Friday, November 23, 2012
Australia's batting juggernaut hammers weak South African attack: T2D1
Australia 5/482 (86.5 ov, Clarke 224*, Warner 119, Hussey 103) v South Africa; T2/2 D1/5 at Adelaide.
A very good (and typical).Adelaide cricket season day, sunny and temperature in upper 20s.
The Oval surrounds are, because of redevelopment construction, far from typical, though the playing area, notwithstanding some downsizing as part of the redevelopment, looked (and turned out to be) its usual billiard table self.
So when Michael Clarke won the toss it followed that Australia would bat. And bat rhey did, recovering aggressively from the loss of three early wickets and taking advantage of South Africa's bowling injury woes (Vernon Philander, out before the toss, and Jacques Kallis, 2/19 before he was sidelined in the first session) and ineptitude to post a huge 5/482.
David Warner 119/112b (4x6, 16x4) made the early running with a characteristic innings, then Clarke 224*/ 243b (1x6, 39x4) and Mike Hussey 103/ 137b (4x6, 9x4) kept the ball rolling to all parts of the ground.
3/55 became 3/102 at lunch before some hard to fathom bowling changes (none involving Dale Steyn) helped open the floodgates: 108 runs from 12.2 overs in the first hour, 178 from 26 for the session. And then another 202 from 35.5 in the long final session.
So much for the stats. While each of the three century makers had a little bit of good fortune in addition to the weakened opposition attack, their batting was superb. Each of us who were present would have some special memories of the many to choose from. For me it was Clarke hitting five fours from one Morne Morkel over: most of them beautifully and classically driven along the ground.
For supporters of Australia and cricket lovers in general, a day to remember. For South African supporters, a day, if not to forget, at least to hope that there is no repetition, or anything approaching it, for the rest of this brief series (and beyond).