Australia v South Africa – Adelaide Test, Day 3: Not bad, this Test cricket



The morning started with a brunch for a small group of Knackers in North Adelaide.  What an enjoyable moment of time.  We solved every problem in both AFL and cricket in two hours before walking down to the Oval.   Should make it a regular part of the Day-Nighter. (Agree, Citrus. We will – JTH)


Starc and Khawaja start well with Starc dominating the play.  It is 30 minutes before the first wicket falls and it is Khawaja who goes lbw to Philander.  Australia 7/327


It was easily Khawaja’s finest innings to date for his country.  His 145 occupied 466 minutes with 12 fours.  The key feature was his ability to maintain his equilibrium right throughout and guide players such as Handscomb (54) and Mitchell Starc through their innings.


Starc scores a fine 50 before dollying a return catch to Rabada. His 53 could prove very handy by the end of the game. Australia 8/357.


Lyon for some reason only known to him lashes out gets to 13 and sweeps of the top edge and Shamsi has his first wicket in Test cricket. A bit longer at the wicket would have put more pressure on the South Africans who had been out in the field for a long while.


Jackson Bird again wants to show R.Marsh that he didn’t know what he was talking about when Marsh said he needed to improve his batting.  He doesn’t and cuts Rabada straight Du Plessis with his score on 4. Hazlewood 11 not out.  All out 383 and a lead of 124.


Abbott 3/49 of 29 overs was the best of the bowlers. Rabada 3/84, Philander 2/101 and Shamsi 1/101.


The match is well poised with Australia holding a points advantage at this stage.


The Australian points advantage extends when Smith takes a brilliant catch to dismiss Elgar (0) from Starc who is having a great day.


There is no question about it Smith would have to be the outstanding second slip fielder in world cricket today.  The catch was outstanding.


The Proteas are playing very careful cricket.  Cook is such an awkward batsman whose style is hard to write about it.  Amla on the other hand plays all the fluent strokes and at the moment needs runs.


The quietest period of the game rolls along with the two batsmen not giving an inch as the Australians trying to break through.


Amla (13) gives a chance to the men behind the wicket but there is no synchronization between Wade and Renshaw.  Interesting because on day 1 the ABC experts predicted this might happen. The former South African captain has had a terrible series and this might change his fortune.


He starts to hit out and runs come freely until he gets a ripper from his nemesis Hazlewood and he is caught behind by Wade for 45.  It was the faintest of touches and great work by umpire Nigel Llong.  We are often too quick to criticise umpires but they have been exceptional in my opinion in this match.  At 2/82 South Africa still have a lot of work to do.  Fine bowling by Hazlewood.


By dinner the score had moved along to 2/100 and like the previous 2days we are looking forward to some interesting cricket.


Hazlewood still look like the bowler most likely as he continues with his wonderful series as the mainstay of the Australian attack. Not forgetting Starc who also has had a good series and in particular his ability to take early wickets.


Have not mentioned Cook much but he has battled, could not make it any clearer, but he has survived and is holding up one end and frustrating the bowlers. A bloody nuisance for the Aussies.


JP tries to cut Lyon a risky stroke at any tie and is clean bowled for 26. SA 3/131 and only 7 in front. A good wicket for Lyon.  Smith’s captaincy has been attacking from the outset and he is enjoying leading this team.  Looks like his most comfortable captaincy in the last six months.


The crowd again let themselves and Australia down with their welcome to Faf Du Plessis to the wicket. As they say in the classics ‘it is not cricket”. Du Plessis would be a welcome addition to any AFL side with his G & D. Like most counter punches the boos would only make him fight harder.


The Australians continue to beat the bat on occasions and bowling without luck and it takes a fantastic catch by newcomer Peter Handscomb in the gully to rid the of Faf Du Plessis (12).  At 4/154 South Africa are behind the eight ball with a lead of only 30.  Starc is making the batsmen jump at the moment.


Meanwhile Cook continues to thwart the Australian attack in a fine display of unorthodox batting.  He does not have any of the techniques you will find in a technical book on batting but he is still there and that matters for his team.


Bavuma is looking at attacking right from the outset and it is a crazy shot just before stumps that cost him his wicket. Sweeps, gets the outside edge and Smith runs around to take an easy catch from the bowling of Lyon   5/190 and a small lead of 66 runs.


A good effort by the Australians to dismiss half the South African team in the last two sessions of the third day.  It has been a war of attrition from both sides.  Gripping Test cricket.


Lyon gets Abbott (0) LBW!  Abbott had been sent in to shield The Gun De Kock but it backfires. De Kock comes out and survives three brilliant balls from Lyon.


What a last over and what another absorbing day of Test cricket.


South Africa 6/194 at stumps. Cook 81 and De Kock o.  Lyon finished the day with 3/48, Starc 2/71 and Hazlewood 1/22.


Day 4 looks like a ripper of a day. Can Lyon turn the game further?  Can De Kock play one of his match-winning games?   Questions after questions and through it all Stephen Cook refused to give up his wicket.


What a great day for day-night Test matches.   Those in charge will be looking at the bank account. Another 36,000 people in attendance for a total for three day of over one hundred and nine thousand people enjoying the game.


About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Keiran Croker says

    It was a pleasure to catch up over brunch yesterday Bob. Very enjoyable, as was the Test Match. Liked what I saw of Handscomb. Will need to see more of Renshaw before passing judgement, and Maddinson did not get settled in, in difficult conditions. I hope they all get 3 or 4 Tests to show their worth.

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