South Africa v Australia, 2nd ODI, Port Elizabeth October 23, 2011

Impressive South Africa level series

59

South Africa 303 for 6 (Kallis 76, Miller 59, Smith 57, Duminy 56) beat Australia 223 (Warner 74, Morkel 4-22) by 80 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa regained parity in the ODI series against Australia - and valuable equilibrium after an extended break from international cricket - with a resounding 80-run victory in the second match at St George's Park.

Where the hosts had looked out of sorts with the bat and rusty in the field at Centurion, they now clambered all over a touring side that was both inconvenienced and worried by a back complaint for the vice-captain Shane Watson, on his return to the team from a hip injury. Watson staggered off the field after wincing in pain upon the delivery of the fifth ball of his fourth over and must now be in doubt for the deciding third match in Durban despite batting later.

His absence in the field was keenly felt as South Africa ran up an imposing 303 for 6 via sizeable contributions from Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, David Miller and JP Duminy. All the Australian pacemen were taken for runs, Pat Cummins delivering one maiden but otherwise finding the going harder than at any stage so far in his infant international career.

The tourists' chase lacked the required authority from the moment Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke were dismissed cheaply, as Morne Morkel collected a richly-deserved 4 for 22 on a pitch that slowed across the course of the match.

Ponting opened in Watson's place, and struck two boundaries in six balls before he presented a low catch to the covers from the bowling of Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Clarke snicked a nicely pitched Morkel delivery to slip and at 37 for 2 the innings was set on an unsteady path towards 223 all out.

Hashim Amla was earlier out to the first ball of a match South Africa must win to keep the series open, but Kallis and Smith wrested the initiative with a stand of 142, and Miller played with plenty of energy and power in the company of the more taciturn Duminy to ensure a mid-innings wobble did not compound.

Australia's greatest problems had appeared the search for wickets on a slow and placid pitch, but Watson added significantly them when he grimaced and clutched at his back.

He immediately departed for the dressing room and the attention of the team physio Alex Kountouris, leaving Clarke to finish the over. Watson, recovered from a hip complaint, had been named to replace the promising allrounder Mitchell Marsh, whose brother Shaun Marsh remained on the sidelines with a shoulder problem.

The early wickets of Ponting and Clarke placed Australia in perilous territory, forcing David Warner to rein in some of his more aggressive tendencies while Michael Hussey played with typical modulation. Both were reprieved, Warner dropped badly at mid on by Amla when 26, while Hussey survived lookalike stumping chances on 14 and 36, Mark Boucher failing to gather deliveries that slid between bat and pad.

They added 71, the only substantial union of the innings, but Hussey was run out as the required run-rate climbed and Warner miscued an attempted pull shot to grant Boucher a swirling catch. Watson managed one rasping six when he belatedly came in to bat, but was caught in the deep off Tsotsobe as the equation slipped out of reach and the crowd was allowed a period of prolonged celebration.

Steve Smith offered a minor rearguard but his lack of boundaries was a neat encapsulation of the Australian struggle for momentum on a sluggish surface.

Kallis and Smith had earlier showed plenty of vigour to stall an Australian bowling attack that was laughing when Amla, the hosts' stand-in captain, had played too early at the first ball of the day and popped a return catch to Doug Bollinger.

The wicket showed that the pitch was far easier-paced than Centurion's and, in the absence of much new ball swing for Bollinger or Mitchell Johnson, Kallis and Smith made progress that was initially measured before accelerating visibly.

Smith, not in the best of touch before this innings, unleashed a string of strokes through the offside that contradicted his reputation as a bottom-hand dragger to leg. With each drive, Smith regathered a little more confidence, helped along by Kallis' instant show of confidence upon replacing Amla. In the second over Kallis hooked fearlessly at Johnson and cleared the fence, and he continued in that vein.

Smith departed via a video referral when he attempted to reverse sweep Steve Smith and could only glove a catch to Haddin, while Kallis took on Clarke's sharp left arm and was nearly a metre short when the stumps went down.

