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Saturday, December 17, 2005


Other Sport - Cricket: Even Stevens at the end of Day 2

Day 2 ended much like day 1, the only difference being, the shoe was on the other foot.

South Africa was unable to take advantage of the commanding position their bowlers, especially Ntini, put them in yesterday.

South Africa could only manage to score 296, a lead of 38, before they were all bowled out by an aggresive Australian attack lead by Lee and Warne. But it could have been far worse was it not for a crucial 71 run partnership between Pollock and Boucher.

South Africa was well in control at the start of the day, but some gutsy and aggresive bowling by the Aussies, had them in heaps of trouble after lunch.

Just before tea they lost the crucial wicket of Prince, bringning in the last 2 recognized batsmen in the South African team to the crease, Boucher and Pollock. At that stage South Africa was well behind the Australian first innings total of 258, and was in serious danger of being dismissed well below the first innings target.

However, Boucher and Pollock, through a bit of luck at times it must be said, came out after tea and took the Australians on with some aggresive batting. Bracken and Warne was especially targeted, so much so that Ponting had to bring his main bowler Lee back into the attack at the expense of Bracken.

This is where Australia also made the crucial breakthrough by claiming the wicket of Pollock, who was beaten by pure pace, playing onto his stumps off the bowling of Lee ending what could have been a disasterous partnership for the home side. After the dismissal of Pollock, Boucher tried to keep the pace going, knowing that the chances of the tail enders sticking around against an attack like this, was unlikely.

This proved to be his undoing as-well, edging a delivery off Warne to hayden in the slips, when he tried to force the pace. Nevertheless, his innings was crucial in the context of the game.

South Africa ended the day probably the happier of the two sides, after they manage to claim the wicket of Hayden in the last over of the day. But it will be difficult to say who is in the driving seat at the moment, seeing that some poor bowling by Ntini in the final session, helped Australia wipe out the deficite by the end of play on the day.

Australia closed the days play on 38/1, and tomorrow the sides will start on equal footing again barr the one wicket Australia has lost.

South Africa though, will seriously need to look at their discipline. Already there was a catch dropped in Australia's second innings which could have seen Langer make his way back to the pavilion on 0. And this is not the first catch the South African fielders have dropped in this test either.

The bowlers also had better get their lines and lengths right very early on tomorrow as we saw what the Australians are capable of if they are if presented with the rubbish the South African bowlers dished up in their second innings.

The honours in the South African team belongs to the bottom order though. Not only did they put South Africa in a strong position yesterday, but through Pollock and Boucher they made sure that South Africa are still in this with a chance.

At this stage my money is on Australie though because of one factor, Warne. If South Africa fail to restrict Australia to a low target in the next day or two, Warne could prove the deciding factor on a pitch which will help him on days 4 and 5.

South Africa will need to bring their "A" game to the park tomorrow. Because tomorrow could well decide the outcome of the test match.

Match Updates - Day 2:

What seems to become almost as predictable as a NZ rugby victory, South Africa yet again managed to throw away a commanding position in the first test against Australia, because of yet another poor batting performance.

After a great opening day for South Africa in the field, Australia came back strongly on day two of the first test limiting the South African batsmen to 173/5 after 53.4 overs in the afternoon session. Having started the day in control, South Africa lost the plot with bat in hand to swing the test match in Australia’s favour again.

Apart from a De Villier’s fifty, there was nothing to write home about for the South African batsman. The first to depart was captain Smith adding only 16 runs to his overnight score. Gibbs looked to get going, only to loose his wicket yet again in the early twenties.

Jacques Rudolph disappointed with the bat only scoring 8 runs from 28 balls. Prince and Kemp looked to steady the ship a bit, but only for a short while. Kemp was deceived by a slower ball by McGrath, and going through with the drive only ended up finding the safe hands of Hodge.

Prince and Boucher are looking to build a partnership currently, with Prince showing great patience and technique. Let’s just hope these two can stay together for a while.

Follow the match live on

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

At tea, South Africa is in a spot of bother on 189/6 having lost the wicket of Ashwil Prince shortly before tea, trapped in front by Shane Warne.

The last recognised batsmen, Boucher and Pollock, are currently at the crease and will resume duty after tea.

Batsmen to come: Langevedlt, Nel and Ntini

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

Pollock and Boucher to the rescue! The two South African veterans have decided to take Australia on in their own game, and so far, they are very successful. Pollock and Boucher resumed the evening session and came out guns blazing, smashing Warne and Bracken all over the park.

SA 218/6 after 66 overs.

Run Rate: 3.3

Overs remaining in the day: 31

South Africa trail Australia's first innings total by 40 runs with 4 wickets in hand.

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

They say that fortune favours the brave, and I guess it's none more so than for these two South African batsmen. Obviously South Africa has decided to throw caution to the wind and take the Aussies on - and so far it is working.

Anything that is slightly short or a bit wide, is dispatched with in no uncertain terms. The South Africans are literally throwing the kitchen sink at anything slightly wayward.

Pollock, at almost a run a ball (30 off 32), is leading the charge, with Boucher (41 off 55), not far behind. They have hit Bracken out of the attack and Ponting was forced to bring Lee back into the attack to stem the tide.

