South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Cape Town, 2nd day November 10, 2011

South Africa ahead after incomprehensible day

180

South Africa 81 for 1 (Smith 36*, Amla 29*) and 96 (Watson 5-17, Harris 4-33) need 155 runs to beat Australia 284 (Clarke 151, Steyn 4-55) and 47 (Philander 5-15, Morkel 3-9)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa's batsmen were on course for a most extraordinary Test victory by stumps after Australia had contrived to be splintered for 47, and in doing so kick away a dominant position on an incomprehensible second day at Newlands.

In all, 23 wickets fell for 294 runs, 19 of them in an uninterrupted landslide of skilful bowling and abject batting between lunch and the first hour after tea.

Australia's 47 was their lowest total since 1902 and fourth lowest of all time, overshadowing the fact that South Africa had themselves been routed for a comparatively bountiful 96 in the afternoon, and left the hosts with a target of only 236 having given up a first-innings lead of 188.

Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla played with poise and power in the chase, demonstrating that the Cape Town surface was far from the treacherous strip it had appeared when the Australians batted a second time. In what must have felt to the tourists like the final insult, Amla sliced the final ball of the day to gully, where Michael Hussey dropped it.

The cascade of wickets added further lustre to a monumental 151 by the Australian captain Michael Clarke, who had shepherded the tail on the second morning to reach an ultimately handsome total of 284 from the overnight tally of 214 for 8. But he and his team will now feel aghast at how they have managed to surrender so much hard-won ground in a single innings.

After Clarke's masterclass, a staggering spell from Shane Watson, and a merely excellent one from Ryan Harris appeared to have placed the match in Australia's keeping. But they were 13 for three by tea and lost a frantic 6 for 8 on resumption.

Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel were the chief executioners for South Africa, bowling magnificently in helpful conditions, but it must be said they had plenty of help from the batsmen.

At 21 for 9, Australia were still five short of the lowest innings in Test history, but Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon put their batting counterparts to shame with a last-wicket stand of 26. Their determination contrasted with the unbridled panic of others on a pitch that, while difficult, was never so poor as to be threatening the slimmest total in Tests.

Morkel had Phillip Hughes and Hussey edging consecutive balls either side of the break into the slip cordon. Philander swung and seamed the ball to continue the most striking of debuts, but was helped by a handful of ordinary shots from Australia's batsmen.

The worst of these was played by the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, an ugly smear at a ball nowhere near the line or length to attack, and the rest either edged deliveries that seamed away or simply missed others that fizzed unerringly towards the stumps.

Until Siddle and Lyon came together, there was no semblance of calm shown by the visiting batsmen. Australia appeared to be unsettled significantly by the back stiffness that forced Shaun Marsh out of No. 3 in the order. He eventually shuffled to the middle at eight down, in obvious pain, and was lbw second ball.

Jacques Rudolph began neatly in the company of Smith, adding 27 before he pushed at a Siddle delivery going across him and was taken behind. It was Australia's only success in 17 overs, only one fewer than the whole of their second innings.

Such a plot twist seemed unfathomable when Watson and Harris were tearing through South Africa in the hour after lunch. Aided by a seaming pitch and alert use of the DRS, Watson and Harris orchestrated a tumble of wickets that, at the time, felt definitive. The hosts surrendered 9 wickets for 47 runs, momentarily looking as though they might fall short of the follow-on mark when 83 for 9.

Watson transformed what had previously been a quite sedate start to South Africa's innings in the first over after lunch. His second ball struck Hashim Amla in front, and the batsman was given out on referral to the third umpire. Jacques Kallis' miscalculated a pull shot off the sixth ball, that lobbed into the slips off bat and body. As with Amla, he was given out on referral to television.

A handful of overs later Watson did for Graeme Smith, knocking a seaming delivery back onto his stumps, and next ball Ashwell Prince was palpably lbw to a full delivery that swung back in. AB de Villiers fell next, bat and pad wedged closely together but adjacent, and lbw to Harris on referral. Watson had a fifth wicket inside four overs when Mark Boucher was pinned lbw on the back foot - his referral would be unsuccessful.

Vernon Philander edged to third slip, Morne Morkel was run out by Peter Siddle's direct hit while taking a haywire single - the day's only wicket not taken by a fast bowler - and after the briefest of nuisance stands, Imran Tahir was bowled by Harris.

In the morning session there had been little indication of the tumult to follow. Resuming at 214 for 8 in front of a sparse crowd, Clarke and Siddle showed the intent to score, but might both have been out inside half an hour. Philander's first ball of the day flew off the edge of Clarke's bat through second slip, but Graeme Smith hadn't posted one. Siddle had only five when Steyn found his edge towards backward point, where Tahir allowed the chance to slip completely through his fingers as he tumbled forward.

The batsmen made South Africa curse these early misses, playing with level eyes, plenty of enterprise and some luck to add 59 in all, the second highest partnership of the innings. Clarke went on to turn his century into a truly momentous score, responsible for comfortably more than half of his side's total. As it transpired, in one knock he easily scored more than what both sides would manage in the second and third innings of the match.

Eventually Siddle miscued Morkel to cover, and the last man Lyon hung around while Clarke fired off two more boundaries to pass 150. Clarke lost his leg stump when trying to swing Morkel for another, but he walked off knowing he had given his men a chance.

Marsh's place in the field was taken by the 12th man Trent Copeland, whose demotion from the XI meant Mitchell Johnson shared the new ball with Harris. There was little early movement, the sun arriving to coincide with the start of the South African innings, and after two expensive overs Johnson was withdrawn without delivering a ball to Smith, with whom he was expected to have a mini-battle.

Harris worked into a typically exacting spell. Moving the ball a little both ways, he made Rudolph use his bat, and eventually the batsman played around one that straightened the merest fraction to pluck out off stump. Amla and Smith made it through to lunch, but obliteration waited on the other side of the interval - for both sides.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 11, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    what the guys from the sub-continent are trying to say is that just as this wasn't as bad a wicket as the batsmen made it look, the dusty turners that every one criticizes aren't as bad as they r made to look because those not from the subcontinent r incompetent players of spin.....

    and if the pitch swings and seams a "bit" from day 1-5 it's ok, but if it starts turning on day 1 it's substandard??????

    just imagine for a moment that this was india v/s england at eden gardens instead of sa v/s aus..... and if england would have been dismissed for 47 because their batsmen r clueless against spin... how many of u can honestly say that the british media wouldn't have been making a hue and cry abt the pitch!!!!!!

  • venbas on November 11, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    If this was the Pakistan team instead of Australia, the ICC ACU sleuths and the gossip press will have their hands and mouths full. Anyway the Aussies played like Bermuda or a Canada and deserved this fate.

  • on November 11, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    The most incredible match in the history of test cricket! Who says Test Cricket is boring! bring it on!!Both sides can hold their heads high! coming back from almost avoiding a follow on, SA turned it around defying all odds... This is the way test cricket and wickets should be... it should be bowler friendly.... Now lets talk about who's the best batsman in the world? For all the T20 only fans(i guess you'll never read this, as u don;t watch test cricket)- you missed the best in cricket. For all you purists - Love live test cricket!!

