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

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

S Rajesh

February 13, 2014

Comments: 5 | Text size: A | A

AB de Villiers was the only South Africa batsman to resist, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 2nd day, February 13, 2014
AB de Villiers was the only South Africa batsman to show any sort of control © Getty Images

  • 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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Posted by   on (February 14, 2014, 5:40 GMT)

I like these 'in-control' stats. Definitely a much needed innovation. How long have these been recorded for?

Posted by Sir_Francis on (February 14, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

De Villiers is turning into a bit of a Gilchrist.

Also in Smith's last 12 innings were 4 scores below 8! So if he gets to 8 Watchout! 50/50 chance of a ton.

Posted by jonty129 on (February 14, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

AB, Pretoria boytjie!!! Hope he can get a 50 in the next match, deserves the record! Really a class batsman, coming off a rest period after surgery on his hand and still the best SA batsman on the field. Amazing. It is going to be tough today for the proteas, but AB has the class to get us close, if he gets some support.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 13, 2014, 19:37 GMT)

@atheros1672 He's definitely the best batsman in the world, anyone who doesn't think so is either kidding themselves or doesn't know much about cricket. The second best is debatable depending on what you like and where you come from, though. That said, he needs someone to hang around with him so he can score the runs now that SA are at 140-6. No matter how I slice it I can't see Peterson and the rest hanging around past lunch tomorrow. I'll be pretty surprised if SA can get past 250 even if AB carries his bat, but at least if they do that AB will make a century. I think he deserves one.

Posted by atheros1672 on (February 13, 2014, 17:59 GMT)

ABDV is a champion!!!!!!!!! no other words to describe him

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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