South Africa lead by 86 af­ter Aus­tralia col­lapse

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


South Africa routed Aus­tralia for 85 and then weathered a batting cri­sis of their own be­fore push­ing to a lead of 86 runs af­ter a bowler-dom­i­nated open­ing day of the sec­ond test in Ho­bart yes­ter­day.

Temba Bavuma, un­beaten on 38, and wick­et­keeper Quin­ton de Kock (28 not out) guided South Africa to 171-5 at stumps at Bel­lerive Oval, af­ter pace­man Mitchell Starc threat­ened to drag the hosts back into the game with a fiery spell af­ter tea. On a gloomy, over­cast morn­ing, Proteas cap­tain Faf du Plessis won the toss and sent Aus­tralia in to bat on a green-tinged wicket moist­ened by driz­zle.

The call was a mas­ter­stroke as his fired-up pace­men, led by a five-wicket haul from Ver­non Phi­lan­der, bowled Aus­tralia out in 32.5 overs, for their low­est to­tal at home since a 76 against West In­dies in Perth in 1984.

It was also the low­est to­tal of any team at Bel­lerive Oval and well short of Aus­tralia’s pre­vi­ous nadir against the Proteas, a 111 at the Syd­ney Cricket Ground in 1994.

Thrashed by 177 runs in the opener in Perth, Aus­tralia’s hopes of a se­ries-lev­el­ling vic­tory looked all but dashed. They face a mon­u­men­tal task just to save the match and pre­vent South Africa clos­ing out the tour­na­ment with a game in hand. Cap­tain Steve Smith was the only Aus­tralian bats­man to show de­fi­ance with an un­beaten 48, while debu­tant pace­man Joe Men­nie (10) was his only team mate to reach dou­ble fig­ures.

In re­sponse, South Africa cruised to 43 with­out loss at tea be­fore wob­bling af­ter the break, as left-armer Starc dis­missed open­ers Stephen Cook (23) and Dean El­gar (17), and JP Du­miny (1) for three runs in a dev­as­tat­ing spell on a day when 15 wick­ets tum­bled.

Ha­zle­wood trapped Du Plessis lbw for seven to leave the Proteas vul­ner­a­ble at 76-4 but Amla (47) and Bavuma stead­ied the in­nings with a vi­tal 56-run stand.

Amla was Ha­zle­wood’s sec­ond vic­tim, nick­ing be­hind to wick­et­keeper Peter Nevill, but his part­ner De Kock bat­ted su­perbly in the fi­nal overs to frus­trate the home side.

The day be­longed to Phi­lan­der, who took 5-21, hav­ing re­turned to the field af­ter lunch fol­low­ing a heavy clash with Smith as the cap­tain ran through for a sin­gle.

Aus­tralia were re­duced to eight for four in the ninth over in a dis­as­trous start, when Phi­lan­der dis­missed Adam Vo­ges for a first­ball duck, his third wicket putting him on a hat-trick.

Debu­tant bats­man Cal­lum Fer­gu­son, who re­placed the dropped all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, saw off Phi­lan­der’s hat-trick ball be­fore the bowler crashed in to Smith while ap­peal­ing for lbw. Phi­lan­der ex­ited the field and South Africa lost a re­view for the lbw ap­peal but mo­ments later, Fer­gu­son was run out by a di­rect hit from sub­sti­tute fielder Dane Vi­las at deep back­ward point.

Aus­tralia were reel­ing at 17-5 but Smith spared Aus­tralia the in­dig­nity of a record low­est test score. Fast bowler Kyle Ab­bott, who re­placed in­jured pace­man Dale Steyn, took 3-41, and trapped re­called opener Joe Burns lbw for one in his first over be­fore re­turn­ing to clean up the tail. —Reuters

HO­BART: South Africa’s Temba Bavuma (R) runs for a quick sin­gle as Aus­tralia’s wick­et­keeper Peter Nevill (L) looks on dur­ing day one of the sec­ond Test cricket match be­tween Aus­tralia and South Africa in Ho­bart yes­ter­day. — AFP

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