  • rama563 on November 11, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Now who z going to complain about pitch!!!!!!! When a test match is completed in two and half days in India, the opppsite captains will complain about pitch but if it z in southafrica means they will say that fantastic display of fast bowling!!!!!!!! what is dz injustice!! When batsmen n bowlers are capable of adapting conditions they can perform well every where!!!! johnson getting 5 wickets in australia z not great similar to bhajji taking 5 in india!!!See at zaheer n vettori can bowl n pick wickets in any part of world!!!!!!!plz dont blame any thing simply!!!!!!!!!

  • JG2704 on November 11, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    @shovwar - Statistically England have the best bowling attack if you look at the ICC rankings even if SA have undisputedly the best bowler in the world.

  • on November 11, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    Mark Taylor may have already said this, but i say this too i missed few of the maddest moments of cricket.

  • JG2704 on November 11, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    As an England fan I have mixed feelings on who I want to win the match. I quite like SA , but I believe if they win 2-0 they take over at number 1 , but then again you'd have to give them so much credit for fighting back from a near 200 run 1st inns deficit. It's certainly not all over now and it seems the sort of game where one wicket can lead to a cluster of wickets and there could be more twists and turns before the end. Despite some negative comms from a few crybabies , I'd say that cricket is an entertainment business and no one can say this test is anything other than entertaining.

  • JG2704 on November 11, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur - SA struggled too and Aus struggled more. No one was making reference to India re this but if you want to dig up old debates . India consistently struggled in England. This is just one innings/one match. And what has England got to do with this match?

  • yorkslanka on November 11, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    OMG, australia's second innings card looks like an international dialling code !! superb bowling from Philander but also Morkel whose lengths are what make him so dangerous...On a different note, the DRS system highlighted the pathetic level of umpiring in this match..doctrove imho is the weakest umpire in the "elite" panel and the standard so far in this match has been terrible..thank goodness for the DRS..umpires who continually have a error rate in decisions higher than a set level should be replaced...

  • Adoh on November 11, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    I was there to watch Australia's first innings at the MCG last boxing day. I didn't think we could get any worse - looks like the rebuilding phase isn't over just yet. I wonder if Argus is looking for more work?

  • on November 11, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    what the guys from the sub-continent are trying to say is that just as this wasn't as bad a wicket as the batsmen made it look, the dusty turners that every one criticizes aren't as bad as they r made to look because those not from the subcontinent r incompetent players of spin.....

    and if the pitch swings and seams a "bit" from day 1-5 it's ok, but if it starts turning on day 1 it's substandard??????

    just imagine for a moment that this was india v/s england at eden gardens instead of sa v/s aus..... and if england would have been dismissed for 47 because their batsmen r clueless against spin... how many of u can honestly say that the british media wouldn't have been making a hue and cry abt the pitch!!!!!!

  • venbas on November 11, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    If this was the Pakistan team instead of Australia, the ICC ACU sleuths and the gossip press will have their hands and mouths full. Anyway the Aussies played like Bermuda or a Canada and deserved this fate.

  • on November 11, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    The most incredible match in the history of test cricket! Who says Test Cricket is boring! bring it on!!Both sides can hold their heads high! coming back from almost avoiding a follow on, SA turned it around defying all odds... This is the way test cricket and wickets should be... it should be bowler friendly.... Now lets talk about who's the best batsman in the world? For all the T20 only fans(i guess you'll never read this, as u don;t watch test cricket)- you missed the best in cricket. For all you purists - Love live test cricket!!

  • rama563 on November 11, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Now who z going to complain about pitch!!!!!!! When a test match is completed in two and half days in India, the opppsite captains will complain about pitch but if it z in southafrica means they will say that fantastic display of fast bowling!!!!!!!! what is dz injustice!! When batsmen n bowlers are capable of adapting conditions they can perform well every where!!!! johnson getting 5 wickets in australia z not great similar to bhajji taking 5 in india!!!See at zaheer n vettori can bowl n pick wickets in any part of world!!!!!!!plz dont blame any thing simply!!!!!!!!!

  • JG2704 on November 11, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    @shovwar - Statistically England have the best bowling attack if you look at the ICC rankings even if SA have undisputedly the best bowler in the world.

  • on November 11, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    Mark Taylor may have already said this, but i say this too i missed few of the maddest moments of cricket.

  • JG2704 on November 11, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    As an England fan I have mixed feelings on who I want to win the match. I quite like SA , but I believe if they win 2-0 they take over at number 1 , but then again you'd have to give them so much credit for fighting back from a near 200 run 1st inns deficit. It's certainly not all over now and it seems the sort of game where one wicket can lead to a cluster of wickets and there could be more twists and turns before the end. Despite some negative comms from a few crybabies , I'd say that cricket is an entertainment business and no one can say this test is anything other than entertaining.

  • JG2704 on November 11, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur - SA struggled too and Aus struggled more. No one was making reference to India re this but if you want to dig up old debates . India consistently struggled in England. This is just one innings/one match. And what has England got to do with this match?

  • yorkslanka on November 11, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    OMG, australia's second innings card looks like an international dialling code !! superb bowling from Philander but also Morkel whose lengths are what make him so dangerous...On a different note, the DRS system highlighted the pathetic level of umpiring in this match..doctrove imho is the weakest umpire in the "elite" panel and the standard so far in this match has been terrible..thank goodness for the DRS..umpires who continually have a error rate in decisions higher than a set level should be replaced...

  • Adoh on November 11, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    I was there to watch Australia's first innings at the MCG last boxing day. I didn't think we could get any worse - looks like the rebuilding phase isn't over just yet. I wonder if Argus is looking for more work?

  • on November 11, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    nice performs after losing 1 innings by south afracian,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • on November 11, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    gettind all out at 47 is not a news.many sides have been dismissed for less.What is remarksble and a world record is the ignonimity of loosing 9 wickets for 21.

  • on November 11, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Surely - it was the pitch. The truth is that the art of playing on tracks that offer any sort of assistance to the bowlers is more and more becoming a lost art. For a long time, India's batsmen were referred to as flat-track bullies but now that is true for the rest of the world as well. These are batsmen brought up on Twenty20 and ODIs who believe that the only way to play cricket is to score quick runs. For if you can't do that - you are led to believe that you are no good; no good to strike it rich in the IPL, the Big Bash, County and more. And that can never be easy to deal with. In India, whether the selectors would like you to believe or not, the team is already picked on the basis of IPL performances. How do you explain leg-spinner Rahul Sharma getting into India's Test team as well?

  • on November 11, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    Australia missed the plot by not including Trent Copeland. He would have been ideally suited to this surface. You need someone who can control the flow of runs and i don't see none of the other quicks doing that.

  • pandove on November 11, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    yesterday inning was perhaps the only one in modern cricket where all four innings played at same day

  • azhar_hassan on November 11, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Okay, let me try to absorb this - in ONE day, a batsmen completes his 150, this is followed by an entire side getting out for 96, followed by an entire side getting out for 47, then followed by the side that got out for 96 earlier in the day reaching 88 for 1 - again, all this in a single day. The glorious uncertainties of cricket you say. Hmm.........

  • pandove on November 11, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    yesterday inning was perhaps the only one in modern cricket where all four innings played at same day

  • on November 11, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Waat a maaatchhhhhhhhhh.... Bowlers day out....... there was nothin wrong wit the pitch but it was poor batting display....

