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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Further tales of two Tests #5

Test(s) Day 4 x2

At Durban Australia 352 and 5/331 dec defeated South Africa 138 and 370 ( JKallis 93, AB de Villiers 84, P Siddle 3-61, S Katich 3-45) 2nd Test D5
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At Port of Spain England 6/546 dec and 6/237 dec (38.4 ov, K Pietersen 102, M Prior 61 ) drew with West Indies 544 and 8/114 (65.5 ov, G Swann 21-13-13-3 , J Anderson 16-7-24-3) 5th Test D5

After their stout resistance on D4 South Africa disappointed. By losing 7/126 (Graeme Smith did not bat) to an Australian attack whose key members - Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus -motivated themselves for one more hard day's persistence, they threw in the towel.

The lowest score from the Smithless top 6 was JP Duminy's 17. Yes, the Durban pitch did play a few more tricks and the quick bowlers
were well supported by occasional spinners Simon Katich and Marcus North, who took a combined 4/81 from 31.2 overs, but the Proteas, as in T1 at Jo'burg, disappointed.

Australia are now deservedly 2-0 up, something at the start of the series I wouldn't have thought possible

Scorecard .

At Port of Spain two quickfire innings,Kevin Pietersen's 102/92b (9x4, 1x6) and Matt Prior's 61/49b (8x4) propelled England to 6/237 before Andrew Strauss declared (IMO too late). This didn't leave England quite enough time to take 10 West Indies second innings wickets, well as James Anderson 16-7-24-3, Graeme Swann 21-13-13-3 and Monty Panesar 19.5-9-34-2 bowled on a pitch which turned many good length deliveries into grubbers;

Matt Prior was given the player of the match award, He certainly batted well in each innings but conceding 52 byes, not to mention some missed catches, during the match should have counted against him. Or is the modern wicketkeeper a batter first and a keeper second (or third...)?

Scorecard

Lawrence Booth in The Guardian has a report card on the England team performances in the series.
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