Australia tour of South Africa, 1st Test: South Africa v Australia at Cape Town, Nov 9-11, 2011
South Africa won by 8 wickets
9,10,11 November 2011 (5-day match)
  • Overs 1-50
  • Overs 51-100

The umpires walk out, and it has got a little gloomy but no rain in the air. 79 overs planned for the day. The Saffers march out, Smith looks positively chuffed to be out there. The Aussie openers wander out now. The best fast bowler in existence has the ball. Three slips, a gully in place too, and as if the rain wasn't enough, we have a small delay now thanks to the sightscreen. They could put a man on the moon (or so they claimed), but ... In any case, this should be fun! Here we go!

Ok, this is ridiculous. We have just two Tests as things stand, and this delay is taking for ever. Unless someone out there has found a way to deal with spam email or at the very least, a cure for jealousy, Start. The. Game. Now.

Olivier Jones, take a bow for these limericks!

"There once was a bowler called Steyn
Who caused batsmen so much pain
They didn't know which way to go
To leave the ball, or bat to show
They wished they never faced him again

"There once was a batsman called Kallis
Who batted with grace, not malice
He was a gent
Whose forces weren't spent
But he didn't want to face Ryan Harris!

"There once was a keeper, Mark Boucher
Whose skills made him a legendary poucher
So many stumpings he made
And leg byes he saved
That his team mates bought him a voucher.!"

"@ Keith, I think there was a WK called Paul Wolframan (forgive my spelling) during 96 WC." Som, you are forgiven, as Steve Palframan fans around the world wince in agony!

"Since their readmission to test cricket about twenty years ago, has South Africa had any other wicketkeepers besides Richardson and Boucher?," asks Keith Bennett. If I remember right, AB de Villiers was the keeper against India in Kolkata a couple of years back. Thami Tsolekile has also donned the big gloves a couple of times. Steve Palframan, Morne van Wyk etc have done it in ODIs. But it has mostly been the Richardson-Boucher show.

Hayden (not Matty) sends in the first bit of poetry today (I think it qualifies):

"Hey Siddle, Siddle.
Your cap is a riddle.
Has your bowling had a prune?
Bowling is a craft, for such a sport,
Get some wickets next afternoon."

"So bored waiting for the start I did what you should never do and rolled the arm over in the house. My rug was a rank turner and i've taken out a mirror... hope this isn't a bad sign." Ouch, RandyOz.

"Hello Nitin! Boucher is one catch away from 500! Another mountain in world of cricket statistic!" Absolutely Amol, what a legend. I remember Boucher's debut, I was wondering if SA would ever find someone as good as Dave Richardson. Quite similar to the emotions several had when Ian Healy called it a day. Boucher was more than a worthy replacement, much like Gilchrist.

Sampson Collins, one half of the world-famous Two Chucks sends this in: "We're looking for any amateur video cameramen/ fans with their own HD video camera who will be around Newlands over the next five days, or indeed the second Test, to help us with a project we're working on concerning the future of the game. If anyone interested could email info@chuckfleetwoodsmiths.com that would be great. Thanks." Have a video camera? Drop him an email.

The pitch makes an interesting picture already. Green patches short of a good length, and foreboding cracks a little fuller down the strip. They aren't expected to widen, but the last time we had a Test here, they did. Harbhajan Singh bowled rather well to pick up seven wickets, but Kallis batted like a champion. It was a riveting Test, though drawn.

I am doing a double take here. Australia and South Africa playing Test cricket, and the lone wristspinner is not in the Aussie side! Philander's selection is the more contentious one, but he has had two splendid domestic seasons (80-odd wickets) and this is his home ground. Plus, he can take the new ball, which is not Tsotsobe's forte, and Philander can bat decently as well. Jacques Rudolph, as expected, makes a stirring return to the side after his forced Kolpak migration and all that. Best of luck to him.

Smith (Graeme) marches out in the lovely South African blazer, and Clarke joins him for the toss. Both sides have uncannily similar blazers, and play an uncannily similar brand of cricket. Here we go, the coin is about to spin. South Africa win the toss and bowl first.

Graeme Smith: "November Test match, so we expect some juice early on. But it will be a little slow, so we need to be a little careful. Two debutants, Vernon Philander and Imran Tahir are in."

Michael Clarke: "No surprise in losing the toss again! But we wanted to bat, so happy with the result. We had a great game in Potch, and looking forward to this. Hard luck to the guys missing out, but I think we have got our XI right."

Courtesy Cricket Australia, this us the Australia XI: Clarke (c), Watson (vc), Hughes, Marsh, Ponting, Hussey, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon, Copeland (12th man). No Cummins yet, and Copeland to carry drinks, then.

Tsotsobe is being consigned to throwdowns, while Morkel, Steyn, Kallis, Tahir and Philander are actually bowling. So we are almost certain that's going to be the bowling attack for the Saffers. The greyness has given way to blue skies, and lovely white tufts over the Table Mountains. What a setting for our lovely game!

11.35 am Awright, the wait is almost over. We will have the toss at 11.45 am, ie. in 10 minutes. The action will begin at 12.15 pm, and we will have a 75 minute first session. Lunch will be at 1.30 pm.

"Travelling visually from the ugliest ground, Kotla in Delhi, to arguably the prettiest, Newlands in Cape Town." Latha, that is some visual journey. The straight stands at the Kotla look like a multi-level parking lot that's gone terribly wrong! In India's defence, the Dharmasala ground is almost as pretty as Newlands, and when the snow caps the peaks, prettier.

"When a good shot is played, you can say, "That was a 'duidelike' shot. Pronounced - Day di luk." Dave, this makes sense in a strange way. Bat like a dude, and you get credited for a duidelike shot. The pronunciation has my tongue in knots, though.

"This match is 100% more exciting because steve smith isn't playing," says Josh, who is happy to see Test action for more reasons than normal.

DirkL contributes some more bits to our linguistic skills. "Words of approval: "bakgat" (Afrikaans) and "nca" (Xhosa). Both are tricky to pronounce: "g" requires throat-clearing and "c" requires a click at the front of the tongue." Intriguing. I am told some of these words are not exactly parliam

Merwe chips in: "Local language Afrikaans if something is great it is "Bedonerd!" translated: Thunderous. Pronunciation: BedAWnerd. Like be-daw-nerd." I hope I remember some of these when the action begins! Will try to ...

11.15 am The sun is out, and things look pretty good at the moment! We should have a pitch inspection anytime now. The Aussies are taking a close look at the pitch, which looks pretty brown with a few dark green patches, from where Firdose is watching. Peter Siddle has just marked out his run-up, so make what you may want to from that. He had a very good tour here the last time around. As did Phil Hughes.

11.00 am Hurrah! The covers are coming off! The sun is out too. We can't be too far from the action.

"Some South Africanisms for you. Lekker and Kief are pretty standard," says @Stunormington22 through Twitter. Lekker is slang for awesome. Which itself is a bit of slang these days.

"@Kangaroussy, lekker, kif, kwaai, mooi and gebliksemed when a ball is hit very hard," says Garreth.

James: "I'm reminded of the story that, when Cullinan came in to bat, Warne looked at him and said "I've been waiting 2 whole years to bowl at you". The reply: "Looks like you spent most of it eating". ha!

"Hey Nitin, as you're the Rain Man, perhaps you'd like to come to Vegas with me some day. If we win enough, I promise we can goes halves in an IPL franchise." Smudgeon, I am eager to go to Vegas, and that has nothing to do with being Rain Man. I want to go "All in" with a golden briefcase full of cash, while holding off-suit 2 and a 7, with Aces and Kings on the table.

"Can any saffas out there tell me if they have any archaic national idioms like "bewdy", "bonzer" and "pearler" etc, for when things are good? I need to expand my words," writes Kangaroussy. Can the Springboks help him out with this one.

"With Liz on your arms, everything sparkles," explains Fido. Jon believes his mom gives him special pills for it, while Duckmen thinks the secret lies in diuretics. Grant's cryptic reasoning goes thus: "Doug Bollinger was his dentist."

Dustin sends in this: "Unless you're a Saffer, in which case, not watching Warne bowl to Cullinan is the happiest day of your life!"

10.50 am The rain stopped for a bit ... and then resumed. This is gutting. This is like travelling miles to watch Shane Warne bowl and then not see him bowl at Daryll Cullinan. Or something like that. Talking of Warne, anyone knows how does he get his teeth to sparkle like that?

10.20 am Weather updates from Firdose: The wind picked up briefly and slowed down almost immediately, but it did enough to allow the sun to peak out very briefly. The rain has reduced too! The Supersopper is doing its bit around the outfield. We hear the weather in CT at this time of the year is predictably unpredictable, on a daily basis.

Not on Twitter yet? Following our feed @ESPNcricinfo might get you hooked. We are on Facebook too, and our Wall is as storied and prolific as Rahul Dravid.

The delay gives us time to catch up with the impressive series preview stories lined up by two of our very best - Brydon Coverdale and Firdose Moonda - who are reporting live from Newlands. Australia continue their long way to the top of the Test table, and Brydon reckons this series will be an acid test for Michael Clarke. A lot of the lead-up has focused on how Australia are coming off a lot of action, while South Africa have not played a Test since the first week of the new year. Graeme Smith agrees the tourists are better prepared. Firdose's local expertise says the conditions will depend on the weather at the Table Mountain. As you might imagine, it is shrouded by a veil of dark grey right now. Dan Brettig's preview puts the lens on the first Test, though he can't help grieve how this potentially mouth-watering bout has been reduced to two rounds. The late Joe Frasier would not have approved.

The grapevine suggests that Vernon Philander and Imran Tahir are in line for Test debuts. Watch this space for more.

9.45 am There's bad news up front - the rain has just started bucketing down at Newlands. It has been overcast all day, and showers were part of the forecast, but we were hoping they'll stay away. No such luck. Reminds me of last year when it poured at Centurion on the first day of the season, ahead of the first Test against India. There was a mini-flood outside the ground with the Hennops river overflowing and taking cars along with it. And yet, some five hours later, we had action! We may not face that kind of a delay today, but the toss is surely likely to be pushed. The players have rushed out of the ground, abandoning their warm-ups for the moment, and covers are converging across the turf.

Firdose Moonda says the rain in Cape Town is a bit different from Centurion and may stick around for a while. Fingers crossed. The good news is that the forecast is very good for the next four days. And the drainage facilities here are quite something.

