South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 2nd day February 13, 2014

Marsh's high and de Villiers' control

Stats highlights from the second day in Centurion, when Australia's bowlers backed up the good work done by their batsmen on the opening day

  • The 233-run partnership between Shaun Marsh and Steven Smith was the third-best for any wicket in Tests in Centurion. The only higher ones are 301 by Herchelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith against West Indies in 2004, and 271 by Mark Boucher and Ashwell Prince for the sixth wicket against Bangladesh in 2008. In fact, the Marsh-Smith stand is the first 200-plus stand at this ground by an overseas pair; the previous-best was 183, by Jacob Oram and Daniel Vettori in 2006.

  • This was also the third-highest fifth-wicket stand for Australia against South Africa in Tests. The highest remains 385, by Greg Blewett and Steve Waugh, in Johannesburg in 1997.

  • Marsh's 148 is his highest Test score and the third-best by an Australia No. 4 batsman in Tests against South Africa. The only higher ones are 190, by Neil Harvey in Sydney in 1953, and 164, by Warren Bardsley at Lord's in the Triangular Tournament in 1912. Australia's previous-best at this position since South Africa's return to the Test fold had been Mark Waugh's 116 at Port Elizabeth in 1997.

  • Smith's century is his fourth in his last seven Tests. During this period he averages 57.20 from 12 innings, and has converted each of his 50-plus scores into centuries. During the first 22 innings of his Test career, he averaged 29.52 and converted none of his five 50-plus scores into centuries.

  • In eight innings during the Ashes in Australia, Brad Haddin scored 493 runs at an average of 61.62, with one century and five fifties; in his last eight Test innings in South Africa, Haddin has scored 141 runs at an average of 17.62, with a highest of 55.

  • In the South Africa innings, AB de Villiers was the only batsmen who had a measure of Australia's pace attack and it showed in his in-control stats. Through his entire innings, his in-control figure - the percentage of deliveries he middled or left alone - was an impressive 95%; for the rest of the South Africa batsmen, it was only 82%.

  • South Africa's bowlers were more incisive, too, on the second day and troubled the overnight batsmen more than they had on the opening day. Smith's in-control factor, which had been 97% on the first day, dropped to 86% on the second, while Marsh's fell marginally from 91% to 89%.

  • Ryan Harris is the only Australia bowler who hasn't taken a wicket so far but that isn't necessarily a reflection of the way he has bowled. The batsmen's in-control percentage against him on the second day was only 79%, which means 21% of the deliveries were edged, mistimed, or beat the bat. For Mitchell Johnson, the percentage was 82.

  • De Villiers has topped 50 eight times in 15 Test innings at the SuperSport Park, and averages 65.57; it's the only home venue where he averages more than 50. His aggregate of 918 at the ground is the second-highest, after Jacques Kallis' 1267.

  • In his last 11 Tests, dating back to the Perth Test against Australia in November 2012, de Villiers has scored at least a half-century in every match, which equals the world record for 50-plus scores in successive Tests. Viv Richards, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag are the others who have scored at least a half-century in 11 successive Test matches. (Click here for the full list, which doesn't include the ongoing Test.)

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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