Faf du Plessis wandered down the wicket to be stumped in the midst of a fine spell by Xavier Doherty, but Miller showed his intent second ball by plonking Smith beyond long off for six, and he kept it up while Duminy played himself back towards form after an indifferent start to the series.

Miller's departure was the signal for Duminy to take up the role of aggressor, and he did so with a pair of towering sixes from the bowling of Cummins, who had dismissed him in each of their previous three encounters on this tour.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matt. on October 26, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    yeh @RandyOZ i don't know how haddin gets away with it either. he must be the nicest guy in the world or something, no one wants to hurt his feelings

  • Blazedragon on October 26, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    @HatsforBats: All those players have provided support time and again they have never been completely useless like Smith. Just looking at a scorecard and seeing a 3rd highest score and an average bowling performance in just 1 match after failing in all others matches is enough to convince you then I must say Australians set a very low standard for themselves these days. I have watched Smith pretty much since the beginning and he looks dreadful.

  • Blazedragon on October 26, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    @landl47: Well that's the difference between just looking at a scorecard and actually watching the match. If you had actually watched it you would have seen that Smith actually contributed to the losing cause. He has gotten too many chances if anything. If Australia keep players like him around for any longer it won't be long before they become a NZ or WI level team.

  • ajayrcs on October 26, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Why people want to even think of dropping Ponting. Well i don't think anyone in Australia want to see him in the team, Spectators wants young player, Team management did't even fixed his batting position just wasting his talent, he has lot to offer yet. Wish he was born in India.He never got the respect what he deserve.Hats off to Ricky Ponting for his performance without any support. Best sports person of my life.

  • RandyOZ on October 26, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Seriously how on Earth is Haddin still in the team? Is Paine still injured? We need to cut this dead weight ASAP. He is PATHETIC. Those calling for punter and huss's head but ignore Haddin have NO IDEA OF CRICKET.

  • JG2704 on October 25, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    @jonesy2 - Pretty much everyone on this subject has posted something constructive and then we get this nonsense from you. SA seem to have so much strenth in depth. Van Der Merwe was superb in the CL20 and I'm pleased that Somerset have resigned him , and he doesn't seem to get a look in. These 2 teams are very evenly matched which makes for a decent series.

  • Okakaboka on October 24, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    For years now, our Australian cricket team has been plagued with dodgy selections (and omissions). Many of us have fired cynical comments (including me) at the inclusion of Steve Smith...it isn't personal at Smith...he is a great fielder and if O'Keefe could field like him he would be a dead set champion one day. The problem is he is bowled infrequently which suggests there is NO real confidence in his ability. His batting is where the real problem is. He is not up to the standard required and we can all see the lack of skill AND technique. IT ISN"T THERE so the potential isn't...We can see this...unfortunately, our daft selectors can't. White was dropped (correctly) for lack of form. Indications are he is back in form??? But Smith is retained. We (many bloggers) have listed better options. There are major holes in our team...We have inconsistent opening batsman, no penetrating spinner, only a pretend wicketkeeper who has lost all form with the bat, a bowler who bowls well 1 in 8 games

  • Meety on October 24, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    Whilst I believe Steve Smith is worth a spot in the Oz ODI side, (I'd drop Doherty for him), if he doesn't bowl at least 6 or 7 overs a game - he shouldn't be in the side. I think it would be demorilizing for a talented young player to bat @#7 & not bowl. Its sort of like what happenns in junior cricket where you get a weak player in to make up the numbers. Smith IMO has unlimited potential, he should be playing Shield cricket during the Oz summer & tour with the national side out of season. I rate him highly, but it appears that Pup & White don't. Its funny that Pup is a selector, but doesn't use him, (albeit more than White). Once smith develops some more variation to his game, I think he will be a frontline spinner. He is less likely to drop short than other spinners, by virtue of the fact he is more likely to toss the ball up, I think he will be very dangerous assuming he develops some more variation. I think he is currently being wasted in Sth Africa.