It might just be me, to be honest. The sun blazed away for 14 days of the Pakistan v Sri Lanka series in the desert, and then I came on for commentary on the final day of the third Test. And it rained. In Sharjah. Disrupting play for the first time since the 80s. I am the rain man.

9.40 am At the risk of hyping something too much too early, hello and welcome to the real deal. We said the same thing when England and India faced off earlier this year, and we all know how lop-sided that turned out. But we are talking about South Africa and Australia here. Two sides that seemingly exist to bring the best out of each other. The last time they went head-to-head, they produced six of the most memorable Tests back in 2008-09, with each side winning away from home. It is only two Tests this time, and by the time they are done, I am sure we will be hungry for more.

0.1

Steyn to Watson, no run, length ball outside off, Watson leans out and plays it to point. After all that delay, I missed the first ball. Would you believe it!

0.2

Steyn to Watson, no run, movement for Steyn already, curving in at pace and then veering away as Watto leaves.

0.3

Steyn to Watson, no run, the pitch is slower than Watson thinks. He puts the front foot across and drives in front of the body as Steyn curls it from leg to off. Popped uppishly towards mid-off.

0.4

Steyn to Watson, 3 runs, over-pitched by Steyn, and Watson cashes in with a chirpy cover drive. He leaned out, got in a good position though he wasn't to the pitch, and smoked it through the covers. Heavy outfield, means he gets only three for the effort.

Hughes to face. SA will have plans for him this time. Over the stumps.

0.5

Steyn to Hughes, no run, and Steyn brings this one in from a length outside off. Hughes reaches half across and feels for it, and it bursts onto the inside edge and hits the pad.

0.6

Steyn to Hughes, no run, and a good bouncer to end the over, that should push Hughes onto the backfoot. He was trying to get forward this time, but ducked as he changed his mind.

End of over 1 (3 runs) Australia 3/0

    • PJ Hughes 0 (2b)
    • SR Watson 3 (4b)
    • DW Steyn 1-0-3-0

Philander takes the new ball away from Morne Morkel. He's going to bowl into the wind.

1.1

Philander to Watson, no run, what an absolute lekker peach to start off his career! Bustles in back of a length, lands it on the seam and gets it to nip away and bounce as Watson plays tentatively inside the line.

1.2

Philander to Watson, 1 no ball, gets the away seamwork going again, but he's overstepped now. Watto leaves.

1.2

Philander to Watson, no run, keeps it short of a length again, Watson shuffles behind the line and defends from the crease to the off side.

1.3

Philander to Watson, no run, too short this time, and wide, at 134 kph. Easy leave for Watson.

"Nitin, if you missed the first ball, how could you comment then?" We have our methods Ravi.

1.4

Philander to Watson, no run, blistering barnacles! He brings this one back in, a mile and a half from outside off. Watson clearly wasn't expecting it to, he shouldered arms generously, and watched in awe as it jagged in and went over the stumps. Just as well that it was well short of a length, it went over the stumps.

1.5

Philander to Watson, no run, another leave from Watto, and this time he is hit on the thigh. But he is on leg stump and the ball was missing on both counts - line and length. Watson may not want to leave too many more.

1.6

Philander to Watson, no run, wider of off stump this time and it goes the other way, Watson lets it go easily.

End of over 2 (1 run) Australia 4/0

    • SR Watson 3 (11b)
    • PJ Hughes 0 (2b)
    • VD Philander 1-0-1-0
    • DW Steyn 1-0-3-0
2.1

Steyn to Hughes, no run, ooh, Steyn shapes one into Hughes again, whose forward press is a touch too extravagant. The ball was headed to trap him in front, but Hughes drew the pad back and worked it to the leg side at the last moment.

Backward short leg, plus three slips and gully.

2.2

Steyn to Hughes, no run, Steyn again gets it to straighten on Hughes at pace, and Hughes covers the line to defend with a straight bat.

2.3

Steyn to Hughes, 1 run, short ball on leg stump, and well negotiated considering there is a backward short leg. Hughes hops across and tucks it away behind square for a single to fine leg.

2.4

Steyn to Watson, no run, 139 kph on that away seamer, but it started too wide of off stump to trouble Watson.

"So much for cribbing about delayed start...... Dale Steyn is anagram for Delay Nets," says Shanks.

2.5

Steyn to Watson, no run, sprays this one down the leg side, Watson lines him up for a flick but it is too far away from his body to make contact with.

"It's interesting that many people aren't happy with Hughes in the side but are happy with Watson there, yet Hughes' average is better (just) and has 3 centuries to Watto's 2 from far less matches," points out Jimmy.

2.6

Steyn to Watson, no run, back of a length to end the over, doesn't make Watson play this time either as the ball seams away harmlessly.

End of over 3 (1 run) Australia 5/0

    • SR Watson 3 (14b)
    • PJ Hughes 1 (5b)
    • DW Steyn 2-0-4-0
    • VD Philander 1-0-1-0
3.1

Philander to Hughes, no run, Vernon is making the ball talk in a dialect of Afrikaans that Hughes is yet to get familiarised with. Back of a length, bursting across, landing outside off, hitting the seam and then bending back like it is on drugs. Hughes tries to defend to the off side, the ball is too good for him to play, and too good to get him out. Through his defences and over the stumps.

3.2

Philander to Hughes, no run, this one is short and goes down the leg side, Hughes carefully gets out of the way.

3.3

Philander to Hughes, 2 runs, Philander gets this to go the other way, but it is short enough for Hughes to hop and steer into the covers for a couple.

3.4

Philander to Hughes, no run, covers the line and defends from the line of the stumps.

3.5

Philander to Hughes, no run, short of a length and holding its line, Hughes rises on his toes to keep it down.

3.6

Philander to Hughes, 1 run, too straight, and Hughes loves it when it is there as his trigger movement takes him across the stumps. Dabbed down to fine leg for another single.

End of over 4 (3 runs) Australia 8/0

    • PJ Hughes 4 (11b)
    • SR Watson 3 (14b)
    • VD Philander 2-0-4-0
    • DW Steyn 2-0-4-0

"Has Jimmy checked Hughes's bowling contribution recently?", wonder Craig. Amla gets pads on for backward short leg.

Phlepsy says, "I feel there have not been enough puns in today's commentary. It would be great Tahir a few." Not a bad one to start with.

4.1

Steyn to Hughes, no run, back of a length and seaming into Hughes who defends on the hop to the off side.

4.2

Steyn to Hughes, 1 run, back of a length on off stump, Hughes defends to the covers as he shuffles across and steers a cheeky single into the covers. Watson makes it in time.

4.3

Steyn to Watson, OUT, rip-snorter. Unplayable. Watson is gone, and he will look at the replays aghast. Steyn squares him up with a fierce away-swinger that as always angles in to land on leg and then goes away. It was too full for Watson to leave, and it moved too much for him to middle. It bangs the outer half of the blade as he gropes in search of the line, and balloons into the slips. Gone. Watson was made to look like a staggering drunk by the time the ball was done with him.

SR Watson c Kallis b Steyn 3 (20m 15b 0x4 0x6) SR: 20.00

Shaun Marsh is in at 3.

4.4

Steyn to Marsh, no run, welcome to Test cricket at Newlands, says Steyn! Back of a length at blistering pace and bending in, Marsh thought it was much shorter than that as he thought of ducking, and in the end takes a blow on the arm as he's caught in no man's land.

4.5

Steyn to Marsh, no run, rides the bounce this time, and defends a short ball into the off side.

4.6

Steyn to Marsh, no run, goes fuller this time outside off, Marsh gets the front foot across and shoulders arms as it bustles through.

End of over 5 (1 run) Australia 9/1

    • SE Marsh 0 (3b)
    • PJ Hughes 5 (13b)
    • DW Steyn 3-0-5-1
    • VD Philander 2-0-4-0
5.1

Philander to Hughes, no run, another inside edge onto the pad. Hughes is again stretching too far across the stumps, and the ball his the inner edge before hitting pad, in line with off stump.

5.2

Philander to Hughes, no run, drilled off the inner half towards midwicket as Philander keeps it full and swinging in.

5.3

Philander to Hughes, no run, bouncer lands outside leg and good carry too, Hughes ducks under it easy.

5.4

Philander to Hughes, no run, full length around off stump at 134 kph, Hughes defends off the front foot confidently.

5.5

Philander to Hughes, FOUR, Vernon moves the ball both ways, with equal felicity. Back of a length to Hughes who is caught on the crease, and he spotted it going away late. But just in time. In the end, he adjusted well to steer it away through the cordon, while also playing with soft hands.

5.6

Philander to Hughes, OUT, another stunner, not a bad way to get your first stick in Tests. Vernon wins the battle of the Phils. That's 500 Test catches for Boucher, too! 498 of them for South Africa (the other 2 for the World XI). Similar ball to the previous one, lands short of a length around middle and off and then goes away like a charm. This was pacier than before, Hughes gets squared up as he angles the face of the bat in hope, but the ball takes the edge and is into Bouch's gloves in a flash. He ends up looking just as clumsy as Watto did. This is brilliant bowling in great conditions for such bowling.

PJ Hughes c †Boucher b Philander 9 (27m 19b 1x4 0x6) SR: 47.36

End of over 6 (4 runs) Australia 13/2

    • SE Marsh 0 (3b)
    • VD Philander 3-0-8-1
    • DW Steyn 3-0-5-1

Tough times for the Aussies. Ponting is out there now.

6.1

Steyn to Marsh, no run, whoa, daring leave from Marshy as Steyn whistles in and bends a full ball in from half a foot outside off. Off stump would have felt the breeze as the ball went past.

6.2

Steyn to Marsh, no run, covers the line well and defends to the leg side.

6.3

Steyn to Marsh, no run, pace and bounce, short of a length and jumping through into the keeper's gloves as Marsh leaves.

6.4

Steyn to Marsh, no run, length ball on the stumps, Marsh covers the line and defends well.

6.5

Steyn to Marsh, no run, bouncer at 143.8 kph, Marsh gratefully ducks under it, while Boucher takes off to pouch it over head.

6.6

Steyn to Marsh, 2 runs, inside edge for Marsh as he leans out loosely to a searching inswinger on off. He closes the face too as he presses forward into an off drive and the ball shoots through midwicket for a couple of runs.

End of over 7 (2 runs) Australia 15/2

    • SE Marsh 2 (9b)
    • RT Ponting 0 (0b)
    • DW Steyn 4-0-7-1
    • VD Philander 3-0-8-1

Jack is trying hard. "Australia Philander the heat!," he exclaims.

