Rain washes out play on 2nd day of Aus­tralia South Africa Test

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

I’m re­ally con­fi­dent they will play bet­ter than they did in the first in­nings

RAIN PRE­VENTED any play on the sec­ond day of the sec­ond cricket Test be­tween Aus­tralia and South Africa yes­ter­day af­ter an ex­tra­or­di­nary open­ing day in which 15 wick­ets fell.

South Africa won the toss on Satur­day, bowled Aus­tralia out for 85 and then reached 171-5 be­fore stumps to take an 86-run lead on day one.

Or­gan­is­ers can­celled play at Bel­lerive yes­ter­day when heavy rain started in the af­ter­noon. Temba Bavuma re­mains un­beaten on 38 and Quin­ton de Kock is 28.

The South Africans won the open­ing test in Perth by 177 runs and can se­cure the three Test se­ries with an­other vic­tory in Ho­bart.

With three days of sched­uled play re­main­ing, there’s still the chance of a result in the sec­ond Test.

Af­ter the open­ing day, when Aus­tralia cap­tain Steve Smith scored more than half the to­tal with an un­beaten 48, coach Dar­ren Lehmann said he was con­fi­dent his team could take the re­main­ing five South African first-in­nings wick­ets and set up a proper con­test.

“I’m re­ally con­fi­dent they will play bet­ter than they did in the first in­nings,” he said.

South Africa has only beaten Aus­tralia twice in A Test se­ries since be­ing read­mit­ted to in­ter­na­tional cricket in the 1990s. Both vic­to­ries have been in Aus­tralia.

The last was in 2012-13 when South Africa clinched the se­ries 1-0 with a vic­tory in the third Test in Perth af­ter Aus­tralia had the bet­ter of the first two Tests but was un­able to force a vic­tory.

BATTING SLUMP

Aus­tralia was ranked No. 1 in Test cricket un­til be­ing swept 30 in Sri Lanka in July and Au­gust. The loss in Perth was its fourth straight, and crit­ics are de­scrib­ing the re­cent batting slump as a cri­sis.

To make mat­ters worse, Aus­tralia hadn’t lost a se­riesopen­ing Test on home soil since 1988 un­til last week, and its form de­te­ri­o­rated badly in Ho­bart when it was dis­missed for its low­est to­tal in a home test since 1984.

Also yes­ter­day, Cricket Aus­tralia con­firmed that it had banned a 25-year-old man for three years from matches across the coun­try af­ter he al­legedly wrote racist graf­fiti di­rected at South African bats­man Hashim Amla dur­ing play on Satur­day.

Tas­ma­nia state po­lice in­spec­tor Doug Ros­siter said that the man would face court over the in­ci­dent.

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