Saturday, November 12, 2011

A last chance slips out from Aussies

A target of 236 would always be a tough one for any team especially after they were bundled out for less than 100 runs on the board. And, if South Africa have been able to achieve that, then the Aussies are solely to blame with their bowlers not being able to restrict them. There was more than three days of play left meaning the Proteas had more than three days of play left for them to achieve victory over the visiting side. In other words, the proteas had to battle out for three more days on a pitch that saw successive teams getting bowled out for less than 100 runs.

Making matters still worse, Australia were bowled out for even less than 50 runs on the board. And, chasing 236 on that pitch which would have got deteriorated even more after repeated bounce could only be a dream come true for anyone who has been able to do so. Much to anybody's surprise, the pitch looked as though it assisted the batsmen when both the players who took to the crease were found returning with a hundred and remaining unbeaten towards the end. South Africa had won the contest by 8 wickets needless to be said. But, it is a mystery that the match lasted only three days.

I remember Pakistan bowling out the Aussies for a modest total of 127 in late 2009 and towards the end, it was Australia who comprehensively won the match after Mike Hussey laid a steady platform. This was not such a game with both teams having been bowled out for less than hundred runs as mentioned repeatedly. If the first innings of the Aussie batting and the second (last) innings of the South African batting is considered, batting can never be said to be tough. The match is one such confusing game with the pitch doing all sorts of tricks in the second day alone.

One record was bettered by the other with first South Africa bowling out Australia for 47 after they were bowled out for 96 on board. And then, if Shane Watson returned with figures of 5/17, Philander ended with 5-15. South Africa win the contest in all aspects of the game. However, the highlight of the game should be Michael Clarke's 151 which laid the foundation of a huge total of 284 on a pitch needless to be said. The match saw two 5 wicket takers and three century scorers. This will no doubt go down as one of the most confusing tests in history.

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