  • JimMackay on October 24, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Steve Smith has played enough to demonstrate that he can neither bat nor bowl. Lovely fielder. Why on earth is he in the side?

  • Marcio on October 24, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    It never ceases to amaze me how absolutely daft most people writing on this site are. One game and that is the way it will be forever more. You'd think it was SA who were the 1st ranked ODI side in the world, judging by some of these comments. SA got thrashed in the 1st game, and only a fool would think that the last game is already decided. Australia will do well in the last game. Why? Because they have consistently played well over many years, ND merely played one poor game. As for Steve Smith, why is it that while he was bowling the best spell of any Australian bowler on a very friendly batting strip, that we being inundated with nasty and petty comments about him? And why were they being published here, while others who point out that ridicule and hatred should play no role in the game, its audience or media, are being silenced?

  • Matt. on October 26, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    yeh @RandyOZ i don't know how haddin gets away with it either. he must be the nicest guy in the world or something, no one wants to hurt his feelings

  • Blazedragon on October 26, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    @HatsforBats: All those players have provided support time and again they have never been completely useless like Smith. Just looking at a scorecard and seeing a 3rd highest score and an average bowling performance in just 1 match after failing in all others matches is enough to convince you then I must say Australians set a very low standard for themselves these days. I have watched Smith pretty much since the beginning and he looks dreadful.

  • Blazedragon on October 26, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    @landl47: Well that's the difference between just looking at a scorecard and actually watching the match. If you had actually watched it you would have seen that Smith actually contributed to the losing cause. He has gotten too many chances if anything. If Australia keep players like him around for any longer it won't be long before they become a NZ or WI level team.

  • ajayrcs on October 26, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Why people want to even think of dropping Ponting. Well i don't think anyone in Australia want to see him in the team, Spectators wants young player, Team management did't even fixed his batting position just wasting his talent, he has lot to offer yet. Wish he was born in India.He never got the respect what he deserve.Hats off to Ricky Ponting for his performance without any support. Best sports person of my life.

  • RandyOZ on October 26, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Seriously how on Earth is Haddin still in the team? Is Paine still injured? We need to cut this dead weight ASAP. He is PATHETIC. Those calling for punter and huss's head but ignore Haddin have NO IDEA OF CRICKET.

  • JG2704 on October 25, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    @jonesy2 - Pretty much everyone on this subject has posted something constructive and then we get this nonsense from you. SA seem to have so much strenth in depth. Van Der Merwe was superb in the CL20 and I'm pleased that Somerset have resigned him , and he doesn't seem to get a look in. These 2 teams are very evenly matched which makes for a decent series.

  • Okakaboka on October 24, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    For years now, our Australian cricket team has been plagued with dodgy selections (and omissions). Many of us have fired cynical comments (including me) at the inclusion of Steve Smith...it isn't personal at Smith...he is a great fielder and if O'Keefe could field like him he would be a dead set champion one day. The problem is he is bowled infrequently which suggests there is NO real confidence in his ability. His batting is where the real problem is. He is not up to the standard required and we can all see the lack of skill AND technique. IT ISN"T THERE so the potential isn't...We can see this...unfortunately, our daft selectors can't. White was dropped (correctly) for lack of form. Indications are he is back in form??? But Smith is retained. We (many bloggers) have listed better options. There are major holes in our team...We have inconsistent opening batsman, no penetrating spinner, only a pretend wicketkeeper who has lost all form with the bat, a bowler who bowls well 1 in 8 games

  • Meety on October 24, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    Whilst I believe Steve Smith is worth a spot in the Oz ODI side, (I'd drop Doherty for him), if he doesn't bowl at least 6 or 7 overs a game - he shouldn't be in the side. I think it would be demorilizing for a talented young player to bat @#7 & not bowl. Its sort of like what happenns in junior cricket where you get a weak player in to make up the numbers. Smith IMO has unlimited potential, he should be playing Shield cricket during the Oz summer & tour with the national side out of season. I rate him highly, but it appears that Pup & White don't. Its funny that Pup is a selector, but doesn't use him, (albeit more than White). Once smith develops some more variation to his game, I think he will be a frontline spinner. He is less likely to drop short than other spinners, by virtue of the fact he is more likely to toss the ball up, I think he will be very dangerous assuming he develops some more variation. I think he is currently being wasted in Sth Africa.

