1st Test, Day 2: South Africa vs Australia - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau
South Africa, 1st innings:
Over 43.3 || Score 140/6
Rain stopped play on Day 2: The hosts are in a precarious position after the Australians dominated the second day as well. Mitchell Johnson was the man who once again impressed with his fearsome pace and the Proteas were on the back foot, the moment he scalped three wickets from his first three overs. AB is unbeaten at the crease and he remains to be the only hope for the home team, as they still trail by 257 runs with four wickets in hand.
AB de Villiers 52* (94b) Robin Peterson 10* (19b)
Over 40 || Score 130/6
After bowling a brilliant spell, Johnson took an excellent catch at wide of mid-off to dismiss JP Duminy. The wicket came off when Duminy charged down the wicket and mistimed a flighted delivery from Nathan Lyon, straight towards mid-off where Johnson ran to his left from the cover region and held on to the catch, despite losing his balance while doing so. Duminy once again failed to capitalise on a good start. His wicket also ended the 67-run stand with AB. Ryan McLaren came next and added 16 runs with de Villiers, before being bowled by Mitchell Johnson who is one wicket short of another five-wicket haul. AB's wicket is now a key one for both the teams as South Africa trail by 267 runs with just four wickets in hand.
R McLaren b Johnson 8 (33b)
JP Duminy c Johnson b Lyon 25 (48b)
Over 30 || Score 106/4
AB and Duminy are trying their best to add a significant fifth-wicket partnership for the hosts. They have had some respite as Mitchell Johnson was rested for a while by Clarke as these two managed to score some runs against the other pacers. Nathan Lyon has been brought into the attack and this partnership is now worth 63 runs.
AB de Villiers 41* (70b) JP Duminy 21* (43b)
Over 20 || Score 75/4
Peter Siddle picked the fourth wicket of the match when he caught Hashim Amla trapped in front of the wicket, but the massive appeal was refused by the umpire. Michael Clarke went for the review and the decision turned in Australia's favour. Since then, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy have added unbeaten 32 runs for the fifth wicket. Just like Australia, even the hosts have lost their four wickets with not much runs on the board. It is yet to be seen whether these two gentlemen can steady the ship with a much-needed partnership.
HM Amla lbw b Siddle 17 (42b)
Over 10 || Score 37/3
Mitchell Johnson has once again bowled a brilliant spell where the has picked all the three wickets which have fallen for South Africa. Johnson struck off the fourth ball of his first over where he banged a quick short delivery, Smith edged it and Marsh ran backward from slips to take a good catch. Petersen and du Plessis were the next two batsmen dismissed by MJ, and the Aussies are now in total command of the game. Amla and AB de Villiers are at the crease and South Africa would expect a huge partnership from them now, something similar to the one stitched between Smith and Marsh. Johnson is on fire and he seems to be hungry for more wickets!
F du Plessis c Clarke b Johnson 3 (5b)
AN Petersen c Haddin b Johnson 2 (12b)
GC Smith c Marsh b Johnson 10 (8b)
Australia, 1st innings:
Over 122|| Score 397/10
Australia began the day on 297/3 and have been bundled out for 397 runs. They would be very happy with this total considering they were 98/4 at one stage. That record 233-run partnership between Shaun Marsh and Steven Smith did most of the damage to the hosts. Now Clarke would want his pacers to pick some quick wickets, following which the visitors would be in total command of the game.
PM Siddle b Steyn 2 (11b)
MG Johnson b Peterson 33 (54b)
RJ Harris b Steyn 19 (31b)
Day 2 – Lunch
Over 116 || Score 374/7
In yet another enthralling day of Test cricket, South Africa returned in the match with three vital wickets, including those of overnight batsmen – Shaun Marsh and Steve Smith and the experienced Brad Haddin for a nought.
By the lunch, Aussies – riding on two centuries from Marsh and Smith, have reached 374 for the lost of seven wickets. In the centre, Ashes hero Mitchell Johnson was going steadily on 28 with his bowling partner, Ryan Harris.
For the Proteas, Dale Steyn continued to bowl superbly, though without further success while Vernon Philander finally tasted success with the wicket of Marsh. Ryan McLaren and Robin Peterson also got amongst the wickets.
Smith c Petersen b McLaren 100 (288m)
Haddin lbw Peterson 0 (7m)
Marsh c Smith b Philander 148 (428m)
It was a great day for the Aussies as Shaun Marsh and Steven Smith played two gutsy knocks for the visitors and steadied the ship after their team had lost the first four wicket with just 98 runs on the board.
Shaun Marsh reached his second Test ton, an effort Michael Clarke would be extremely proud of as the left-hander wasn`t in the playing eleven, and was included in the squad only after an injured Shane Watson missed the first Test. Marsh came to bat at number four and played convincing shots and tackled the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander with ease.
Steven Smith on the other hand is slowly turning into a very reliable batsman for the Aussies. Smith had scored two centuries against England in the recently concluded series and is on his way to score another ton, which would be his fourth in Test matches.