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South Africa v Australia, Third Test, Day 5

Date

Scott Spits, Matt Bungard

Australia's aggressive fielding set-up for Kyle Abbott.

Australia's aggressive fielding set-up for Kyle Abbott. Photo: Getty Images

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Well, for me it's time for four hours of sleep before the Socceroos games. Ah, the things we do for our national team.

Thanks for following along, I hope the payoff was worth it! I think it was. We'll be back on the blogs for the 20/20s soon enough, although I think everyone wishes there were more Tests...ah well, not a bad way to finish a series!

Feel free to give me a buzz on twitter @TheMattBungard - goodnight everyone! 

Full credit to South Africa, no other nation would have got close to a draw there. And to big Vernon Philander, making a half century in both innings and not being dismissed. Fantastic effort by him, as well as de Villiers, Abbott, du Plessis and Steyn throughout the day. 

 

 

Well that is one of the most satisfying days of Test cricket an Aussie could ever experience - particularly as for the majority of us, it's 3am.

Ryan Harris...what can you say? Due to have knee surgery next week, this may well be his last hurrah...and boy did he give it his all. What a player. What a performance. 

ALL OVER!!!! HARRIS HAS BOWLED MORKEL!!!! 

Wow. Wow. Wow. He comes around the wicket to the big man, and it takes just two balls - another gorgeous yorker, this one swinging the other way. Fantastic delivery. 

That was an absolute peach from Harris. My word. 

THE RYNO STRIKES!!! FIRST BALL INTO HIS FINAL SPELL!!!

Brilliant yorker!! Steyn goes!!! The stumps are all over the floor. 29 balls, one wicket needed! 

The last ball of the over is left alone outside off. Five to go. 30 balls. 

And surprising nobody, the original call stands. Just missing leg. 

Close!! Hits the pad but was going down leg I think - still, with just over five overs left Clarke will review.

Another over faded. Just 6 now. Does Ryno have anything left in the tank? 

Also, this. Been a cracking series.

Another over down. Seven to go. 

Mitch does return, and the second ball is worked away down to third man for a boundary by Philander. That's his 50. What a gutsy, gutsy innings. 

Six dot balls. Seven overs left now. Need Mitch. 

Lyon is taken out. Shane Watson comes on. 

Six more deliveries kept out. Nine overs left. 

Pattinson still steaming in, bowling very short. Philander and Steyn happy to just get out of the way. 

Remember when the same rule that just saved Philander cost us the Ashes? The Big Show does...

Nathan Lyon back on. If ever there was a time for a wicket...

12 overs left. It's looking a bit precarious now for Clarke's men. 

An hour to go. 14.4 overs. 

Australia are incredibly frustrated right now and their feelings spilled through that drinks break. Can't blame them. 

The Australian fans on twitter were understandably diplomatic about the decision.

Finally a decision...NOT OUT. Unbelievable. The third umpire has decided the glove wasn't on the handle when the ball hit the bat. That's a gigantic call, it was inconclusive at best...I'm not sure how you can overturn that. 

The ball caught Philander on the thumb, there was no doubt of that. The only question is whether or not the glove was on the bat when it hit...we've been looking at this for several minutes!!

JOHNSON STRIKES!!! BUT IT'S BEEN REVIEWED!!!

He banged that in short, Philander couldn't get out of the way and it caught him on the glove, popping up to short leg...or did he? That may have missed the gloves!! 

And by the way, there's not a cloud in the sky and the sun is shining. We're going the distance here, should we need to. 

16 overs to go. Two wickets to get. Tense. 

Terrific shot from Philander! Pulls Johnson away for four again. 

Steve Smith continues, going at Steyn now. No fielder is more than a few metres from the bat. 

GONE!!!! MITCH GETS DUMINY!!!!

Great tactics from Clarke. Johnson has one creep down the leg side, Vernon works it off his pads but Nathan Lyon is waiting at leg slip to snaffle it! Two to go!! 

Just 21.4 overs remain.  Officially time to panic. 