  • JimMackay on October 24, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Steve Smith has played enough to demonstrate that he can neither bat nor bowl. Lovely fielder. Why on earth is he in the side?

  • Marcio on October 24, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    It never ceases to amaze me how absolutely daft most people writing on this site are. One game and that is the way it will be forever more. You'd think it was SA who were the 1st ranked ODI side in the world, judging by some of these comments. SA got thrashed in the 1st game, and only a fool would think that the last game is already decided. Australia will do well in the last game. Why? Because they have consistently played well over many years, ND merely played one poor game. As for Steve Smith, why is it that while he was bowling the best spell of any Australian bowler on a very friendly batting strip, that we being inundated with nasty and petty comments about him? And why were they being published here, while others who point out that ridicule and hatred should play no role in the game, its audience or media, are being silenced?

  • bumsonseats on October 24, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    joneys2 not took you long before your rants start. you need to go have a lie down. the saffers would have won with 11 on 11. i think you need a change of sport. dpk

  • SuperSharky on October 24, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Good for Graeme Smith and David Millier that they found some form. Even thou Graeme had a lucky call. Also a strong performance from Botha and one feels that if a pitch requires Tahir, then maybe not on the cost of Botha. Faff Du Plessis had another brilliant fielding performance and could be the best fielder in the world at this moment, but one feels that if a pitch requires an Albie Morkel or Tahir, then maybe he should make way. On the other hand, one needs to keep building Faff's confidence because he is talented and a star in making

  • Matt. on October 24, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    @SnowSnake! top run scorers for this series so far goes like this: Warner, Kallis, Ponting, Miller, Hussey. What cricket have you been watching? And I think we're all being a bit harsh on Steve Smith, his ability to pick out the fielder on every shot is second to none

  • DAHSUT on October 24, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    why is shaun marsh not playing.i seriously think s smith has to play in the team as a spinner who bowls 10 overs and instead of doherty get in marsh

  • on October 24, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Plzzzzzzzzzzz, give me 1 reason that why this steve smith is in this australian team.......i cant understand

  • SpadeaSpade on October 24, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    Serioulsy people, show some patience. The game is built around patience and stragegy. No one can tell me that chopping and changing the team frequently is going to improve the aussies situation. Steve Smith , Dave Warner , Cummins are all green at intl level. It doesn't mean that they will not grow into leaders of this team in 3-4 years time. We were beaten by a better side. Kallis and Smith put on 140 for the first wicket. Hardly bad players, hardly worth throwing the baby out with the bath water because they performed well. Show some patience and faith in the new skipper and the young fella's coming in. Without that respect the team will not grow. Since Clark took over as Capt the teams tactics have been better. The bowlers have fields that clearly indicate how the team is trying to take wickets.

  • jonesy2 on October 24, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    well done south africa you managed a win against 9 players. you had better hope that australia play with 9 for the rest of the tour hahaha

  • on October 24, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Good toss to win but SA played very well on a pitch that completely doused out the fire of Australia's attack. But thats ok, gotta learn to win on all surfaces not just the ones that suit. Just like the Aussies, I think thats where both SA and India have been found wanting the last few years as recent no.1 test teams and why their period of dominance was short lived. Winning on all surfaces most of the time was something Australia excelled at for a long time

  • on October 24, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    Since last one year Im amazing to see this Steven Smith in the team.................eventhough there r quality alternatives for him like Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Dan Christian, Callum Ferguson..............these real quality players. But dont know why the prefer players likeSteven Smith..........shame........real shame!!!!

