Oz in full control at Newlands

2014-03-03 18:38

Cape Town - Fast bowlers Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson have shared seven wickets as Australia continued their dominance on the third day of the third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands on Monday.

GALLERY: Biff in pictures

As it happened: SA v Oz Day 3

With reverse swing playing a significant role, Australia bowled out South Africa for 287, a lead of 207, and added another 27 runs for no wicket before close of play.

It left Australia in a strong position to push for a series-clinching victory against the world champions, with 98 overs due to be bowled on both the remaining days.

"We want to be the number one Test side," said Johnson as he looked forward to having as many as five sessions to bowl again at the current top side.

Harris took three for 63 and Johnson four for 42.

South African top-scorer Faf du Plessis, who made 67, expressed surprise at how early Australia achieved reverse swing.

"I was really surprised to see the ball reversing after, I think, 27 overs, especially after rain (on Sunday) and a wet outfield. Obviously the pitch is nicely scuffed up so hopefully we can get the same happening for us."

It was a complete reversal from the situation in the second Test in Port Elizabeth, where South Africa gained reverse swing, while Australia failed to do so.

"We saw something after PE where we couldn't get the ball to reverse," said Johnson.

"Bowling second helped. The wicket was abrasive enough to bowl cross-seam. I don't always hit the seam so I could hit the rough side.

"Once we saw the ball wasn't swinging normally we did that straight away, so we weren't surprised at all. It was rough enough on the rough side and shiny enough on the shiny side."

Captain Michael Clarke's decision to declare at Australia's overnight total of 494 for seven paid off as his South African counterpart Graeme Smith failed again and South Africa lost four wickets before lunch.

Despite losing early wickets, South Africa scored freely during an extended morning's play, reaching 127 for four off 32 overs at lunch.

But with the Australian bowlers achieving reverse swing as the ball got older, the scoring slowed to a trickle after in-form batsman AB de Villiers was caught at second slip off Johnson for 14 soon after lunch.

JP Duminy fell to a catch behind by Brad Haddin off Harris for four before Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander came together in a seventh wicket stand of 95, the best of the innings.

Du Plessis battled his way to 67 before Johnson returned to the attack and he edged a drive fast and low to gully, where David Warner held a good catch.

With play starting 30 minutes earlier because of rain which cut 51 overs from the second day's play, Clarke's declaration proved a shrewd move because there was early movement off the pitch for the bowlers.

Smith was caught behind for five off a ball from Harris which seamed away from him. Smith has made only 42 runs in five innings in the series.

Dean Elgar made 11 before he was superbly caught by Brad Haddin off James Pattinson, the wicketkeeper flinging himself to his right to hold an inside edge by the left-hander.

Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla added 53 off 58 balls with Petersen reaching a fluent half-century off 50 balls with eight fours. But Petersen added only three more before he gloved Johnson down the leg side for Haddin to take his third catch of the innings.

Amla looked in good form but was bowled for 38 when Harris made a ball swing back sharply to find a gap between bat and pad.

It was the first evidence of reverse swing and it heralded a significant change in momentum with the remaining batsmen forced on to the defensive.


  • Craig Van Stade - 2014-03-03 18:53

    Any fool can see that Graham Smith is the weakest link in the team! Our 3rd and 4th batsmen have been opening batsmen all series! He'll be out before first hour tomorrow morning

      Craig Van Stade - 2014-03-03 20:40

      Our under 19 openers will do a better job than this guy! That's not even a joke! This is one thing I admire about the Australians, their players are chosen for the team based on performance and not merit..... We should have gotten rid of this scum a few seasons ago already.... I'm not even gonna get into his arrogance! Pissed off!!!!

      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-03 22:41

      Complete rubbish. Prior to this series, Brad Haddin was a major hero with the bat for Aus. He hasn't made runs at all in this series. Do you see them dropping him anytime soon? I don't. Ditto with Clarke. The Aussies know how to build a winning Test team. And the first step is that you don't drop players left, right and centre. SA, on the other hand, suffers from the superiority complex thinking that we are the master race, therefore we cannot possibly be beaten in any sporting fixture. Therefore, if we lose, it must be because the selectors picked the wrong team. There is no other explanation. This is why, when the British Lions cleaned our clocks in 1974, the Springbok selectors used 44 players in that series while the Lions used just 17. It's good to see that, forty years on, we haven't learnt a thing. This Aus side (minus Mitchell Johnson) is the same one that lost the Ashes 3-0 to Eng in Eng. If the average SA fan had been the head selector for Aus, every single player in that squad would have been dropped and they would now have a squad of fifteen newbs trying to jel as a side. But if they don't get it right overnight, hey no problem - just drop them too and draft in another fifteen. These are the best players we have. There is no "magic bullet" player waiting unselected on the sidelines who would have won us this series. We have the players, we showed it in PE. They must just put this behind them and up their game moving forward.

  • Dwain Trollip - 2014-03-03 19:11

    surely morkels place must come under scrutiny.he is not pulling his weight.and no one should tell me how unlucky he is,coz surely he cant be unlucky for 7 years.

  • Bantu Holomisa - 2014-03-03 19:11

    This match is heading for a draw provided our batsmen can have discipline.

      Raymond Van Den Brink - 2014-03-03 21:10

      If you want discipline, get rid of Smith.

