South Africa v Australia, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 3rd day

The battle of the ABs

Brydon Coverdale in Cape Town

March 21, 2009

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Simon Katich collected two wickets in five deliveries © Getty Images

AB de Villiers v AB McDonald
In the battle of the ABs it was de Villiers who came out on top when he smashed the first four balls from a McDonald over for sixes. The tension was rising around Newlands as McDonald ran in for the fifth ball as the fans wondered if they were about to witness the first times six sixes had been hit in a Test over. de Villiers charged down the pitch but it wasn't to be; he dug out a yorker and took a single, and the over ended up costing 25. It was the ever bowled by an Australian in Test cricket and the greatest number of runs South Africa had ever picked up from a Test over. Remarkably, it finished with a wicket when McDonald knocked over Albie Morkel from the sixth ball.

One extra record
Australia conceded
62 extras and it was the most they had ever given away in a Test innings. Brad Haddin had a tough time and let through 19 byes and there were also 24 leg-byes, 10 no-balls and 9 wides. The previous Australian record was 52 extras, which they conceded last year against India in Bangalore, as well as at the Gabba in the 1982-83 Ashes. But they were well short of the all-time record of 76, which India gave away against Pakistan in Bangalore just over a year ago.

Kat chases tail
As South Africa pushed past 400 and then 500 and then 600, onlookers were wondering how long it would be before Simon Katich was given a bowl. Katich had wrapped up the tail in Durban but with the specialist legspinner Bryce McGain in the side - even though he was struggling - Ponting decided against handing the ball to his left-arm part-timer. Until the 150th over. And when he did, Katich picked up an lbw decision in his first over. It was overturned on review but in Katich's second over he collected two wickets and Australia closed out the South African innings soon after.

Rook takes bishop
The fanatical fans competition was back at Newlands and after a disappointing response from the Durban supporters last Test the Cape Town outfits were a cut above. The three finalists included two separate teams dressed up as castles - clearly sucking up to the lager company who sponsored the competition - and a pair of men dressed as priests and holding a JP Duminy sign (Duminy's surname translates roughly as priest). In the end it was the castles who took the prize.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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