  • Pablo123 on October 24, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Well Centurion shouldn't have been called a result, it was a farce. This match was a true reflection on the two sides. SA are in far better shape than Australia and I predict another thrashing in Durban.

  • dariuscorny on October 24, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    aussie bowling seems to be ok.but, the batting is quite weak.they are lacking potent batsmen which they had in the past.S Marsh's injury was adding to the aussie misery.what is S Smith is doing in the team?he shud hv been dropped quite before.

  • on October 24, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Kepler Wessels summed up the essentials " Morne Morkel bowled superbly and Johan Botha bowled really well. Inexplicably Johan Botha's huge contribution continues to be unsung and under valued. Two "out by a mile" stumpings, well set up by Botha, were fumbed by Boucher. Botha reads the batsmen so well. The superb containment of the dangerous Warner by Botha and Duminy, should not be underestimated. Smith benefitted from the masterful confidence and strokeplay of Kallis. Graeme's Smith double attempt at a reverse sweep, was very poor shot selection and blemished an otherwise encouraging return to form. Hashim Amla seemed overawed by the role of captain. His dropped catch was extremely inept and poor In conclusion, Johan Botha's ability to read the game and opposition, should be used better. Would love to see David Miller and Albie Morkel take command of the opposition bowling in the middle order of our T 20's and ODI's

  • Aussasinator on October 24, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Good win by South Africa. This game reflects the actual difference between the two teams.

  • Winsome on October 24, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    bobagorof, stevesmith came in at 5 in this match. He wasn't any use so why are you so sure that he only needs to be taking a better batsman's place up the order to start 'smashing them'. He doesn' thit properly in one day or T20 no matter how many chances he is given. That sounds like wishful thinking in the extreme. Yesterday's loss wasn't his fault though, I'm not saying that, it was a team effort by some margin. Not a single set batsman took many chances, it was all very risk free. Nielsen would have been proud of them.

  • Okakaboka on October 24, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    @bobagorof....MOST cricket followers have had enough of Smith. IT JUST AINT THERE!!! He's had long enough to produce ONE profound performance and he hasn't. He MUSt be dropped. As for Spraygun and Terracotta gloves....time for them to go as well. There are better players missing out and it just isn't fair. The team needs a fresh approach. Again Haddin displayed all the 'mastery' of the worst State keeper in the country. There are better keepers playing grade cricket. Cummings demonstrated where he is really at. .......and not CLOSE to Pattinson....Well behind him....as was demonstrated last night!

  • landl47 on October 24, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    What is this odd vendetta against Steve Smith? Looking down the scorecard, I see 9 players who had a worse game than he did, and yet he's the one singled out for criticism. Warner had a good innings, but Smith had the best economy rate among bowlers, took a wicket and his 26 was scored at a better run rate than Hussey's 37. The kid's a good fielder. What do you expect from him? Australia has few enough young prospects without knocking one of them for not being a dominant player at age 22. If you were to say that Ponting has no future and is just keeping a young player from gaining experience, or Haddin isn't going to get any better and it's time for a change, then I'd agree. But Smith needs experience and encouragement, not this continual carping. No wonder Aus is slipping down the rankings.

  • natmastak_so-called on October 24, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    is it only me , to think that this guy punter just refuses to leave, whenever he's out.?

  • shovwar on October 24, 2011, 2:27 GMT

    Last time Botha was a stand-in Captain was In Australia in 2008..Where Smith was in great form in the Test series beating Aus in a test series in Australia for the first Time in the last 2 decades by any team But then he could not play the ODI due to finger injury so Botha took over in the ODI series....Guess what SA beat Australia in the Aussie backyard by 4-1.....in the ODI series.......That was the first blow to Australia losing not only the test series but also the ODI series in Australia....