  • Integrity1 on November 11, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Its amusing to hear the arguments about the so-called "double-standard" in people's perceptions of what a sub-standard pitch is. If this was a sub-standard pitch, then the match would have been won at the toss of the coin. In all of the matches that I have seen, a sub-standard pitch favors the side who bats first. They win the toss, bat first. and score X runs. None of the subsequent scores, due to the deteriorating pitch, betters that of the team who bats first. Any fan can tell you which region of the world relies on this "strategy" in order to win. Check your facts, Oz batted first, SA batters under performed (due to lack of practice), Oz performed even worse, and then SA has so far bettered the previous 2 innings' scores. Bowlers put pressure and batsmen got themselves out. In this match side has had an equal chance of winning. The side who has applied themselves has done better. Plain and simple.

  • CricketIndiaFanatic on November 11, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    @Clint_ZA - What can we do? Can't we relate these Tests through our realm? It was AUS and ENG for 100 initial years and we said nothing. But when we are the dominant viewer in world cricket you should understand that other people can have views with their perspectives. The fact is that even if cricket is being played between non subcontinental teams, majority of viewers are from the subcontinent, so are the comments, so are the perspectives. It is nothing to be annoyed of. Aussies view batting standards through Bradman's lens and Indians through Sachin's lens and rightly so but that cannot be said to be annoying for other countries. This example is just an explanation as to how a country forms views and should not be considered annoying. By the way this is not a comparison between Sachin and Bradman.

  • nav84 on November 11, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    96 and 47 in one day!! seriously? if this is how these batsmen succumb to a single paced pitch with even bounce and a little seam movement, i wonder what will happen to them on two paced subcontinent tracks with variable bounce while facing guile of zaheer and pakistani fast bowlers, spin of ashwin, ajmal and sl spinners. i give them 50 each. unless of course they realize batting is much more than climbing on the bounce and playing horizontal bat shots.

  • jfgvjksnkka on November 11, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    @Poppa Dom you are a genius, you could not have posted a more accurate statement of what I think

  • satanswish on November 11, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    What a great day for Test Cricket!! Enjoyed good quality pace bowling which reminded Ambrose, Walsh, Donald, Wasim & Waqar days.

  • CricketIndiaFanatic on November 11, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    With SA wickets tumbling in a fashion they did, aussies were fooled into believing that the wicket was a minefield for the batsman. Result - 21/9. If they would have thought that it was one of the off days for SA batsman, the result might have been different. Salute to DRS. Indians do not know how to use it and thus are crying babies(against DRS). It should be made mandatory and ICC should not succumb to BCCI. Let the Indian team learn the art of re-appeal/decision review.

  • atuljain1969 on November 11, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    ICC should immediately enquire the kind of wicket which has been offered, due to which such low scores have been made. It is high time enquiry is conducted wherever such low scores are being made and not once but twice in a day.

  • Marcio on November 11, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    A primary problem with human perception is the primacy and recency effect. People remember the beginning and end of things, but not much about the middle. For cricket supporters, most get blinded by the previous session of the game. It's as if people just cannot see that things go in cycles, and that they shift continually. That means that right now every is thinking "Australia= 47 runs vs SA 1/80". But that does not mean a thing as far as the next session goes. We still have SA requiring another 150 runs to win on a pitch that, while not unplayable, is not an easy batting strip. Only an idiot would declare them the winners at this time.

  • MandyBoy on November 11, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    What to say! It was a total mayhem, carnage, but eventually Cricket was the ultimate winner. Whichever side was supported gave more than their best. This is test cricket at its best! Still the match has no favorites but the result is definitly round the corner on the 3rd day of a test match!!!. Have always maintained 2 test series for test nations such as SA and AUS itself is a big joke!

  • on November 11, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    what an unbelievable turnaround inthe match.hope rsa wins

  • Demerara on November 11, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Cricket Notes

    The Haddin factor = demoralisation Top class bowling + mental softness = SA Average bowling and Mental softness + Haddin = Australia.

    So, SA wins.

  • DINESHCC on November 11, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    OHHHMATTY: Whether you have SELECTIVE AMNESIA? In Feb. 2009 your team was bundled out by WI with the score of 51. There is no difference between 47 and 51. Aus is No.4 side and SA is No.2 side. Some justification is there. What about England. WI is still No.8 / 9th ranked team.

  • hyclass on November 11, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Watson described the pitch in the tour match as the most dangerous hes batted on. This pitch is also clearly sub-standard. Its time for the ICC to consider neutral groundsman as a vogue develops towards doctoring pitches in tour games and the 1st Test of the series in order to gain an advantage. As in SL, the matches can be decided on the toss of the coin. When 31 wickets have fallen in 2 days of a Test match, it becomes dangerous to the future of Test cricket. There was a great deal of vitriol over the introduction of neutral umpires and that has proven largely successful. When pitches such as the one sanctioned by the ICC in SL, the one prepared for the Perth test and this one are allowed to pass unchallenged, the entire premise of honour and sportsmanship that underpins the very reasons for Test crickets existence, becomes diluted and problematic. No good will ever come from allowing this to continue. Its a great part of the reason that pitches were covered in the first place.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on November 11, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    I would have been thrilled if Oz had been 21 all out, but I'll take 47. I guess there will always be a next time!

  • Demerara on November 11, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Well...I think Australia was lucky as Shane Watson bowled a decent spell and ot SA into a panic. There was not much troble with the pitch, just lack of concentration and confidence from SA once a couple of wickets fell quickly. It was not the same when the Aussies batted. The bowled by Philander and Morkel out did them. It was tight, accurate and on a helpful wicked slightly bouncier and faster. There were no ball delivered near 150 I think. But the Aussies also pressed the panic button after witnessing SA collapse and a couple of Aussie wkts. With top class bwling on a helpful picth, they were doomed. It's all mental, this game. So, SA has this one in the bag becaus ethe panic is over.

  • on November 11, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    RandyOZ --- Having watched a bit of shield cricket recently I can safely say that you should import a couple of players.

  • mansel on November 11, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    It's quite simple guys... This has nothing to do with "the gentlemans game or any rubbish like that. both teams (and moreso Australia) had what is called a shocker... It happens, this is cricket. This is what makes it such a great game, that these bizzare scorecards can appear now and then. Both teams will bounce back and you won't see a scorecard like this for years.

  • on November 11, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    What A Test Match !!!!!!!!!!

  • Clint_ZA on November 11, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    My word these individuals have an annoying way of making everything about them! This is a test between SA and Australia in South Africa and yet most comments for any match report refer to the sub continent! Chip on the shoulder much? Get over yourselves.

    Go Proteas! You have shown the fight that we have come to expect. Many other nations would have rolled over and played dead after being bowled out for under 100 but not you. We saw the same fight when chasing 434. You epitomise the saying that it is not over until the fat lady sings.

  • on November 11, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    If the pitch prepared for SL v AUS test at Galle was substandard then Newlands should be below substandard despite losing 45 overs for rain on day1 this is the fate of a test match on day2 .....

  • on November 11, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Now what will they say about this pitch, had this happened in the subcontinent there would have been a furore over the poor quality of the pitch. Nonetheless, this could turn out to be one of the best test matches in history.

