Saturday, January 16, 2010

South Africa's Step 2 on day 2 at Johannesburg

With two days of the fourth test match between South Africa and England well in front of us, it look like the Proteas do not want to take their eyes off from the Wanderers whatsoever. The past devil that haunted the South Africans in the first three tests at Centurion, Durban and Cape Town respectively is found to free them this time atleast at Jo'burg. South Africa did well to bag all ten English wickets wee before the first day's play got underneath. On the first day itself, a 29 run first wicket stand between Greame Smith and Ashwell Prince provided a rock steady defence for the Proteas.

And the second day should have seen the Proteas piling up atleast close to 300 runs on the board if not for the four odd hours which were lost due to rain initially and the bad light that followed. How can one take their eyes off from the television sets when there was Greame Smith playing test cricket in the way it should be! It took the Proteas just over half a day and 2 wickets to surpass the 180 runs that England had piled up on the first day with all 11 English batsmen combined and not to forget the extras that were bowled.

Added to that was Hashim Amla's unbeaten 73. On the other hand, South Africa took just 64 overs to score the 215 runs which was 35 runs more than what England could in their first innings. South African team can be considered to be a step closer towards victory with England after ending their first innings in less than a day's time, leaving the South African batsmen enough time to bat their first innings with a mammoth total. Perhaps! Had there been no interruption due to rain on day 2, one would have seen the Proteas piling up close to 300 runs.

From here onwards, if the South African batsmen can continue the good work they were found doing the first two days of play, the result need not be specially said. However, the picture was no different in the first test and the third, both of which South Africa missed winning by just a whisker. But, if the first 2 days of play are taken into consideration, South Africa are found to have done a neat planning ofhow the five days of the test is supposed to go on. Unlike what they did in the league stages of the world cup 2003 in matches against West Indies and Sri Lanka.

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