  • HatsforBats on October 24, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    @Blazedragon: so it wasn't Clarke (1), Haddin (13), Ponting (10), or Hussey (who ran himself out and scored at a slower rate than Smith), but Smith (26) that caused Warner to take risks and cost Aus the match? Nice conclusion. And on a pitch like that would it be prudent to take a fifth seamer or a second spinner?

  • on October 24, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    Was very pleased with Doherty and Smith, would bring in the marsh brothers and pattinson for johnson, bollinger and cummins. Bollinger and Johnson should have done better being as experienced as they are. Cummins needs to go back to NSW and keep improving, he is too young to come back from a performance like this.

  • bobagorof on October 24, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    Seriously, how can Steve Smith develop if he's only given a handful of overs a match? Australia has great flexibility in their squad, but the captain needs to let Smith know that he will be an important part of the bowling attack on a regular basis - maybe not every match, but 2 out of 3. Give him 7-10 overs and let him bowl to a plan. The batting order has been a bit disrupted due to injury, but an average of 24 is too low for a player of his promise. Let him play up the order and build an innings - once he gets his eye in, he can smash them all over the park. I'd be inclined to rest Watson for the last ODI, have Ponting open, Smith at 4or 5 and Hussey at 5 or 6. Put some faith in the young guy, if you're going to pick him at all.

  • on October 24, 2011, 1:39 GMT

    Great to level the series.. Now it's Durban

  • jmcilhinney on October 24, 2011, 1:26 GMT

    Will the real South Africa please stand up. Any team can play well or poorly on any given day and it's always hard to know exactly what factors contributed and in what proportions. If SA lost the first game in both the T20I and ODI series due to rustiness, let's hope they have it out of their system because they won't want to give away a start in such a short test series. Australia are not the power they were and may not be again but they are certainly not a spent force, particularly in limited-overs matches. It will be interesting to see how Australia do in the tests after losing convincingly to England at home and then beating Sri Lanka convincingly away. Let's hope SA play well enough to provide a proper indication. As an England fan, I'd like to see SA win one test and the other drawn. That way Australia lose (yeah, sorry but I'm sure you Aussies want England to lose every series too) but SA cannot overtake England in the test rankings before they play each other.

  • RJHB on October 23, 2011, 23:51 GMT

    Good toss to win but SA played very well on a pitch that completely doused out the fire of Australia's attack. But thats ok, gotta learn to win on all surfaces not just the ones that suit. Just like the Aussies, I think thats where both SA and India have been found wanting the last few years as recent no.1 test teams and why their period of dominance was short lived. Winning on all surfaces most of the time was something Australia excelled at for a long time. This team doesn't have it yet and won't again for a long while though. Well played SA, bring on match 3!

  • on October 23, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    You have to question Michael Clarke's role as captain and selector to find out why Steve Smith was playing instead of Mitch Marsh. Solution, he took a leaf out of Andrew Hildith's book.

  • Blazedragon on October 23, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    @HatsforBats: His "3rd highest score" is what cost them the match. Australia needed boundaries and his slow strike rate is what put pressure on Australia and Warner who was the key man for their victory. And seriously his bowling is average at best. Overall he is and has been pretty pretty useless. Australia will never improve if they drag on players like that around.

  • Blazedragon on October 23, 2011, 22:34 GMT

    @SnowSnake: Are you out of your mind? Ponting and Hussey are the 2 batsman providing the most overall. Ridiculous how people talk about dropping them just after one bad match.

  • HatsforBats on October 23, 2011, 21:48 GMT

    Sorry, 1-0 up in the series

  • HatsforBats on October 23, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    Is everyone being a bit harsh on Steve Smith? 3rd highest scorer for the Aussies, picked up the wicket of Smith and was one of just 2 bowlers to bowl at an economy under the run rate. Would M.Marsh have been any better? Maybe. But what was the point in picking Watson so soon after an injury when we were up 2-0 in the series? Sad to see Haddin & Johnson still not making runs, good to see Warner get some hard runs. A nice reality check for Cummins too. Well played by SA.