That's some shot, from a number nine batsman no less! Short ball from Johnson and Philander rocks back and pulls it to midwicket. 

The skipper brings himself into the attack. Men all around the bat! 

Ouch! Pattinson gets that all wrong and a beamer smacks into Philander's fingers. He's not well. 

Off the back foot and through the covers. Australia looking toothless at present. 

Again it's too easy for Duminy - short outside off and clobbered to midwicket! Three boundaries from the Steve Smith over. 

And again! This one behind square on the off side. That's the 50 partnership for these two. 

Four more for Duminy. Smacked through midwicket.

Short ball from Pattinson which collects Philander in the rib cage - that wouldn't have tickled.

Not a lot happening. Harris and Pattinson peppering the crease but unable to find that killer ball. 

And we're back. Right, three wickets. Let's go. 

And that is tea.

Three wickets needed. South Africa need to hold out for 33 long, gruelling overs.

We'll be back in a few moments. Until then, let us know your thoughts in the comments or ask me on twitter, @TheMattBungard - back soon. 

Big top edge from Philander, that's over Haddin and everyone else, including a cameraman! 

Next ball is another boundary - whipped away to fine leg! 

Duminy picks this one up early and pulls it away - he's the key now! 

BIG SHOUT!!! STEVE SMITH GETS HIM ON THE FIRST BALL OF THE SPELL!!

Faf reaches down at that low one, misses it totally and it catches him plumb in front. He sends it upstairs but that was more in hope than anything!!! So close now!! 

Simple question...and one of these outcomes is getting worryingly close to being a reality. 

Poll: Will Australia finish this off?

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77%

No

23%

Total votes: 740.

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Poll closed 6 Mar, 2014

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These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

Nicely worked by Duminy as he guides that one down to fine leg. 

It's all getting a bit frustrating. I'm not the only one.

A juicy full toss does which Duminy pushes back past the bowler is probably not what was needed. 

Nathan Lyon back in the attack now. Can he find something? 

Three men posted in and around short leg at the moment, super aggressive field but du Plessis isn't fazed as he pulls another to the boundary - bringing up South Africa's 150. 

Very interesting stat...and not shocking.

This is a fearsome spell from Johnson and Harris. Duminy and Faf doing their best to weather the storm! 

GONE!!! RYNO GETS THE BREAKTHROUGH!!!

What a ball. That's a ripper - it deviated a mile but didn't move until very late, catches the outside edge of de Villiers' bat and Haddin takes it easily. The Aussies are pumped up now and as well they should be! 

Johnson bangs one in short and du Plessis pulls it away with authority! 

There's still 333 balls to come today. We only need 6 to be good! Keep the faith! 

Faf puts that one away through the covers - good shot, and good to see a little positivity. 

Dispatched to the midwicket fence immediately after lunch! That's one way to deal with the new ball..

Hey everyone, Matt Bungard in the hot seat for the rest of the day. Hopefully we're not up until 3am! 

Scott Spits: LUNCH. Gripping cricket. In some ways at least. That's five hours at the crease for de Villiers. South Africa creep (literally) to 5-122 with two more sessions to bat out and save the game. The hosts lost just one wicket in two-and-a-half-hours of cricket on day five. Pattinson snared the only wicket when Abbott failed to offer a shot to a tricky delivery that removed his off-stump. The role of de Villiers is intriguing. He's 39 not out after 214 deliveries. South Africa's overall run-rate? 1.52 runs per over. Get set for the long haul. Perhaps.

That's enough for me. Luckily for this writer, unlike South Africa I don't have to survive the whole day. Matt Bungard is back in the blogging chair after lunch. Good night to you all.

Only a few minutes away from the lunch break and South Africa is set to walk away with the points from the first session. The question lingers .... can the hosts pull off the remarkable and save this match?

And de Villiers gets in on the act ... That's just his fourth boundary after nearly five hours at the crease!

Classy shot ... Faf Du Plessis finds the boundary with an extended defensive shot. Great batting. Very secure. It rattled its way to the boundary on the off-side.

