Sun, Mar 01, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Proteas crumble as Australians take control in first Test


Australia’s bowlers picked up where their batsmen left off on Friday, ripping through South Africa’s top order as the tourists remained in the driving seat on day two of the first Test at the Wanderers.

The South Africans reached 85 for three at the close, trailing by 381 in their first innings after dismissing Australia for 466 at the end of the second session. Opener Neil McKenzie was at the crease on 35 with AB de Villiers on 13 in an unbroken 36-run stand for the fourth wicket at stumps. New-ball bowlers Mitchell Johnson, who had earlier cracked 96, and Ben Hilfenhaus needed only eight deliveries to have the South Africans struggling with two wickets down and as many runs on the board.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith got a nick behind off Johnson from the fifth ball of the innings for a duck and three deliveries later Hilfenhaus had Hashim Amla caught at second slip by Australia skipper Ricky Ponting for 1.

Despite falling early, Jacques Kallis became the first South African, to make 10,000 Test runs when he took a single off Peter Siddle in the 10th over. Kallis made 27 but got a thick edge to gully off Siddle to leave South Africa at 49-3 before McKenzie and De Villiers steadied the ship.

Debutant Marcus North had earlier compiled a century after he and Brad Haddin resumed Australia’s first innings at 254 for five, and tail-ender Johnson fell narrowly short of his maiden ton. North made 117 and Johnson contributed an unbeaten 96 in a record Australian eighth-wicket partnership.

Haddin (63) and Andrew McDonald (0) were both removed shortly after South Africa took the second new ball midway through the morning session. But North made 117 off 233 balls and Johnson hit 96 not out in a stubborn 117-run stand.

Paul Harris got the breakthrough when North was stumped by Mark Boucher. Johnson then dominated a 53-run stand for the ninth wicket with Siddle.

Morne Morkel wrapped things up in a hurry after overstepping a delivery that would have had Siddle caught by Kallis at second slip. Off the next ball, Siddle repeated the mistake, but Morkel didn’t and Kallis held an easy catch to remove the tail-ender for nine.

Hilfenhaus was caught by De Villiers in the slips from the first ball he faced to end the innings.

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