  • m_ilind on November 11, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    With several decisions overturned by DRS, it just highlights the importance of the system. Whatever be the result of this match, cricket is the real winner.

  • JustOUT on November 11, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    One has to appreciate Steyn & Tahir for avoiding the follow-on, otherwise for sure clarke will put in SA to bat again and we might not talk like this..

  • on November 11, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    DROP HADDIN, JOHNSTON, POINTING NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wade just got an 80 and a ton in his last match the other day, god I cant stand watching useless Johnston anymore(dont care if he gets 7 weeks tomorrow) Pointing is a lost cause, please put that huge ego of yours aside Rick and step down!!!!! oh and please put Watson in at 6 now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Marcio on November 11, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    While it was a truly abysmal performance from Australia, let's not crucify everyone on the back of one terrible innings. After all, the team has been performing pretty well of late in all forms of the game. But some players do need to be replaced. The fact that Mitchell Johnson has not taken a wicket in the entire match, where 19 wickets fell for under 100 runs in a few sessions, really says something. Though the pitch isn't as bad as the scores suggest, it is the type of pitch where Johnson should be ripping through batting lineups. Copeland would have been great on this track, and Cummins a real handful. And Brad Haddin appears to have lost it with the bat, and has to go unless he does something remarkable. Oh, and the game isn't over yet. Two quick wickets in the next session and SA will be struggling.

  • landl47 on November 11, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    There's not much wrong with the pitch. Clarke and #s 10 & 11 added 70 in the morning and SA made 81-1 in the evening. In between, SA's batting was awful and Aus' batting was about half as good as that. When a side makes 47 and 10 & 11 make 26 of those, you know it's the batting, not the pitch. Likewise, SA were 49-1, 96 all out. The bowling was decent but by no means unplayable. It was a fascinating day's cricket, but fascinating in the sense of watching a train wreck rather than good cricket. I've no idea who will win, which is good- the tension will grip us till the end. It's just unfortunate the end will come about the middle of day 3.

  • Amol_Gh on November 11, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge: (The gap between ENG & the Rest is massive.) Do you even know how MUCH LESS tests SA has played compared to ENG to stay where they are in the rankings, in the last three years ??? Please check.

  • on November 11, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    go sa. see off the 1st session with 1 or 2 wickets and the match will be ours.

  • beautiful on November 11, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    This is the results of T20. Seperate team should be used in T20. It is spoiling the gentleman's game isn't it?

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 11, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    Will the pitch be blamed now that Fast bowlers have taken 23 wickets in a day? Had this happened in sub-continent and spinners would have taken 23 wickets.........god only knows what ICC would have done?

  • harshthakor on November 11, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    One of the greatest days ever in test Cricket reminding you of a Hollywood thriller with the plot continuously changing.To me the day was a victory for the 5 day test game .South Africa made one of the game's greatest turnabouts.Such wickets are what make test Cricket the ultimate game.The nature of the wicket was dramatically different in the session between Lunch and tea from the other 2 sessions.It shows that even test wickets behave in totally different manners in different periods of a day let alone a match.It was like seeing a stormy sea and then a silent stream.

  • H-Shakil on November 11, 2011, 3:38 GMT

    Wht a whooppppeer!!!!!!!!! of a day :D

  • me54321 on November 11, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    Can't believe how badly two strong batting lineups can do against what was only good testing conditions and good testing bowling. Neither the pitch or the bowling was unplayable. To be honest I thought South Africa bowled better in Australia's first innings. There's a lot of talk about England on this board, but I don't care what happens in this test "series", England are number 1 until the Saffers mange to beat us, which I don't believe will happen.

  • blastu on November 11, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    @OhhhhMattyMatty-sa,aus,sl,pak everyone was laughing when india thrashed england 5-0 in odi(try to play full 50 overs)lol. stop thinking england is great by beating injured india in england. come on SA i like to see u beating aus, come on india we want (3-0) series win against wI. end is near for eng top ranking........

  • Srini_Indian on November 11, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    All the non-subcontinental teams have no clue to play spin, that's why the rank turners are labelled sub-standard.

  • RAONANDURI on November 11, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    what an incredible display of pace bowling...TEST CRICKET AT IT'S BEST...particularly bowling at its very best...unforgettable day...truly once in a century match...unbelievable...incomprehensible...absolute madness in batting...just can't wait to see the rest of the match...anything is possible...

  • Srini_Indian on November 11, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    @Front foot lunge: Cool down, England have 3 sub-continent tours and SA in your backyard. I don't see England even draw any matches in sub-continent, let alone winning. Steyn and co would rip through your batting line up in England. Mark my words, India will be no.1 again this time next year

  • jfgvjksnkka on November 11, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    jog on ponting.

  • RandyOZ on November 11, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    I haven't seen a worse performance than this. I now know how England felt for 20 years!

  • on November 11, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    23 wickets in a day! Oh my my..... I just loved the action..... You batsmen... Now take that!!

    And I thought only batsmen from the subcontinent can't face pace. Face it guys good quality pace bowling is always difficult to handle on a fast and bouncy pitch. As is quality spin on a turning track. Few days back people were criticizing Kotla for being slow and low. All I know is it gave us an interesting test match and a result within 4 days with no threat to the players getting seriously injured because of the pitch. Capetown is also doing the same. Both of these should qualify for a sporting pitch. And runs made on them should worth more than gold. Well done Clarke, Chanderpaul and Sehwag.

  • orangtan on November 11, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    @OhhhMattyMatty, don't be so smug, England is playing Pakistan in the desert in a couple of months and Sri Lanka 2 months later, they are likely to stumble in both.

  • Srini_Indian on November 11, 2011, 2:46 GMT

    What a joke, these teams brought up in so called hard, bouncy, seaming track but they can't play a ball doing just enough. Bangladesh would have batted a bit better. This pitch is lot better than the Durban wicket against India last year, India batted 10 times better than either of the teams.

  • nzcricket174 on November 11, 2011, 2:41 GMT

    Awesome Test Cricket. Clarke's 150 was amazing and then the two bowling performances of Watto and Philander were outstanding. Followed up by two great matches between New Zealand and Zimbabwe, even a good one between India and West Indies, it just shows how great a game Test Cricket is.

  • on November 11, 2011, 2:26 GMT

    So!!! Not only WI fold. Where are all the comments about the coach and selection. Why not holler for Katich. Why not superlatives for Phil? I hope that SA hold on and win as India did.

  • on November 11, 2011, 2:22 GMT

    Test cricket is the Best cricket. This shows why T20 or ODI will never replace the excitement and elegance of test cricket.

  • shovwar on November 11, 2011, 2:21 GMT

    @Simon...This Test has nothing to do with other teams....Every test match is diffferent as they are played in a different region and different opponent....India was in a very bad shape when England played them....It does not tell you how England would fare against Saffers or OZs...only time would tell....U are just predicting....Time England played Saffers they were lucky but luck does not strike all the time....SA needs some batting practise after a long break.....And they have the world's strongest Bowling attack including Tahir...Last time they were in England they beat them in the series...so lets wait and watch....anyone can predict but it does not always comes true....it can shock u...

  • Clyde on November 11, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    Test cricket is sensational. It's got to be banned, surely.

