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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Steyn leads South African charge, while Clarke prevents Australian rout: T1D1

Australia 8/214 (55ov, M Clarke 107*, D Steyn 4/31, V Philander 3/54) v South Africa: T1 D1 at Newlands (aka Sahara) Cape Town. South Africa won toss and chose to field.

Michael Clarke's 107*/ 114b (17x4) has kept Australia in the match on a first day abridged by   weather, umpiring prissiness and infrastructure failure..

The experienced Dale Steyn and newcomer Vernon Philander made good use of English-type conditions to dispose of the openers (Phil Hughes alas looking out of his depth) and Ricky Ponting, whose brief 8/25b (1x6) combined, as the stats suggest,  uncertainty with a dash of belligerence.

3/40 vindicated Graeme Smith's decision to send Australia in (Clarke said he'd have batted). The increasingly fluent and, given his ODI reputation, surprisingly aggressive Clarke with the more resolute Sean Marsh held the South African attack at bay for long enough to add some respectability (and 103 runs). Marsh, Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin left while only 20 runs were added as the South African attack, an increasingly thickset and jowly Jacques Kallis excepted, applied enough pressure and skill to take the day's honours.

Well as Steyn 14-4-31-4 bowled Clarke's masterly captain's  innings was the highlight of the day. It has kept Australia in the match...but not on top.

Reserve your seat on the couch (or at the bar) for what should be another very good day of Test cricket. If you, like me, can't last the Australian time night Foxtel is showing good highlights in the morning. If all else fails checkout the web highlights  here

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