track bullies who cannot handle pace bowling on a competitive pitch. I'm looking forward to seeing England unleash Finn on them next me a nice warm glow...the second the pressure comes on they collapse like the Greek economy...

Posted by Essex_Man on (December 1, 2012, 10:01 GMT)

A touch of genius from Amla, a real joy to watch. But that was a truly awful session of bowling from the Aussies - is this the worst Australian Test bowling "attack" ever?

Posted by crashed on (December 1, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

is this the same Aus team that dominated the first 2 matchs and could not get a win out of it?? well South Africa does get into the runs now ... good luck ausies welcome to the test arena game on

Posted by SaadRocx on (December 1, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Poor Punter, think Proteas are gonna win easily from here..

Posted by JG2704 on (December 1, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

Just got up and am surprised by the scorecard. Full credit to SA bowling attack and I wonder if Petersen might be usurping Tahir with form like this. Obviously Aus Mr dependable's were not so dependable today and it could obviously have been a whole lot worse if not for Wade and Hastings. Surely there has to at least be a result in this one and at the moment SA are hugely on top. Aus will feel hard done by to go a test down after being on top in the 1st 2 tests.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

wow what a one-sided article..all aus wickets were mistakes by their batsement , a WACA ground pitch that had quickened overnight, review on emotion..etc..are stupid excuses..SA brought their A game-PS- am an Indian fan, but i recog a better side when i see it

Posted by ygkd on (December 1, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

I have no idea what the Saffer seamers were doing bowling so short to Matthew Wade.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 1, 2012, 8:50 GMT)

An abject capitulation from Australia's batsmen, giving the bowlers absolutely nothing to bowl at. This is surely a sad way to finish what promised to be a big match. There is no way back from here.

Posted by Adoh on (December 1, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Pathetic display from Australia, embarrassing.

Posted by Spelele on (December 1, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Today's events prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Clarke is just another flat-track bully. Gets big hundreds on roads in the first two tests, and proves to be a walking wicket as soon as the ball moves inches either way. Shows how ridiculous it is for people to start calling him the best Aus batsman after Bradman. He is not even at Hussey or Ponting's level!

Posted by spiritwithin on (December 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

this pitch clearly proved y aus were unwilling to give a lively pitch to SA attack,the first two tests were played on a pitch which were flat,in adelaide the pitch was absolutely flat for first 2 days when aus amassed 550 and then SA were 223/2,only from 3rd day onwards bowlers got purchase (albeit not so much and more so helped by batsmans fault) but Aus already had the luxury of playing on good batting pitch on day1..similarly in the first tests the wickets were again flat...had SA got a wicket like this in previous two matches they already wud have been 2-0 up by now

Posted by JustOUT on (December 1, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

Wow!!! here is the LION... DALE STEYN.. He will ROAR when it matters. What a bowling.. he is back to the rhythm and its a OCEAN of the task for Aussie batters to overcome him. And those who wrote off Philander can see what he has done for Ponting in his farewell match... OH BOY!!!... SA ARE NO.1 for this.

Posted by mikey76 on (December 1, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

Dear oh dear poor Aussies. Shown up to be a second rate side when the game was finally played on a cricket wicket. Get back to tussling with India and the other also rans for the minor placings. Old Randy and Jonesy are gonna be awful quiet after today bless em.

Posted by thebarmyarmy on (December 1, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

Worrying times for Australia.

Posted by pommy80 on (December 1, 2012, 8:15 GMT)

This test is getting ugly for Australia, something us Englishmen love to see.

