Rain halts Australia's charge

2014-03-02 16:30

Cape Town - Australian captain Michael Clarke hit an unbeaten 161 to guide his team to a strong position before rain disrupted his team's bid to take a stranglehold on the second day of the third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday.

As it happened: SA v Oz Day 2

As it happened: SA v Oz Day 1

Australia were 494 for seven when a storm swept in on the back of high winds and prevented any play after mid-afternoon.

Before the rain, Australia were on target to take their total past 500 and subject South Africa to a challenging examination from the tourists' fast bowlers in what was shaping as a mirror image of the domination achieved by South Africa in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

Clarke said it was a "very satisfying" innings.

"There were some tough stages yesterday (Saturday). Morne Morkel bowled a couple of pretty quick spells, bowling around the wicket with a set plan to attack the emblem on my helmet.

"That was difficult to get through but most important is we've got 494 runs on the board and I'm extremely pleased with the position we're in."

Clarke said Australia were determined to push for a win which would seal a series that is tied at one match each.

He said there was some inconsistent bounce.

"Hopefully it continues to deteriorate and gets a little more up and down. But we're going to have to bowl well, it's still a very good batting wicket."

South African bowler Kyle Abbott, who bowled two tight spells in difficult, windy conditions, said he thought the pitch would stay good for batting through most of the rest of the match.

"We've got to bat as well as they have," he said.

"We have to keep positive. As soon as you start thinking of a draw, or any negative thoughts, you come unstuck."

Australia scored 163 runs in 39.4 overs on Sunday, blunting a depleted South African pace attack with an almost-new ball at the start of the day and then going for their shots.

Part-time off-spinner JP Duminy claimed Test-best figures of four for 73, taking three wickets after lunch as Australia went for quick runs.

With strike bowler Dale Steyn out of action after suffering a hamstring injury on the first day, the key for Australia was to prevent the South African bowlers from making a breakthrough early in the day with an almost-new ball.

Abbott bowled an outstanding spell of six overs during which he conceded only one run - but couldn't take a wicket, while Vernon Philander went for 39 runs in his six-over morning spell.

Clarke, who was on 92 overnight, quickly went to 99 but then faced 24 deliveries - 23 of them from Abbott - without being able to get the run to bring up his fifth century against South Africa.

It finally came with a cover drive for four off Philander. He had faced 215 balls and hit 11 fours.

Smith, meanwhile, played some aggressive strokes, which included a straight six off Philander.

He made 84 in a fourth wicket stand of 184 with Clarke before he chopped a wide delivery from part-time left-arm spinner Dean Elgar into his stumps. He hit nine fours and three sixes in a 155-ball innings.

Shane Watson, playing in his first match of the series, survived a review off the first ball he faced when Elgar appealed for leg before wicket but went on to make an aggressive 40 off 32 balls with two fours and three sixes.

In trying to hit Duminy for a fourth six he mistimed a shot to long-off.

Brad Haddin also perished playing an attacking shot and Mitchell Johnson was caught down the legside first ball by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers off Duminy.

Clarke, who had gone 11 Test innings without making more than 24 runs, batted with increasing confidence and reached 150 for the tenth time in his career off 288 balls when he clipped Abbott for his 17th four.


  • Baainaar Hofman - 2014-03-02 14:27

    En wat se julle van quota morkel weereens wicketless wanneer gaan dit stop teen indie 3wickets 2games op die oomblik staan hy op 5wickets in 5innings teen die aussies

      Adeeb Saban - 2014-03-02 15:28

      Morkel is las

      Sean Tearnan - 2014-03-02 17:31

      Troll piss off

      Ken Alles - 2014-03-02 18:13

      I have to agree with the Morkel Statement, He needs either to get mental help so that he can overcome his inner daemons or they should replace him with some-one who is more consistent...

