November 30, 2012
Ball dominated bat on Day 1 in the third and deciding test in Perth on a blameless pitch. Australia, in their quest to reach the No 1 spot in world cricket, bowled South Africa out for a disappointing 225. In return, Australia reached 33 by the close for the loss of two wickets.
Ricky Ponting, in his 168th and last test match, has been saved until tomorrow. An amusing TV shot showed Ponting’s wife standing up to applaud the appearance of Australia’s No 4 at the fall of the second wicket. What she had failed to realize was that the incoming batsman was night watchman Nathan Lyon and not her husband. Ponting will be hoping to sign out on a high so expect a packed WACA for the start of Day 2.
The Australian seam attack has been totally revamped for this match with selectors providing recalls for Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Shane Watson and a debut for John Hastings. All contributed and, together with spinner Nathan Lyon, they ripped through the South African top order, grabbing the first six wickets for 75 runs.
After the early scares, South Africa’s lower order hauled the visitors to relative safety, thanks once again to Faf Du Plessis, who followed up his 78 and 110 not out on debut at Adelaide with a composed 77 not out. Du Plessis, often referred to as a journeyman, has come to test cricket late but he must be thinking that the game is easy. Robin Petersen (31) and Vernon Philander (30) chipped in with useful contributions.
In the closing session, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander with a wicket apiece, steamed in and put early pressure on the Australian batsmen, thus setting up an intriguing second day. Ed Cowan went for a duck and Shane Watson was once again LBW, following a referral.
Bangladesh provided a major upset in the first ODI in Khuna, defeating West Indies by 7 wickets. Their recent form has improved, having run the West Indies close in their recent test series.
The Scoop 30/11/12