Australia felt they were given a little more leeway and license to break free in the period after lunch but ended up losing a prize wicket, that of skipper Ricky Ponting.
After South Africa held the stranglehold in the period preceding lunch, Australia needed to break out of their shell if the next three wickets had to make up for the three lost in the morning session. South Africa were left to rue their skipper Graeme Smith’s dropped catch of the Australian skipper on forty. Ponting, who looked in good touch, in the first session of the first Test in Johannesburg, made South Africa pay, at least more than they would have liked.
Along with vice captain Michael Clarke, Ponting set forth the rebuilding process and their century partnership as gloom began steadily to loom around the ground, spelt a difficult time for the South Africans who had otherwise enjoyed a good day, apart from Smith’s one lapse. From a precarious position, Australia fought their way through Ponting’s grit and Clarke’s flamboyance.
Ponting capitalized on his good fortune, that included the umpire and the review system used for the first time in the series showed the ground umpire was right in giving Ponting not out to a caught behind, and looked set for a century himself. But disaster struck on eighty-three when he was bowled by Makhaya Ntini, Australia still not quite secure at 151 for four.
Marcus North faced a few terse moments as the second debutant batting for Australia on the day. But he appeared a steady partner as Clarke continued to do damage while punching in crucial runs for Australia.
But Clarke’s superfluous touch and ambition got the better of him, proving to be his undoing after making sixty-eight well made runs as he looked to smack one past the fielders only to be caught behind off, giving Steyn his third wicket and South Africa another prize before tea, Australia stuck on 194 for five as rain threats get closer to the stadium.
T1 Lunch Time: Aus Blood Three Debutants; Smith Drops Ponting
RSA- Aus:Captains Brace for Use of Referral System
SA- Aus Preview: South Africa Leave Prince Out, Call Tsotsobe
SA – Aus Preview: Australia Land With New Faces, Arduous Dreams
SA- Aus: Look Back on the Australian Summer
The World’s Best Cricket Team?
Only the Mace for the King!
Bucknor Calls It Quits
Ponting: Too Many Captains in South African Team
Aus Crowd Reaction: Better to SA This Year than India Last Year
Smith Confesses Amidst Adulation
Kallis Joins the Eight Man 10000 Club; Finds Ponting’s Backing
Desmond Tutu Showers Blessings of Praise for South Africa’s Cricket Heroics
Ponting– Confident of Regaining Lost Glory; Wants to Emulate Federer, Armstrong
ODI 5 Fulltime: Debutant Tsotsobe Scripts South African Fairy Tale Win
Symonds Will Not Be Going to South Africa
How Proteas self-belief earned success Down Under
SA Will Stage Comeback in ODI’s
How Smith and Warne shaped the Test success
Smith Seeks Patience for One day Results
Can’t Keep This Man Out of the Action!
An old tale of committee captaincy looms
Mickey Arthur unveils new Protea ODI plans
Smith Holds of Surgery for Clash against Australia
A Smith-less Proteas in ODI challenge Down Under
KP: Problems with all Non- SA Coaches Now?
Arthur: Playing It Safe, Smith May Be Chained!
Should SA Have Halted the Game?
IPL Auctions: The Predictable Four ‘Big Fish’
Double Tragic Tales: Smith’s Broken Bones Shift Advantage; Lee Out As Well
Looking at the World’s New No.1 ODI Team
Morkel powerplays pinch-hitting revives the Zulu image
Connect Obama to Cricket and USA Will Be the One in Power
Morne’s Racial Abuse Deftly Handed; SA All Praises
Think India Should Be Number One; SA says, Think Again!
Thought, Not Technique Behind South Africa’s Success?
EXCLUSIVE: Pics from the South Africa Stables!
Chesterfield Special: Tough Road to Triumph for Proteas
Smith Adds Personal Touch to Team Success
White Lightning Against Australia…Again?