Luck deserts Warner as Proteas main­tain grip

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Luck de­serted Aus­tralia in their des­per­ate bid to sal­vage the se­cond Test with South Africa snar­ing the vi­tal wicket of David Warner in un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances in Ho­bart yes­ter­day.

Warner, who was seek­ing re­demp­tion af­ter his reck­less dis­missal in the open­ing over of the first in­nings, lost his wicket while at the fore­front of Aus­tralia’s fight­back. At stumps on the third day the home side were 121 for two, still 120 runs be­hind the Proteas, who have been in con­trol of the Test since rout­ing Aus­tralia for 85 on Satur­day.

Us­man Khawaja was un­beaten on 56, his ninth Test half-cen­tury, with skip­per Steve Smith not out 18. Warner flung his head back in de­spair when a ball from Kyle Ab­bott hit his hip and ric­o­cheted off an el­bow onto his stumps when he was on 45. It gave the Proteas a huge fil­lip af­ter Warner and Khawaja had re­cov­ered the in­nings with a 79-run stand af­ter the loss of Joe Burns in the first over.

Burns lasted just four balls be­fore he was caught be­hind, tick­ling at one wide down the leg-side from Ab­bott.

“We’ve done well with the bat, two un­lucky dis­missals, but that hap­pens in cricket and the boys have shown some good fight, dig­ging in even though the ball is nip­ping around a fair bit,” Aus­tralian pace­man Josh Ha­zle­wood said. “A re­ally good part­ner­ship in the morn­ing, a good first hour and that will go a long way to hav­ing a good day to­mor­row.”

Khawaja played some lovely shots in his vigil, pro­vid­ing great sup­port for his cap­tain Smith, who top scored with an un­beaten 48 in the first in­nings sham­bles. Aus­tralia face a mighty strug­gle to pre­vent South Africa, al­ready 1-0 up, from claim­ing their third suc­ces­sive se­ries in Aus­tralia with only next week’s day-night third Test in Ade­laide still to play. South Africa ear­lier ex­tended their first in­nings lead to 241 be­fore they were all out for 326 with Quin­ton de Kock plun­der­ing a cen­tury and Ha­zle­wood fin­ish­ing with six for 89.

Af­ter Sun­day’s se­cond day was washed out, the Aus­tralians chased early wick­ets but de Kock and Bavuma bat­ted South Africa into a po­si­tion of strength with a cen­tury stand.

The swash­buck­ling wick­et­keeper, likened to Aus­tralian Test great Adam Gilchrist, was bowled by Ha­zle­wood just be­fore lunch for 104 off 143 balls with 17 bound­aries.

His stand of 144 with Bavuma was the high­est by a vis­it­ing team in Ho­bart for the sixth wicket.

“Ob­vi­ously, I’m happy with what we’ve done and what we’ve achieved, but the game has only gone past halfway and we still have a lot to do,” de Kock said.

“The Aussies looked very de­ter­mined in their se­cond in­nings so we have a lot to play for.”

De Kock has scored 540 runs in 2016 in just nine Test in­nings and leads the year’s in­ter­na­tional av­er­ages with 80 hav­ing been un­beaten twice.

He be­came only the fourth South African to reg­is­ter 50 or more in five con­sec­u­tive Tests af­ter he swept spin­ner Nathan Lyon for four over wide mid-on. Shortly af­ter lunch, Tembo Bavuma was sur­prised by a rear­ing de­liv­ery to spoon an easy catch to Nathan Lyon at point and give Joe Men­nie his first Test wicket for 74. Ver­non Phi­lan­der was the last man out for 32 off 28 balls, caught be­hind off Ha­zle­wood. — AFP

HO­BART: Aus­tralia’s bats­man Steven Smith plays a shot on the third day’s play of the se­cond Test cricket match be­tween Aus­tralia and South Africa in Ho­bart yes­ter­day. —AFP

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