Australia in SA

Clarke leads Aussie fightback

2011-11-09 16:31
Michael Clarke (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Australian captain Michael Clarke hit an aggressive half-century as his team fought back after a poor start on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at Newlands here on Wednesday.

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Australia were 143 for four at tea with Clarke on 74 not out. They crashed to 40 for three after being sent in to bat before Clarke was the dominant partner in a fourth wicket stand of 103 with Shaun Marsh (44).

Fast bowler Dale Steyn claimed the wickets of Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting, while new cap Vernon Philander had Phil Hughes caught behind as Australia struggled in seam friendly conditions after rain delayed the start by almost two hours.

Steyn dismissed Marsh with the first ball of his third spell when he was called back for what proved to be the last over before tea. He had figures of three for 17 in ten overs.

Clarke was given a torrid time by Steyn at the start of his innings before launching a counter attack when Steyn was replaced by Jacques Kallis.

The Australian captain scored 40 of the runs as the stand with Marsh became worth 50, reached 5000 runs in Test cricket when his score was on 44, and hurried to his fifty off only 56 balls with nine fours.

By tea he had faced 77 deliveries and hit 13 boundaries.

The left-handed Marsh was tested with some short-pitched bowling early on but remained unruffled, collecting runs when the bowlers strayed in line or length in a 101-ball innings which included eight fours.

Marsh was trapped on his crease and given out by umpire Ian Gould. He asked for a review but it confirmed that Gould was right.

Earlier, South Africa successfully sought a review when Ponting was given not out against Steyn by umpire Billy Doctrove.

South Africa also had an unsuccessful review when Gould gave Marsh not out on 28 against Philander.

Philander, 26, was one of two new caps, with South Africa also selecting Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir, 32. Tahir did not look threatening in his six overs, conceding 26 runs.


South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Jacques Rudolph, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher (wk), Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

Australia: Shane Watson, Philip Hughes, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (captain), Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon


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