South Africa A v Australians, Potchefstroom, 3rd day November 3, 2011

Johnson sets up win for Australians

17

Australians 236 and 214 for 3 (Watson 77, Marsh 73*) beat South Africa A 183 and 264 (Peterson 103, Tsolekile 58, Johnson 5-74) by seven wickets
Scorecard

The Australians won their tour match in Potchefstroom with four sessions to spare but ticked most of the boxes they wanted to tick ahead of next week's first Test. Another day's play could have been a useful tune-up before the team heads to Cape Town, but there were only a few men who failed to make the most of the game.

Mitchell Johnson showed signs of his best form with a nine-wicket match-haul, Shane Watson muscled his way to 77 in the second innings, Shaun Marsh scored a pair of half-centuries, Peter Siddle made a strong case for Test selection, Michael Clarke was fluent in his first-innings 76 and Nathan Lyon improved as the match went on.

But Phillip Hughes and Ricky Ponting would have wanted more time in the middle and Trent Copeland's lack of penetration may have put him in danger of losing his spot. However, a seven-wicket victory was an encouraging result for the Australians, who were set 212 to win on the third day, after Johnson's five-wicket haul in the second innings, and they got there with ease.

The pitch had calmed down a little after the barrage of bouncers batsmen received on the first two days. Watson mauled the South Africa A bowling and Marsh played a typically level-headed innings to finish unbeaten on 73, while Brad Haddin was promoted up the order to get some time at the crease and he was not out on 6 when the winning runs arrived.

Hughes was out for 19, caught at slip off Wayne Parnell, before Watson and Marsh combined for an 84-run stand. Watson brought up his half-century with a solid clip off his pads for four, off his 53rd ball, and he pulled and drove straight with power.

Eventually he was caught behind off Ryan McLaren for 77 from 73 balls, bottom-edging an attempted pull, and he walked after the umpire initially gave him not out. Marsh continued to score with ease, driving through gaps at cover and cutting well, while Ponting gradually found his rhythm.

Especially encouraging for the Australians was Ponting's flat pull for six off the quick young bowler Marchant de Lange. The ball thudded into the advertising boards with a loud crash, and it was reminiscent of Ponting at his best, when the pull and hook were his signature moves.

However, on 29 Ponting lofted a catch to mid-on off the spin of Robin Peterson, with the Australians 16 runs from victory. The target of 212 had been confirmed during a disappointing morning session for South Africa A, whose lower order couldn't handle the pace of Johnson.

The hosts lost their last four wickets for 59 on the final morning, Johnson picking up three and Peter Siddle one. A 25-run final-wicket stand between de Lange and Vernon Philander frustrated the Australians, until Siddle bowled de Lange for 15 to end the innings at 264.

Johnson finished with 5 for 74, starting with a wicket in the morning's second over when McLaren steered a catch to point. In Johnson's next over he trapped Wayne Parnell lbw, and Peterson departed soon afterwards, bowled for 19 when a fast Johnson delivery sent two of his stumps cartwheeling.

It completed a brilliant game for Johnson, who ended up with match figures of 9 for 112. And after his success in South Africa last time, Johnson was the one man the Australians wanted to hit his straps before the first Test in Cape Town.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Okakaboka on November 4, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    More than ever, we need Haddin gone. Um, don't pull a hammy Brad....err...well... yes please ......real bad! Send Wade as Paine is still not fit to play. Siddle needs to bowl like he did in the first innings all the time... He seems to decide a pitch is dodgy so plans go out the window. Such a pity. When he is focused on line and length and acting as the support bowler, he looks a class act. When bowling aggressively searching for something in the pitch, he looks crap.... too over the top with no patience. I think you might find Copeland will still play in the first test ahead of Siddle. He definitely lacked penetration and this will be an issue as the tour goes on.

  • bumsonseats on November 4, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    what we want is a south african with a more english sounding name than de lange. john smith or andrew symonds sounds more english but ups! that last name may have been taken silly me.dpk

  • HatsforBats on November 4, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    @ jonesy2; you're right about Hughes so lets hope for the best. I think Punter is in the same boat as Haddin, but I think he'll retire after the Aus summer anyway. Haddin unfortunately was picked after his peak; Wade or Paine will be great, at least if they go with Wade if will quiet the Vics.

  • on November 4, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Great to see Mitchell Johnson doing good, memories of '09!! Ponting and Hughes...well...not so much! But, they will NOT fail! I think they're well aware that they didn't do brilliantly or anything and they'll do whatever they have to do to fix it in time for the tests! Go Baggy Greens!

  • jonesy2 on November 4, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    haha yes a few decent prospects here for england, im sure flower is having a look. how good does the batting look and i know what youre thinking but hughes can go off and win a game in a session he is that type of player and he simply scores a crap load of runs. siddle must play, his aggression and zip off the deck is a must. between harris siddle and johnson there isnt a man who isnt a strike bowler. cummins might get his turn in the next test. oh and if haddin doesnt have a good series then sadly he must go, it is crazyness having the supreme talent of matt wade playing for the vics when he could be starring for his country. at least while paine's still in....pain

  • HatsforBats on November 4, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    @ RandyOz: classic, just classic.

