South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Centurion, 3rd day February 14, 2014

Warner's second-innings heroics

Stats highlights from the third day in Centurion, where Mitchell Johnson and David Warner further drove home Australia's advantage

  • There have been only four totals of more than 200 in the fourth innings of Tests in Centurion, with the highest of those being 251 for 8 by England in 2000. However, that was an unusual Test match, in that both teams forfeited an innings each, so the fourth innings was actually the second innings of the Test. In a regular Test, the highest fourth-innings score here is 228 for 9 by England, again, as they held on to a draw in 2009. South Africa's highest is 226 for 4 against Sri Lanka in 1998, in a Test in which Hansie Cronje swept Muttiah Muralitharan to distraction, scoring 82 off 63 balls, after Murali had threatened to run through the side. Given the uneven bounce that's already on view here, South Africa's only hope of saving the Test seems to be the weather.

  • The day was dominated by two Australia performances: Mitchell Johnson's 7 for 68, and David Warner's 115 and his double-century stand with debutant Alex Doolan. Johnson took seven or more for the third time in his Test career, after his 7 for 40 against England in Adelaide last year and 8 for 61 against South Africa in Perth in 2009, in a Test Australia ended up losing. Only seven fast bowlers have taken seven or more in an innings more often in Test cricket.

  • Since the beginning of the Ashes series in Australia, Johnson has taken 44 wickets at 13.29. Twenty-six of those wickets have been left-hand batsmen, at an average of 9.88 and a strike rate of 21 balls per wicket; against right-handers he has averaged 16.94, at a strike rate of 38.

  • The only South Africa batsman who resisted the Australia bowlers was AB de Villiers, who scored 91. It was a record-equalling 11th successive Test in which he scored at least a half-century. Not only did he score so many, he also looked by far the most comfortable batsman against Australia's pace attack, achieving an in-control percentage - the percentage of deliveries he middled or left alone - of 95%. The other South Africa batsmen in the top six had a collective in-control of 81%.

  • Australia finished with a first-innings lead of 191 and, when they came out to bat, Warner ensured that there would be no repeat of Cape Town 2011, when Australia were bowled out for 47 in their second innings and lost the Test despite taking a first-innings lead of 188. Warner's century was his sixth in Tests and his fourth in the team's second innings. Unlike most batsmen, Warner has been more prolific in the second innings than in the first, averaging 48.28 in the second innings, compared to 37.03 in the first. In the last year the difference has been even more stark: in 13 Tests, he averages 54.83 in the second innings, with three hundreds, and 25.00 in the first, with no centuries. In the 2013-14 Ashes series, Warner was dominant in the second innings too, scoring hundreds in Brisbane and Perth, but managed only one half-century in the first innings.

  • Doolan fell within 11 runs on a century on debut but his 89 was the third-highest by an Australian debutant at No. 3, behind Shaun Marsh's 141 against Sri Lanka in 2011 and Bill Ponsford's 110 against England in 1924.

  • Warner and Doolan added 205, Australia's fourth-highest for the second wicket against South Africa, and their best since South Africa's readmission into international cricket, surpassing Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting's 201-run stand in Durban in 2006. It was also Australia's fifth-best against any opposition after they had lost their first wicket at 0 or 1.

  • Australia have had two double-century partnerships in this Test - Marsh and Steven Smith had added 233 in their first innings. It's only the second instance of two double-century stands for Australia in a Test against South Africa: at the Gabba in 2012, they had two such partnerships in the drawn Test.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mick on February 15, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    Great that Warner has intent but he should know he doesn't have to score many runs in the first over like a T20. I would like to see Warner just go a little softer at the start. Australia need reliable batsmen right now, rather than chancy 2nd innings bullies. Its a massive gamble for Australia not to have a major fifth bowling option like Watson or Faulkner. If Ryno or Mitch should break down mid match, serious problems. So who can be dropped to make way for Watto? It won't be Warner. My preferred team: Warner, Rogers or Marsh, Doolan, Clarke, Smith, Watson, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Lyon, Siddle. That's right Lyon promoted to No. 10 (he hasn't been dismissed for some time).

  • Dummy4 on February 15, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Better than Laxman ofcourse

  • Dummy4 on February 15, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    @ MrKricket: it is very clearly written, they are talking about 7 or more wickets taken by 'fast' bowlers, hence no spinners in that list, so no Murali. Please read carefully before pointing it out.

  • Dummy4 on February 15, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    @MrKricket, the article specifies fast bowlers. I'm sure Mr Warne would be on the list too, otherwise.

  • Warks on February 15, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    The list of bowlers taking 7 or more wickets in an innings the most times has left out the guy at the top - Murali! 11 times he took 7 or more. Couldn't believe it wasn't there.

  • Xiong on February 15, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    @Chris_Howard Sounds like you think Aus bowling is not going to have any effect on the SA batting... Bought into the AB spiel about playing Johnson have we?

  • Chris on February 15, 2014, 1:17 GMT

    @dabbadubba Yup, in fact, that looks to be the Aussie way now. Fail in the first innings, except for one or two guys; bowl well; then pummel with the bat a dispirited side.

    It's working, but it's only going to take one decent batting performance by the opposition for it to all fall apart.

    I said before this series it would be won or lost on RSA's batting. It still looks that way.

  • Dummy4 on February 14, 2014, 23:58 GMT

    @dabbadubba : *Cough* Hobart *cough*

  • kieran on February 14, 2014, 21:21 GMT

    @ dabbadubba, you're wrong, one of those 2nd innings hundreds was in the 4th innings where he carrier his bat on a green seamer when Aus were in trouble. In my opinion 2nd (4th) innings runs are just as important, the team is either trying to push for victory or dig themselves out of trouble. It seems Warner revels in those situations.

  • Henry on February 14, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    In the pantheon of Test bowlers, Mitch has now joined Michael Holding on 249 wickets and, of the Australians, moved past Garth McKenzie & Richie Benaud to become the #7 Aussie behind Jason Gillespie.

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