7.1

Philander to Ponting, no run, that trademark shuffle across, that unique bursting forward push though the ball is short. Ponting is here. Defends a length ball on off stump to the off side.

7.2

Philander to Ponting, no run, Philander moves this one in, Ponting is shuffling again, and thinks of tucking it square but is hit on the pad. Clearly heading down the leg side.

7.3

Philander to Ponting, no run, short ball bustles through down the leg side as Ponting thinks of a whip-glance, but it is through him sooner than that.

7.4

Philander to Ponting, no run, exaggerated seam movement down the leg side as Ponting shuffles inside the line.

7.5

Philander to Ponting, SIX, great shot from a great player! Ponting is away with a trademark hook for six. Vernon thuds it in, it was pacy but not enough to trouble Punter, who was in position for the shot early and sent it into the stands with a crisp swivel and smash.

7.6

Philander to Ponting, no run, goes fuller and a touch wide of off stump now, Ponting lets it go.

End of over 8 (6 runs) Australia 21/2

    • RT Ponting 6 (6b 1x6)
    • SE Marsh 2 (9b)
    • VD Philander 4-0-14-1
    • DW Steyn 4-0-7-1
8.1

Steyn to Marsh, no run, pitched up well wide of off stump, Marsh lets it go to the keeper.

Clarke must be relieved he didn't win the toss. Batting first voluntarily on this strip would have looked a bit silly in hindsight.

8.2

Steyn to Marsh, no run, a rare couple of wasted balls from Steyn. Over-pitched three feet and more wide of off stump and Marsh lets it go without a second thought.

8.3

Steyn to Marsh, no run, gets a touch closer to off stump this time at 137 kph, on a length. Needs to get closer if Marsh is going to play at these, though.

Round the wicket comes Steyn, and Marsh re-marks his guard.

8.4

Steyn to Marsh, no run, bustles in and shapes this into the batsman sharply from outside off. Marsh knows really well where his off stump is. Another exemplary leave.

8.5

Steyn to Marsh, 1 run, pushes him back with an effort ball outside off at 144 kph, Marsh hops and dabs to cover-point for a single. Well played.

This is pun-ishment from Tom. "Watson TV? The cricket, Haddin 'nough of hearing about Kim Kardashian on the news. I hear about her every 5 minutes, I'm not Lyon. Aussies probably Philander pressure after they lost 2, thanks to that stubborn Steyn," he says. Also, this is the first mention of Kardashian on Cricinfo, as far as I know. We break new ground every day.

8.6

Steyn to Ponting, no run, Steyn says what he thinks of these puns. We are all waiting for this delicious Steyn v Ponting battle and he begins by spraying the first edition of the battle well down the leg side.

End of over 9 (1 run) Australia 22/2

    • RT Ponting 6 (7b 1x6)
    • SE Marsh 3 (14b)
    • DW Steyn 5-0-8-1
    • VD Philander 4-0-14-1
9.1

Philander to Marsh, no run, angled across Marsh from over the stumps, loopy bounce on that as Marsh opens his stance and lets it go after getting the front foot across.

9.2

Philander to Marsh, no run, fuller and more extravagant movement away from Marsh, but too far outside off to make him play.

9.3

Philander to Marsh, 1 leg bye, bent from middle towards leg, Marsh tucks it around the corner for a single.

Queer start from SA. Quite a few wasted balls, mixed with a handful of peaches. A couple of them have struck gold, too.

9.4

Philander to Ponting, no run, sharp indipper at 135 kph, Ponting is caught on the crease and we have a big lbw appeal. He was on the shuffle and rise as it jumped back in at him off the seam, but it has hit him too high and is surely missing leg in any case.

9.5

Philander to Ponting, no run, shapes another one in from wider outside off, Ponting jumps across into line and lets the ball go through to the keeper.

9.6

Philander to Ponting, no run, and the away seamer to end the over, Ponting gets comprehensively forward and leaves. Ten overs gone, and how intense this has been. Test cricket at its best.

End of over 10 (1 run, maiden) Australia 23/2

    • RT Ponting 6 (10b 1x6)
    • SE Marsh 3 (17b)
    • VD Philander 5-1-14-1
    • DW Steyn 5-0-8-1

The gangling giraffe that is Morne Morkel gets the ball now. Round the stumps.

10.1

Morkel to Marsh, no run, short ball to open up proceedings, angles into Marsh from outside off and he ducks.

10.2

Morkel to Marsh, no run, is that a bird? Is that a plane? No, that's Mark Boucher. Morne hits the seam as he angles in towards middle and leg and it then swings down the leg side. Boucher takes off and lands beyond leg slip when he pouches it with both hands.

10.3

Morkel to Marsh, no run, there goes Morne, he's taken it the other way already, and Marsh was clearly not expecting that. He's stuck on the seam hoping to cover the line in hope, but the ball does too much for him.

10.4

Morkel to Marsh, no run, beaten outside off, Morne cracks Marsh open with a pearler that comes in and goes away, and Marsh does his best to nick it from the crease, but can't. What an examination!

10.5

Morkel to Marsh, no run, beaten again! Three times in a row. Would Geoff Marsh have gotten bat on that? Shaun can't. He's trying to tuck this to the leg side from the off stump line as it zips away off the seam, making him look a little silly in the process.

Argh, a drizzle is on!

10.6

Morkel to Marsh, no run, dangles in from outside off, Marsh gets bat on ball and whispers a silent prayer in thankfulness. Worked to square leg.

Shanks must be kidding. "Kamran Akmal has the most dismissals per innings behind Adam Gilchrist! Now then," he says. Boy, what was that about stats and bikinis?

End of over 11 (maiden) Australia 23/2

    • SE Marsh 3 (23b)
    • RT Ponting 6 (10b 1x6)
    • M Morkel 1-1-0-0
    • VD Philander 5-1-14-1

1.12 pm This is cruel. Covers are coming on. An irritant passing drizzle, this. The players are getting off ... scratch that. It is lightening up already, the fielders are coming back on. And aha! The covers are coming off. The rain gods rightly change their mind. Steyn v Ponting doesn't happen often enough. Marsh and the Punter walk back into the park now. Vernon to bowl.

11.1

Philander to Ponting, 2 runs, angled into the pads, Ricky shuffles across and works it towards square leg even as he falls over for a couple.

The sun is out now. What madcap weather, this!

11.2

Philander to Ponting, no run, back of a length and trying to square Ponting up, he lunges across, covers the line and defends.

11.3

Philander to Ponting, no run, lovely carry and movement off the straight, but Vernon's landed this far too wide of off stump. Ponting stays on the crease and rises on his toes, but leaves.

11.4

Philander to Ponting, no run, Ponting stays back as he shuffles across, opens the face and defends with the away seam into the cover-point area.

"Who is Kim Kardashian, pray tell?" I would, if I knew myself, Scott.

11.5

Philander to Ponting, no run, back of a length, covers the line and defends down the crease.

11.6

Philander to Ponting, no run, yowza, that's hit a particularly green patch and bounced so much, the peak of the Table Mountain must have been in its sights. Ponting's class comes through as he drops the wrists to let it go,despite lunging forward and across in a style that is all his.

End of over 12 (2 runs) Australia 25/2

    • RT Ponting 8 (16b 1x6)
    • SE Marsh 3 (23b)
    • VD Philander 6-1-16-1
    • M Morkel 1-1-0-0
12.1

Morkel to Marsh, no run, Morne tests the muscle on Marsh's bat shoulder, thudding one into the willow from back of a length. It straightens just enough to force Marsh to square up, but he adjusts adequately to play it to the off side.

12.2

Morkel to Marsh, FOUR, too full, and shaping into the pads, Marsh shuffles into line and whips it with the angle through square leg for four.

12.3

Morkel to Marsh, no run, Morne responds with a bouncer, Marsh watches it closely and ducks out of the way as soon as he can, and it almost skims his back on its way.

12.4

Morkel to Marsh, FOUR, he's stuck on the back foot as Morne lands it on a length outside off and gets it to straighten. Marsh is good enough to not nick into the slips, though, adjusting late to open the face and steer it backward of point for four.

12.5

Morkel to Marsh, no run, another bouncer, jarred into the line of Marsh's body and he ducks really low just to be safe.

12.6

Morkel to Marsh, no run, well played Marsh, covers the line well and defends a short of length ball coming in, down the track.

End of over 13 (8 runs) Australia 33/2

    • SE Marsh 11 (29b 2x4)
    • RT Ponting 8 (16b 1x6)
    • M Morkel 2-1-8-0
    • VD Philander 6-1-16-1

What a moment for Imran Tahir, who comes on to bowl now. From what I know, the first real right arm leggie to bowl for SA since readmission. Justin Ontong and Jacques Rudolph don't really count. Slip and short leg.

13.1

Imran Tahir to Ponting, no run, trots in from a widish angle and goes full on leg stump, Ricky flicks off the front foot to midwicket. Ahem, Tahir runs on the pitch and umpire Gould chases him away immediately.

13.2

Imran Tahir to Ponting, no run, tossed up outside off, driven with the spin to mid-off.

13.3

Imran Tahir to Ponting, no run, flighted again outside off, Ponting is eager to get to the flight as he defends into the covers.

13.4

Imran Tahir to Ponting, no run, slow and loopy on middle, Ponting gets close to the pitch and works it to mid-on.

13.5

Imran Tahir to Ponting, no run, aha, shortens the length deceptively, and gets the leggie to bounce extra on Ponting who isn't entirely forward on this occasion as he gropes for the line. The ball jumps up and hits the splice but falls down short of Amla at short leg.

13.6

Imran Tahir to Ponting, no run, flighted ball outside off, played with the straight bat to the off side. Good, solid opening over.

End of over 14 (maiden) Australia 33/2

    • RT Ponting 8 (22b 1x6)
    • SE Marsh 11 (29b 2x4)
    • Imran Tahir 1-1-0-0
    • M Morkel 2-1-8-0
14.1

Morkel to Marsh, no run

Deepish short leg in place.

14.2

Morkel to Marsh, FOUR, what a gorgeous corker of a stroke. Marsh leans out to the pitch of a full ball and laces it into the covers with an authoritative swish of the blade through the line.

14.3

Morkel to Marsh, no run, swerves this one down the leg side, Marsh is inside the line as he lets it sway away into Bouch's gloves.

