SA secure battling draw
South Africa were made to endure a few nervy moments before securing a battling draw against Australia on the fifth day of the first test at the Brisbane Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
Full Scorecard: Australia v South Africa
Australia had declared their first innings closed on 565 for five, an hour before lunch, with Michael Clarke unbeaten on 259 off 398 balls with 26 fours, the highest test score at the Gabba, giving Australia an overall lead of 115.
The Proteas then made their way to 166 for five in their second innings with Jacques Kallis top scoring with 49 as the tourists eked out a 51-run lead.
South Africa were essentially six wickets down with JP Duminy unable to bat due to injury and Australia were kept interested in pulling off an unlikely win as the tourists lost wickets at regular intervals but eventually AB de Villiers, with 29 not out off 114 balls, ensured the match ended in a draw.
Proteas skipper Graeme Smith said he was pleased with the way his team had come through a sometimes tense final day.
“Credit to Michael Clarke and the way his team batted. They put us under a little bit of pressure on the last day but it was nice to come through that,” Smith said after the match.
“We never really matched up on the fourth day which was disappointing in terms of skills. We have got a little bit of work to do. The first test was always going to be a challenge for us but I think we came through it and hopefully we can move on to Adelaide and put in a better performance,” he added.
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Smith’s counterpart Clarke was pleased with the way his team had fought back in the match but conceded that they were not the finished article just yet.
“Overall it was a very good performance from us, especially after the first day. I thought we fought back really well with the bat and with the ball in their second innings,” he said.
“I think we can take a lot of positives out of the last couple of days. To get their top order out today on a flat pitch is a real positive going to Adelaide but we still have some work to do.”
The early part of the day had belonged exclusively to the hosts as Clarke and Michael Hussey took their fifty-wicket stand to 228 off 45.3 overs.
Hussey brought up his 17th test century off just 128 deliveries but Hussey departed one ball later when he was caught at short cover off a Morne Morkel delivery.
Clarke reached 250 off 391 balls while his entire innings included 13 fours while Matthew Wade weighed in with 19 not out to hasten Clarke’s early declaration.
Morkel ended the innings with 3-127.
South Africa’s innings did not get off to the best of starts when Alviro Petersen (5) wafted at a wide delivery from paceman James Pattinson to send an outside edge through to keeper Wade.
But Graeme Smith (23) and Hashim Amla (38) put on a second-wicket partnership of 49 runs although Amla did enjoy a life when, with his score on seven, he was bowled a Pattinson no-ball, the fourth wicket to ‘fall’ to a no-ball during the match.
Smith departed after lunch after he was roughed up by Pattinson before the left-handed batsman drove loosely to a wide delivery with Rob Quiney taking a good tumbling catch in the gully.
Amla then fell in slightly soft fashion when he drove a delivery from fast bowler Peter Siddle straight to Mike Hussey at short cover as South Africa took tea on 114 for three.
Kallis had looked in fine touch as he struck five fours and a six during his 91 ball innings before he edged a delivery from off-spinner Nathan Lyon to first slip. Lyon then trapped Jacques Rudolph (11) leg-before to cause a few flutters in the Proteas’ change room before De Villiers and Vernon Philander (1) shut up shop.
Pattinson bowled with good pace and aggression to finish with 2-58 while Lyon finished with 2-41.
The second test starts in Adelaide on November 22.
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AUSTRALIA - Ed Cowan, David Warner, Rob Quiney, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade (wk), Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon.
SOUTH AFRICA - Graeme Smith (capt), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wk), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel.