Almanac Cricket: Second Test – Australia v South Africa Day 4: Big win to the Aussies!

BOXING DAY 4

 

Today will more than likely be the coup de grace for the South Africans.  With wintry conditions again they will need a gigantic effort by their batters to hold Australia and there is still tomorrow.

 

Personally had a great start to the day at breakfast when a guy heard me talking and said “You’re on the ABC every Saturday”. Apparently he picked my voice which I believe is pretty ordinary.  Found out he came from Birchip and listens to Matt Tribe and myself talking sport on ABC Victoria.  A delightful surprise.

 

Birchip is the current vanilla slice capital of Australia and I always buy one (or two) on the way to Adelaide for the cricket.  The vanilla slice triumph was the one good idea Jeffrey Kennett had when he was premier of Victoria.

 

The next good thing was when I enter the library, which is always my first port of call each day. “Congratulations, you are the 50th person to visit the library this morning,” said deputy librarian Trevor Ruddell.  Like many members I love the library and devour as many books as I can when I visit.

 

The next surprise was chatting briefly with Alison Mitchell, the wonderful broadcaster.  I found out that Alison was a devout Port Adelaide supporter and has all the gear to prove it.  Her mother was born in Adelaide hence Mitchell’s allegiance to the Power.

 

Fifty minutes into the day and Verwee (21) gets one that keeps low and after a long time DRS prevails and he departs.

 

South Africa are doing their darnedest to stay in the match but a brilliant reflex Catch by SPD after Uzzie juggled the ball sent De Bruyn (28) back to the pavilion.

 

Australia keep the pressure on and not giving anything away and it wasn’t long before Head with brilliant fielding ran out Zondo (1) and the visitors were reeling at 4/65.

 

I decided it was time to go for a walk and one wag quipped to me “by the time you get around to the far side the game could be over”.

 

Well it wasn’t to be as Tembu Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne decided to make a fight of it.  I have waited for a long time to see Bavuma show the ability that I saw in Australia a few years ago.  He is a fine stroke player but just not seem able to make a big hundred.  In fact in 87 Test matches he has only made one ton.

 

Verreynne is a born fighter and has been the best batter by far in this limited series for the Proteas. He does not give his wicket away lightly.

 

It was a disappointment to a very interested crowd when he was out LBW to Scotty Boland after he and Bavuma had put on 63 runs on their fight back. South Africa 5/128  and Boland has his second wicket.

 

The wicket is playing no tricks and Nathan Lyon is yet to take a wicket.  If the batters play sensibly they can stay for a long while.

 

Wow!  A birthday cake enters the media box to the surprise of one G.Haigh.  I must change my birthday to the cricket season as this is not part of the fare of the AFL.  The cake was yummy!

 

Talk about a moz! Jansen (5) plays forward to Lyon the ball hits his pad, DRS, out  6/144.

 

SPD Smith makes a rare appearance at the bowling crease in an attempt to manufacture a wicket or two.  Remember when he was first picked as a leg-spinning all-rounder and the next Warnie?

 

First time I have seen a man fielding in the covers with a helmet on.

 

Another mix up involving Bavuma and Maharaj (13) is run out from a direct hit by Starc.  This is the third run out in the match by South Africa.  It certainly is not good cricket.  The two batsmen were just starting to get on top of the bowlers as well.  Well, probably not on top, but they were batting comfortably.

 

Bavuma (65), who had batted so soundly, disappointed when he lashed out at Lyon and was caught. He had battled like he was never going to give his wicket away and then to play such a rash shot was typical of the way  SA approached this game.  Their batting has lacked discipline if nothing else in all four innings so far.  Former players like Shaun Pollock and Jonty Rhodes who are covering this match for television must be extremely exasperated with how SA cricket is looking at the moment.

 

Ngidi has a few good hits to entertain the crowd which is very good for a game that was won before the first ball was bowled this morning. There is still some angst out there as Starc peppers him with bouncers.

 

For the first time in 10 innings The Proteas have made over 200 runs.  But they don’t get too many more as Ngidi(19) takes a wild swoosh at spinner Smith  and the ball goes from his pads on to the stumps.

 

Australia wins by an innings and 192 runs.  Lyon (3), Starc and Boland ( 2 apiece), Smith and Cummins 1 each.  David Warner man-of-the-match.

 

As a closing question.  How many people do you think were in the media scrum at the end of the game?    I counted 56!   Fifty-six that included everyone from, make-up people, camera people, the journos and assorted hangers-on.  Makes you wonder what most of them do?

 

 

More from Citrus Bob Utber Here

 

 

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About Bob Utber

At 84 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he has always done since growing up on a small farm at Lang Lang. Talking, watching and writing sport and in recent years writing books. He lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny) and a groodle named 'Chloe on Flinders' and can be found at Deakin 27 every day.

Comments

  1. Thanks, Citrus. Great work!!

    The Test summer thus far has been a little underwhelming.

    Let’s hope for a closer contest in Sydney.

  2. International cricket has become a pitiful standing joke. Pass.

  3. The intriguing thing I find is that at the start of procedures the Proteas claimed they were the real thing and would be in the Australians face right from the start. Well that’s worked a treat so far. Most highlights have come so far from the Australians. Hopefully the South Africans can put up a better showing in Sydney.

  4. SMOKIE – Would you believe it was hard work but sad? Having seen every series since the 1950s it is sad to view the demise of a great cricket sporting nation. See John Townsend’s post

    PETER -B: The report of my death is an exaggeration.. Welcome back PB! Just watching Pakistan v NZ is hardly a soul there in Karachi a cricket-loving nation. I hate to say this but you are probably right. Thank you Australia, England, and India – you do nothing for cricket as a game.
    FISHO -Don’t believe what you read. They (SA) will not put up a better fight. They have nothing!

  5. Citrus Bob – again wonderful reporting.
    And again a few of us scratch our heads with the treatment of this great game of Test cricket.

    This cricket summer feels over now for me.
    I was lucky enough to see the last session, Day 1, Adelaide.
    And most of Day 2, Adelaide.

    Interest has dimmed to barely a flicker. It is such a wonderful game – if only the players (of both competing teams) were given adequate preparation and time.

  6. CITRUS BOB says

    E.REGNANS – I despair David with what has become of this wonderful game that brings out the best of men and women.
    Such is my despair that I cannot think about going to Sydney to see second-rate cricket played by a team that wants to get back home for their “new” IPL-backed T20 and the Rands.

    The powers that be (OZ) sit on their hands and do nothing other than to think about the new TV deal in Oz and how they can employ more people and pay players more to be involved at the top level.
    My beef all along is _ WHAT ABOUT GRASSROOTS CRICKET FROM DISTRICT CRICKET DOWN?
    BCCI, E&WCB, CA need to get their act together. Thanks, Bosisto (great bowler)

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