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Monday, March 23, 2009

Johnson's heroics not enough to conceal Australia's weaknesses

At Cape Town South Africa 651 defeated Australia 209 and 422 (M Johnson 123*, A McDonald 68, S Katich 54, P Harris 6/127) by an innings and 20 runs: T#3 D5.

After D1 the game never looked like going down to either the wire or D5: on D4 the chief statistical interest was whether Australia could avoid an innings defeat.

It didn't, despite Mitchell Johnson's impressive, though on the evidence of his recent batting not entirely unexpected, 123*/ 103b [11x4, 5x6].

Andrew McDonald's 68/99b [8x4] at last demonstrated that he can score runs at top level (though his hitherto stronger suit- bowling - didn't take many tricks in this match). Paul Harris kept plugging away and, in contrast to Australia, there were really weak links in the attack. 422 was a creditable fourth innings performance, but there are several questions (most notably whether the eleven needs a specialist spin bowler) which need to be confronted and ideally answered, before the Ashes series.

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