Posted by popcorn on (December 1, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

David Warner is not competent to be a Test Opener. He FLASHED at the VERY FIRST Ball he faced yesterday, and continue to play dangerously and IRRESPONSIBLY today. He got out to a ball that was WIDE OUTSIDE HIS OFF STUMP. He is good for Twenty 20 only. His centuries are a flash in the pan like Phil Hughes, who has zero Test Match Opener Technique - which is to OCCUPY the CREASE, BLUNT the NEW Ball, put the bad balls away,build a solid foundation.David Warner started the Downward Slide for Australia,gave South African bowlers confidence,and the result is there before your very eyes.He is not a patch on Mathew Hayden,Justin Langer,Shane Watson,Simon Katich. I suggest Usman Khawaja, who has opened before for NSW, should be the opener alongside Ed Cowan - another cautious and solid Test opener.David Warner should be removed from the Test Team - before it is too late - before we continue to have CONSISTENTLY LOW Top Order Scores. David Warner is INCONSISTENT.

Posted by goutamaniad on (December 1, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

Given the way both dealt with their respective first innings of batting, it must be declared thatAustralia rather than their rivals were more deserving of a sub-100 total.

As one rightfully ought to be able to realize, Wade was hardly of the calibre of Du Plessis. Moreover, he ought to have been run out more than once.

Posted by Langjan on (December 1, 2012, 7:20 GMT)

Where's that mate now who commented, during the second test, that SA's performance was a timid one? The Aussies can thank their lucky stars that Kallis is not bowling but looks like we wont even be needing him!

Posted by shovwar on (December 1, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

Now this is the no 1 attack in the World. Give them a sporty pitch they would eat u.....Go Saffers, win or lose u made me proud.

Posted by crashed on (December 1, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

hmmmmm not a tame wicket this - i wondered what would happen if clarke went for next to nothinbg ... now we know - not much the second innings would be the decider the one that will determine the no 1 spot i am sure here wil be a result time will tell though Australia under pressure now - if they want the title they will have to come from behind

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 6:43 GMT)

Unless Warner scores a ton in the 2nd dig and gets Australia home, the selectors should seriously consider dropping him. The shot he played to get out was more suited to the under12s, he wasted a review on it and more importantly failed to do his job of getting through the first half hour or so. He should be sent back to Sheffield Shield cricket and told that unless he learns how to build an innings, he won' be selected for the Test team again.

Posted by phermon on (December 1, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

Of course now there are two Victorians at the crease, the skies the limit

Posted by Tjoeps on (December 1, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

Strange how quite it has become on the chirping front.... The Saffer bouling unit had to fire at some point.... Nice knock from Wade.... Is going to be all that test cricket can be, a great game! This is where technology spoils my life, I cannot fast forward reality! Even the lunch break is killing me! Enjoy all! Go the Proteas!

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 5:19 GMT)

wow i thought ponting would make a century today theres still the second innings left

Posted by phermon on (December 1, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

Wade's Victorian innings has been a revelation to the rest of the country. Sixty runs out of a scoreline of 85 for five wickets is outstanding.

Posted by Marcio on (December 1, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

This was the one session where AUS had a chance to finalise the domination they have shown all series. Sadly, it's the one session which which will now cost them that same series. AUS should get within about 50 runs of SA's score, given that the batting conditions are now at their best and all of the last 3 can bat a bit. Unfortunately, that means that SA will also bat with the best of those conditions, the last three hours or so on day 2. Those 20 runs Johnson gifted at the end of the SA innings looking very, very expensive now - SA never should have got more than 150 odd. Interesting to see if MJ can do something with the bat to make up for things. Despite his ability, I'm betting "no". He should definitely open the bowling, though.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 1, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

It's been said before but this is apparently very much a new ball pitch. Australia looked dead and gone at 6/45 but Fafhew Wade has batted really well to give them a chance of getting back into the game. Good bowling from SA but now that the ball is getting older it looks like harder work. If Australia can get to the second new ball then they will likely have a lead. They've got a fairly strong tail here too, with Hastings, Johnson and Starc. If they can support Wade then a lead is certainly not out of the question. Of course, things could be over quite quickly after lunch too. The only real certainty is that we will get a result in this game.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

Steyn has finally landed in Aus

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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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