Adelaide - Graeme Smith’s 26th
Test century capped a day of remarkable comeback cricket on the second day of
the second Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Friday with the
tourists finishing on 217-2 and the Proteas captain unbeaten on 111.
The home side resumed on the
record-breaking first day score of 482-5 with captain Michael Clarke unbeaten
on 224 and most pundits expecting a cruise to a total in excess of 600 and a
declaration sometime after lunch.
But Morne Morkel had other ideas
and claimed three wickets in rapid time to hasten the demise to 504-9 and
finish with figures of 5-146 in 30, feet-blistering overs. It was his sixth
five-wicket haul and one of his best given the quality of the opposition and
the paucity of assistance offered by the pitch.
VIDEO: Australia v South Africa: 2nd Test Day 2 Highlights
The morning session was dominated
by South Africa’s bowlers who claimed the final five Australian wickets for the
addition of just 68 runs – 46 of which were scored by 10th wicket
pair James Pattinson (42) and Nathan Lyon.
Clarke was bowled by a beauty from
Morkel which trimmed to the top of middle stump with the Australian captain on
230 while wicketkeeper Matt Wade (6) edged Morkel to AB de Villiers behind the
Rory Kleinvedt finally collected
his first Test wicket after a barren debut in Brisbane two weeks ago when Peter
Siddle (6) edged to Smith at slip and Morkel’s fifth arrived courtesy of a
top-edged hook from Ben Hilfenhaus (0) to Kleinveldt on the fine leg boundary.
Dale Steyn concluded the innings when
Pattinson’s enterprising 42 from just 35 balls ended with a fourth catch at
first slip by Smith.
An opening partnership of 138
between Smith Alviro Petersen was rarely troubled until a running mix-up saw
Petersen swerve to avoid a collision with his captain, affording Mike Hussey
the fraction of a second he needed to make a direct hit from mid-off count.
Petersen’s composed 54 came from 112 deliveries.
Hashim Amla played over the top of
a yorker on 11 to be well stumped by Wade but Smith reached his century from
198 balls with a dozen fours in the company of Jacques Rudolph who finished
unbeaten on 25.
“It was a special moment to take
five wickets,” Morkel said after play. “The body and mind were both hurting
after the first day but we took the early wickets we needed on the second
morning and now we have a couple of batsmen well set, so we have recovered very
“We had a lot of positivity going
into the second day and we believed we could fight back into the game. If we
just sit back and think the game is over then we'll lose in three or four days.
“But that's not the way we play
our cricket, we are proud South Africans and we fight hard at all times.
“I think Saturday will be a very
exciting day. The third day of a Test match is usually the ‘moving’ day and we
are hoping for a couple of big partnerships and we'll take it from there.
Graeme is a man for the big occasion and we are in good hands with him at the
crease,” Morkel said.