Proteas, Oz on a knife's edge

2011-11-20 17:54

Johannesburg - Imran Tahir broke a menacing partnership between Ricky Ponting and Usman Khawaja with what turned out to be the second last ball of the day at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday to leave the second Test balanced on a knife's edge.

Scorecard after Day 4

The Pakistan-born spinner dismissed the Pakistan-born batsman with a perfectly pitched googly that found the outside edge of the left-hander’s bat and gave Jacques Kallis his second slip catch of the innings.

It brought to an end a third-wicket partnership of 122 runs in 34 overs with Khawaja’s contribution being 65 off 110 balls with 10 fours and a six. It was his maiden half-century in Test cricket and could not have come at a better time for his side.

It followed a double breakthrough by Vernon Philander who dismissed both the Australian opening batsmen in his new ball spell.

Ricky Ponting finished the day unbeaten on 54 (104 balls, 6 fours) with the Australians needing a further 168 runs on Monday’s final day.

It is impossible to say which team is on top at the moment. The Proteas will feel they are no more than a couple of wickets away from a major breakthrough into the tail while the Australians know that another century partnership will finish the job for them.

Imran is probably going to be the key bowler as even Ponting failed to pick his googly on one occasion.

The Australians had earlier dismissed the Proteas for 339 to leave themselves with the victory target of 310 to square the two-Test series.

New Cap Patrick Cummins completed an outstanding debut with innings figures of 6/79. At one stage he was on a hat-trick immediately after lunch when he dismissed Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel with the first two balls of the afternoon session.

Hashim Amla completed his 14th Test century - this puts him joint fourth on the South African all-time list along with Daryll Cullinan and Herschelle Gibbs - early in the day but the Proteas were set back by the quick dismissal of AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince (unnecessarily run out), and Amla in quick succession.

It needed a 48-run stand between Philander and Dale Steyn to stabilise the innings and take the target beyond 300. In the end Steyn made the third highest score of the innings of 41.


  • Gareth - 2011-11-20 18:03

    Australia needs 168 more runs tommorow with 90 overs plus in which to get those runs at about less than 2 runs an over with 7 wickets still in hand.They would fancy their chances here the Aussies you'd have to say. No need for their supporters to still feel nervous right?However Australia have collapsed twice though in as many a time in this short series and Brad Haddin was said to be their walking wicket like Boucher was ours.Will tommorow perhaps be Micheal Hussy's time to score?Yesterday I didn't think we could lose this match and cricket is a funny old game,now I'm not so sure we'll get the Aussies bowled out tommorow. Greatest dissapointment to me with the bat were Boucher,Morkel and Prince.Between them collectively they could've at least added 50 or more runs to South Africa's overall total of 309.

  • Ian - 2011-11-20 18:06

    2 more wickets and i reckon we got em, get ponting quickly though

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-20 18:42

    We're still a bit dissapointing considering this is the weakest Aussie team in years, and has to on paper be one of our stronger teams. Hope we manage to win it, it's been a long time...

  • wynand.meyering - 2011-11-20 18:43

    The umpires let them walk off without checking the light meter. SA cricketers should complain to the ICC.

      Gareth - 2011-11-20 19:16

      It looked darker yesterday than it did today and yet the umpires allowed play to continue longer than it today. South Africa were running away with it yesterday with Amla and de Villiers at the crease,and today Imran Tahir were doing the business for us and South Africa got cut off again by the umpires like they did yesterday. What the hell is going on here? Do these umpires Billy Bowden and co want South Africa not to win this or what? Twice now in short succession the umpires pull the plug on South Africa advancing. Why is that? To far-fetched? Maybe! But remember it was a New Zealand official that bugger up our last rugby world cup match against this very nation,Australia,so what stops this man Bowden from doing so again? Its a shameful and poor end,once again,to a thrilling day's play. The umpires took their light meters out already at 17:05 which was way too early.

      wynand.meyering - 2011-11-20 19:18

      Tony the 2nd day they took out their light meters twice and forced South Africa to bat in those dark conditions. We lost probably 4 or 5 wickets in that bad light. It's ridiculous... You could see the disappointment on the faces of Alan Donald and Gary Kirsten, but the players say nothing and the coaches say nothing. This is not fair Cricket. People need to start standing up for themselves. The players should have demanded that the umpires check the light with light meters.

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-11-20 18:59

    This will a tough nut to crack, unlike our middle order and tail that are inconsistent, the Aussies are consistent in this regard. When our bowlers are on song, the batmen always fumble or the other way round. I am really dissapointed with our middle order.

  • Lodewyk - 2011-11-20 19:06

    I think we're going to choke.

      Shivaskar - 2011-11-21 08:33

      Philander, Steyn to strike early & hopefully Tahir to clear the tail like 1st innings. Morkel is wayward, he bowls too many boundary balls. But the likelihood of a choke is always there (especially after the papers put the Proteas on a pedestal after the 1st test win). And this is the weakest an Aus team has ever been since I can remember, so it would be a slap on the Proteas faces should they lose this one.

  • Anneleen - 2011-11-20 19:28

    Proteas, just go out there and get your "slice" of the action...well done to your accomplishments so far...have a good one 2morrow!

  • Werner Breytenbach - 2011-11-20 20:34

    Sorry Chums but on paper means jack. Our world cup team were great on paper too. Aus will have to play very well to win tomorrow. Our bowlers will be on top if they can keep it tight. Rotate seamers from the one end and give Tahir the other. Good luck boys.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2011-11-21 06:22

      Exactly. A team is much more than a bunch of brilliant individuals. We "should" win though, it will be very dissapointing if we lose to this Aus team.

  • dominique.thom - 2011-11-21 04:47

    lol... mmmm.... I remember the Cape town test.... I remember 438.... I remember 1994, 2nd test SA vs Aus in Sydney. 7 wickets and 69 runs needed to win with a whole day's play.... Enter Hansie Cronje and Fanie de Villiers! We have done this before, so there is NO reason why we cant do it again!

  • Caleb - 2011-11-21 08:23

    Anything is possible! Small totals are big mountains. Proteas here we go!

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