  • aamir4frenz on October 23, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    i dont really understand y all cricketing nations hav batting captains if u dont hav AB and botha's place is not really secured den giv da captaincy to dale steyn y giv it to hashim amla ?

  • bumsonseats on October 23, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    thirdmanboundry. iv news for u kallis has looked the complete one day player for the last 10 years. dpk

  • bumsonseats on October 23, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    it as only yesterday an aussie was telling everyone morkel was way behind the whole of australias seamers in ability. mind we know who it was. so say no more. dpk

  • on October 23, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    All you slating Hashim Amla's captaincy, remember that he is NOT South Africa's captain. AB de Villiers is. They needed the vice captain to be someone who's an auto-pick in the team and an able deputy without wanting the top job. Amla fits the bill. For this series, it was a matter of either letting the vice captain fill the boots + give him some experience in the job or changing captains every other series. I'd rather see some form of consistency as opposed to a Pakistan-esque captaincy circus. We don't know if Botha will be in the team in the next ODI series. I am glad that the selectors let Amla have some experience.

  • Blazedragon on October 23, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    Does Australia want to lose? Why else would they pick Steve Smith? Didn't even score a single boundary.

  • Shafaet_001 on October 23, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    I agree with "Tim40621", amla is a fantastic batsman but Botha could be a better captain. But he not a certain choice anymore, thats why not selected as vice-captain(or captain). By the way why imran tahir is not playing? sa must give him a chance in test matches if not in odi.

  • SnowSnake on October 23, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Congratulations to SA. I think Australia should drop Ponting and Hussey from ODI squad. I don't see why they are still playing in this format? Did Steyn's speed drop? Kallis was as good as ever. Good overall job by SA!

  • missionbegins2011 on October 23, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    SA will win this 2-1, they have thumped AUS many times in the last decade ,2-1 in 2000, 3-2 in 2006 (including the 438 match), 3-2 in 2009 and 4-1 again the same year

  • Winsome on October 23, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    You journalists do Steve Smith no favours. 'Steve Smith offered a minor rearguard.' No, he didn't. South Africa must have been happy that he was out there, placing singles. Mind you, he wasn't the only one. A real spanking, well played South Africa.

  • shovwar on October 23, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Not bad for rusty SA...cant wait till they are in full form.....

  • on October 23, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    WELL PLAYED S.A!!! Apart from the fact I'm not sure abt Amla as captain (look @ his record-both in last 2 and previously as skipper), SA look awesome..Well done u saffers!

  • thirdmanboundary on October 23, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    SA superior in every discipline. Morkel looked fantastic. Kallis has really benefited from his IPL experience and is now the compete item as a ODI player. Nice to see Smith and Duminy playing their way back into some form. Still a few concerns. Some terrible (rusty?) running between the wickets. And Boucher had a shocker. Time to bring in Heino Kuhn, who would also strengthen the batting long term. But all in all, a terrific team performance that will give SA momentum going forward.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 23, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    @Tim: I agree with you. Botha should have been made the captain in the absence of AB. Botha won the T20s and ODIs against Aus IN Aus. So he would have handled the situation a little better. Amla should only be in the team as a player. Captaincy is not just about walking to the toss and giving interviews. Enough said.

  • Tim40621 on October 23, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    Why is Hashim Amla SA captain just watching these first few overs in the field hes far to quite doesnt look captain material at all, good captains have a bit of verbal about them i cant see Amla getting up the aussies noses, plus he needs to cocentrate on his batting. Botha was a good stand in captain what happened to that?

  • on October 23, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Why was Mitch dropped and Steve not? Pfft. Easy question!

    Major teams: New South Wales...