  • Meety on November 4, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    @RandyOZ - "...de Lange also looks a good prospect for England..." - lovely!

  • Rooboy on November 4, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    lol RandyOZ, comment of the day - 'de Lange also looks a good prospect for England'. Funny and most likely factual all in one, good job!

  • straight_drive4 on November 3, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    @RandyOz - hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • RandyOZ on November 3, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    Well done Jono, lets hope he can translate this to tests. I see what everyone is saying about Copeland, but I would much rather him than siddle in the team. His bowling in the second innings was spray gun at best! I hope Lyon gets a decent run in the side. Okeefe wont get selected so we need to stick with him. Haddin - time to go. de Lange also looks a good prospect for England. I am sure they are circling as we speak. Troot n KP prolly visiting family anyway and can have a word to him.

  • Okakaboka on November 4, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    More than ever, we need Haddin gone. Um, don't pull a hammy Brad....err...well... yes please ......real bad! Send Wade as Paine is still not fit to play. Siddle needs to bowl like he did in the first innings all the time... He seems to decide a pitch is dodgy so plans go out the window. Such a pity. When he is focused on line and length and acting as the support bowler, he looks a class act. When bowling aggressively searching for something in the pitch, he looks crap.... too over the top with no patience. I think you might find Copeland will still play in the first test ahead of Siddle. He definitely lacked penetration and this will be an issue as the tour goes on.

  • bumsonseats on November 4, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    what we want is a south african with a more english sounding name than de lange. john smith or andrew symonds sounds more english but ups! that last name may have been taken silly me.dpk

  • HatsforBats on November 4, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    @ jonesy2; you're right about Hughes so lets hope for the best. I think Punter is in the same boat as Haddin, but I think he'll retire after the Aus summer anyway. Haddin unfortunately was picked after his peak; Wade or Paine will be great, at least if they go with Wade if will quiet the Vics.

  • on November 4, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Great to see Mitchell Johnson doing good, memories of '09!! Ponting and Hughes...well...not so much! But, they will NOT fail! I think they're well aware that they didn't do brilliantly or anything and they'll do whatever they have to do to fix it in time for the tests! Go Baggy Greens!

  • jonesy2 on November 4, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    haha yes a few decent prospects here for england, im sure flower is having a look. how good does the batting look and i know what youre thinking but hughes can go off and win a game in a session he is that type of player and he simply scores a crap load of runs. siddle must play, his aggression and zip off the deck is a must. between harris siddle and johnson there isnt a man who isnt a strike bowler. cummins might get his turn in the next test. oh and if haddin doesnt have a good series then sadly he must go, it is crazyness having the supreme talent of matt wade playing for the vics when he could be starring for his country. at least while paine's still in....pain

  • HatsforBats on November 4, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    @ RandyOz: classic, just classic.

  • Meety on November 4, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    @RandyOZ - "...de Lange also looks a good prospect for England..." - lovely!

  • Rooboy on November 4, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    lol RandyOZ, comment of the day - 'de Lange also looks a good prospect for England'. Funny and most likely factual all in one, good job!

  • straight_drive4 on November 3, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    @RandyOz - hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • RandyOZ on November 3, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    Well done Jono, lets hope he can translate this to tests. I see what everyone is saying about Copeland, but I would much rather him than siddle in the team. His bowling in the second innings was spray gun at best! I hope Lyon gets a decent run in the side. Okeefe wont get selected so we need to stick with him. Haddin - time to go. de Lange also looks a good prospect for England. I am sure they are circling as we speak. Troot n KP prolly visiting family anyway and can have a word to him.

  • HatsforBats on November 3, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    @ davidpk: it's how many you make, not how good you look while making them. In 10yrs of FC Marsh made 6 centuries and averaged less than 40; North made 5 centuries in 20 tests. Only in the last 2yrs has Marsh's consistency matched his apparent talent; he's ready now, I hope he takes his chance because he is a pleasure to watch.

  • bumsonseats on November 3, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    as a pom who spent many part summers in perth. and seen alot of marsh i was always surprised at the the people who rubbished him. every time i saw him he looked good. to say, as many did on here his average was below 40 but u had to look at the way he scored his runs. he should have played against england last year instead of north. and should be playing ahead of ponting hes had his time. dpk

  • bestbuddy on November 3, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Very disappointed by the bowling performance of SA A in the second innings. No one even attempted to put their hand up for higher honours; they couldnt even manage to keep the runrate down, let alone trouble the batsmen and take wickets. Parnell and Philander in particular were very poor, one bowling far too short while the other dished up 2 half volleys per over - not the way to get back into the SA squad, let alone the starting team

  • Peterincanada on November 3, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    A good result but Copeland didn't do himself any good and an attack of Siddle Johnson and Harris seems to be a step backward rather than forward. Marsh seems to have settled in nicely but I would rather have seen Khawaja than Hussey in the XI. Hussey has nothing to prove. I still don't see Watson as an opener as he doesn't convert enough starts. Ideally he should be at 6 but we don't have options at the moment.