Let's make some predictions for when this match will be wrapped up. I'm tipping just before the scheduled drinks break in the second session. Ambitious? Perhaps. But we all know wickets can fall in a hurry ...

There's now less than a minimum of 70 overs for the day to come. But make no mistake, Australia will easily surpass that mark in search of five more wickets. With 30 minutes until lunch, the tourists would happily settle on one more wicket before the break. That would be a fair return under trying conditions.

There's the milestone for South Africa. 100 runs on the board after 70 overs. Break out the champagne.

WICKET!!! The breakthrough. Pattinson sends Abbott's off-stump flying. The batsman didn't offer a shot. Pattinson hit the right length and got a wicket with the Old Ball. As we said earlier ... it takes only one ball to get a wicket. Now the pressure rises again.

This line had to happen - of course a reference to one of South Africa's plucky pair ...

Guess who's going to roll the arm over? None other than the skipper Michael Clarke. A rare sight.

A rare sight ... Michael Clarke rolls the arm over.

A rare sight ... Michael Clarke rolls the arm over. Photo: Getty Images

Maiden after maiden after maiden. The run-rate has dipped below one run per over. A bit like the Australian dollar in freefall. Again the runs don't matter but today's proceedings do make for some economical figures.

DRINKS. That's the signal for me to get a cup of tea. We're 19 overs away from the new ball at Newlands.

So we're now down to less than 80 overs as the minimum target for the day. South Africa's batting pair have gone 75 minutes on the final day, barely offering up a chance. It's becoming slightly clearer ... victory won't be regulation. However, we all know it will only take another six balls. Anyone out there have a strong view on the timing of Michael Clarke's declaration?

Lyon's full toss is despatched to the boundary by Abbott. Runs certainly aren't an issue but you've got to take your chances nonetheless.

Here he is .... Michael Clarke brings on Steve Smith. Surely he'll be the man to pick up Australia's fifth (and now much-needed) wicket of the innings. Abbott has been at the crease for nearly two hours.

Patience, patience, patience .... if the Proteas somehow manage to extract a draw from this game, it will require some serious concentration. We've gone nearly an hour on the final day and no wickets have fallen. There's a long way to go ....

The ring of fieldsman edge closer around the batsman. Nathan Lyon now bowling in tandem with Johnson. This is simply a matter of attrition now. Another example of how Test cricket is so often a battle of wills.

Nicely done! de Villiers punches through the off-side from the back foot. There's a rare boundary. Johnson eats a very small portion of humble pie.

Michael Clarke turns to Nathan Lyon. What about Steve Smith - the partnership breaker!

OK, we've had an early reference on the TV broadcast about South Africa's genuine chances of saving this Test from this point. "This is a long way from over," the commentator managed. Surely he's kidding! The Proteas may just yet force the match into the final session but surely the six wickets will be snapped up - in good time. There's at least 89 overs to go!

A fascinating (but unsurprising) fielding structure for these early overs. All nine fieldsman are in close proximity to the bat as Mitchell Johnson tears in ....

Big Ryan Harris just keeps delivering. A more-than-handy back-up to Mitchell Johnson, Harris is toiling away in the endless search for wickets. Don't forget he's booked in for surgery once this series is over.

Here's the man ... Mitchell Johnson comes on to bowl. The man of the summer is going to bowl around the wicket to nightwatchman Kyle Abbott. There's a ring of fieldsman eagerly waiting for chances in the cordon.

There's plenty of chatter in social media about references to the time the Proteas managed a draw from a similar predicament ...

The pattern is being set. South Africa won't just roll over without a whimper. Once Australia breaks through - perhaps by getting rid of the nightwatchman - it might be time to unleash Mitchell Johnson.

OOOHHHHH .... Pattinson finds the edge of de Villiers' bat but the ball goes between the slips fieldsman.