South Africa at 256/6 after 72.2 (RR 3.54) are now only 2 runs behind the Australian first innings total with four wickets in the bank.

Warne in particular is being targeted by these two, and apart from one or two lucky escapes where the ball was edged just wide of slip, or pulled just over the mid-wicket fielders head, the South African batsman are currently doing a brilliant job at disrupting the master spinners rythm.

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

Pollock is out! After leading a great fightback with South Africa deep in trouble, Pollock unfortunately looses his wicket defending a delivery from Lee, only managing the find the inside edge of his bat and rattling into the stumps.

South Africa has now taken a lead of 6 runs with 3 wickets remaining.

SA 264/7 after 73.4 (RR 3.58)

Next man in Andre Nel

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

50 up for Boucher!

The loss of Pollock did not seem to affect Boucher as he crashes the ball into the mid-wicket fence of the bowling of Lee to bring up his 50 in style! Well played Boucher, excellent knock.

SA 269/7 (Lead 11 runs)

Boucher 51 off 62 Balls

Nel 1 off 8

Last man out: Pollock 34 off 35 balls

Still to bat: Langeveldt and Ntini

Overs remaining: 22

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

Boucher is out. After staging a brilliant fight back with Pollock, Boucher is out edging a ball of Warne's bowling brilliantly caught by and outstretched Hayden in the slips. Boucher obviously looking to take the game to the Australians with no more recognised batsmen to come, was undone by a bit of extra spin when he looked to smash Warne over the long off fence.

There is no question though, that his innings, and that of Pollocks, was extremely important for South Africa after they found themselves in a spot of bother just before tea, and might have just swung the momentum in the favour of the South Africans.

Langeveldt, the man that replaced Boucher, lasted one ball, being trapped in front for a golden duck off the bowling of Lee.

Nel and Ntini, will no doubt look to frustrate the Australians for as long as possible.

Boucher 62 off 77 balls.

SA 291/9

Lead: 33 runs

Overs remaining: 16

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

All out! After a final flurry from Ntini, scoring 12 off 10 balls, the South Africans first innings comes to and end having scored 296 after 81.2 overs, giving them a lead of 38 runs.

The last wicket to fall was that of Ntini's who fell for a short pitched ball from Lee, only managing to balloon it up in the air where it was comfortably taken by Hodge.

South Africa, being in some trouble before tea, can thank their two veterans Boucher and Pollock for staging a brave and effective comeback. The 71 run partnership enabled South Africa not only to pass Australia's score, but also put up a handy 38 run lead, giving them a slight edge.

With 13 overs still remaining in the day, Australia has a difficult little period to negotiate before the end of play on day 2. Hopefully, South Africa will come out in full attack mode, to end what has been yet another fascinating day of cricket.

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

Aided by some poor bowling the Australians are quickly closing in on the first innings lead by South Africa.

Ntini, persisting with wayward short pitched deliveries in his first over gifted Hayden 12 runs in the form of three brilliantly executed pull shots.

Australia was also gifted a life after Gibbs failed to hold on to an edge off the bowling of Pollock that could have sent Langer packing for a duck.

The South Africans had better look at their disciplines if they are to be competitive throughout this test.

23/0 after 5.4 overs (RR 4.06)

Langer 6 off 19

Hayden 16 off 16

More to follow.

** UPDATE **

Breakthroug at last!! Hayden is caught by Boucher in the fine leg region off the bowling of Langeveldt after he skied a short pitched delivery from Langeveldt for 20.

This was a much needed breakthrough in the 3rd last over of the day as Australia, through some poor bowling from Ntini, quickly erased the first innings defecit of 38 runs.

Lee was sent in as a nightwatchman and negotiated the final deliveries of the last over successfully.
Umpire calls stumps.
Match Summary end of day 2:
Australia 258 & 38/1
South Africa 296
Lead 0


They should employ you for CricInfo - much better report.
Dis vir my vreemd dat hulle volhou met Pollock as aanvangsbouler, en nie vir Nel die nuwe bal gee nie.
En hoekom kolf Ntini nou op #11?
Kan nie anders as om te dink ons het die wedstryd vandag verloor nie - Shane Warne op Dag 4/5 gaan ons kolwers oprol.
Ek stem saam met Nella vir die nuwe bal- maar Pollock en Boucher met die bat- sit nou weer 'n nuwe spin op die gesprek van Donderdag middag

Warnie- gaan lelik wees
Thanks Boertjie,

it keeps me busy at least!


dit doen nogal, net wanneer jy iemand krit, kom hulle uit met performances soos die wat ons gatte red.

boertjie ek dink more is D-Day, as ons hulle weer vroeg kan rattle het ons nog n kans, maar warne op dag 4 en 5 gaan moeilik wees. en hy het vandag 27 overs op n trot geboul!!! niks fout met sy fiksheid nie!

Kandas maak asb die kak skrif reg! die donnerse html het my goed opgedonner - of ek sal dit later maar doen.......
Ja, right.
So let's start writing that
(a) Prince is a quota selection
(b) Gibbs is a has been
(c) Kemp is only good at one-day
(d) Langeveldt should be playing B-grade cricket
(e) Warne is going to take 7/47 in the second innings.
And whilst we're at it: Let's repeat Pollock is at best a retaining bowler.
Boertjie is a racist!!!!  
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