Western Australia v South Africans, Perth, 2nd day December 6, 2005

South Africa in trouble at the WACA

Cricinfo staff

South Africans 2 for 25 (Prince 1*, Rudolph 4*) and 179 (Casson 4-21, Gillies 3-20) trail Western Australia 8 for 391 dec (Voges 101, North 71, Bandy 64, Langeveldt 4-104) by 187 runs

Jacques Rudolph feels the pain © Getty Images
First-class debutant Shawn Gillies made a mockery of South Africa's top order and then Beau Casson took 4 for 21 to force the follow-on on a miserable day for the visitors at the WACA.

Gillies bagged the wickets of both openers in his first over and then snared a third just two overs later to open the door for Casson to clean up. At stumps South Africa were 2 for 25, trailing by 187 runs and in need of some seriously staunch batting to save the match on the final day.

South Africa were already on the back foot at tea, losing four wickets for 116 after the home side had declared their first innings at 8 for 391. But things got worse for them as they lost eight wickets for 88 in the final session.

It was medium-pacer Gillies, called into the state team for the first time after some impressive performances at club level in Perth, who did the damage in the afteroon. With his second delivery, the 24-year-old bowled opener AB de Villiers for 27 after the South African dragged the ball onto his stumps. De Villiers and partner Jacques Rudolph had added 71 runs and looked comfortable until Gillies was introduced. Just four balls later Gillies, a Jamaican-born allrounder, struck again as Rudolph, on 43, lifted a catch to David Bandy at point with the score on 72. That was about as good as it got for South Africa.

Two overs later he dismissed Ashwell Prince, caught near the boundary after top-edging a hook shot. That wicket saw South Africa slump to 84 for 3 and gave Gillies figures of 3 for 7 - not a bad start for his first three overs of first-class cricket. Herschelle Gibbs then helped steady the ship but he fell just before tea, bowled by Ben Edmondson for 25.

But this stability was only transitory - after tea South Africa lost their last six first-innings wickets for 63 runs, and the first two of their second innings for 25.

Earlier in the day Western Australia declared their innings closed half an hour before lunch after the South Africans failed to stamp their authority on a state team which has lost its first four domestic matches. Charl Langeveldt was the best of the South African bowlers taking 4 for 104 from 24 overs.

South Africa's coach Mickey Arthur denied there was any cause for panic amongst his ranks He said the players simply needed to blow out some cobwebs after their tour of India where they played four one-day matches.

"We haven't pushed any panic buttons," he said. "The guys are still very, very tight. We have come across four or five time zones in the last week and that was almost expected. We've been very low intensity, obviously building up to next week and then to the Test match."