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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bowlers keep South Africa in with a (slight) chance T2D3

Australia 550 & 5/111 (32 ov, Warner 41, Kleinveldt 3/14) lead South Africa 388 (124.3 ov, Smith 122, du Plessis 78, Kallis 58, Petersen 54, Hilfenhaus 3/49) by 273 runs with five 2nd inns wkts in hand: T2/3 D3/5 at Adelaide

While Graeme Smith 122/ 244b (14x4) didn't add much to his overnight score,  Faf du Plessis 78/159b (1x6, 13x4) on debut and, coming in at no9, the injured Jacques Kallis 58/93b (1x6, 10x4) kept the tenacious Australian attack at bay long enough to post what was, after 7/250 at one point, a respectable but, after the overnight expectations of 2/217, a disappointing score.

Ed Cowan and David Warner's 77 opening stand looked to be taking the game beyond the Proteas, but then Rory Kleinveldt 6-1-14-3 struck against the brittle top order, leaving Michael Clarke 9* and Mike Hussey * to attempt yet again to give Australia a goodish (read 350+) lead. After an unconvincing 16, Ricky Ponting's tenure in the side will be questioned again  (and even I am wondering whether his place can be justified) .

On paper Australia are still in the better position. They have runs on the board and South Africa have to bat last on a wearing Adelaide Oval wicket.

While both sides are a bowler short, with two days left to play a draw seems the least likely outcome and an Australian win the most.

Scorecard .
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