  • nlambda on November 11, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    As a SRT fan, great to see Ponting and Kallis both getting ducks, if you know what I mean ;-)

  • rahulcricket007 on November 11, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    ENGLISH FANS BEWARE ! SA NOW HAS TWO STEYNS IN BOWLING ( PHILANDER & STEYN ) .ENGLAND WILL LOSE NO.1 RANKING TO SA .

  • on November 11, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    People complaining that if this test was in the subcontinent it would be branded a bad pitch are missing the point entirely. If you actually watched the match you'll know that while this is a good bowling pitch there is nothing wrong with it. No uneven bounce, not two paced, no big cracks or rearing up at the face from a full length. What has happened is that both teams bowled really well and the batting was awful, how else could you explain 47 all out followed by 81/1. A great days cricket, SA are favorites but expect the unexpected!

  • smudgeon on November 11, 2011, 1:26 GMT

    I went to bed at the end of the SA inning thinking Australia were in a great position - and they were - then waking up and checking the score. Dreadful performance from Australia (not taking away from SA's bowling, which I'm sure was good), but I won't write them off just yet, given the ups & downs this match has had so far. Very exciting test, not quite how I imagined it would play out, but isn't this why we love the game? On another note, surely Haddin's reached the end of his tenure. His keeping might still be tidy enough (if unremarkable), but a contemporary wicketkeeper is expected to contribute with the bat, and Haddin's seemingly losing it more with each innings. That shot (or attempt at) showed a lack of judgement and responsibility when your team is 5 for 18.

  • Percy_Fender on November 11, 2011, 1:18 GMT

    The last time England was in South Africa which was when they were on their way up, they almost lost 3-1. I hope people remember how their last wicket partnership had bailed them out on two occasions. There is no doubt that South Africa's is the finest bowling attack in the world and they can really destroy most teams in the world. England is no exception even given their most recent elevation to No 1 by beating India who were without most of their regular players through injury. For the reasons mentioned, I hope England remain grounded. They may be a good side but South Africa is without doubt the best in the world.It is just that they have not been very lucky in the past.

  • on November 11, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    Never in my life did I think Aussie would capitulate in such a spectacular fashion... South Africa getting 96 isn't too suprising but Aussie only getting 47 is a huge shock. Hearing about this only cements the fact that Aussie no longer are the dominant force they were...

  • on November 11, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    Another rare day of played 4 innings played at the same day, It was happend once i think? I think South Africa will win this.

  • jmcilhinney on November 11, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    This match is, to my mind, incontrovertible proof that DRS belongs in cricket. There are valid reasons to have reservations about certain aspects of the DRS. It is certainly not perfect but I'm not aware of any of its proponents having said that it is. The only potential blemish that I can see for DRS in this game was that caught behind that Morkel appealed for and that was because there was no Hot Spot for some reason. What exactly does "out of range" mean in that context? If you consider the right decision being made to be fairest outcome then DRS has definitely made this game fairer.

  • jmcilhinney on November 11, 2011, 0:40 GMT

    For those going on about double standards in evaluating pitches, you seem to be conveniently overlooking a very important fact: in test cricket, a pitch will generally deteriorate over the course of the five days. It will generally offer the most assistance to the fast bowlers early, get better for batting as the game progresses and then offer the most assistance to the spinners at the end. If a pitch is a dusty turner on the first day then it's already a day 5 wicket before any deterioration has occurred. That is tracks that turn excessively early are considered poor while those that seam excessively early are generally not. Regardless, this track did not justify all out for 47. It helped the bowlers some but it was as much good bowling and poor batting that led to that result.

  • jmcilhinney on November 11, 2011, 0:26 GMT

    What a crazy day of test cricket. I wouldn't say "test cricket at its best" because the battle between bat and ball was so one-sided for much of it but it was certainly entertaining. I live in Aust and, even though I'm an Eng fan, I had to stay up until 3 AM to watch it through. The wicket is obviously providing some assistance to the fast bowlers but not enough to warrant those dismal scores. I can't believe that that the wicket was unplayable for a session and a half on day 2 and OK the rest of the time. It's telling that Aust were 21/9 and then Steyn bowled a few shortish deliveries and got taken for a few by two tail-enders. If they hadn't worked out by then that they needed to pitch it up then when will they? SA look to have the advantage but, seriously, how could anyone confidently predict anything in this match?

  • kaiyum55 on November 10, 2011, 23:40 GMT

    This should serve as a blueprint to all the curators.Yes, it is a lively pitch but is not two paced nor is it showing any signs of variable bounce.Iam glad that atlast there is genuine contest between bat and ball....was fed off seeing flat pitches and batsmen just hitting thru the line.It is a gripping test match...though SA are slight favourites.I seriously think that ICC should now demand all test playing nations to prepare pitches that give both teams equal chance if test cricket were to survive.

  • RandyOZ on November 10, 2011, 22:49 GMT

    Rather than importing to solve our problems like England did after 20 years of failures, lets actually pick some players performing from shield cricket!

  • redneck on November 10, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    great pitch, great bowling and usless batting from both teams. haddin the worst of the lot! played a ODI shot when your team is 7/16 and nicks it to the keeper!!! not the only offender but at least the others had a decent ball that dismissed them, hes past it time to bring in paine! well done to the bowlers on both teams! produced a once in a life time day of test cricket. something to behold even if your aussie and feeling rather sheepish at present!

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 10, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    Inspectors should not be sent in for this sort of wicket, but for the 'corporate' wickets-as beefy calls them-; those flat slow ne'er do well lifeless puddings which kill Test marches.

  • stone-mason on November 10, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    Hey dudes & dudettes, lets not get ahead of ourselves regarding this pitch being cited and or pointed out as specifically prepped. Remember we are playing TEST cricket completely out of season on this ground. The pitch did not behave as bad as some suggest. There's a combonation of very very good bowling and some average shot selection we've seen today. but boy! what a contest. Happy to be a Saffa on this one, but man! do I enjoy us sluggin it out with the Roo's As for the Eng & Ind talk - lets leave it be boys and enjoy this slugfest which Eng & Ind could not deliver. Some opposition are just meant to create classics - This is CLASSIC.

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on November 10, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    21/9 - What would they have been against Bresnan, Anderson and Broad on THAT minefield!?! 11 all out?! England must be watching and laughing at this comical Test cricket going on. SL vs. Pak, WI vs. Ind, Aus vs. SA, Zim vs. NZ, all playing lets see who is slightly less worse than each other! LOL! Awful cricket often is the most exciting.

  • on November 10, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    Sabby -- This test only proves how far England are ahead of the rest in proper cricket.

  • RandyOZ on November 10, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    This reminded me of when a pitiful England got rolled for 51 by the West Indies, but I spose at least South Africa are actually a good team! What a day. Still not over. Hussey could've dropped the match there by dropping Amla. He's had a shocker of a test. Agree with all comments about Haddin, he needs to be dropped ASAP. HOW on EARTH is he justifying his place????????

  • hhillbumper on November 10, 2011, 21:43 GMT

    It was a great day to watch.If SA bat properly then the test is there for the taking. Makes you wonder what will happen in the next test.It will be interesting to see what Aus will do when they get home and will they play better there.