Two overs down and it's already clear Australia has a bit of work ahead of it. It remains a reasonable batting strip and the likes of Pattinson and Harris have some back-bending work to do yet. Victory never comes easily .... but it seems Clarke still gave enough time after his declaration to secure the win.

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Australia on the brink of series win

Australia need just six wickets on the final day to claim a series victory against South Africa in Cape Town.

PT1M44S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-345vh 620 349

James Pattinson has the first over on the final day .... the fieldsman will be circling the two batsmen.

A good discussion on TV about the lack of a trophy being awarded for the winner of the Test series between these teams. In this day and age when trophies are seemingly awarded at will .... there is a real gap here.

It remains one of the most spectacular backdrops in cricket ....

No doubt it will be something of an emotional day for South Africa with long-time captain Graeme Smith set to farewell international cricket.

It shapes as a landmark day for Australian cricket. The tourists need just six more wickets of the final day of the third Test in Cape Town to claim a series victory against the Proteas. The result is basically a formality. It's just a matter of when it becomes official.

AB de Villiers and Kyle Abbott take to the field.

AB de Villiers and Kyle Abbott take to the field. Photo: Getty Images

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  • I think cricket needs to modernise . Since the first day in Centurion hardly anyone goes to watch, then add lack of TV coverage in England even during a home series and India suggesting that they don't really need to play Internationally surely sin bins for bouncers being bowled , 3 day tests , only ever tour for up to a month to keep motivation and interest in tact are just some of the creative new rules that could be introduced . If cricket is to become a worldwide game like soccer as a success story shows , entertainment needs to become instant.

    Commenter
    Bonzo
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:48PM
    • I think soccer needs wider and higher nets. Ain't going to happen. Bonzo you have never been to a game you have no clue. In Australia cricket gets good crowds. In SA cricket is not as popular, Rugby, Soccer etc are the main sports supported. If you think cricket needs changing the go support another sport. Those of us who have played and watched cricket like it just as is. It's been played for over 100 years and is as strong as ever. Ask the Balmy army or other England supporters who have played and watched and they will laugh at you Bonzo. If you are serious feel free to right your thoughts to the ICC so they can laugh and the rest of us can discuss, debate and argue over whose the best players, who should be in or out. Still waiting on you to man up and say. I Bonzo am wrong Teams Do win away. If they are good enough. I won't hold my breathe Bozo

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:55PM
  • Pity so many SA players, like England have retired just before or during a series , destabilises teams and makes any contest a bit of a hollow one with lack of motivation creating in and a bit if a don't care attitude. Graeme Smith's mind was clearly on his retirement not on the game!

    Commenter
    Bonzo
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:41PM
  • This was the most pleasing Aussie win in a very long time. Everyone contributed bowlers and bats. We didn't need the tail scoring to make up for top order failures, our bowlers made a team that on paper, recent form and with good batting averages the best batting line up in the world look average. Clarke made inspired choices to win the Test with field placings and bowler rotations. Long time to go yet however Clarke may end up Classed as one of our best Captains. When he took over we were struggling most greats gone. Most Test he had us competitive. Given a world class bowling attack Nd batting line up with players starting to become automatic selection on good form, not because there is no one else he has them playing as if they are the number 1 team in the world. Can he take us officially to 1. Ill say for sure

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:16PM
  • Well, I supposed your so called great sporting nation had to win at some sport eventually. It's been a barren few years in most sports, so you needed the crickets to help you maintain your bragging rights.

    And what bragging it is.

    Commenter
    Ian
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:12PM
  • Yet another display of the lack of control and class in this Aussie team, led by the worst of all, Clarke.

    That isn't passion or any of the other words that will be used to put a positive spin on it, it's childish, pathetic and unsporting.

    Commenter
    Ian
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:09PM
  • Amazing win. However

    1. Need to learn how to play like the saffers. At times that is the only thing that will save matches.

    2. Urgent need - quality spinner. Lyon so disappointing.

    3. Clarke needs to learn to back instincts to set sporting declarations. Setting 500 for a fourth innings target will make ANY team shut up shop and block, let alone the South Africans. They were never going to do anything different.

