Just when the thought of this series being even was set aside dominantly by the Australians, the Proteas laid a punch back right when it mattered, more than just then clawing their way back at the Aussies on day two of the second test at Port Elizabeth. Fine tons by A B DeVilliers & J P Duminy
made sure that the South Africans put up a more than commanding total on board & then their bowlers tore through the Aussie top order to end the day on a high.
DeVilliers & Duminy resumed their rescue act from day one, only DeVilliers realised the urgency of putting up a good total in short time if the South Africans had to breathe in the series. Taking twenty Australian wickets on a dry & hard track, more suitable for batting was going to be a difficult task for Steyn & co, even though they are more than capable of it. DeVilliers led the aggression while Duminy played the perfect second fiddle.
The pair put on a crucial 149-run stand for the 6th wicket as DeVilliers got to yet another test century in the current calender. Duminy too, got to a personal landmark of 1000 test runs while the pair continued dominate. DeVilliers (116) however fell to a brilliant return catch from Nathan Lyon. The lower half of the South African batting collapsed within the next 74-runs, not before J P Duminy had got to his 3rd test ton & helped South Africa reach a respectable 423 in their first innings, with a little help from Wayne Parnell (10*). Nathan Lyon (5/130) impressed for the Aussies with the ball, for a change.
The next challenge for the South Africans to make in-roads through a batting line up which was in the form of their lives. The South Africans got more than they bargained for & proved why their bowling attack is at par with the Aussies, as one of the best test attacks in the modern games. Chris Rogers (5) encountered another failure as he fell LBW to Vernon Philander early on. David Warner continued to do most of the scoring at the top, even as Alex Doolan (8) & Shaun Marsh (0), both of whom played a crucial role in Australia’s victory in the first test, fell to Wayne Parnell.
At 3/41, South Africa had Australia reeling on the back foot. 40-runs later, Philander struck a crucial blow sending back the Australian captain Michael Clarke (19) just as he was starting to get a feel of the track. Warner reached a fifty at the other end, having survived a dropped catch behind the wickets by DeVilliers, a rarity. Nathan Lyon (12*) digged in with Warner & saw the rest of the day without allowing the South Africans to make further in-roads, but more crucially putting on a frustrating unbeaten 31-run partnership with Warner, ending the day at 4/112.
South Africa have a real chance of getting to the usually resistant Aussie tail a bit quickly this time. Given that Brad Haddin & Mitchell Johnson also fall early, South Africa will look to bundle out the Aussies as fast as the can , may be even get them to follow-on. Day three promises some good test cricket from two of the best in the business.
2nd Test At Port Elizabeth – Day 2
SA (First Innings) 423 – Duminy 123, DeVilliers 116, Elgar 83, du Plessis 55, Parnell 10*
AUS (Bowling) – Lyon 5/130, Clarke 1/16, Smith 1/30, Harris 1/63, Johnson 1/70
AUS (First Innings) 4/112 – Warner 65*, Clarke 19, Lyon 12*, Doolan 8, Rogers 5
SA (Bowling) – Parnell 2/19, Philander 2/26, Morkel 0/31, Steyn 0/33
Australia trail by 311 runs with 6 wickets in hand & 3 days to play