14.4

Morkel to Marsh, no run, hit in the unmentionables. Marsh goes down with a gasp and the crowd feels his agony. No jokes when you are hit in the box. Especially when you choose to shoulder arms to a straight ball angling in from one of the fastest bowlers in the world. Too much seam movement on that to be leaving it, Marsh's shuffle and thrust mean he is a foot closer to it than he need be when it thuds into the muscle that matters. Is there a Nobel Prize for bravery? Institute one, you have a nominee already. Or at least give him the next two editions of the Darwin award. The physio has a look ... if you know what I mean. He's ok now.

He's got two more balls to survive until lunch..

14.5

Morkel to Marsh, 2 runs, plays him with the bat this time, the one in his hands. Back of a length and angled into the pads, tucked in front of square for a couple.

14.6

Morkel to Marsh, no run, gets behind the line and defends the last ball of the morning session down the track.

I'll be back in about 30 mins, ie, at 2.00 pm for more, meanwhile I shall leave you with Ack's thoughtful wordplay on the wicketkeeper we all love: "Kamran is as good as they come actually. Great keepers take half-chances, whereas Kamran takes half the chances. Not much to choose really."

"You think Marsh is having scrambled eggs for lunch?" With sausage, Francois.

Australia go to the late lunch at 39 for 2. They lost their openers early, and have done well to ensure there were no more breaches in that short session. A good toss to win for SA, and they will be quite happy with what they have done.

"Is it too early to start talking about Warner in the baggy green? His First-class form is... well... first class, and if Hughes doesn't take advantage of his opporunities in SA then Davo may get the nod against the kiwis." I am sure Hughes is feeling the pressure, Gareth, but the man wasn't bad in Sri Lanka at all, and deserves a longer rope I'd say.

End of over 15 (6 runs) Australia 39/2

    • SE Marsh 17 (35b 3x4)
    • RT Ponting 8 (22b 1x6)
    • M Morkel 3-1-14-0
    • Imran Tahir 1-1-0-0

Brydon Coverdale lets us know that it is quite windy out there. Wonder if there'll be more exaggerated swing in the second session. Philander comes on for the first over of the post-lunch play.

"It's called work buddy. You should try it! Will be there over the weekend, like other normal folks." Haha Maloomjan, what do you reckon I am doing right now?

"It's a weekday bro. Even if Capetonians are notoriously lazy, most of us still have to make an appearance at the office on a Wednesday." Fair enough, Dan, but I suspect more people would have called in sick for work if this were an ODI...

"Unfortunately most of us have to work at this time of year....especially if we want our bonuses next month. And Newlands is usually always full for test matches. Especially the New Years Test," points out Chad.

"Can anyone tell me the reason that why SA bowling attack is not really useful against fresh batsmen. Some examples are Azher Mehmood(PAK), Ali Naqvi(PAK), PJ Hughes(AUS), North(AUS) ." Good spot Waqas. I can add one more name to that list - Virender Sehwag, who smashed a debut hundred in Bloemfontein. And hasn't looked like getting close to a 100 in South Africa in 8 Tests since.

"With such a short session shouldn't common sense prevail, and lunch be reduced to 15-20 minutes? Cricket is too rigid!" Yeah, they are really making a meal of the timings, huh James. This time, no pun intended.

A word on the crowd. If there's one thing lacking in this Test so far, it is the atmosphere. What's with the South Africa fans? They come in droves for ODIs and T20s, but the Tests are always poorly attended. Only Australia and England fans come out in the right numbers for Tests.

15.1

Philander to Ponting, 1 bye, short ball to open up, shaping down the leg side as Ponting tries another one of those bombardier pull shots of his. Can't quite get it away, but a single down the leg side as Boucher misses.

15.2

Philander to Marsh, no run, length ball angles across Swampy junior who lets it go.

15.3

Philander to Marsh, no run, keeps it on a length again, Marsh gets across to cover the line and plays it to the cover area.

15.4

Philander to Marsh, no run, swings across Marsh, who stays put on the crease and shoulders arms decisively.

15.5

Philander to Marsh, no run, back of a length, cutting across Marsh who opens up and defends adequately to the off side.

15.6

Philander to Marsh, no run, finishes the over with a feeler outside off, Marsh gets nicely back and across and steers confidently to point. Still, he's better off leaving these.

End of over 16 (1 run, maiden) Australia 40/2

    • SE Marsh 17 (40b 3x4)
    • RT Ponting 8 (23b 1x6)
    • VD Philander 7-2-16-1
    • M Morkel 3-1-14-0

Steyn comes on now with three slips. "Debutants often getting centuries is another reason why Warner should've been included. Ahh Hilditch. Missed the trick again," laments Phil.

"Ask Brydon if he is keeping up with his maths and literacy after appearing on Letters and Numbers here in Australia!" Aha, will do Scott!

16.1

Steyn to Ponting, no run, zips away off a length, wide enough outside off and Ponting stays on the crease and leaves.

16.2

Steyn to Ponting, OUT, he has Ponting in trouble now, there's half an appeal for lbw and they are considering a review. Yeah, we have the first review of the series. Steyn makes him play now, full ball angling in towards the middle and leg line. Ponting thrusts the front pad well across, as his wont, and then has to play around it with the ball straightening a degree down the line. No inside edge on that. This is touble for the Punter. It's hit him on the front pad as the bat scissors down and hits the pad. The ball heads on unimpeded into the pads, and that's super adjacent. Ponting is on his way. Steyn 1, Ponting 0.

RT Ponting lbw b Steyn 8 (51m 25b 0x4 1x6) SR: 32.00

And another point in favour of the DRS too. Wonder if the BCCI is watching.

"Ok Nitin, nice job you got there. We can trade?" Thanks, but no thanks Maloomjan!

The Pup is out now. Australia in trouble.

16.3

Steyn to Clarke, 1 run, easy single to get him going, Steyn dangles it on his hips, Clarke shuffles across and nudges it square for a single.

16.4

Steyn to Marsh, no run, back of a length, angled into Marsh from round the stumps and he quietly defends to the leg side.

16.5

Steyn to Marsh, no run, back of a length in line with off stump, Marsh covers the line and defends to the off side.

16.6

Steyn to Marsh, no run, huge inward curve from wide of off stump, Marsh stays balanced on the crease and shouldered arms, but turns to see just how far back that came. He wouldn't have liked what he saw.

End of over 17 (1 run) Australia 41/3

    • SE Marsh 17 (43b 3x4)
    • MJ Clarke 1 (1b)
    • DW Steyn 6-0-9-2
    • VD Philander 7-2-16-1

Three slips and a gully.

17.1

Philander to Clarke, 1 run, 136 kph for Vernon as he jags one into Clarke, who again motions inside the line and dabs it off the pads past square leg for one.

17.2

Philander to Marsh, no run, angled across Marsh from over the stumps, he doesn't want to have a go at it.

17.3

Philander to Marsh, no run, short of a length around off stump, Marsh stays on the crease and defends to the leg side.

17.4

Philander to Marsh, no run, beaten outside off with a length ball that whistles away off the seam and misses willow by a couple of hairs' breath. Marsh pushes his front pad across and feels for it, but the ball moved away and left him feeling for it.

17.5

Philander to Marsh, no run, back of a length and straighter this time, Marsh gets across to off stump and defends to the leg side.

17.6

Philander to Marsh, no run, gets solidly behind this one as it angles across, and dead-bats it determinedly to the off side.

End of over 18 (1 run) Australia 42/3

    • SE Marsh 17 (48b 3x4)
    • MJ Clarke 2 (2b)
    • VD Philander 8-2-17-1
    • DW Steyn 6-0-9-2
18.1

Steyn to Clarke, no run, Clarke moves across to off stump and defends a length ball to the off side.

Oliver Jones has sent us a series of limericks. I'll publish one an over. Here's the first:

"There once was a keeper named Brad
Who thought batting was a bit of a fad
So he kept stumps all day
As Mitchell and co did spray
Balls left and right of the pads

18.2

Steyn to Clarke, no run, whoa, nice and lively bouncer, has Clarke on the hop and he does well to climb over it and press it down to the off side. Only just, another inch of bounce and it would have gone up, not down.

18.3

Steyn to Clarke, no run, Clarke has a periscope, and it is not helping him see the ball. Can you get into a worse position to play a short ball? It wasn't as short as Clarke thought, as he tried to duck under it, the ball skimmed along straight at his elbow, Clarke took his eye off and somehow stabbed it away to the leg side, even as he ended on his knees.

18.4

Steyn to Clarke, no run, 144 kph, length ball on off stump, Clarke defends solidly off the front foot. Steyn picks it up and has a glare at Clarke! And then has a few words to share. Clarke walks up to him and responds. Are they sharing tattoo-notes? The air is thick!

18.5

Steyn to Clarke, no run, 149 kph, play that you Aussie captain, you! A real proper snorter now, has his helmet in its sights as it lands short of a length, takes off and heads at him. Clarke had to play, and it was on to him ages before he imagined. He stands on the crease, thrusts his hands at it, and gets it away to the off side. Somehow, he doesn't edge into the slips. What an over this is!

18.6

Steyn to Clarke, no run, another short ball, this time wide of off stump, and Clarke weaves out of the way. The crowd loves it!

End of over 19 (maiden) Australia 42/3

    • MJ Clarke 2 (8b)
    • SE Marsh 17 (48b 3x4)
    • DW Steyn 7-1-9-2
    • VD Philander 8-2-17-1
19.1

Philander to Marsh, FOUR, well played Marsh, gets a couple of inches of width outside off, and he opens the face to steer it away calmingly past point for four.

19.2

Philander to Marsh, 1 leg bye, on the pads, he looks to play it away and it goes off the pad for a leg bye.

19.3

Philander to Clarke, no run, Clarke shuffles across to off stump and defends solidly.

19.4

Philander to Clarke, no run, back of a length outside off, Clarke shoulders arms to let it go.

"There once was a bowler named Monty
Who couldn't field like Jonty
He also couldn't bat
In the pavilion he sat
So he decided to write novels like Bronte"

19.5

Philander to Clarke, no run, back of a length outside off, Clarke stays on the crease and defends to the off side.

19.6

Philander to Clarke, no run, shoulders arms outside off as Vernon buzzes away from a length at good pace. This is groovy stuff.