    4. Did I already say we need a quality spinner? Yes, I did.

    That said, this was the best advertisement for Test Cricket in a long time. Will ICC take note and revive the world test championship idea?

    Commenter
    jaydoc
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 11:45AM
    • jaydoc Clarke had to decide when to declare with the full knowledge that this SA team in recent years has been good enough to draw Test while chasing over 400, nearly beat India recently. I thought he could of declared at 450 or with say 30 more overs. Guess what mate. History shows Aus won he got it right. Just as its easy for me to be a Armchair Selector it's easy to be Armchair Captain. We won Clarke got it right

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 4:02PM
  • Thanks for the impersonations but there is only one Bonzo , I'm not Gonzo or Bozo Bonzo or anybody else just Bonzo, a voice of reason in the melee of National bias !

    Commenter
    Bonzo
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 10:22AM
    • I guess you can win away bonzo. Thats is unless your england coming to aus

      Commenter
      braf
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 11:58AM
    • And you were wrong! Teams don't win overseas? Teams disinterested. Underdone. Overdone. Whatever.

      Commenter
      wear the fox hat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:13PM
  • Armchair selector - your prediction made many hours ago missed by 3 balls. Wow! Go out and put some money on a dishlicker.

    Commenter
    wear the fox hat
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 5:24AM
    • Gut feel wear the fox hat and a deep respect do SA as a side to fight to the last. Ill have the majority here disagree with me however, I would love to see our Aussies develop the ability to fight out a game the the Saffas when we look down for the count. All those who complained about boring cricket, how was your heart rate with 20 overs to go.?

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 11:42AM
  • What excites me is Australia's bowling depth. Two years ago one of the Chappells said, "there has never been a better time for Shield players to pile on runs average over 60 and make the National selectors take note. This Shield season a good group of young players has been doing this. In hoping it leads to some quality bats slotting in as needed. Australia is on the rise

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 3:42AM
  • So it wasn't a flash in the pan - the Aussies are the real deal. Re: the controversy - recent history shows you can have a polite team of losers or winners who do boil over some times. The mongrel is back and so are the winning ways. By the way if you've played top class sport and don't get upset you're not playing top class sport. Nothing for second.

    Commenter
    NickB007
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 3:18AM
    • Mate I use to get upset as a teenager playing sport

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 11:44AM
  • Test cricket at its finest. What a finish. Kudos to both teams.

    Commenter
    Steve T
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 3:08AM
  • It was season 92-93 that SA batted for two days to save the test against Sri Lanka at Moratuwa. I cannot remember the last time AUS batted it out.

    Anyhow the quote "like a pack of dogs around the ball sums it up " . A bit more respect for the traditions would go a long way.

    Commenter
    Gauge501
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 3:08AM
    • Its called passion, look it up.

      Commenter
      Woof
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 9:37AM
  • Well done Aussies a win to remember. Well done SA as well, tenacious and resilient, the last day played with terrific spirit. Cricket won today. See everyone for the next game :P

    Commenter
    Moggoid
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:59AM
  • Well done Australia. Great team effort. Fantastic match and I only followed it on the Age feed. Awesome service. Come on Australians, Who amongst you are Australians, Come on Australians!

    Commenter
    Tired but elated.
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:57AM
  • I said earlier we would win with 5 overs to go, I was close. Hey Bonzo teams can and do win away. By the way. The Aussies were battered, bruised, tired and played through injury to win a series, away against the number 1 team. That's because Aussies have heart and pride

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:55AM
    • Unlike England who only show heart when they are shrieking at each other over twitter.

      Commenter
      Kevin the Cheeseman
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Silly them , I'd say, who want to be battered and bruised !

      Commenter
      Bonzo
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:30PM
  • WooHoo, those two deliveries by Harris were brilliant. Great win fellas, no one could dispute you deserved the victory.

    Commenter
    Flanders
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:53AM
    • Bonzo and Joe could. Some excuse like the dog ate the players homework or the tram had a flat tyre on the way to the ground.

