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Friday, March 20, 2009

Two Tests, one contest?

Australia 209 (72 ov, S Katich 55, D Steyn 4/56, P Harris 3/34) v South Africa 0/57 (14 ov): T#3 D1 at Cape Town

South Africa, despite some pre match internal rumblings about who should bat where and some bumbling in the field when Australia batted, regrouped to gain the ascendancy.

Bryce McGain replaced Marcus North, a late withdrawal, in the eleven, so Australia took the field in Cape Town with an unbalanced side. Once again in this series the opening stand proved to be a false dawn as wickets fell: 1/58, 2/59, 3/81, 4/81, with both both and vice captain making ducks. There were some modest revivals, the tail didn't wag and the South African bowling, including the oft damned with faint praise Paul Harris, kept the pressure on and prevented a major recovery by the middle and lower order. Simon Katich's 55/160b (7x4) provided a solid foundation for what turned out to be a shoddy innings structure

Imraan Khan, on debut, and Ashwell Prince, a reluctant opener if the leaks from the dressing room are even partly true, looked an experienced and effective opening pair. It didn't help that Mitchell Johnson was below his bowling best, but Australia will need to do a lot to get back into into the match.

Scorecard


There is still a contest in Cape Town, unlike in Hamilton, where India 4/278 (90.5 ov, S Tendulkar 70*, G Gambhir 72, R Dravid 66 ) are well on top against New Zealand who thanks to a brace of centuries cfrom Daniel Vettori and Jesse Ryder recovered from 6/60 to 279 ( 78.2 ov, Vettori 118/196b {14x4 2x6}, Ryder 102/ 162b {14x4}, I Sharma 4/73): T#1 D2.

Scorecard .
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