End of over 20 (5 runs) Australia 47/3

    • MJ Clarke 2 (12b)
    • SE Marsh 21 (50b 4x4)
    • VD Philander 9-2-21-1
    • DW Steyn 7-1-9-2

Steyn surges in round the stumps.

20.1

Steyn to Marsh, no run

20.2

Steyn to Marsh, no run, sent down in the high 140s from wide of the crease and the ball keeps serving in, though Marsh doesn't bother playing at it.

20.3

Steyn to Marsh, no run, similar ball, curves in from outside off, not as sharply as the previous one though. Marsh leaves again.

20.4

Steyn to Marsh, no run, back of a length outside off, not close enough to make him play though.

20.5

Steyn to Marsh, no run, swings this too far down the leg side at 150 kph, but the line is completely awry.

20.6

Steyn to Marsh, no run, now that he has 500 catches, Bouch is not letting anything go past him. Steyn again wastes one wildly down the leg side, and he flies away to pouch it to his right.

"Enough with the limericks! As if the Australian batting isn't bad enough." Point noted, Greg.

End of over 21 (maiden) Australia 47/3

    • SE Marsh 21 (56b 4x4)
    • MJ Clarke 2 (12b)
    • DW Steyn 8-2-9-2
    • VD Philander 9-2-21-1

Morne replaces Vernon immediately.

21.1

Morkel to Clarke, no run, short of a length from over the stumps, Clarke stays back to it which is the right call, and defends down the track.

21.2

Morkel to Clarke, no run, Morne goes a foot wider of the crease now, and angles in towards off stump, Clarke covers the line and defends.

21.3

Morkel to Clarke, no run, gets closer to the batsman with the length, Clarke gets forward to play it into the covers.

21.4

Morkel to Clarke, no run, short ball keeps low now. This pitch has everything. It was landed in the halfway house, and Clarke went for the pull but it missed the bat to hit him in the thigh area.

21.5

Morkel to Clarke, no run, well played, stays back, rises on the toes and defends to the off side as the ball jumps up from a length.

21.6

Morkel to Clarke, 1 run, slanted into the pads, one too many freebies there for Pup. And he takes a single with a nudge to fine leg ... Uh oh, now he has to face Steyn.

End of over 22 (1 run) Australia 48/3

    • MJ Clarke 3 (18b)
    • SE Marsh 21 (56b 4x4)
    • M Morkel 4-1-15-0
    • DW Steyn 8-2-9-2
22.1

Steyn to Clarke, no run, Steyn has Pup where he wants him, nervy and jittery. Short ball wide of off stump, Clarke was best off leaving it. He was better off getting back and across and cutting. Instead, he stays planted to the crease in search of the bouncer and throws the bat at it, a mile away from the body. Play and a miss.

22.2

Steyn to Clarke, no run, He's driving down Jo'burg, but the ball is in Cape Town Highway. Steyn's faster and fuller and gets the ball to swing away, Clarke is reluctant and late to get forward, and then attempts to drive on the up. He misses the ball by a good half foot, completely outclassed.

22.3

Steyn to Clarke, 3 runs, the release comes here as Steyn goes fuller at 140 kph, and good on Clarke for having his wits about him. He gets the front foot across to the line this time and redirects it into the covers for three.

22.4

Steyn to Marsh, 1 run, short of a length outside off stump, Marsh stays on the crease and pats it to the leg side. They eventually get across for a single.

22.5

Steyn to Clarke, no run, well played, stays on the crease, watches the away seam closely ands defends to the off side.

22.6

Steyn to Clarke, FOUR, what a stirring response from Pup! Length ball from Steyn, not the usual driving length, at 135 kph only this time, which must have helped. Clarke gets into line this time and drives down the correct line to send the ball past Steyn to the right of the stumps as he dives. A touch of Tendulkar in that shot.

End of over 23 (8 runs) Australia 56/3

    • MJ Clarke 10 (23b 1x4)
    • SE Marsh 22 (57b 4x4)
    • DW Steyn 9-2-17-2
    • M Morkel 4-1-15-0
23.1

Morkel to Marsh, no run, 143 kph, short of a length outside off, and Marsh pats it to the off side in search of a single. Can't get it though.

23.2

Morkel to Marsh, no run, 144 kph, nips into the pads and Marsh plays it to the leg side.

23.3

Morkel to Marsh, no run, bumper whanged down at 146 kph, Marsh ducks early and gets out of the way as it angles in.

23.4

Morkel to Marsh, no run, 144 kph, fuller length outside off and the ball fairly takes off like it has jet fuel propelling it. Bouch looks away as it thuds into his mitts over head.

23.5

Morkel to Marsh, no run, fuller and straighter, in fact too straight and it goes down the leg side.

23.6

Morkel to Marsh, FOUR, adventurous from Marsh, as he goes uppishly over backward point. I think he was hoodwinked by the width there. He committed himself into getting forward and across into the drive, and suddenly realised it was much further from the body than he thought. To his credit, he went through with the shot and lofted it behind square, safely away for four.

End of over 24 (4 runs) Australia 60/3

    • SE Marsh 26 (63b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 10 (23b 1x4)
    • M Morkel 5-1-19-0
    • DW Steyn 9-2-17-2

The Steyn v Clarke battle ends. Kallis comes on. A pity really, it was setting up beautifully.

24.1

Kallis to Clarke, FOUR, Clarke relishes the drop in pace as Kallis drops short and wide of off stump. Pup leans across and forces it into the covers, away from the body but fully in control.

Two slips, wide gully in place. Third slip has moved to extra cover.

24.2

Kallis to Clarke, no run, too wide outside off, Clarke doesn't play it now.

24.3

Kallis to Clarke, no run, fuller and closer to off stump, but Clarke lets it go through again.

24.4

Kallis to Clarke, no run, Clarke is getting into all kinds of knots against the short balls. He is on the front foot now as Kallis bangs one in, and he then has to yank his head out of the way, and that doesn't stop him from having a needless flap at it.

24.5

Kallis to Clarke, no run, pushes him back with a short length again, Clarke defends to the off side. It fairly thuds into his bat.

24.6

Kallis to Clarke, no run, a touch of away seam from the straight at 131 kph, Clarke reads the deviation and defends with an open face.

End of over 25 (4 runs) Australia 64/3

    • MJ Clarke 14 (29b 2x4)
    • SE Marsh 26 (63b 5x4)
    • JH Kallis 1-0-4-0
    • M Morkel 5-1-19-0

"Hey Nitin! Imagine you were given a chance to play international cricket... But the only condition is, you need to play at Newlands against this South African attack on a green top wicket in your first 3 matches. What would you do?" Shank, I'd quit and write my autobiography. Where I'd say I was quite poor, but while at the non-striker's end, I saw Tendulkar's legs shake when Steyn had the ball. Sure to sell a million copies.

25.1

Morkel to Marsh, no run, angled across from over the stumps, Marsh is on the crease as he shoulders arms to the wafter.

25.2

Morkel to Marsh, no run, Morne misses the line, 141 kph down the leg side and Marsh doesn't play it.

25.3

Morkel to Marsh, no run, full length ball, gets Marsh driving through the off side, but it is a rather loose shot for someone who's batted quite well so far. He was driving away from his body, and was lucky not to edge that as he went between bat and pad.

25.4

Morkel to Marsh, no run, much better, shuffles across and lets it go outside off.

25.5

Morkel to Marsh, no run, here comes the bouncer, Marsh ducks under it. He's been very impressive in reading the bounce today and ducking under them early.

25.6

Morkel to Marsh, no run, length ball on middle and leg, hinting at going across Marsh, who covers the line and defends down the track.

End of over 26 (maiden) Australia 64/3

    • SE Marsh 26 (69b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 14 (29b 2x4)
    • M Morkel 6-2-19-0
    • JH Kallis 1-0-4-0
26.1

Kallis to Clarke, no run, Kallis plugs away, landing them on the seam and taking them away, Clarke defends adequately from the crease.

26.2

Kallis to Clarke, no run, Clarke does a Ponting, gets the front pad too far across and then has to play around it, but he gets bat on the work to midwicket.

26.3

Kallis to Clarke, FOUR, the outswinger is over-cooked, Kallis sends down an amiable full toss outside off and Clarke shows exemplary footwork and wrists as he eases it into the covers.

Another one from Oliver, since it has been a while:

"There once was a bowler, MacGill
Who gave the Aussies a thrill
Unfortunately, there was Shane
Whose powers did not wane
So he decided to retire, claiming to be ill"

26.4

Kallis to Clarke, FOUR, crunched away! Clarke looks so smooth when he's driving off the front foot. Over-pitched this time a touch wider outside off, but Clarke elimiates all danger by getting right across to the pitch and then drilling it through the man men in the covers. Top, top shot.

26.5

Kallis to Clarke, no run, goes wider of off stump, Clarke doesn't play at it this time.

26.6

Kallis to Clarke, no run, beaten by a lekker peach. Kallis keeps it back of a length, lands it on off and gets it to curl away menacingly. Lulled by the two easy boundaries earlier in the over, Clarke has a push at it from the crease, and nearly edges it too. Stunning response that from Jacques.

End of over 27 (8 runs) Australia 72/3

    • MJ Clarke 22 (35b 4x4)
    • SE Marsh 26 (69b 5x4)
    • JH Kallis 2-0-12-0
    • M Morkel 6-2-19-0
27.1

Morkel to Marsh, 1 run, Marsh is looking the part here. Short of a length outside off, he covers the line and drops it to the off side for a single.

Oliver again:

"There once was a batsman nicknamed "Roy"
Who provided the Aussies with joy
He gave bootcamps a miss
Because he found fishing to be bliss
And Tim Nielsen he liked to annoy"

27.2

Morkel to Clarke, no run, another sprightly bouncer, Clarke always seems to be a little late in ducking when he tends to push forward defiantly as part of his trigger movement. He gets out of the way in time this time.

Three slips and a gully. And short leg.

27.3

Morkel to Clarke, no run, wide of off stump, Clarke lets it go as he stays put on the crease.

27.4

Morkel to Clarke, no run, too wide of off stump as Morkel gets one to rise impressively from a length. Needs to be closer to off stump.

27.5

Morkel to Clarke, 2 runs, too straight now, it doesn't straighten down the line the way he normally manages to, and Clarke dabs it square for a couple.

27.6

Morkel to Clarke, 3 runs, a bit of a miscued tennis stroke, it went on the frame really. Short, it sits up like a sponge ball outside off and Clarke double-fist-forehands it towards midwicket and the bat turns in his hand. Still gets it away for a few.