      Commenter
      wear the fox hat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 6:14AM
  • Perhaps if modern day cricketers played the game with a bit more respect for the traditions, the rules, the umpires and their opponents it would be a much more enjoyable experience for all. And if posters here watched the game with both eyes, the comments might be a bit more reasonable. Just a thought.

    Commenter
    Les
    Location
    Fitzroy
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:52AM
  • Warner for Man of the Match.

    Commenter
    Boganomics
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:52AM
    • You forgot Man of the Series, Boges. He's a champ.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:04AM
  • WooHoo, You beauti Harris

    Commenter
    micko
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:52AM
  • YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Er, sorry. :^)

    Commenter
    Boganomics
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:51AM
  • Oh my word aussies win!!! What a mob of champs. Well played Aussies, you deserved this tough win. Your batting, bowling, fielding, captaincy was the best. You ripper!!

    Commenter
    Australia 2 SAF 1
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:50AM
  • Phew!

    Commenter
    Joseph
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:50AM
  • Outstanding Test match to finish an enthralling series. Big up to both sides. Brilliant stuff!

    Commenter
    Tyger Tyger
    Location
    Templestowe
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:49AM
  • i wonder what would have happened had SA had all 4 seamers bowling in the last 2 tests. Dale not there is a huge let off.

    Commenter
    Cypress
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:47AM
    • I wonder what would have Happened if Harris was fit and not playing on one leg.

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:21AM
    • What would have happened if Pattinson hadn't broken down in Adelaide in 2012? And if he hadn't played with undiagnosed stress fractures at Lords last year? The truth is we don't know and it doesn't matter. As Gerard Whateley is fond of saying, "It is what it is."

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:49AM
  • Clarke gets more decisions right than wrong, however I wonder if he should have declared when 450 in front. Easy to question from here though. SAs recent history of saving games etc, he may have feared they could achieve a miraculous win if set that. Amazing how top teams create an aura

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:22AM
  • Another disgraceful performance by the Australian Captain ,Michael Clarke, Physical violence or the threat or intimation of physical violence has no place on the field of cricket. And once again James Sutherland and the Board of Cricket Australia will be supportive of this culture..
    I am ashamed to be an Australian cricketer. On behalf of my genre of Australian Cricket I apologise to all cricket stakeholders around the cricket world for the behavior of my Capatain..
    Brian

    Commenter
    br
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:21AM
    • Ohh come on Brian, give it a rest.

      Commenter
      Moggoid
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:41AM
    • You arent an Australian cricketer, you are just a troll. Go away.

      Commenter
      Grow up
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:48AM
    • Harden up, they play the top level, not park gigglepot...

      Commenter
      Duke
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:02AM
    • Ah Bonzo, nobody wins away tests - that would be two and the series.

      Commenter
      wear the fox hat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 5:25AM
    • You can't be australian. Or you would know this is how test cricket should be played. SA and Eng had it easy for too long. Love it.

      Commenter
      AN
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 7:52AM
  • Bit stiff with the not out. Australia should have accepted the third umpires ruling and got on with it. Will it rattle Australia to the point they lose focus and not get the two wickets? Or will they suck it in come back hard and finish them of.

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:04AM
  • Blind Freddie could see that was NOT 'conclusive proof' to overturn the umpire's decision. What a stinker.

    Commenter
    Flanders
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:03AM
    • His hand wasn't on the bat. Not out.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:18AM
  • That decision by the third umpire was shocking. Philander should have walked. I smell a conspiracy designed to rob Australia. Clarke should lead his team off the pitch in protest.

    Commenter
    Warren
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:03AM
  • Clarke waited too long... a lesson to be learnt for sure.

    Commenter
    moggoid
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:02AM
  • Interesting thing here. AUS got 494+303, and SA got 287+259 (so far), when pre-test predictions (for AUS at least), was that our bowlers would dominate over a superior SA batting lineup. But the reverse (dominance of the AUS batsmen) appears to be true. Maybe AUS test team really has turned the corner?

