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Cricket | SA Team

Aus believe victory is possible - Wade

Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade insisted after an extraordinary day at the WACA ground in Perth on Saturday that Australia still harboured hopes of victory despite a day of staggeringly one sided cricket in favour of the Proteas.

Australia resumed on 33 for two and lost their last eight wickets for just 130 runs to concede a first-innings deficit of 62 before watching helplessly as South Africa reached a breathtaking 230 for two in just 38 overs at the close of play.

“It was not an ideal day,” Wade said, breaking new ground in the use of understatement. “We had high hopes at the start of the day but it’s a new ball wicket and they bowled very well in the first session. We nicked a lot of balls which we’ve missed in the series so far,” Wade said.

As for the final session, in which South Africa scored a barely credible 206 runs on the back of a stunning second-wicket partnership of 178 between Graeme Smith (84) and Hashim Amla who finished the day unbeaten on 99 from just 84 balls, Wade was straightforward:

“We didn’t bowl well enough, to be honest. Two very good players took the game to us, walking across their stumps, taking risks and batting at one-day pace…fortune favours the brave.

“But we don’t feel like the series is slipping away -- we have outplayed them for seven days, and now we’ve had two bad sessions. We know we are going to be chasing a pretty big total on day four, but that will be the best day for batting, and they only have three quick bowlers. We know our best chance is make Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander bowl as many overs as possible to take the sting out of them.”

South Africa’s successful pursuit of a victory target of 414 four years ago has, ironically, given the home side a belief that they can do the same -- or something similar.

“Absolutely -- the wicket is getting better every single day. We will have to scrap hard to take the final eight wickets and then just chase the runs, whether it’s 300, 400 or 500. We have to chase anything. Whatever they set, we have to chase to win the series and the test match.”

South Africa lead by 292 runs after the second day with Amla on 99 and Jacques Kallis on 17.


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