  • shovwar on November 10, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    Reminds me of a One Day match in Johannesburg....where 2 teams scored over 400 runs in the same game and history were written......Here the scene is a bit different but the fight back is of the same sort......Whenever SA has the their back at wall they do something crazy and extraordinary......no matter who wins the game....it was a treat...though SA deserves it more...they have a strong batting attack which got rusty in the last 7 off months it will need some practise to get back to the normal Buttt they have unquestionably the strongest bowling attack in the world. They have the ability to take 40 wickets in a Test if needed....

  • Wozza-CY on November 10, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    Terrible batting display from oz. I hope we are seeing the last of a regime and look forward to when the appointments recently start to assert some influence. Philander an inspired selection. Copeland would have enjoyed bowling on this pitch.

  • on November 10, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    lets face it england jsut won a series and are no 1 they have every right to be proud but really guys do u really think it owuld be so easy against side whose bowlers got australai to score of 21-9 and batting will get better they jsut look out of practice kallis amla, devlliers they out class english middle order by big margin

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 10, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    Thanks to a very sporting pitch, Test cricket showed once again how massively superior it is to the other forms.This has been a match for the'gods'. It also showed the rank stupidity of these two sides playing a 2 test series. Who needs endless ODI's and T20 rubbish? The outcome is unpredictable.

  • teo. on November 10, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    and.. the pitch is not bad at all.. yes its lively... but its not un-even.. or 2 paced or anything serious... crazy cricket. All I can say is, Clarkes 151 is not considered as awesome!! and i'm an SA fan!!

  • teo. on November 10, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    MADNESS!!! I can't make sense of this test at all... Only the bowlers, and Watson are playing this game!!!! where is everyone else?????????

  • JG2704 on November 10, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    @Hris - This is just one innings in one match and the game isn't over yet by any stretch. I would make SA slight favourites but in the 1st inns they were 49-1 and were all out for less than 100. As a neutral it was good to watch. I was hoping it Aus would lose their final wicket when on 21 - nothing against Aus or for SA but just would have been good to see a bit of history

  • Patchmaster on November 10, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    Makes ODI and T20 look so lame. I love Test Cricket. Lets hope they get rid of the silly bad light breaks and non rain breaks, like in this game, and help to give the crowd more days like this - i.e. someone scoring a wonderful 150 and plenty of wickets. Awesome.

  • bdsmaruf on November 10, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    pitch is questionable- it seems to be . but if sa will win-it will be out of question.

  • on November 10, 2011, 20:41 GMT

    every test match pitch should be like this one am tired of seeing drawn matches!!!!!!

  • kriskini on November 10, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    Luckily Associates are in worldcup 2015. Australia played like assoicates.

  • on November 10, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    Magnificent drama...a type of drama that we really can never get from ODIs or T20s. Gripping drama from two juggernauts of cricket. Blow for deadly blow! Awesome

  • nickydude on November 10, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    Sometimes, it does seem that Steyn breaks the momentum. Those 9 priceless runs he gifted, let Aus off from 21/9 to a "creditable" 47 . Still, I give the match in favour of Aus 60:40 given SA's penchant of choking. Expect Aus to win by around 30-40 runs.

  • i_witnessed_2011 on November 10, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    Who says t20 is killing bowlers? its actually killing the batsmen. Offer them a pitch little assistance to bowlers, they will succumb like never before. Wonderful day for test matches and eye opener for coaches and whole cricketing community

  • on November 10, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    23 wickets for *194* runs... Not 294, like the article says.

  • Winsome on November 10, 2011, 20:02 GMT

    I thought it was a great day's play and I'm an Aussie. Any team that can play so stupidly with that sort of lead deserves everything they get, but Brad Haddin deserves a special mention. A more reckless player for Australia, I don't think I've seen. Both his shots to get out in this series have been worthy of Afridi.

  • Aussasinator on November 10, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    It was SA's test all along but for the casual approach shown by their batsmen in the first innings. Watson didnt deserve those wickets he got. One can understand a Johnson coming up with a 5 wicket haul but not the innocuous Watson. SA bounced back stung, in a display of passion not seen in a long time from a side known to be chokers. The venom of the SA pacemen showed up the real quality of the Oz batsmen. Now there's no looking back. It is clearly established that the Oz batters cannot play pace, bounce and swing. This was an Oz team living in denial but they cannot fool the world too long.

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    Watching the game, it did look like a seamer-friendly wicket all right but nothing to warrant such an abject surrender. The quality of seam bowling, from both sides, though, was outstanding!! These two teams have a tendency of producing some crazy moments in cricket, and they have done it again!!!

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    Battle of the heavy weights....what a joke

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    In freakin sane. That is all people.

  • CricketFan2011WC on November 10, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Shouldn't the pitch be questioned for bad batting performances? In the SL-Aus series, the Galle pitch was questioned by the ICC.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on November 10, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    Reminds me of the last Ashes, with Jimmy Anderson and co sending an endless stream of Australians back into the pavilion. The gap between England and the rest of the world is, I have to say, MASSIVE. The fact that the number two (India) were recently beaten 4 - 0 sums up the level of skill between the best, and the rest.

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Just enjoy the game fellows, it is a wonderful contest between ball and bat.

  • bumsonseats on November 10, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    i think in this case the referal system and how it was used was 1st class the argument that a game would finish just because of it use is senseless hogwash, it just shows that in eng sa and australia they know how to best use it. the game is better for its use. its understandable in this match that the umpires struggled, because he ball was doing all sorts. dpk

  • gothetaniwha on November 10, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    Being from NZ dissapointed that SA didn,t get that last wicket to put Aussie in record books for lowest total as we have that total at 26 , but still think the Aussies will fight back tommorrow and win .

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Isn't that only the second time that one day has seen some of all four innings of a test?

    I was at the first: E vs WI @ Lords 2000. Except I missed the England second innings having to run into town for a stag do!

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    @Desiboy454 - I remember that match too. That was a 4 matches series, and after three matches India was already down 2-0 and with one match left Sachin has to come back into the team despite some injury. He came and he scored a half century in very difficult conditions, and with some good bowling we won that match. Australians surely condemned that pitch after the match. Let's wait and see they have to say about this pitch they are playing on. SA didn't seem to have any problem in their second innings.

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    what is going on ?? Insane

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    If the 1st test ends tmrw, can we have a 3rd?

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Daniel Brettig, you have done a superb job of reporting the day's events! A tough task very well executed!

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    maan ... i was thinking India was worse than Austrailia .... no its still a better team . Aus may still win this one ...but 20/9 for any team is just ridiculous ...what is going on ..

  • Pablo123 on November 10, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    WOW - thats all I can say right now....... The bowling - superb, the batting, not so great, but it was more the pitch...... make the groundsman president ! THIS IS TEST CRICKET !

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    woa woa woa , pamaran ,SA will win this as smooth as silk , choking days are gone. GO SA GO . show em whose daddy.

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    I think in current scenario it is impossible to defeat especially India and England in tier own backyard

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    SA MADE A GREAT MISTAKE THEY WERE HAVING THE GOOD CHANCE TO RESTRICT AUS IN LOWEST CRICKET TOTAL....THEY MISS IT TO INSULT AUS.....ALL AUSTRALIAN THINK THAT PONTING BREAK THE RECORD OF SACHIN...IS IT POSSIBLE...THERE R ALWAYS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMAN AND GOD....FRIENDS I THINK THAT SA MUST WIN THE MATCH

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Test cricket always has it's own appeal. These great circumstances only reveal it to the skeptics. Got to say that this is one of the weirdest matches ever played. That's not an exaggeration in any sense. Any bit less will only be an understatement. Australia vs South Africa is Grand. As I read somewhere in the commentary, this series cries out loud for more tests. Pity there are not enough. P.S. I like watching South Africa vs Australia than I like watching India vs Australia. SA are real fighters.

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    Let us see what ICC going to say and take action about the pitch.....

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    i think SA will win match...... i didnt expect such a fought back from SA...... and also it shows that it will be difficult to beat india and england in thier own backyard.... i think they will dominate atleast in test rankings

  • Shoobhit on November 10, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    @Bravovbravo hold on...just give a look to the last two test innings that Kallis played before this match. He just managed single-handedly draw for SA..if he is a run machine its not his fault, but let me tell you this machine produces meaningful runs unlike many of the other toppers...

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    Ricky now needs a score in next Test or its bye bye.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on November 10, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    This was a pathetic performance, as usual, from Australia. If Bangladesh had been so poor, people would be questioning their test status. I hope the ICC removes Australia from test cricket.

  • pamaran on November 10, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    SA will choke tomorrow.

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    what a game..... 23 wkts in a day!!!!!

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    Can u believe this...!!! Aussies once dominated the test cricket, now the 4th lowest total.. Ha.. Ha.. That's what is test cricket is..

  • BravoBravo on November 10, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    SA must win the match. Their bowlers performed beyond expectations. If they can't win this match, then what is the use of recordhloder batsmen like GC Smith and JH kallis in SA team. I am always skeptical about huge run accumualtor and record holders in CRICKET, most of the time they are unable to perform when it really matters. Good luck SA.

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    Hope the saffers take it away cmon smith

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    BCCI and Indian team are keeping on saying that if DRS implemented, test match will be finished in two days. But every one laughed at them. Now that is slowly coming to reality.

  • bumsonseats on November 10, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    if it was thought the most memorable day of test cricket, i shudder to think of a worse scenario of the greatest game. for the people who would like it brought down to T2020 and 50 odi's then maybe so. dpk

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    No doubt that these two teams are most competitive ones. I think SA will capitalize on the start and win.......... T H E......... E P I C....... Test....

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    ICC has punished sirilanka for making turning pitch now wat ICC will do now for those seaming tracks ? do they go and punish SA :)

  • Usmanpak55 on November 10, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    This is test cricket at its very best and its the best cricket in 3 formats.it shows that test cricket is not all about batting if the ball does a bit as it did today any batsman in the world can be in trouble.brilliant bowling from both sides and best use of DRS.Some pitches like this in subcontinent can improve test cricket and we can have more results than draws.tomorrow 1st hour crucial for both sides.

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    if 22 wickets fall in india or in the subcontinent , ppl brand it a square turner unfit for test cricket...... if it happens in south africa,australia, england the same ppl term it great exhibition for test cricket.... :-P

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Certainly memorable, but Test cricket at it's best? You might as well say a 0-0 tie is best possible result! This was sheer madness. Besides, this kind of result could easily happen in any form of the game- cricket is inherently unpredictable. So yes, definitely and interesting and exciting day. But a three day match, as this will certainly be, is hardly an argument for the 5 day format! What were these batsman thinking?

  • nshankarn on November 10, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    What a game of cricket....today we all witnessed why a 5 day match is called "TEST" cricket

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    Incredible, to put it mildly. Is this the highest number of wickets to fall in a days play in the history of test cricket? The purists may say that it is the t20 format responsible for this. But personally I disagree.

  • abhyudayj on November 10, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    Australia had huge lead of 188 runs that may save the aussies but credit must be given to South Africa after they dismiss for 96 what a bounce back in this test match restricted aussies for 47. bpwlers are good or pitch has not so good for batting

  • desiboy454 on November 10, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    I an an issue here.. So 23 wickets in a day. this is day 2.. the match will be over max by tea tomorrow. This is a fast bowlers paradise and a nightmare for batsmen. Dont take this wrong, i think pitches should be like this more often, this was a very exiting days cricket more than a team batting 90 overs and making 360. This was far more exciting. BUT BUT my biggest issue, in 2004 when Australia toured India, in Mumbai the pitch was a dust bowl, a spinners paradise, india made 100 odd 1st innings, australia got 200 odd in their 1st innings India made 200 odd Australia all out 93 chasing 100. Game over by tea i think on day 3. 20 odd wickets fell on day 2 as well.. The pitch was criticized beyond words, RICKY PONTING called it a non test wicket.. Then why has this pitch not been criticized. This is my only issue.

    Is a spinners wicket not good enough? Besides that, AMAZING match soo far, this is great for test cricket. Cant wait to watch TMRW. May the better team win tomorrow!!

  • sunji on November 10, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    The way these 2 teams are playing....everybody will forget the excitement between India & Pakistan....... Really this day is going to be a memorable day in the history of Test Cricket after 12/03/2006 in which Australians were defeated by the same team even after scoring a mammoth 434/4 in 50 Overs...... Great performance by both the teams.......

  • Shoobhit on November 10, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    More than anybody else it is Smith who needs this win...and he looks set to do so..wish him all the best for next day...

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    Weird?bemusing?incredible? Take your pick! But after a day that threatened to break a couple of dubious records (max wickets to fall in a day - 27 remains intact! and lowest Test innings total of 26 stays safe!) one finds normal service restored in the last hour of the day. However the Test is intriguingly poised and we cannot spot a clear winner as yet.

    Day three may not be as much a blurr.rrr as today but should be definitely absorbing. Here is a chance for SAffers to shed the C tag but as Bill O'Reilly wd have said the goose is not cooked until it is eaten!

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    thank God that this drama did not happen on Asian wickets...otherwise those green track heroes would have said what a non sportive wicket...since it happened outside Asia...everyone will be quite ......now its 50:50....the way pitch has behaved anything can happen.....

  • thirdmanboundary on November 10, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    "As it transpired, in one knock Clarke easily scored more than what both sides would manage in the second and third innings of the match." Has that ever happened before in test history? As a saffer fan, I'm hesitant to say they have the upper hand. So far, so good, but they do have a penchant for the unexpected (i.e. the expected) collapse. But there are some battlers in the side. Kudos for a great, intriguing day of test cricket. Clearly this wasn't a sub par pitch, just one that responded to world-class bowling and demanded the kind of batting concentration that only Clarke could muster. Fantastic to see SA's 3 pace bowlers working so well as a unit. Exhilarating stuff.

  • peter408 on November 10, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    i want my money back as i bought tickets for the weekend..but anyway great test so far hope my sa comes out tops!

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    It is an amazing day of test cricket.... The match shows how in-adept the modern batsmen have become in handling good quality swing and seam bowling... Will there be an ICC inquiry about the nature of the pitch where only 47 runs were scored by one of the best teams that can play fast bowling... Alas Subcontinent...

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    wonderful day of test cricket

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    I wish Australia bowl out for 21, but bravo to Siddle

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    For sure Ricky Ponting's last series .I can say that he will be forced by selectors to get retire coz they would not like to drop him.