"Oliver... Find a Publisher Quickly" This from Kailesh is among the more charitable feedback heading Oliver's way. Not too many poetry fans following the cricket today.

End of over 28 (6 runs) Australia 78/3

    • MJ Clarke 27 (40b 4x4)
    • SE Marsh 27 (70b 5x4)
    • M Morkel 7-2-25-0
    • JH Kallis 2-0-12-0
28.1

Kallis to Clarke, no run, too short, too wide, Clarke doesn't bother with it.

28.2

Kallis to Clarke, FOUR, this is a really poor ball, seams away from well wide of off stump, and Clarke gives it a good hold humpty over backward point. Slashed away into untenanted recesses behind square and it is away for four. The seventh since lunch in 13 overs.

28.3

Kallis to Clarke, no run, that's the line, angles in from wide of the stumps and straightens outside off. Clarke lets it go.

28.4

Kallis to Clarke, no run, this one nips away instead of straightening, Clarke remains confident with his leaving.

28.5

Kallis to Clarke, FOUR, what a cracker of a shot. 137 kph, another short ball from Kallis - this is a little disappointing from him. At this pace, Clarke has no problem pivoting into line, swivelling and crashing the pull shot well wide of deep square leg.

28.6

Kallis to Clarke, 1 run, a forgettable over that. Ends with a ball slanted down the leg side and Clarke nudges it along to fine leg for a single.

Drinks after another intense hour of Test action. Ponting is gone, Marsh is looking increasingly solid, and Clarke is hanging in there. South Africa continue to be a little inconsistent with the ball. A few jaffas here and there, but an alarming lack of consistency. Far too short, too, though it nearly helped them get past Clarke.

End of over 29 (9 runs) Australia 87/3

    • MJ Clarke 36 (46b 6x4)
    • SE Marsh 27 (70b 5x4)
    • JH Kallis 3-0-21-0
    • M Morkel 7-2-25-0

Morne continues.

29.1

Morkel to Clarke, FOUR, steered away. Short ball outside off, hustles him for pace as Clarke tries to ride it and ends up guiding it without much control through a vacant third man area. Robin Jackman is on fire on air, he says that position must be renamed Forgotten Man since it is always vacant!

29.2

Morkel to Clarke, FOUR, he's getting into better positions against bounce now. Not as pacy from Morkel as he lands one back of a length outside off, Clarke climbs on it with a crisp lash cum pull that sends the ball well behind square leg.

29.3

Morkel to Clarke, no run, again short, this time wider outside off, Clarke hops and forces it to the off side off the bottom edge.

29.4

Morkel to Clarke, no run, this is getting a wee bit predictable now. Another short ball, Clarke is bending much earlier now as he gets out of the way.

29.5

Morkel to Clarke, 1 run, back of a length at 138 kph, Clarke stays back and slaps it away through point.

"This series is already shaping up as one where the batsmen's technique is going ot be fully examined. Wonder who will come out best. You wouldn't put much money against Jacques Kallis, to be fair." Fair enough, James. I am betting big on Hussey too.

29.6

Morkel to Marsh, no run, short of a length from over the stumps, Marsh covers the line as the ball straightens and blunts it down the track. How good he's looked today!

End of over 30 (9 runs) Australia 96/3

    • SE Marsh 27 (71b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 45 (51b 8x4)
    • M Morkel 8-2-34-0
    • JH Kallis 3-0-21-0

Here we go for some more legspin. Tahir is back on. Slip and short leg, three men in the covers, and mid-off.

30.1

Imran Tahir to Clarke, no run, whippy ball straightens and slides down straight on middle and off, Clarke forces the cut into the off side.

30.2

Imran Tahir to Clarke, 1 run, more width this time, he cuts it away square for a single.

Clarke's gone past 5000 runs, good on him.

30.3

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, tossed up outside off, Marsh leans out and defends into the off side.

Slip and short leg.

30.4

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, nice variation in length, Marsh was trying to get forward and then realised he wasn't going to get there. Adjusts and defends to the off side.

30.5

Imran Tahir to Marsh, 1 run, fuller now, he leans well forward and drives to mid-off for a single.

30.6

Imran Tahir to Clarke, no run, Clarke leans out to the ball flighted outside off and defends to the off side.

End of over 31 (2 runs) Australia 98/3

    • MJ Clarke 46 (54b 8x4)
    • SE Marsh 28 (74b 5x4)
    • Imran Tahir 2-1-2-0
    • M Morkel 8-2-34-0

Philander comes back on now.

31.1

Philander to Marsh, no run, angles the first ball across Marsh from over the stumps, and he leaves it to the keeper.

31.2

Philander to Marsh, no run, appeal for an lbw, it is turned down and South Africa review again. That was sent down from over the stumps, and it hit his front pad - a foot in front of the crease - in front of leg and middle, as Marsh tries to flick it away. But the operative part is that it pitched outside leg, the seam and one half of the ball were out of the mat. Safe.

Two slips, he stays over the stumps.

31.3

Philander to Marsh, no run, wasted ball down the leg side, Marsh can't get the glance away, it is too wide.

31.4

Philander to Marsh, no run, deviates sharply away from the left hander after landing full outside off, Marsh doesn't bother with it.

31.5

Philander to Marsh, no run, angled across once again, Marsh watches the seam movement closely and leaves.

31.6

Philander to Marsh, 2 runs, back of a length at 133 kph, Marsh tucks it around the corner for a couple more. South Africa's attack seem to be losing steam now.

End of over 32 (2 runs) Australia 100/3

    • SE Marsh 30 (80b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 46 (54b 8x4)
    • VD Philander 10-2-23-1
    • Imran Tahir 2-1-2-0
32.1

Imran Tahir to Clarke, no run, tossed up outside off, driven with the turn into the off side.

Apologies for stealing a 0 from the Clarke run-aggregate update.

32.2

Imran Tahir to Clarke, FOUR, Clarke's gone to 50, and I swear I had no idea he had got that many. This is a really good innings, consdering he was being owned by Steyn at the start of it. Tahir sends down a gentle full toss on the pads as Pup advances, and whips it away through midwicket.

32.3

Imran Tahir to Clarke, no run, another full toss, driven strongly into the covers where a diving save from AB comes in the way. He's already nursing a sore finger, and that troubled it some more.

32.4

Imran Tahir to Clarke, 1 run, another fullish ball outside off, Clarke gets the single into the covers.

32.5

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, tossed up and straightening into Marsh from outside off and he defends.

32.6

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, that held its line as it went across Marsh, who defended to the off side.

End of over 33 (5 runs) Australia 105/3

    • SE Marsh 30 (82b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 51 (58b 9x4)
    • Imran Tahir 3-1-7-0
    • VD Philander 10-2-23-1

Philander continues.

33.1

Philander to Clarke, no run, short of a length outside off, Clarke lets it go as he stays on the crease.

33.2

Philander to Clarke, no run, a ripper amidst a lot of ordinary bowling. Vernon goes closer to an acceptable length for a change, Clarke tries to get forward but is yards short of it as it lands and zips away off the seam, play and a miss of epic proportions.

33.3

Philander to Clarke, no run, covers the line better this time and defends down the line.

33.4

Philander to Clarke, 1 run, angled into the pads, Clarke is inside the line and helps it along to fine leg for a single.

33.5

Philander to Marsh, no run, back of a length around middle and off, Marsh stays on the back foot as he covers the line and defends to the off side.

33.6

Philander to Marsh, no run, 129 kph and a fuller length outside off, Marsh defends compactly into the off side.

"Stealing a zero? I was hoping "Clarke's gone past 500" was a premature update from Tea Day 2!" Why didn't I think of that, Kieran?

End of over 34 (1 run) Australia 106/3

    • SE Marsh 30 (84b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 52 (62b 9x4)
    • VD Philander 11-2-24-1
    • Imran Tahir 3-1-7-0
34.1

Imran Tahir to Clarke, 2 runs, Is Clarke the best player of spin in this side? Almost inevitably, he shimmies out of the crease, gets to the pitch and laces Tahir into the covers for a couple.

34.2

Imran Tahir to Clarke, FOUR, inexperience showing. Tahir sends down an amiable full toss, Clarke says thank you and butchers it with a slog-heave over midwicket. He'll be sad he didn't get six for it.

34.3

Imran Tahir to Clarke, 1 run, skips out again, punches down to mid-on for a single.

34.4

Imran Tahir to Marsh, 1 run, tossed up to Marsh, he drives smoothly past wide mid-on for another single.

What a fine stand this has been. These two complement each other in every possible way. Two fine batsmen to have at 3 and 4.

34.5

Imran Tahir to Clarke, 1 run, tossed up wide of off stump, Clarke leans out with an opened face and guides it square for a single.

34.6

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, another full toss, outside off stump, and Marsh swings it to Smith at mid-on.

End of over 35 (9 runs) Australia 115/3

    • SE Marsh 31 (86b 5x4)
    • MJ Clarke 60 (66b 10x4)
    • Imran Tahir 4-1-16-0
    • VD Philander 11-2-24-1

"Marsh getting close to an average of 100, watch out Sir Don!" I am sure he is, CSB. He sure likes the look of this young man, from his corner up there in the sky.

35.1

Philander to Clarke, no run, that's the length he needs to maintain. Full, outside off, drawing Clarke forward into a check-drive into the covers.

35.2

Philander to Clarke, no run, this one wobbles away from a length outside off, Clarke shoulders arms now.

35.3

Philander to Clarke, no run, beaten by an indipper. Vernon's biggest strength is the ability to get the wobble going either way, that one cut in sharply from a length and stayed low too. Clarke was back on the crease and loose in defence, the ball cut through him and just missed the stumps.

One side of the ball is shining a lot more than the other. No reverse seen yet, though.

35.4

Philander to Clarke, (no ball) 1 run, over-steps and drifts onto the pads now, Clarke helps it away to the leg side for one.

35.4

Philander to Marsh, no run, now he bends one into the left-hander cutting him into two, almost. Clarke manages to keep it out though, as he's caught on the crease.

35.5

Philander to Marsh, FOUR, what a peach of a pick-up whip through midwicket. Half-volley on the pads alright, but Marsh's movement was a treat to watch there as he got the front foot into line and dispatched it with a decisive jab of the wrists.

35.6

Philander to Marsh, no run, back of a length outside off, Marsh stays back and defends backward of point.

