Australia in SA

Proteas fight back

2011-11-18 15:30
Dale Steyn (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - South Africa battled back in another topsy-turvy test against Australia to take eight wickets after lunch and slow the tourists' progress after their imposing 174-run opening stand at Wanderers on Friday.

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Dale Steyn found his touch to take three wickets, whilst Imran Tahir took his first two Test wickets in the same over.

Australia was 220-4 at tea, adding 51 runs for the loss of four wickets in the second session after hammering 169 for no wicket before lunch.

Openers Shane Watson and Phil Hughes, who both scored 88, dominated the morning, but Vernon Philander broke through with the wicket of Hughes.

Watson fell 18 runs later and Ricky Ponting failed again when he was lbw to Dale Steyn for a duck.

Captain Michael Clarke was out for 11 as South Africa clawed back after Australia was set to power past the Proteas' first-innings score of 266.

Earlier Australia's opening batsmen steered the visitors to 169 without loss at lunch.

Shane Watson and Phillip Hughes did exactly what was required of them in the morning session, reduce the deficit after South Africa were all out for 266 on the opening day.

Hughes was first to reach his half-century, the third of his career, off 68 balls, and Watson followed shortly afterwards with his 16th half-century, from 74 deliveries, which included nine fours and a six.

When his score was on 68, Hughes reached 1 000 runs in Test cricket, playing in his 15th Test match.

The batsmen were happy to play their shots and took their chances through the air.

Hughes was dropped on 30 but it was a difficult chance which fell to Hashim Amla at backward short-leg, off the bowling of Morne Morkel.

He also survived a caught-behind appeal, which the South Africans chose not to review, when he was on 38.

Television replays showed the ball touched the bat before the pad on its way through to the keeper.

When the hosts did choose to review an appeal for lbw, against Watson off the bowling of an absolutely adamant Imran Tahir, it turned out to be a thick inside edge.

At lunch Watson was unbeaten on 76 and Hughes on 85.

South Africa: GC Smith (captain), JA Rudolph, HM Amla, JH Kallis, AB de Villiers, AG Prince, MV Boucher (wk), VD Philander, DW Steyn, M Morkel, Imran Tahir

Australia: SR Watson, PJ Hughes, RT Ponting, MJ Clarke (captain), UT Khawaja, MEK Hussey, BJ Haddin†, MG Johnson, PM Siddle, PJ Cummins, NM Lyon

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