South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day November 11, 2011

Amla, Smith tons lead SA to incredible win


South Africa 236 for 2 (Amla 112, Smith 101*) and 96 (Watson 5-17, Harris 4-33) beat Australia 284 (Clarke 151, Steyn 4-55) and 47 (Philander 5-15, Morkel 3-9) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla both struck centuries that completed South Africa's humiliation of Australia on the third day at Newlands, where they cruised to victory by eight wickets. If Australia thought their Cape Town experience could not get any worse after they were dismissed for 47 on the second afternoon, they were badly mistaken, with Smith and Amla adding to the hurt for the visitors.

The winning runs came when Smith, who finished unbeaten on 101, clipped Peter Siddle through midwicket and South African fans jumped to their feet to celebrate a famous victory. This was a team that on the second day had been bowled out for 96.

In doing so, South Africa became just the second team in 60 years to win a Test having been bowled out for less than 100 in their first innings; the only other occasion in the modern era was New Zealand's success against India in Wellington in 2002. They also completed the second-highest chase in a Newlands Test.

But it was the way they batted on the third morning that highlighted the ridiculous nature of the second day, on which 23 wickets fell. After a quiet first hour in which they added 31, getting accustomed to the conditions, Amla and Smith demolished the Australia attack. Amla played some wonderful strokes, straight drives, cover drives and flicks off the pads, proving that there was nothing in the pitch that could not be handled by good technique.

He brought up his century, his first against Australia, with a cut for four off Mitchell Johnson from his 126th delivery and the crowd - by that stage anticipating a South Africa victory any moment - erupted. Amla had been dropped twice by the Australians, including off the last ball of the second day, and he made them pay for those errors.

The 195-run partnership ended when Amla, on 112, slashed at Mitchell Johnson and was caught at gully by Michael Clarke with 14 runs still needed for victory. Kallis and Smith pushed them over the line with ease.

Smith was equally masterful, after a couple of lucky edges early in the day. He brutalised Shane Watson during an over that cost 13, smashing a cut for four and walking at the bowler to drive another boundary. His hundred came up with the run that levelled the scores, a single pushed past mid-off from his 138th delivery.

The South Africans batted superbly but Australia's bowlers were disappointing. Johnson collected the late wicket of Amla and in doing so avoided the second wicketless Test of his career, but he found no swing and was rarely threatening. Harris did not bowl terribly but was costly, while Peter Siddle tried hard. But they never looked like taking nine wickets under sunny skies.

Australia had their chance to break into the middle order when in the third over of the day, Amla, on 30, edged Harris to first slip, where Watson moved to his left and put down a catch he should have taken.

It was the last realistic opportunity Australia had, until the match was gone. A desperate use of the referral system confirmed that an lbw appeal from Harris to Amla was rightly denied by the umpire Billy Doctrove, the ball sailing well down the leg side, and it was just another example of the frayed mindset the Australians were experiencing after their humiliating day on Thursday.

They have six days to collect their thoughts before the second Test at the Wanderers.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Randolph on November 14, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    @5wombats, what? I said I don't mind Khawaja, Strauss, Prior, Symmo etc. Don't put them in the same pile as the poached Trott and KP. And yes I would rather not see Trott, KP, Kieswetter. They're holding back Englishmen who are potentially the next Beefy! @DazTaylor, you obviously know nothing, because at least half of the so-called "islanders" were born and bred Aussie. In fact Faingaa is even indigenous! Don't believe me? Do some research then!

  • G on November 14, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    And of course, he mentions Symonds, yet fails to mention Symonds has no Australian parents, and KP can at least say his mother is English!

  • Darren on November 14, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    @RandyOz So by those comments, I assume you cant stand your rugby teams? I only ask as a lot of those are actually Pacific Islanders. Dont be a hypocrite.

  • Martin on November 14, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    @RandyOZ - you're new here.... and it really shows. So what would you rather - would you rather NOT see Pietersen, Trott, Khwaja, Symonds, Wessels, etc, playing Test cricket? Wouldn't you rather like for your children to watch these great talents, admire them and learn from them? My 8 year old watched KP get a double hundred against india this summer and thinks KP is amazing - and what's wrong with that? Great Cricketers entertain us and fascinate us - long may it ever be so. Where they come from is irrelevent. Please think big picture, not picture envy.

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

    @Biggus - I stayed up to watch (on cricinfo) the match unfolding & at the time I wondered 'how crucial was the 3 runs that Tahir & co scored for the 10th wicket - avoiding the follow on??? Secondly at the time, I thought that these conditions (pitch, atmospheric & astrological alignment of the planets etc) were replicating some olden day tests - & I sent a post in pondering whether Pup should of tinkered with the batting line up & put some tail enders in early. It was a ploy I'd seen had been used on sticky wickets over 70 years ago (no blame on the pitch)? Particularly in light of the fact that with Marsh's injury - the line up was always going to be tinkered with, also in light of Watto's bowling - I'd of tried to give him a rest.

  • Andrew on November 14, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    @Biggus - Katich hasn't been in the best touch with the bat of late, but he is almost the lead spinner this season, so I could give him a cap as a #7/8 spin bowling all-rounder!!!!! (I'm only half joking!!!!!)

  • Randolph on November 13, 2011, 22:32 GMT

    @JG2704, as many know, I am not against the odd player here or there not being born in the country they are playing for, especially in the case of say Ussie because he moved here when he was about 3 (similar to Symmo). My problem with England is the blatant a.) number of imports b.) Poaching of players who played for Suoth Africa but couldn't get a gig. Look to be honest I don't care about the likes of Strauss and Prior, they learnt their trade in England (and Oz in Stauss' case) but the likes of Pietersen, Trott and Kieswetter are a joke. I think even most English fans would rather have Englishmen in there. Furthermore, Ussie will be the 8th non-Aussie born player in our entire histroy. You have that in your current squad. That's my issue. It also shows something about the lack of depth in the county system if you ask me.

  • John on November 13, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    RandyOz - You are echoing Meety's teams etc . So you have no problem with a Pakistan born player playing for Australia , despite your views about SA born players playing for England? @Meety - Sorry for my ignorance , but is Pup Clarke's nickname? Also would you mix the batting order up like that based on one very bad innings of test cricket? It just seems a little panicky to push Hussey up to open and drop Watson down the order. One things for sure is that you can't afford to have a number 11 in the side who only bowls 3 overs in the whole match

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    real stunning effort by proteas,these types of test matches shows the real essence of test cricket. Test cricket at its best

  • Indian on November 13, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    Fact is... we seem to pick on such rare occasions to justify Test matches.. lets face it.. Test matches are really boooooooooooooring... ODI's are the real deal!!

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