End of over 36 (6 runs) Australia 121/3

    • SE Marsh 35 (89b 6x4)
    • MJ Clarke 61 (70b 10x4)
    • VD Philander 12-2-30-1
    • Imran Tahir 4-1-16-0

Silly mid-on is one of the catchers.

36.1

Imran Tahir to Clarke, 1 run, over-pitched on the stumps, Clarke drives it back past Tahir who fumbles to allow the single.

36.2

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, flighted on the pads, worked softly to the leg side.

36.3

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, tossed up outside off now, Marsh plays it back to the bowler.

36.4

Imran Tahir to Marsh, FOUR, flighted too far outside off, Tahir is looking completely harmless here. Marsh shows him the way to the extra cover boundary with a lovely reach across and a gentle swish of the bat.

36.5

Imran Tahir to Marsh, FOUR, even more decisively this time. Marsh gets more width outside off, and leans out and whacks it away into the covers. This spell must be coming to an end.

36.6

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, googly tossed up outside off, driven off the front foot back to the bowler.

Of course, that 3 and 4 comment was talking of a time post-Ponting. That said, Khawaja might be the next man at 4.

End of over 37 (9 runs) Australia 130/3

    • SE Marsh 43 (94b 8x4)
    • MJ Clarke 62 (71b 10x4)
    • Imran Tahir 5-1-25-0
    • VD Philander 12-2-30-1
37.1

Philander to Clarke, FOUR, Australia are slowly taking control here. Vernon nips one back into Clarke from too short of a length, and Pup hops to nudge it away behind square for four more.

Steyn is off the park at the moment.

37.2

Philander to Clarke, no run, back of a length and a much better line, Clarke gets behind it and plays it back to the bowler.

37.3

Philander to Clarke, FOUR, over-pitched now at an amiable 131 kph on the pads. Food, drink, dessert and some other assorted goodies for someone with Clarke's wrosts as he stays on the crease and swooshes it away through midwicket.

37.4

Philander to Clarke, no run, finally finds the channel outside off, and Clarke shoulders arms duly.

37.5

Philander to Clarke, no run, short of a length outside off, Clarke doesn't have a go at it as it bustles away harmlessly to the keeper.

37.6

Philander to Clarke, FOUR, Vernon seams this away, but it is far too short outside off to trouble Clarke. He stays back, reads it off the track, stays on top of the bounce and guides it expertly through point for another four. SA are haemorhaging now as the stand is worth over a 100.

End of over 38 (12 runs) Australia 142/3

    • MJ Clarke 74 (77b 13x4)
    • SE Marsh 43 (94b 8x4)
    • VD Philander 13-2-42-1
    • Imran Tahir 5-1-25-0

Tahir continues, which I find strange. And somewhat daring.

38.1

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, tossed up outside off, Marsh ensures it doesn't break in and defends off the front foot.

38.2

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, he's forward again and blocks off the front foot.

38.3

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, tossed up on off stump, defended off the front foot.

38.4

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, Marsh covers the line as he presses forward, and defends again.

38.5

Imran Tahir to Marsh, no run, a touch of drift away from Marsh, very full ball and he digs it back to the leg side.

38.6

Imran Tahir to Marsh, 1 run, Marsh chips out now, gets close to the flight and whips a single to midwicket.

End of over 39 (1 run) Australia 143/3

    • SE Marsh 44 (100b 8x4)
    • MJ Clarke 74 (77b 13x4)
    • Imran Tahir 6-1-26-0
    • VD Philander 13-2-42-1

"Anybody else remember the fate of the last legspinner to debut at Newlands?" I am sure Bryce McGain does, Gav. Here we go, Steyn's back.

39.1

Steyn to Marsh, OUT, It's taken him one ball to make a difference! Marsh's been ruled lbw, and he's being very optimistic reviewing that. Good old patent indipper, lands at pace on a length around off stump and nips in, Marsh has been solid all day, but this time he doesn't get bat and pad close together, and plays across the line. Was he lulled into this false stroke by the poor bowling until now? Hit in front of middle, absolutely, hopelessly plumb. A complete waste of a review. Marsh played really well until this one, they may have be tempted into trying their luck with the review.

SE Marsh lbw b Steyn 44 (157m 101b 8x4 0x6) SR: 43.56

Mr. Cricket is the new man in. Two slips and gully.

39.2

Steyn to Hussey, no run, Aha! 143 kph, hits the gloves with a bombshell that darts back in from short of a length. Hussey tries to fend it away the way the late Frasier would have tried to keep Ali's jabs away. The bottom hand is off, the top hand takes a rap and the ball goes to the off side. That must have hurt Mr Cricket, as he hops away and looks at the ball dribbling towards the cordon.

39.3

Steyn to Hussey, no run, better from the Huss, gets behind the line this time.

39.4

Steyn to Hussey, no run, that's gone away, that's absolutely exploded from a short length, Hussey ducks for dear life, and Bouch's gloves take a pounding.

39.5

Steyn to Hussey, no run, 145 kph, on the hips, Hussey shuffles into the line and deflects it to the leg side.

39.6

Steyn to Hussey, no run, length ball on middle and leg at 144 kph, what a sensational over. Hussey nudges it to the leg side. A huge breach before tea, but Hussey has done well to ensure one wicket didn't lead to another.

I'd say that was Australia's session, even though Marsh perished with tea in sight. If this pitch is going to keep playing this way, 300 might be a great score, and Australia are in a great position to get there.

End of over 40 (wicket maiden) Australia 143/4

    • MEK Hussey 0 (5b)
    • MJ Clarke 74 (77b 13x4)
    • DW Steyn 10-3-17-3
    • Imran Tahir 6-1-26-0

"Marsh's confident and bold assertion against the LB decision was akin to a child defying his parent that he didnt eat the chocolate, although it is evidently smeared all over his face, hands and pants." Haha, Rob Noah, good analogy. Clarke's back out there with the Huss now. Morne Morkel to run in over the stumps, two slips and a gully.

Dan Brettig's session report is getting updated here, even as we get ready for the final session of play.

"Is there a player with a longer club reel than Tahir? I particularly like "Water and Power Development Authority" Sounds more like a list of the odd-jobs he did before turning professional." Neil, clearly you don't pay much attention to our extensive coverage of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan's premier domestic event. WAPDA are one of the more interesting teams doing the round there, as are Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited.

"People! Limericks have to follow the right meter - not just rhyme. Da dum de dum de dum, etc. Most of the ones so far are rubbish. Give me an over or two and I'll send in a real one." Charlie, your time starts now ...

40.1

Morkel to Clarke, no run, short and wide at 140 kph, it has been a bit of a malaise today, this length. Easy leave outside off.

40.2

Morkel to Clarke, no run, again, short and miles wide of off stump, Clarke lets it go through to the keeper.

"My son used to play for GPCPUTCC (Green Point Cape Peninsula University Technicon Cricket Club)," says Japie. That jersey would have been fun.

40.3

Morkel to Clarke, 4 byes, aha, Morne again sends this wide of off stump, it then seams away and dies on Bouch who is miffed as it runs away for byes.

40.4

Morkel to Clarke, 1 run, too short, too wide at 142 kph, and Clarke cuts it away square for a single.

He stays over the stumps to the Huss. Three slips, gully and backward point.

40.5

Morkel to Hussey, 1 run, short of a length, easy line on the pads at 142 kph and Hussey turns it round the corner for a single.

"Somebody please tell Morne Morkel to PITCH IT UP! All this short stuff in helpful conditions is such a waste." Louis, I wonder if this bouncer barrage is a part of Donald's instructions, after that Potch warm-up when they were tested by a tyro.

40.6

Morkel to Clarke, 1 run, too short, too wide, Clarke leans across and hacks it square for another single.

End of over 41 (7 runs) Australia 150/4

    • MJ Clarke 76 (82b 13x4)
    • MEK Hussey 1 (6b)
    • M Morkel 9-2-37-0
    • DW Steyn 10-3-17-3

Steyn continues. 10-3-17-3. Stunning figures. Two slips and gully. How will Clarke play this?

41.1

Steyn to Clarke, 2 runs, starts with a full ball outside off that goes away, Clarke starts with a positive push forward and across, and a chirpy drive into the covers.

41.2

Steyn to Clarke, 1 run, full and wide outside off, Clarke takes him on with an uppish square drive. A dodgy shot for just a single, since deep point is in place.

Two slips, three in the covers, over the stumps.

41.3

Steyn to Hussey, no run, too full, too wide, Hussey can't reach it if he wants to.

Charlie, you've been timed out.

41.4

Steyn to Hussey, no run, short of a length outside off, Hussey sees it through to the keeper.

41.5

Steyn to Hussey, no run, fuller length on and outside off stump, pushed into the covers off the front foot.

41.6

Steyn to Hussey, no run, on the pads to end the over, Hussey turns it away with the wrists to square leg. Not the most fiery Steyn over we have seen today.

End of over 42 (3 runs) Australia 153/4

    • MEK Hussey 1 (10b)
    • MJ Clarke 79 (84b 13x4)
    • DW Steyn 11-3-20-3
    • M Morkel 9-2-37-0
42.1

Morkel to Clarke, 1 run, too short and too wide, Clarke reaches across and cuts to the deep for a single.

Round the stumps now.

42.2

Morkel to Hussey, no run, angled in from wide of the crease, Hussey stays back and nudges off the pads to square leg.

42.3

Morkel to Hussey, no run, big bounce outside off, Hussey watches the rise and stands tall and shoulders arms to keep the bat out of the way.

42.4

Morkel to Hussey, no run, pegs him back with another short ball, Hussey covers the line and defends.

42.5

Morkel to Hussey, no run, a Morne special that. Comes in from wide of the stumps, lands outside off and straightens subtly enough to beat Hussey as he defends down the straight line. It misses the edge too, and hits the thigh. Jaffa.

42.6

Morkel to Hussey, no run, ends the over with a steep bouncer, Hussey tries to get under it and clout the pull away, but it is through him in a big hurry.

End of over 43 (1 run) Australia 154/4

    • MEK Hussey 1 (15b)
    • MJ Clarke 80 (85b 13x4)
    • M Morkel 10-2-38-0
    • DW Steyn 11-3-20-3
43.1

Steyn to Clarke, FOUR, boy, Clarke is seeing the ball like a boulder rolling down the Table Mountain. Short and wide from Steyn at 144 kph, Clarke absolutely climbs on it and pulverises the ball with a cut shot that sends the ball speeding away on the double.