  • Okakaboka on October 23, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Further to the above comment, Ferguson made a hundred today and the best all-rounder in the country, Andrew McDonald, is watching 'Home and Away' in Melbourne. Pattinson's confidence is now shattered, Butterworth is in a dark place, Hopes is scratching his head, O'Keefe is still sticking pins in his Hilditch doll, Starc's graphic calculator doesn't add up, and D. Hussey thinks his horse is running down the road. In the mean time, Smith won't get a bowl because Telstra won't let him cause satellite disruption. Yep, I'm like a dog with a bone!!!!

  • TeamRocker on October 23, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    God! What's the use of dropping Mitch Marsh and continuing to play Smith, who hasn't played a decent knock for Australia and hasn't bowled this entire series. Marsh, on the other hand, has played one useful innings and taken a few wickets.

  • on October 23, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    So Steve Smith doesn't bowl and bats after Mitch Marsh, pretty much stating straight out that Marsh is the stronger bowler and stronger batsman of the two. Watson is fit and so rightly comes straight back, but why on Earth did they choose to keep the weaker batsman who doesn't bowl?

  • on October 23, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    Mitch Marsh very unlucky to miss out.

  • Okakaboka on October 23, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Clearly Cricket Australia has loaded up Steve Smith's MYKI card with an infinite amount of credit. Message from Steve to Hilditch; "Thanks Uncle Andrew!"

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  • Okakaboka on October 23, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Clearly Cricket Australia has loaded up Steve Smith's MYKI card with an infinite amount of credit. Message from Steve to Hilditch; "Thanks Uncle Andrew!"

  • on October 23, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    Mitch Marsh very unlucky to miss out.

  • on October 23, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    So Steve Smith doesn't bowl and bats after Mitch Marsh, pretty much stating straight out that Marsh is the stronger bowler and stronger batsman of the two. Watson is fit and so rightly comes straight back, but why on Earth did they choose to keep the weaker batsman who doesn't bowl?

  • TeamRocker on October 23, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    God! What's the use of dropping Mitch Marsh and continuing to play Smith, who hasn't played a decent knock for Australia and hasn't bowled this entire series. Marsh, on the other hand, has played one useful innings and taken a few wickets.

  • Okakaboka on October 23, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Further to the above comment, Ferguson made a hundred today and the best all-rounder in the country, Andrew McDonald, is watching 'Home and Away' in Melbourne. Pattinson's confidence is now shattered, Butterworth is in a dark place, Hopes is scratching his head, O'Keefe is still sticking pins in his Hilditch doll, Starc's graphic calculator doesn't add up, and D. Hussey thinks his horse is running down the road. In the mean time, Smith won't get a bowl because Telstra won't let him cause satellite disruption. Yep, I'm like a dog with a bone!!!!

  • on October 23, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Why was Mitch dropped and Steve not? Pfft. Easy question!

    Major teams: New South Wales...

  • Tim40621 on October 23, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    Why is Hashim Amla SA captain just watching these first few overs in the field hes far to quite doesnt look captain material at all, good captains have a bit of verbal about them i cant see Amla getting up the aussies noses, plus he needs to cocentrate on his batting. Botha was a good stand in captain what happened to that?

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 23, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    @Tim: I agree with you. Botha should have been made the captain in the absence of AB. Botha won the T20s and ODIs against Aus IN Aus. So he would have handled the situation a little better. Amla should only be in the team as a player. Captaincy is not just about walking to the toss and giving interviews. Enough said.

  • thirdmanboundary on October 23, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    SA superior in every discipline. Morkel looked fantastic. Kallis has really benefited from his IPL experience and is now the compete item as a ODI player. Nice to see Smith and Duminy playing their way back into some form. Still a few concerns. Some terrible (rusty?) running between the wickets. And Boucher had a shocker. Time to bring in Heino Kuhn, who would also strengthen the batting long term. But all in all, a terrific team performance that will give SA momentum going forward.

  • on October 23, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    WELL PLAYED S.A!!! Apart from the fact I'm not sure abt Amla as captain (look @ his record-both in last 2 and previously as skipper), SA look awesome..Well done u saffers!