South Africa pummel Windies in the first cricket test at Super Sport Park,Centurion in Pretoria.
Amla lost the toss and was asked to bat by the Windies on what looked to be a bowlers paradise wicket,accompanied by overcast conditions which would increase swing.Elgar and Peterson took the score to 57 before the loss of the first wicket.We were still on 57 a further two wickets later.308 runs later the fourth wicket fell,as AB De Villiers 152 and Hashim Amla 208 took the West Indian bowling attack apart.AB was the first to go in the partnership,scooping a ball to backward point off Benn. Stiaan van Zyl joined an elite group of south African cricketers when he scored his maiden test century on debut making 101 not.SA declared at 552-5.
The Windies first innings closed on 201.Disappointment for them as the top four batsmen got into the thirties but were unable to push through to the three figure mark.Philander 4-29 and Morkel 3-55 the chief wicket takers.Steyn for once was wicketless.
Amla asked the Windies to follow on.Morkel and Philander made the intial breakthrough and then Steyn cleaned up taking 6-34,his 25th five wicket haul,and the Windies were all back in the hut 131 runs later giving South Africa the win by an innings and 220 runs.
Australia gore India in the second test at the Gabba and take an unbeatable 2-0 win in the series with one test to play.
Some great batting by both teams on occasion,intersperced with some dramatic collapses and tremendous bowling,starting with a five wicket haul in the first innings by debutant Josh Hazelwood,a fighting 144 by Murali Vijay.Australias first innings was held together by incumbent skipper Steve Smith who contributed with a fine 133,and backed up by a tremendous 88 by Mitch Johnson.
Indias second innings of 224 was largely thanks to an 81 by Dhawan and 43 from Pujara.The riveting part of the India second innings was the demolition derby caused by Mitch Johnson to the Indian middle order.Fast,fiery wicket taking deliveries had India up a gumpole in short order,allowing them only 224 runs in their second innings.
Set to make a paltry 127 to win the game,Australia reached 130-6 to win but not without some heart palpitating moments caused by Ishant Sharma and Yadav.The two quicks snapped up 5 wickets between them causing some shakey moments for the Aussie side.I’m sure there were those who cast their minds back to the Hansie Cronje led Proteas side that bowled Australia out for 107 on the last day.Fanie De Villiers was our hero that day with a seven wicket haul.
Australia India cricket,second test at the Gabba day two,saw India collapse once more losing their last six wickets for 90 odd runs.This must be so frustrating to the top order who got them to 321-5 and then seeing the collapse to 408 all out.I know it’s expected for the top order to make runs but they do need some support from the lower order to see them through to a more dominating position.What has happened now is the back door has been left open and with Australia 221-4 and new captain Steve Smith in prolific form,Australia will get close if not pass the Indian total,and then once again India will be under severe pressure to gain any momemtum to carry them through for the rest of the test.
Highlights so far have been Murali Vijays 144,Rahanes’81 for India.Australia will be delighted in finding a new quick in Josh Hazelwood who took 5-68 on his debut.Great bowling by an enthusiastic young cricketer,who I hope will go onto greater things in his career.
A good agressive 55 by Chris Rogers and 65 not,by Steve Smith.Mitch Marsh looks reasonably comfortable against the India attack,but has yet to face an extended attack from Yadev who has three Aussie scalps under his belt already.
Tomorrow should be the key day to swing this test either way.
Proteas Windies cricket gets underway tomorrow as the first test starts at Centurion Park in Pretoria.There has been a lot of discussion going on about the slow start the South Africans seem to take at the beginning of any tour.Earlier this year we were humbled by Australia when we got blitzed by the Aussies,mainly due to some excellent bowling from Mitch Johnson.Admittedly the Windies don’t have the same fire power in their bowling,but don’t for one second believe they are a mediocre team.They have a packed team of proven all rounders Sulieman Benn,Marlon Samuels and Kemar Roach,plus the one man who has been a thorn in the SA teams side,Shiv Chanderpaul.
South Africa are still top of the ICC test rankings and they are going to have to put their heads down and graft from day one to maintain that position.Australia are looking strong against India,so we have to win this three test series 3-0 to ensure we stay on top by a good margin.
The South African selectors have also selected some rookies for our squad to blood them.The likes of Kagiso Rabada,Kyle Abbott,Stiaan van Zyl and Temba Bavuma.
By all accounts,according to the pundits we should be too strong for the Windies,especially with them not having Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo.
Australia India first test day five saw Australia pull off an unbelievable win.After scoring a fast paced 517 in the first innings and losing some time due to inclement weather,they managed to put pressure on India,ending the first innings with a 73 run advantage.Nathan Lyon the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 134.
Australias second innings was propped up by another David Warner century to add to his first innings one and they were able to declare on 279 -5.
India started their second innings a bit shakily losing two wickets with only 57 on the board,but then Kohli and Vijay took the total to 242 before Vijay was trapped leg before by Lyon.Kohli produced some of the best batting I have seen for a while,but even his 141 could not stave off defeat as the last seven Indian batsmen added a pathetic 30 runs.The destroyer of the Indian innings,once again Nathan Lyon with a fantastic 7-152,giving him match figures of 12-286.
Michael Clarke,the Australian captain pulled his hamstring again and will be out of the remaing tests and the capataincy has been given to Steve Smith,the second youngest man to captain Australia.Fears are that this injury may be the end of Clarkes’cricketing career.
Australia India first test,end of play on day four has Australia in the ascendency with a lead of 363 runs,but five wickets down.Steve Smith is at the wicket with an unbeaten 52 and Brad Haddin on 14.
