2nd Test, Day 1: South Africa vs Australia – AS IT HAPPENED
Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava
Port Elizabeth: Live updates from Day 1 of the 2nd Test between South Africa and Australia being played at at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth.
South Africa, 1st innings:
Over 83|| Score 214/5
Stumps: South Africa made a strong comeback from a poor start, as Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis batted extremely well to add 112-run partnership for the third wicket. South Africa would have been in dire straits had these two not batted out of their skins. Australia too made a comeback as they broke the century-stand and followed it with the wicket of Quinton de Kock who couldn't do much on his debut. AB is unbeaten on 51, and like he has done on so many occasions in the past, he once again has the onus of getting his team to a respectable total.
Q de Kock c sub (MC Henriques) b Smith 7 (17b)
Over 70 || Score 181/4
After doing all the hard work, Dean Elgar finally played a loose stroke where he attempted to hit Lyon over long-on yet again, but mistimed it towards mid-off as the ball was pitched outside off. It has been a superb innings from Elgar, and he would be devastated after being dismissed in that fashion. Quinton de Kock is the new man in, and if he can just play the role of a supporter at the other end, AB de Villiers would be more than happy.
D Elgar c Harris b Lyon 83 (193b)
Over 65 || Score 172/3
Elgar and AB continue the good work. While there was enough grass left on the pitch, it has been one of those rare days when Johnson hasn't been able impactful with his short deliveries. Having said that, Elgar has batted brilliantly and senior players like AB and Smith would be very proud of that innings from the left-hander. The fourth-wicket partnership is now worth 49 runs.
Dean Elgar 76* (176b) Faf du Plessis 13* (49b)
Over 57 || Score 145/3
Tea: South Africa lost one wicket in that session and they have managed to put a strong reply after they lost those two quick wickets. Dean Elgar has won quite a few hearts today and AB is South Africa's most established batsman, of late. This partnership is now worth 22 runs and Michael Clarke probably needs to remind his pacers, how good have they been over the last few months, to get a few more wickets today.
Dean Elgar 61* (146b) AB de Villiers 13* (49b)
Over 50 || Score 130/3
Australia finally got their third breakthrough when Faf du Plessis played a loose stroke off Nathan Lyon and was dismissed for 55. Du Plessis was looking to turn the ball towards midwicket, but only managed an edge that was caught at short leg by Steven Smith. It was a soft dismissal just after drinks and it also ended the 112-run stand for the third wicket between du Plessis and Elgar. AB de Villiers is the new man in and he would himself look to add another partnership with Dean Elgar, who is now looking comfortable at the crease.
F du Plessis c Smith b Lyon 55 (126b )
Over 40 || Score 107/2
Faf du Plessis scored two boundaries from three balls off Mitchell Johnson to reach his half-century. These two have put a brilliant fightback from South Africa after they got off to a disastrous start. The duo is complementing each other well, and it isn't as if they aren't going for their strokes. Michael Clarke is tryng his best to break the partnerships with unique field settings, but this has been a superb display of concentration from these two batsmen. They are just four runs short of a century stand for the third wicket.
Dean Elgar 39* (102b) Faf du Plessis 53* (117b)
Over 35 || Score 93/2
Australia continue to search for their third wicket as Dean Elgar and du Plessis continue to impress with their resilience. Elgar smashed Lyon down the ground for a six in the 35th over of the innings, and every now and then, the left-hander has made sure to prove a point with some quality strokes. This partnership is now worth 82 runs – a good one for the home team.
Dean Elgar 37* (96b) Faf du Plessis 41* (93b)
Over 27|| Score 64/2
Lunch: Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar have batted extremely well so far and they have avoided any further damage. Elgar has faced a few bouncers on his body, but has done the job for his side. Du Plessis on the other hand has looked unperturbed against Australia's quality pace attack. The partnership is now worth 53 runs – precious one for the home team.
Dean Elgar 23* (68b) Faf du Plessis 26* (73b)
Over 15 || Score 34/2
After losing two quick wickets, Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar have steadied the ship to some extent. These two have added 23 runs for the third-wicket partnership. South Africa definitely would want these two, to stitch a big partnership.
Over 5.3 || Score 11/2
No no. Mitchell Johnson wants his share of wickets.
It's two LBWs in two overs for Australia. This time, the reverend Hashim Amla.
The second ball he faced from Johnson, it straightened from the leg, caught in the crease by a really fast delivery.
This is wicket no. 13 for the Aussie destroyer in this tour.
Hashim Amla lbw b Mitchell Johnson 0 (3m )
Over 5 || Score 10/1
After a quite start to the match at St George's Park, the usual favourites – the Aussies drew first blood, in the form of South African skipper, Graeme Smith.
Yea, it's Harris who has done the damaged, not Johnson – for a change.
Plumb! So, this summed up the pitiful little short stay for Smith.
Graeme Smith lbw b Ryan Harris 9 (23m)
South Africa have won the toss and will bat first.
Big news is de Kock, who impressed everyone with his batting in the ODIs during India's recent tour, is making his Test debut for South Africa.
Here are the teams:
South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, F du Plessis, AB de Villiers (wk), Q de Kock, JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel
Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Alex Doolan, Shaun Marsh, Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon
Port Elizabeth: Australia`s tour of South Africa is only one Test match old. But the hosts have their backs against the wall. Thanks to a person named, Mitchell Johnson.
However, with their numero uno status under threat, South Africans will come all out to win the second match against the visitors at Port Elizabeth starting Thursday.
According to Proteas` skipper Graeme Smith, `his team-mates have a lot of reference points in terms of confidence and performances to fall back on.` But, in the presence of Johnson – in his fiery best, South African`s will need much more than mere reference points.
In the first match, which Australians won emphatically by a margin of 281-run in Centurion, Johnson returned with a career-best figure scalping 12 wickets, including a Smith double.
Besides his continuing wicket-taking form, the left-armer also showed an awe-inspiring performance for his team-mates to accept any challenge that the hosts could throw at them.
If Johnson`s riveting performance uplifted the entire Aussie camp, the same has bruised the South Africans, literally. In one of his menacing spells, Ryan McLaren was reduced to a street-cricketer, having pulsed in the ears, with blood and all. Even the seasoned and more respected Hashim Amla wasn`t spared. Body blows have become a norm.
So, to put an end to that rather lengthy Johnson narrative, South Africans will need a hero or two in their own ranks.
That`s where the South African bowlers will have a decisive say. Dale Steyn, with his under-studies in Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, can script their own story.
Given the background, the match at St George`s Park could throw-up many a surprises. Besides their pace batteries, both the teams have batsmen who can dictate terms.
AB de Villiers, ranked no. 1 in the world would surely love to prove a knock or two of importance against the Aussies. Along with Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla, this South African batting line-up can thwart any attack.
For the Aussies, Shaun Marsh and Alex Doolan have been the revelation of the tour so far. And with a probable sturdy innings from Clarke himself, Aussies can be handy with the bat too.