    Commenter
    JH
    Location
    Briz
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 2:01AM
  • What make the SA the number 1 team is that even their tail end, have a reasonable batting skills. Unlike any other team, once the top order collapse their tail followed, however this team can endure quite well.

    Commenter
    Christopher
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:56AM
    • Unlike any other team? The Aussie bottom five made a heap of runs in the recent Ashes series.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:02AM
    • You were right, our current team performed reasonably well. However base on my observation in the past few years, I have rarely seen any tail end perform as well as this. May the pitch and the condition doesn't suit the bowlers.

      Commenter
      Christopher
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:31AM
    • OK, I may have the answer for my own comment earlier. A quick Google searched show me that Newlands is about 5,121 ft above sea level. That may explain why the condition favor batmen more than bowlers on this particular match. The weather condition is clear sky, less or nil wind and no moister.

      Commenter
      Christopher
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:44AM
    • It's been the South African way for years. Bowlers who bat better than they bowl. It doesn't matter how many runs philander scores to save a test. If he doesn't do his job as a frontline bowler then he isn't worth a place in the side.

      Commenter
      AN
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 7:58AM
    • Agree with you AN. The SA have done really well given the situation and the condition they were in.

      Let's me try to bring this down to a science.

      Newlands altitude is much higher above sea level at 5,121 ft. The condition of the day were clear sky, light or nil wind, hot and dry. It would be difficult to try to bowl them out during the afternoon, as the air would be much thinner, so you will not get any swing from the pitch.base on that hot and dry condition. And it would only wear the blowers out very easily than the batsmen, therefore it would waste of energy. Here is the proof of what I have said. early morning, there were some density in the air, so the our bowlers dismissed 3. As the day progress, with much work and mistakes from the batsmen and clever field placement from Clarke, we got a few more, that is only after much into the afternoon. Then on the final session. The day cool down a bit we start to see reverse swing again, and I think Ryan Harris could sense this. That's how we got them.

      So that is basically what I was trying to refer to, if that make any sense at all. I hope it does shine some light to how the condition affects the play of the day to some of you cricket fanatics. So in the future you will learn to see thing from another perspective. (-; Ciao!

      Commenter
      Christopher
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 4:21PM
  • How's Philander's form with the bat? He's faced nearly 200 balls without being dismissed! Been almost as good with the willow as he was ordinary with the ball.

    Commenter
    Tyger Tyger
    Location
    Templestowe
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:53AM
  • Matt I said earlier this was a good Test for Clarke to prove those of us who believe him a good attacking Captain who makes wickets happen and he does just that. He rarely steps a foot wrong with his Captaincy decisions. Come on 2 more

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:36AM
  • If South Africa draw this it won't be a testament to Australia's inability to win but a resounding endorsement of South Africa s number one test team ranking.

    Commenter
    Aus supporter
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:33AM
  • We never looked like getting the wickets today. You could tell from the first hour. Pitch and ball doing nothing at all. We need a Dale Steyn. If the roles were reversed the game would've been decided long ago. Maybe we don't have what it takes to get back to the top after all. We played SA.

    Commenter
    AN
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:30AM
    • But the other team do have a D. Steyn and look where they are?

      Commenter
      Finn
      Location
      Nairne.
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:52AM
    • An you whinged to soon. We did win mate.

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:57AM
  • Should Clarke have enforced the follow on? Did he wait to long to declare? 20 to go maybe?

    Commenter
    Coodabeen
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:28AM
    • yes 425 - 450 would have been plenty...and been a carrot for the Safas to chase.

      Commenter
      moggoid
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:13AM
  • Thanks for the sensational and informative blogging, Matt and Scott. If we can't wrap up the SA tail to win the series - do you think heads should roll in the Aussie bowling attack? I do.