43.2

Steyn to Clarke, no run, fuller now, Clarke's not close to it, but still drives competently, but straight to mid-off.

43.3

Steyn to Clarke, no run, full length on 137 kph, driven off the front foot to mid-off.

43.4

Steyn to Clarke, no run, back of a length outside off at 140 kph, Clarke stays back and rises on the toes to let it go.

43.5

Steyn to Clarke, no run, short ball once more, steep climb outside off and Clarke keeps the bat well below the firing line.

43.6

Steyn to Clarke, no run, finishes with the full ball, Clarke takes the bait but doesn't fall for it. He leans out and drives into the covers.

End of over 44 (4 runs) Australia 158/4

    • MJ Clarke 84 (91b 14x4)
    • MEK Hussey 1 (15b)
    • DW Steyn 12-3-24-3
    • M Morkel 10-2-38-0
44.1

Morkel to Hussey, no run, back of a length from round the stumps, defended to the off side from the crease.

Ok, poetry haters - I am getting flooded by limericks, some of which are quite nice really. So I shall put up one every five overs.

44.2

Morkel to Hussey, no run, huge indipper, Morne gets this going from well wide of off stump, and Hussey ends up having to really tuck his tummy in and stay back as it keeps coming in.

44.3

Morkel to Hussey, OUT, and another, Hussey is gone off the inside edge. Morne's getting the ball to whistle in sharply now, and it is too good for Mr Cricket. He let the previous one go, but knew it came disconcertingly close to off stump. This time he tries to stay put on the crease and cover the bat pad gap late, but it just kept coming in. It snuck through the gap, but not before it took the inner edge, onto thigh pad. Boucher takes a good low catch. What a huge breach this, Hussey has been scoring runs by the bucket-loads in recent times.

MEK Hussey c †Boucher b Morkel 1 (25m 18b 0x4 0x6) SR: 5.55

Alex Willemyns:

"I once knew a man called Sundar
Whose job was bloody bizarre
While grown men played with bats
On brown turfy-clay mats
He would describe it to people afar"

44.4

Morkel to Haddin, no run, short and pacy outside off, climbing away steeply outside off, Haddin lets it go.

44.5

Morkel to Haddin, FOUR, what a hoick to get going. Short and wide outside off, Haddin smashes it away with cartoonish impetuosity. He stands tall, lifts one foot in the air and launches this towards third man.

44.6

Morkel to Haddin, 1 run, gets a single to end the over, which means he faces Steyn now.

End of over 45 (5 runs) Australia 163/5

    • BJ Haddin 5 (3b 1x4)
    • MJ Clarke 84 (91b 14x4)
    • M Morkel 11-2-43-1
    • DW Steyn 12-3-24-3

Three slips, Steyn to Haddin over the stumps.

45.1

Steyn to Haddin, no run, 144 kph, short of a length, buzzing away from wide of off stump. Haddin stays rooted at the crease and swishes wildly at it, but it is through him.

45.2

Steyn to Haddin, no run, Haddin is absolutely #pwned by this one, and he knows he just wasn't good enough to nick it. Pacy, on the perfect length around middle and off and then zipping away like an inebriated college student. Haddin wasn't forward, and tried driving down the line, but the ball was in a different zip code.

45.3

Steyn to Haddin, no run, tries the dream ball that zips away from leg stump, but sprays it down the leg side.

45.4

Steyn to Haddin, no run, he's caught on the crease again, gets across but not forward as he tries to cover the line. Too good, this, from Steyn.

Another wicket, and Aus are in big trouble.

45.5

Steyn to Haddin, OUT, ah well, Aus are in big trouble now. Haddin's gone, not learning the lesson from the previous two balls. Stays on the crease again as Steyn gets fuller and closer to off stump to ensure Haddin doesn't play and miss this time. Haddin obliges, gets across and thrusts the bat well in front of the body to get a big outside edge on a rather ambitious drive, into gully's hands. 300? 200 is looking miles away now.

BJ Haddin c Prince b Steyn 5 (8m 8b 1x4 0x6) SR: 62.50

Aus have lost 20 for 3 either side of tea. Steyn's made things happen, and as he tends to do, Morne has quietly stepped it up two. This is hunting in pairs, at his best.

Mitch comes out, one of the few men in this Aussies side to make a 100 in Cape Town. Here we go, Steyn's over the stumps with several slips.

45.6

Steyn to Johnson, no run, full and fast angled across Mitch, who gets across but shoulders arms.

End of over 46 (wicket maiden) Australia 163/6

    • MG Johnson 0 (1b)
    • MJ Clarke 84 (91b 14x4)
    • DW Steyn 13-4-24-4
    • M Morkel 11-2-43-1

How's Clarke going to respond to this crisis? He was going for his shots earlier, will he step it up another gear now?

46.1

Morkel to Clarke, 1 run, Morne attacks the stumps from over the stumps, Clarke works it square for a single.

Round the stumps to Mitch.

46.2

Morkel to Johnson, no run, covers the line as Morne keeps it on a length, and defends with full face to the off side.

46.3

Morkel to Johnson, no run, short of a length outside off, defended from the crease.

Four spells, a wicket in each for Steyn. Like a contract killer, comes on, does his job, and goes away.

46.4

Morkel to Johnson, 2 runs, bouncer, Mitch wants to pull but it climbs extra on him and he's aeons late on the shot and heaves it ungainly in front of square.

46.5

Morkel to Johnson, no run, that's page 1 from 'How not to play the bouncer for dummies'. Mitch stays rooted, doesn't duck, takes his eyes off the ball, holds the bat in front of his face and fends in hope. He manages to keep it down somehow.

46.6

Morkel to Johnson, FOUR, well done Mitch, he knew this was going to be full. He stayed on the crease, but was crouching low to pounce on the half-volley and flick it furiously through midwicket.

End of over 47 (7 runs) Australia 170/6

    • MG Johnson 6 (6b 1x4)
    • MJ Clarke 85 (92b 14x4)
    • M Morkel 12-2-50-1
    • DW Steyn 13-4-24-4

"Steyn's figures against Clarke: 3.2-0-20-0. Against everyone else: 9.4-4-9-4! Puts both Steyn's bowling and Clarke's batting in perspective." It does Gaurav, but he had Clarke in all sorts of trouble initially. Credit to Pup for how he's weathered it.

47.1

Steyn to Clarke, 2 runs, full ball on off stump and swerving away, Clarke drives into the covers. Not well timed, but that's positive footwork for you.

47.2

Steyn to Clarke, no run, goes to leg stump and looks to square him up, it straightens down the line and Clarke works it cautiously to the leg side.

47.3

Steyn to Clarke, 2 runs, full and wide of off stump, Clarke drives away from the body, but it doesn't seem to matter anymore, since he's middling almost everything. Amla trots across from deep point to cut off the boundary.

47.4

Steyn to Clarke, 1 run, short ball, misdirected onto the hips and Clarke glances it in pleasing fashion down to fine leg.

47.5

Steyn to Johnson, 1 leg bye, back of a length, nudged off the hips down to fine leg.

47.6

Steyn to Clarke, 2 runs, looks to york him, finishes a half volley at 134 kph on the toes and Clarke twinkles it away through midwicket for a couple.

End of over 48 (8 runs) Australia 178/6

    • MJ Clarke 92 (97b 14x4)
    • MG Johnson 6 (7b 1x4)
    • DW Steyn 14-4-31-4
    • M Morkel 12-2-50-1

Here's Thomas:

"Oh dear my limerick was wrong,
I thought Steyn would be Hussey's swansong,
But Morkel was smarter,
He sent Huss down a darter,
And poor Hussey he didn't last long."

48.1

Morkel to Johnson, no run, buzzes in back of a length from over the stumps, it takes off from there the way it does when Morne bowls, and Mitch stays out of the way.

48.2

Morkel to Johnson, no run, stays on the crease this time and plays with the angle to the leg side.

48.3

Morkel to Johnson, 2 runs, smashes the pull away, absolute swat that as a 142 kph bumper came along. Somehow, it wasn't timed as well as it seemed he would have with such a sumptuous swing. Still worth a couple.

48.4

Morkel to Johnson, no run, Morne goes wider of off stump, Mitch leans out and shoulders arms.

48.5

Morkel to Johnson, FOUR, Mitch is looking super dangerous here from SA"s point of view. Full ball, wide of off stump, inviting the poke or the push, but what does Mitch give it? The kitchen sink. He doesn't try getting close to the line, he just lashes at it and the ball takes off over the cordon.

Over the stumps now to cut the angle.

48.6

Morkel to Johnson, 2 runs, length delivery on middle and leg, Mitch flicks with hard hands, a touch uppish, but he finds the gap and gets a couple through midwicket.

End of over 49 (8 runs) Australia 186/6

    • MG Johnson 14 (13b 2x4)
    • MJ Clarke 92 (97b 14x4)
    • M Morkel 13-2-58-1
    • DW Steyn 14-4-31-4

Kallis comes back on now. Can some Saffer explain what Ukkallees means? Two slips.

49.1

Kallis to Clarke, no run, length ball seaming away as is Kallis' wont, Clarke lets it go.

49.2

Kallis to Clarke, no run, goes wider of off stump now, Clarke isn't sucked into playing at it.

49.3

Kallis to Clarke, no run, 126 kph, nips this one in off a length, and there's a huge lbw appeal as Clarke is hit on the pad Umpire Gould has been phenomenal so far today, and SA decide against reviewing his decision. Correct call too, Clarke was struck quite high as he moved into line and looked to work it around.

49.4

Kallis to Clarke, FOUR, a thing of beauty this, Clarke's flowing cover drive. Kallis goes back to the full away-swinger, Clarke leans out, gets close to the pitch and the hands then take over, just rolling through the line.

49.5

Kallis to Clarke, no run, shorter length, wide of off stump and this time Clarke lets it go through.

49.6

Kallis to Clarke, no run, finishes with a length ball on off stump, and it is punched confidently to wide mid-off.

End of over 50 (4 runs) Australia 190/6

    • MJ Clarke 96 (103b 15x4)
    • MG Johnson 14 (13b 2x4)
    • JH Kallis 4-0-25-0
    • M Morkel 13-2-58-1
  • Overs 1-50
  • Overs 51-100
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Hours of play (local time) 10:00 am start, Lunch 12.30-13.10, Tea 15.10-15.30, Close 17.30

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