2 x First Test(s), Day 1
At Johannesburg: Australia 5/254 (68 ov, R Ponting 83, M Clarke 68, M North 47*, B Haddin 37*, D Steyn 3/82) v South Africa
At Bridgetown: England 3/301 (90 ov, A Strauss 142, A Cook 94) v West Indies
It was a long night's viewing for insomniac cricket tragics in these parts. I didn't make it much beyond the early close of play in Jo'burg. This produced the more even contest, despite being curtailed by slow over rates and, eventually, bad light.
Australia won the toss, batted , faltered though recovered first through Ricky Ponting 83/134b and Michael Clarke 68/90b, then debutant Marcus North 47*/90b and Brad Haddin 37*/48b.
Tightly as the South Africans bowled, they'd probably feel that they failed to capitalise on the good start of 3/38.
The radio commentators thought that 350 would be a good score on this wicket, and the track record of The Wanderers ground supports them. 350 is still not beyond Australia, especially if North and Haddin, with support from the others, can continue to bat as they did today.
No excuses for not watching attentively tonight!
In Barbados, where the conditions permitted the full 90 overs quota to be bowled, an opening partnership of 229 between Andrew Strauss 142/210b (18x4, 1x6) and Alistair Cook 94/187b (9x4, 1 x6), put England on top.
If the West Indies can claw their way back into the match in the first session I'll try to stay awake a little longer than I did last night.