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    Incredible bowling from South Africa. Its been a while seen something like this effort.

  • bumsonseats on November 10, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    similar to SL when i wanted the aussies to win because of the pitch. they say nov in SA is like uk in april/may but with the sun. say the game was played in leeds i could understand that wicket. it was rutted with green patches of grass that was to long. clarke's inning was good but the saffers apart from steyn bowled poorly helping the aussies get 120 runs to many. im a pom so its immaterial to me. in the uk we can get wickets similar because sometimes we just cannot get the wamth of the sun to dry the wickets. but the grass is not green and that length and teams can get a bundle of runs like we did against india with watchfull batting. this was a disgrace and i will not go into the ins and outs of 96 and 47 but i can think of 2 aussie writers on here who would if it as england batting. will the aussies win, yes i think an early wicket or 2 they are still in with a good chance. dpk

  • shivtaneja on November 10, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Had this been a pitch in india definately curators would have had a tough time answering... such an amazing game this is... i think sa wld come out on top n philander wld be the main mn responsible

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    Incredible cricket match,but the aussies cud have done better.

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Bemused ..............................................................

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    This clearly reeks of hypocrisy. If this would have been a dust bowl with spin or low bounce, something like Kotla or Galle, there would have people mauling the groundsmen. Now that it is a seamy, bouncy green wicket, not a word is being said. Talk about hypocrisy.

  • praveen4honestremark on November 10, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    I think SA will win this test match, but with some hint of drama tomorrow.

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    it was worth getting up at 4 in the morning! lol

  • igorolman on November 10, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    I saw the last 5 AUS wickets go down, and a good part of the SA reply, and I didn't see a single ball misbehave. Haddin played an awful shot that might be his last at Test level, Johnson slapped a short wide one to backward point, and Lyon got out slogging. The other two were good balls in the right area that did for a new batsman in pain, and a tail-ender ... no shocks there. Just dismal batting against quick bowling on a pitch with a little - just a little - bounce and the occasional seam movement. Can't help thinking T20 has eroded defensive techniques ...

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    i hope Aussies were out for lowest total.. :( :P

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    It is only in my wildest dreams do I see Australians tumbling one by one until they are 21/9. And watching that in reality, I couldn't believe that something like that has happened. SA bowled out for 96 and then Australia 21/9. I can only say, Unbelievable. Then Siddle and Lyon took them to 47, with a partnership of 26, which is higher than all the other partnerships in that innings put together. South Africa then came out very strong with the bat too. 81/1. Whose match is it now? I think South Africa will do the most erratic thing in this match - Chase it all comfortably without losing another wicket. Then we will only wonder, what kind of a pitch is this? Lets do some research on it. It's fickle.

  • hris on November 10, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    Embarrassing batting oz. 21 for 9. just horrible. its frustrating to watch.

    All the flack that the English and SA fans throw at us would be thoroughly deserved if we lose this one. Dont even feel like reading comments or news after these kind of performances. Johnson, Ponting-- very poor. i can bear Huss having a bad test. i would still persist with Hughes, but bring Khawaja, Warner in the team. Ben Cutting, Coulter Nile, Faulker, Butterworth deserve opportunities. Performance is the only criteria. I dont wanna hear the Potential talent crap. Hope Harris and Watson can somehow win it for us.

  • popcorn on November 10, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    Brad Haddin has got to go.He has now become a burden. His glovework is ok,but his batting is undependable. Tim Paine should come in for the Home Series against New Zealand and India.

  • cool2cool on November 10, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    If I am not wrong, Kallis walked 2-3 times in WC by asking fielders if a catch was clean or not. Wonder why he didn't do it today and waited for the review?

  • denny.abr on November 10, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    Aussies missing katich desperately.. ;)

  • Blessington on November 10, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhh wat a petty aussies after working hard just gifting the match to south africa.... very sad day really just loosing the hard earned dvantage. i feel its now easy going for south africa....... aussies we r there for u come on u can win if u try nothing is over. this indian wil support u as ever ur awesome team being an indian m die hard fan of urs. alll the best aussies. lets us have the final laugh with victory.....

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    last match i remember seeing such situation when india toured new zealand in late 2002...just befoe wc...in hamilton....india was out for below 100...nz in rely too were allout in 90s...such matches prove that cricket isn't always a batsmen's game...

  • Romenevans on November 10, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    Watching these guys bowl was an absolute treat to watch. I think Aussies in the second inning player poorly and most of their batsmen were out playing loose shots. Pup's inning was all class, and philander bowled well too, in the 2nd innings.

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    did the pitch suddenly changed and started to assist the bowlers?, did the bowlers changed their lengths compared to sa in the 1st innings? or was it a case of poor batting?. its really tough to understand what really happened in those 3 hours after lunch and aus's 2nd innings. but due to that sa is in control now and thats what matters to me.

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 10, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    Will people in SA/Aus/Eng question their team's ability to play swing bowling? I wonder what would comments would have been made had a team from sub-continent folded up for 47.....

    I think if SA lose this, the focus would be on how they bowled during 1st inngs to Marsh&Clarke........

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    this is why saf v aus the best in the world. ties. impossible chases, close games and wicket galore.

  • M.N.I.Rony on November 10, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    Ooh la la..Ooh la la. Australia is my fantasy.

  • denny.abr on November 10, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    What this goes to show is that in swinging conditions all batsmen struggle...not just the Indian batsmen....

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    the lowest total from aussies after 1902.......

  • AgeySuhas on November 10, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Most Memorable day of Test Cricket In My Life..........!

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    what a game of cricket!! incredible....lowest total in an test innings since march 2004...back then west indies made 47 against england at kingston...i have still got a feeling though that australia will come out victorious!! let's keep our fingers crossed X

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    what an amazing day of test cricket!!!full of uncertainty.thats why test cricket is still alive!!!!!

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    i think Australia will win this match.

  • on November 10, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Wat a day for Test cricket...SA may win this Match.........But this Match has it's own special place in the History Of test cricket..........Test at its Best

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on November 10, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Wat a day for Test cricket...SA may win this Match.........But this Match has it's own special place in the History Of test cricket..........Test at its Best

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:00 GMT

    i think Australia will win this match.

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    what an amazing day of test cricket!!!full of uncertainty.thats why test cricket is still alive!!!!!

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    what a game of cricket!! incredible....lowest total in an test innings since march 2004...back then west indies made 47 against england at kingston...i have still got a feeling though that australia will come out victorious!! let's keep our fingers crossed X

  • AgeySuhas on November 10, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Most Memorable day of Test Cricket In My Life..........!

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    the lowest total from aussies after 1902.......

  • denny.abr on November 10, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    What this goes to show is that in swinging conditions all batsmen struggle...not just the Indian batsmen....

  • M.N.I.Rony on November 10, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    Ooh la la..Ooh la la. Australia is my fantasy.

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    this is why saf v aus the best in the world. ties. impossible chases, close games and wicket galore.

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 10, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    Will people in SA/Aus/Eng question their team's ability to play swing bowling? I wonder what would comments would have been made had a team from sub-continent folded up for 47.....

    I think if SA lose this, the focus would be on how they bowled during 1st inngs to Marsh&Clarke........