  • Frans van Tubbergh - 2014-03-03 19:24

    Why are we not shocked or surprised - My Zimbabwean gardener, who by the way now more about cricket than the SA selectors, informed me that Smith lost the series for us. During the 1st test he won the toss and decided to bowl 1st - Strange choice as even the primary school cricketers are taught to bat 1st when there is any doubt and this cost us the 1st test. Furthermore he did not make any runs in 3 tests - what an example for the team to follow. Best thing we can do is to force Mr. arrogant Smith to retire, replace the coach with Ray Jennings and bring up and coming young stars like Millar into the team

      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-03 19:42

      You and your gardener need to learn something about cricket. In five of the previous eight Centurion Tests, the captain winning the toss decided to field. In five of the previous six Newlands Tests, the captain winning the toss elected to field. You also need to learn how to appraise cricketers and how they are playing. There is no way in a million years that batting first at Centurion would have caused the game to swing. That was a complete demolition job by Mitchell Johnson, the Proteas were going down whether they batted first, second, third, fourth or fifteenth. But, being a typical South African, you will not countenance the possibility that South Africans could ever be outplayed. It must be something else - like useless selectors, or useless Smith choosing to bowl first, or useless umpires, or useless bookies fixing the result. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the right one: Aus have outplayed us and deserve to win. David Miller would not have changed that. Biff scoring runs would not have changed that. Beuran Hendricks or Wayne Parnell instead of Kyle Abbott would not have changed that. QdK or Elgar opening in place of Alviro would not have changed that. The team's failure has been complete. At both Centurion and Newlands, they batted poorly and bowled poorly. Trying to attribute that to one or even two or three individuals is futile. As an eleven, they have been outplayed, simple as that.

      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-03 19:51

      Oh, I forgot one excuse: it's the useless groundsman for preparing a flat pitch. Except that it didn't look so flat when Aus were bowling on it...

      Jaco Pieters - 2014-03-03 20:38

      Richard I could not agree more... Our world class team time and time again get outsmart by the Aussie team and management. They just know how to get under our skin like no one else has since re-admission. We are always behind he 8ball against them and to blame it on Smith is ridiculous. Warner telling Philander he is useless and following it up with plenty runs is prime example. Its so bad, from what I gather Philander didn't even open the bowling late this afternoon. I suspect smith will resign as captain sooner rather than later, so everyone's wishes will come true then. He will probably be slated for that too.

      Richard Barnes - 2014-03-03 21:45

      The team has been soundly beaten. The people who are saying we'd do better without Biff are the same ones who said we'd do better with Kyle in the side. I'm glad that Kyle was picked, only to shut up all those who would have whinged about "quotas" if Rory had played - and who would have said we'd have won easily if Kyle had been picked so it's all the stoopid selectors' fault. Well, Kyle has been picked now and it didn't make the blindest bit of difference. Not that it will stop or even hinder those who claim that "the best players are the ones who WEREN'T picked". They'll still just claim it was all the stoopid selectors' fault for not picking QdK. And when QdK and Kyle are picked, and Morne and Biff dropped, they'll be claiming it was all the stoopid selectors' fault for picking "useless chockers" like Kyle and QdK when "we needed the experience of Biff and Morne". It's so predictable it's laughable, really.

      Jaco Pieters - 2014-03-03 22:56

      Sort of called it 2hours ago and now the news broke. Smith is let's see what happens.

  • Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 19:30

    Seems like we can't bowl and bat in this 3rd test, at least some batsmen tried but ower bowlers were knocked for boundaries as if it was limited overs cricket, especially Warner played sensitive shots because he expects to be dropped.....or is it that he doesn't like Morné. Anyway PROTEAS all the way.

  • Paul Vuma - 2014-03-03 19:44

    Smith needs to go, he must resign while we still rated as number 1, it's best for his reputation.

      Jon Low - 2014-03-03 21:55

      Smith isn't rated #1. The team is -- and that's going to end pretty soon.

  • Ali Bhama - 2014-03-03 20:28

    IMO the difference between the aussies and proteas are as follow: 1) Proteas show no commitment and passion 2) Clarke is a far better captain than Smith. Clarke also thinking on the field 3) Our Bowling attack is not the best. 4) Aussies can bat, while we use to rely mostly on our bowling. The biggest problem in this series is our passion and commitment. Pathetic preparation for this series which most people saw as the world final of tests series.

      Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 21:27

      Totally concur with you, i was wondering why aussies found gaps when batting and when proteas where batting it took forever to find the boundary because the aussies fielding set up was so tight.

  • Jacob Maermerrie - 2014-03-03 20:31

    Michael Clarke can again ( and rightly so! ) claim that he has the best bowling attack in the world to do the business for him and those who still think that Steyn ( with all his frills and pills,,) is better than MJ, dream on__he may be better than MJ in England or India, BUT these two teams are NEVER going to play each other there!!

      Henry Dube - 2014-03-03 20:43

      You are right but i hate the issue of losing ower long series winning streak to the Australians are should i call them green bags

  • Baainaar Hofman - 2014-03-03 21:03

    u cant tell me lopsy,rory,beuran or even mbane of the warriors cant do better then the spineless,wicketless quota morkel with his short pitch balls!Russel u better step up other wise geof toyana or gogo are gona take ur place!

      Jon Low - 2014-03-03 21:56

      Morkel's useless, but he's not a quota. Only non-whites can be quotas.

      Thomas Gillespie - 2014-03-04 08:04

      The concept of quotas is such a foreign concept to Australians like me.

  • Shane Rathnasamy - 2014-03-03 21:48

    I'm not convinced that SA are out of this game yet. Yes its optimistic to say this and Australia are certainly in the driving seat but SA can still win the series in the next 2 days. Australia do not yet have a match winning score on the board. Also they need time to bowl out South Africa so their batting time is limited, with that in mind what score will they feel comfortable with? I just hope the proteas have the same attitude and optimism as me although odds are against them, but certainly this game is not over yet.

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