  • hris on November 3, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    nice. I would go for Siddle over Copeland. Just that Copeland doesn't look like he's gonna pick wickets, which worries me. Ponting need to make a 100, im sick of this starts and not going on. I like Lyon, hope he gets more opportunities but i would like to see O'Keefe as the second option just in case.

  • chad_reid on November 3, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    ponting, hughes wiil fail in this series so will lyon and copeland watson definately has to lift and start running for a change instead of getting runs by hitting boundaries and as usual getting out after a 50 wud like to see okeefe play as the spinner and prob mitch marsh for copleland khwaja for hughes and ferguson for ponting forgot to mention haddin will be a walking wicket and johnson shud bat at 9 cant understand why he comes in so early gets a duk and goes off will be tuff for aus they have 3 advantages 1. sa choke 2. clarke is a attacking captain and 3. most important of all in all of aus series wins recently they wouldnt have won any of them without mr cricket and also ryan harris who bowls his heart out in tests.

  • kickittome70 on November 3, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Great to see SE Marsh (get it?) doing so well. The guy has so much great success in front of him after battling his off field demons over the past couple of years. The guy really looks like a spiritual successor to MEK Hussey when you consider his inate calmness at the crease and his ability to alter the tempo of his game so effortlessly. Though I fel him and Hussey have a few big test partnerships to strike before the in form Huss goes to pasture. Hopefully this will be later, rather than sooner. Aust v SA - Australia 2 - 0, go WA boys.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • kickittome70 on November 3, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Great to see SE Marsh (get it?) doing so well. The guy has so much great success in front of him after battling his off field demons over the past couple of years. The guy really looks like a spiritual successor to MEK Hussey when you consider his inate calmness at the crease and his ability to alter the tempo of his game so effortlessly. Though I fel him and Hussey have a few big test partnerships to strike before the in form Huss goes to pasture. Hopefully this will be later, rather than sooner. Aust v SA - Australia 2 - 0, go WA boys.

  • chad_reid on November 3, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    ponting, hughes wiil fail in this series so will lyon and copeland watson definately has to lift and start running for a change instead of getting runs by hitting boundaries and as usual getting out after a 50 wud like to see okeefe play as the spinner and prob mitch marsh for copleland khwaja for hughes and ferguson for ponting forgot to mention haddin will be a walking wicket and johnson shud bat at 9 cant understand why he comes in so early gets a duk and goes off will be tuff for aus they have 3 advantages 1. sa choke 2. clarke is a attacking captain and 3. most important of all in all of aus series wins recently they wouldnt have won any of them without mr cricket and also ryan harris who bowls his heart out in tests.

  • hris on November 3, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    nice. I would go for Siddle over Copeland. Just that Copeland doesn't look like he's gonna pick wickets, which worries me. Ponting need to make a 100, im sick of this starts and not going on. I like Lyon, hope he gets more opportunities but i would like to see O'Keefe as the second option just in case.

  • Peterincanada on November 3, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    A good result but Copeland didn't do himself any good and an attack of Siddle Johnson and Harris seems to be a step backward rather than forward. Marsh seems to have settled in nicely but I would rather have seen Khawaja than Hussey in the XI. Hussey has nothing to prove. I still don't see Watson as an opener as he doesn't convert enough starts. Ideally he should be at 6 but we don't have options at the moment.

  • bestbuddy on November 3, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Very disappointed by the bowling performance of SA A in the second innings. No one even attempted to put their hand up for higher honours; they couldnt even manage to keep the runrate down, let alone trouble the batsmen and take wickets. Parnell and Philander in particular were very poor, one bowling far too short while the other dished up 2 half volleys per over - not the way to get back into the SA squad, let alone the starting team

  • bumsonseats on November 3, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    as a pom who spent many part summers in perth. and seen alot of marsh i was always surprised at the the people who rubbished him. every time i saw him he looked good. to say, as many did on here his average was below 40 but u had to look at the way he scored his runs. he should have played against england last year instead of north. and should be playing ahead of ponting hes had his time. dpk

  • HatsforBats on November 3, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    @ davidpk: it's how many you make, not how good you look while making them. In 10yrs of FC Marsh made 6 centuries and averaged less than 40; North made 5 centuries in 20 tests. Only in the last 2yrs has Marsh's consistency matched his apparent talent; he's ready now, I hope he takes his chance because he is a pleasure to watch.

  • RandyOZ on November 3, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    Well done Jono, lets hope he can translate this to tests. I see what everyone is saying about Copeland, but I would much rather him than siddle in the team. His bowling in the second innings was spray gun at best! I hope Lyon gets a decent run in the side. Okeefe wont get selected so we need to stick with him. Haddin - time to go. de Lange also looks a good prospect for England. I am sure they are circling as we speak. Troot n KP prolly visiting family anyway and can have a word to him.

  • straight_drive4 on November 3, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    @RandyOz - hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rooboy on November 4, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    lol RandyOZ, comment of the day - 'de Lange also looks a good prospect for England'. Funny and most likely factual all in one, good job!