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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Further tales of two Tests#2


At Durban Australia 352 ( 107.4 ov, P Hughes 115 ,S Katich 108, M Hussey 50, D Steyn 3/83) v South Africa 7/138 (57 ov, J P Duminy 73*, M Johnson 3/37, A McDonald 3/25) Test #2 Day 2

At Port of Spain England 6/546 dec (158.5 ov, A Strauss 142, P Collingwood 161, M Prior 131*) v West Indies 1/92 (19 ov) Test #5 Day 2

An extraordinary day of fluctuating fortunes in Durban saw South Africa regroup and dismiss Australia, who reached 329 before the fifth wicket fell, for 352. When the Proteas batted Mitchell Johnson took two wickets - Neil McKenzie and Hashim Amla - in his first over, and removed Graeme Smith with a broken finger in his second. Ben Hilfenhaus had A B de Villiers lbw in his third over, leaving the opposition in tatters at 3/6 (effectively 4/6 as Smith will play no further part in the match). Across both innings 9 wickets, by no means all tailenders, went down for 29 runs.

Jacques Kallis retired hurt at 56, shortly before Johnson bowled Boucher neck and crop. J P Duminy played a classy lone hand while Andrew McDonald's accuracy accounted for another three, including Kallis who was clearly out of sorts when he returned.

At the end of the day South Africa on 7/138 must have been bitterly disappointed with their batting. Yes the bowling, especially Johnson's, was very good (how long before Australia will field a spinner again?) and it's a cruel blow for any team to lose two of its top six batters injured, yet only Duminy of the fit four pulled his weight.

Scorecard

In Port of Spain England added 258 against a generally moderate West Indies attack. After Fidel Edwards, again the exception who proves the rule (or my opinion), removed Andrew Strauss, who barely added to his overnight score, for 142/271b (11x4), Paul Collingwood 161/288b (12x4) and new father Matt Prior 131*/198b (12 x 4) led the way as their team trotted to 6/546.

The West Indies collapse which England supporters must have hoped for did not eventuate. It took the fifth bowler used - Monty Panesar - to take the only wicket, with what looked to my early morning bleary eyes like a straight one which Devon Smith misread. But, as the South African bowlers showed, tomorrow is another day.

Scorecard

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