  • Gerrit Cramer - 2014-03-02 14:51

    Oh boy, the cricketing gods are really against SA in this test. 1st - They lose the toss and Ausie gets a flat wicket to bat on 2nd - Steyn gets injured 3rd - rain and moisture comes at a perfect time (not for SA, but for Ausie) to juice up the wicket for their fast bowlers. Very unusual for CT to get rain this time of year and it usually doesn't last long. They will have to bat out of their skins to save this one. Australia clearly has no intension of batting again. The only thing that might be in SA's favor is if the outfield gets wet enough. This might take the sting out of the ball and reduce MJ's threat. All depends on when MC decides to declare of course.

      Tebogo Andrew - 2014-03-02 15:41

      Ish dz is realy bad

  • karldup - 2014-03-02 16:33

    Duminy ranked 59th as bowler. good enough for you as player of color? Keep your intellectually challenged remarks to yourself.

  • Stephan Theunissen - 2014-03-02 17:03

    Stephen, at this stage I would intentionally bat to follow on and post a big score in the follow on to make Aus bat again on the last day when the pitch deteriorated and Steyn was given a good chance to recover from his injury.

      Spikkels NK - 2014-03-02 18:30

      Yes Stephan, because all you need to do to get a big score in cricket is to plan on getting one. Right?

  • Piet Genade - 2014-03-02 17:57

    There's only one team that can win from here. Aussie will declare overnight and put us in first thing tomorrow. We'll have to bat 2 days in our first innings to try and save the test. So, we still can't beat them in a series at home.

      Johnny Axe - 2014-03-03 00:18

      44 years and counting.

  • Stephan Theunissen - 2014-03-02 17:59

    Stephen, I wpuld intentionally play to follow on to give Steyn enough chance to recover for final bowling innings and have Aus bat on the last day when the pitch has deteriorated making it a little easier to bowl. But that is just an idea.....

      Jon Low - 2014-03-02 21:59

      Steyn only bowls well once every three innings. He's rubbish in between. The Aussie openers were taking 9 an over off him at Newlands before he cried off, yet again, with a broken heart.

  • Sagebrush Bush - 2014-03-02 18:32

    Glad to see Duminy mature as a player.

  • Darian Gray - 2014-03-02 18:44

    Australia will probably declare on overnight score. We will have to bat close to two days also. Secure the draw, make sure we don't lose

  • Chris Holtshausen - 2014-03-02 19:14

    Waarom het Sport24 nie 'n enkele verwysing na ons Onder 19 - Wereldbekeroorwinning nie?!!! Wat gaan aan?!! Is jul vas aan die slaap?!!!

      Trix Roux - 2014-03-02 19:15


      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-02 19:31

      Try reading the article "SA Under-19 win World Cup" which appeared yesterday.

      Pam Stevens - 2014-03-02 23:14

      Very true and a disgrace! Bring Ray Jennings into the Protests setup to bring professionalism and commitment.

  • Nick Oosthuizen - 2014-03-02 20:18

    Mmm S.A. chokers!!!!

  • Jayce Singh - 2014-03-02 22:24

    The much-vaunted SA attack comes under the cosh once more. Aussie batsmen show resolve and determination. Should declare early tomorrow and put SA under pressure . Then see how they surrender ! A defeat is staring SA in the face. Can they avoid it ? Time will tell.

  • Ran Map - 2014-03-02 22:33

    Let guess! Graham will also quit after this test

      Pam Stevens - 2014-03-02 23:15


      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-03 00:07

      It wouldn't make much sense in terms of his career. It seems almost certain now that he won't be the first post-isolation captain to win a home series against Aus. But there are two big series coming up which I think Graeme would like to have on his CV. The first is the away series to Sri Lanka - the last foes to beat SA in an away series. Graeme would be keen to reverse that. Then there's the big one, the away tour to India. Every captain wants an India series win on his CV and Graeme has, so far, failed to emulate Hansie in that regard. If he was interested in ticking the few unchecked boxes in his CV, it would make sense to wait until at least those series are finished. But, of course, that doesn't take into account his passion and hunger for the game. If that goes, I imagine he would retire quickly after that, much as JK did.

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