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January 4, 2009
Bollinger sparks home crowd
The debutant Doug Bollinger promised passion and he delivered and received it. The crowd cheered his name when he walked out to bat and the fast bowler was roared when he marked out his run-up, bowled a bouncer or forced an edge. Bollinger followed through to the batsman a couple of times and after Hashim Amla looked uncomfortable to a short delivery he pointed theatrically to short leg. Within moments Ricky Ponting had called for the change and Simon Katich was standing in close. The only thing missing was an early wicket.
Bad times turn good
A year ago Michael Clarke said he stayed at the crease after edging to first slip on 0 because he was so disappointed to have failed in front of his home crowd. In six innings at the ground his highest score was 39 against the World XI, but the SCG supporters no longer have to dream of Clarke producing his best for them. When he reached his century he ran towards the dressing room, slobbered a kiss on his helmet and raised his bat to his Sydney followers.
Anything is possible
JP Duminy was responsible for upsetting the Australians in the first two Tests with the bat and showed he was a man with magic in his fingers when Graeme Smith gave him a bowl after lunch. In his first over Duminy's casual offspin ended Clarke's innings at 138. While the move was a masterstroke, the ball wasn't. It was a full toss that Clarke hit back to the bowler.
Smith finally breaks
Smith had just had some treatment on his troubled right elbow when Mitchell Johnson added some more pain to the captain's body. Johnson's delivery found a crack and came back at Smith, hitting him on the left hand, which he shook immediately. In serious trouble as the physio treated him, he could not put his glove back on and winced whenever the bruised area was touched. Over the past two Tests Smith has shown his bravery while battling through his elbow problem, but even he could not stand the new pain and retired hurt on 30.
Johnson plays shots a tailender should not be able to. During a career-best 64 he wowed the crowd with the purity of his strokes and during the performance it was easy to think of him one day being a legitimate allrounder. A back-foot drive off Dale Steyn was as good as his hook and off-drive for fours from Morne Morkel. Even the in-form Clarke would have done well to have played them so smoothly.
Pain for Steyn
No bowler has caused more damage to Australia than Steyn, but his efforts have also led to some self-inflicted pain. Steyn is suffering from a badly bruised heel that restricted him to two overs before lunch and four after the break. Despite his hobbles, he was able to remove the fluent Johnson when he edged behind in Steyn's first over in the second session. He will be fit to bowl in the second innings.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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