Australia v South Africa – Hobart Test, Day 3: De Kock ton, Hazlewood’s sixfa, and Khawaja’s steel, as the Australians survive

Blundstone Arena DAY 3


The cacophony that emanates from the hill and the David Boon Stand tells us that it’s schoolies day today at the beautiful Blundstone Oval. Never happened in my day but my state school principal always had the cricket going and that was after he had drunk our warm milk at morning play-time.


The day is overcast but looking to the west it is clearing up so a full day’s play is imminent.


Once again the overnight scuttle butt focused in on Sheffield Shield cricket. Seems that, although they don’t attend games, the ordinary Aussie cricket fan loves his Shield cricket and particularly the fact he/she can barrack for their state. It is a rare thing to have your state to barrack for in sport nowadays.  Sheffield Shield offers that but we all want our best players to be part of the game. After all cricket is our national sport. The average Joe is being treated with disdain by the powers that be.


After some good early morning bowling from Starc and Hazlewood the two batsmen settled in and De Koch in particular was looking dangerous.  He has a beautiful easy flowing style and he was making batting look easy. He is hitting Lyon in particular to all parts of the ground and he overtakes Bavuma.


Lyon is not bowling with the venom that one normally associated with his turn at the wicket. He is bowling like a man who has lost confidence in his ability.  Perhaps the pressure being applied to him both on and off the field is taking its toll.  Is it possible that selectors might “rest” him from the Adelaide test?


Both batsmen pass their fifties with ease and even now one could suggest that only one team can win and it is not Australia.


Nevill misses a stumping and De Koch survives. QD has mastered Lyon so far in this series and he could be the reason why he might miss out in Adelaide.  The Wade Faction will be having a few words. He is not the best keeper in Australia is he?


At 23 years of age De Koch is sending a message to the Australian selectors if he is doing nothing else but he is. He is in complete control as he closes in on another century.  His last five innings have produced 50 plus runs on each occasion. His 100 comes up of 139 balls with 16 fours.


He goes shortly afterwards trying to force Hazlewood away for a fine 104.  Bavuma 74 and Philander 3 go to lunch with the score at 6/288 the lead has been extended to over 200.


Lunch proved beneficial for the locals and three wickets fell quickly after the interval. Hazlewood and Mennie bowled tightly and were rewarded for their efforts. Bavuma (74) got a surprise ball from Joe Mennie for his first test wicket while Maharaj (1) and Abbott (3) fell to Hazlewood to give him 5 for the game.


Philander keeps the score going forward exactly what he did in Perth but falls to Hazelwood for 32 while Rabada 5 not out.


Great bowling by Josh Hazlewood 6/89. He kept the ball up and was justly rewarded. Starc (3) and Mennie (1) where the other wicket takers. Of note Nathan Lyon finished with 0/72 following on his 0/146 equals 0/218. Surely the early comments are now justified.


South Africa all out for 326 a lead of 241 and Australia are in big trouble. I think they would have rather kept the visitors out there for a bit longer.


Disaster strikes Australia immediately when Burns (0) tickles Abbott through to the keeper down the leg side and they are 1/0. Will Burns keep his place for Adelaide? I fear not as his form leading in to this match has not been one to write home for.


Warner and Khawaja get through a difficult period against Philander and Abbott.  Philander in particular is making the batsmen jump.  A good score here from Ussie and he might help the selectors solve one of their problems.  Burns out Khawaja opening?


So far today we have made two changes for Adelaide given today’s circumstances :-

Out:  Lyon, Burns

In:      Maddison, O’Keefe


This process will be reviewed at the end of the day’s play.



Rabada continually beats Warner and Warner counter attacks, exhilarating cricket from both players. Australia are hanging in there.


With the score on 77 rain delays play for the second time today not that it should affect the final result with two days still to go and South Africa well in control.  Abbott and Rabada continue to beat the bat and now they have a break to freshen up and have another go.


Warner (45) is dismissed in unusual fashion. The ball rolls up his thigh pad onto his arm and then on to the wicket, bowled Abbott, Australia 2/79.


The good bowling of the South Africans has not been rewarded and Du Plessis is forced to bring Maharaj into the attack. Khawaja attacks him by dancing down the wicket and lofting him for four. Khawaja has again played some beautiful shots with effortless ease.


Smith (18) and Khawaja (56) see their way through the rest of the day when bad light forces players from the field. Australia 2/121 and they have fought back well.


The early Oval test team remains the same as mentioned at this point of time.  Australia is looking better but there is still a long way to go. From the South African perspective their bowlers where not on target as consistently as they were on Day One. They still beat the bat on many occasions but luck was against them in many respects.


With the skies looking clearer than they have for the whole match play for Tuesday looks promising with no interruptions.



About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".


  1. Peter Flynn says:

    The Aussies should pick a Night Parrot.

  2. It’s interesting this talk about the Shield cricket CB. The week before the 1st Test I went down to the Gabba one evening and watched Qld take first innings points off Australia (wearing sky blue caps). There was probably a couple of hundred spectators, I was surprised at the number of young people (pleasantly surprised). I watched as the Test openers Starc and Hazlewood put the locals through their paces, whilst the Test keeper, Test Skipper and spin bowler made up the slips cordon and Davey Warner was in close. Qld had a sprinkling of former and current test players as well, I think I counted 10 or 11 playing in the match. Doug the rug was 12th man for Aust I believe. I couldn’t help thinking how pleasant it was to watch some pretty good cricket in the cool of the evening, at a very competitive ticket price as well. It’s FREE everyone! I wonder what it would cost for a ticket to the test? Probably more than FREE, and considering how late in the year the clowns in their wisdom are playing the Brisbane Test, will probably result in many interruptions for rain and probably hail. People should actually go to shield cricket. Just saying.

  3. Cricket must help itself and PROMOTE Shield cricket e.g. ringing old folks homes many which have there own buses and INVITING them same re schools as TG White says it is FREE so blow the trumpet jet people no.In SA there are 2 sports shows on radio use the media to your advantage.
    Next test team wise yep Lyon is gone bowling with out confidence poor line and overall poor captaincy re the use of him in this series.Keeper wise that Mickey Mouse nothing game where,Tim Payne got injured has cost him a decade long test career at least,Whiteman from Wa has fallen away a bit,ironically we haven’t seen enough of Handscomb with the gloves and like many I am not convinced with Wades glove work,Hartley is to old,Ludeman should have been dropped far earlier by SA a fine glove man but never worked out the art of batting with a poor game plan he didn’t work out which shots were poor percentage and no where near enough singles,Alex Carey would be a bolter of a selection but it worked with Ian Healy.The opening position is one where no one is grabbing with both hands I like Khahawa at 3 but by default he may end up opening,Voges is surely playing for his career today again by the stupidity of the programming will players be withdrawn early from the shield games so they can play in Adelaide ?
    Cricket Australia has so much to answer for ! Thanks Citrus Bob

  4. Bob i can agree with those two changes.

    Mennie; retained on his home wicket ?

    Nevill, Wade, none inspire confidence. Wade wasn’t discarded from the test XI because he was our best keeper. Has his keeping improved ? Nevil does not inspire in front or behind the stumps but none of the keeping alternatives give me confidence. It’s one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations.

    Now a question for the statistically skilled. We’re on the cusp of defeat here This follows on 9 consecutive losses in tests and ODI’s When did Australia lose 10 consecutive matches??? Even when we hit what i considered our nadir during the WSC split , then the mid 80’s divisions, we never lost 10 matches in a row. There’d be a test draw or an ODI victory to revive us but we ‘re possibly on the cusp of our worst ever losing streak.


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