There are 98 overs scheduled to be bowled tomorrow,so my guess is Clarke is going to bat for an hour or so tomorrow before declaring.An hour should be 12 to 14 overs plus 4-5 for change of innings,that will leave him about 80 overs to bowl India out,as I don’t see India scoring at 5+ runs an over to win this test.Result,a draw.
What comes out of this,David Warner with back to back centuries is in prolific form,closely followed by Steve Smith,Michael Clarke with his first innings hundred was striking the ball well.Nathan Lyon with a fifer in the first dig is looking dangerous.The pace attack shared the other 5 wickets.Australia will feel reasonably pleased with their overall effort and will be confident going into the next test.
For India,Virat Kohli made a tough,gutsy hundred wth good support innings by 3 of the other top order batsmen.For India,none of the bowlers put up their hands as wickets were shared accross the spectrum.
India should be well pleased that they dented the Aussie juggernaught of pace and the top batsmen can make runs,they have a good selection of bowlers and with Dhoni coming in for the second test they will be bolstered by his return.
Looking forward to the second test in Brisbane on the 17th.
England Sri Lanka ODI cricket,currently 3-1 in favour of Sri Lanka.England have been rather lack lustre in their tour of Sri Lanka in this seven match series.Contrary to the normal game which is played out in one day,this fifth game of the series had to be played over two days due to rain.
Sent into bat by England,Sri Lanka lost their first wicket with the score on 3,and once again Kumar Sangakarra came to the rescue,anchoring the innings with a fine 91 and well supported by skipper Angelo Mathews with 40 and a valuable 27 off 17 by Perera,getting them to 239.
Chris Woakes got his best bowling figures of 6-47.
Then the rain came,so with no further play possible it was agreed that England have their chance today.
England did not start off much better than Sri Lanka,losing their first at 12.Joe Root proved to be Englands saviour with the bat in an unbeaten innings of 104,his third century in limited overs.He was well supported by James Taylor who made 68,getting England to 240 and a five wicket win.
With the series now 3-2,England are going to have to push the boundaries to keep Sri Lanka on the back foot,and we shall have to wait and see if Sri Lanka have the ability to bounce back and put England under pressure.
Australia India first test is proving to be just that,India are not rolling over to play dead.Whatever Virat Kohli has said or done with his team mates is working and he is leading from the front.India have certainly nailed their colours to the mast.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke,the sportsman we know him to be,declared the Australian innings closed at the end of day two after rain interrupted play.India have taken up the challenge and have batted well on day three with a first innings total of 369-5,148 behind Australia. All the batsmen have come to the party led by Kohli with a fighting 115.Three of the other top order batsmen waded in with innings of 50+.
There were some concerns earlier in the day when Kohli was struck on the helmet by a Mitch Johnson bouncer,but no harm done.The grit and determination of the Indian skipper shone through as he went on to record his second century in Adelaide.Johnson and Lyons have picked up two poles a piece with Harris taking the other.
With two days to go I think this will end in a draw,unless there is a sudden collapse.The wicket is still looking good.What this test is doing is setting the standard for things to come and India are not going to be a push over as some thought.
Australia India 1st Test began today with a minutes silence for the passing of Phil Hughes who passed away last week after being struck in the nape of the neck by a bouncer from Sean Abbott.
There was a good half century stand from the Aussie openers largely thanks to David Warner,who went on to make his 10th test century 145,Rogers 9 and Watson 14, did not look comfortable,and Australia were 88-2.Enter Michael Clarke who looked in sublime form,seeing the ball and timing shots to perfection when tragically he went down with a back problem with the score on 206.
Steve Snith came out to join Warner and they pushed the score along to 258 before Warner was tempted by a widish ball that he nicked and was caught behind.Marsh joined Smith 72 no, and they pushed the score along at a good rate before marsh pushed at one and was caught at short cover by Kohli.Australia 345-4.
Nathan Lyon came in as the watchman,but only lasted 3 overs before he went back to the pavillion,followed shortly by Brad Haddin with out scoring,leaving Australia 354-6 at the end of days play,scored at nearly 4 runs to the over,fast for test cricket.
If India can snaffle the last four wickets early tomorrow,we could be into some exciting test cricket.
Concerns for Michael Clarke,he has been plagued by hamstring problems for a long time and now lower back pains.Wish him a speedy recovery.
New Zealand Pakistan ODI five match series started yesterday keenly contested by both teams.The Black Caps were sent in to bat by Pakistan and were soon in trouble losing the wicket of Brownlie with the score on 26.Ross Taylor held the innings together with a well constructed 105 not out,despite having almost no assistance from the other top order batsmen.Fortunately Ronchi 23, and Vettori 27,stuck around and helped the Black Caps reach a respectable 246-6,which was looking highly improbable when they were 111-5 after 30 overs.
Wicket takers for Pakistan were Irfan 3-57,Riaz 2-51 and Afridi 1-36.
Pakistan looked decidely shakey as wickets started to tumble early in their innings,and at 4-52 in the 17th over 5-86 in the 25th, New Zealand looked in a strong position,but an 85 not out by Sohail and a fighting 61 by Afridi set up the Pakistan win by three wickets with 3 balls remaining.
Wicket takers for NZ,Mills 1-54,Vettori 2-40,Neesham 2-62 and McCallum 1-35.
Ross Taylor became the 6th international player to chalk up three consecutive centuries in the shortened format of the game,and the first New Zealander to achieve this.