    Commenter
    Cricket Tragic
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:27AM
  • One thing I respect about the Saffas is they have been a good team since coming back in 92

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:23AM
    • They have certainly shown courage and guts, which is something that pommy garbage were incapable of during the ashes series here when the Aussies slaughtered them so easily. Johnston takes a wicket...only 2 to go!!

      Commenter
      The end is nigh
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:30AM
  • Does anyone have fingernails I can borrow? I'm well and truly done with what's left of mine! Not big on patience!

    Commenter
    JH
    Location
    Briz
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:22AM
    • Phew. Good on you Mitch for getting Duminy. I will now avoid arthritic pain trying to attempt to contort to get to those toenails!

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Briz
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:35AM
    • No fingers or toes now left intact! What a fantastic tactical contest! Whoever wins, I tip my hat. Respect to both sides!

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Bris
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:50AM
    • And miraculously all my digits grew back after that SENSATIONAL conclusion to a fantastic competition. AUS cricket you are stars. And SA cricket you rock bigtime, but it sucks that your crowds don't support you, as we do here. Nonetheless, again, RESPECT!

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Briz
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:08AM
  • Why hasn't Watson bowled?

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:16AM
  • Saffas hitting out. Going for the win now

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:07AM
  • Can someone tell me what are the odds in here to end as a draw ? i bet some money on aussie win but i am afraid now that i will lose them. Should i cash out ?

    Commenter
    Alex Brodoceanu
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 1:04AM
    • You may have my ice scream shop if we lose.

      Commenter
      Christopher
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:34AM
    • I will keep the shop, you will keep your cash (-:

      Commenter
      Christopher
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:51AM
  • Before Smith chose to focus on his batting. He was considered a future spin bowler whom Warnie rated highly. He chose to work on his batting to get a Test cap. If Warnie can convince him to work on his spin more he could become a very good allrounder. He is one of my favourite players because its obvious how hard he has worked on his batting. I think by the time his done he will improve more and likely be our next Captain.

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:51AM
  • This is exhausting. Its quarter to one on a school night. Please get the last three wickets soon so we can go to bed. :-(

    Commenter
    BIg Noddy
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:47AM
  • Must say a Warner sledge about the Saffas slow batting made me laugh. He said about the Aussies constant chatter. "Somebody's got to keep the commentators entertained." He got a laugh from them to.

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:43AM
  • They were successful with the dead bat trick in Aus last time but hopefuuly not this time. They wonder why they don't get patrons to watch them. This is a prime example. A draw would be unjust, they have been outplayed.

    Commenter
    greddas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:09AM
    • They made 450 in a fourth innings 4 tests ago, have dismissed 3 teams for less than 50 in the last 5 years, have the most dynamic (over time at least, maybe not right now) pace attack on the planet, and boast arguably the two best batsman to watch in world cricket over the last 3 years.

      Cricket is the third sport in SA, behind rugby and soccer. That's why it doesn't get big crowds.

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:16AM
    • Did phaff...did.
      And you know if my Aunty had balls she would be my uncle.

      Commenter
      Big Balls
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:56AM
    • Non sequitur, BB.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:31AM
    • QED
      Tigger
      It's all Greek to me.

      Commenter
      BB
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:02AM
    • No, it's Latin, BB. I presume the bile you're spewing on to this page is being tapped out on a computer. Google it.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:23AM
    • And by the way, BB, your "Quod erat demonstrandum" is another non sequitur. You're on a roll.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:31AM
  • People should stop sooking about the pitches served up when We tour. That's always been part of Test cricket, adapting and winning. As the Aussies just got wicket 7 and a key one at that, we are looking likely to win. In other words stating. Our team can adapt and win here . The only reason Aus don't Doctor pitches is because our wickets vary enough. You people don't think Australia start of with an advantage in Aus. Get real

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:03AM
    • Mate I seriously can't believe some of the junk I've read on here tonight.

      If Clarke or Haddin played a knock like ABDV everyone would be gushing.
      Steve Waugh making 80 odd to stave off defeat against india in his final test was lauded.

      But watch SA do it and suddenly it's a sign of weakness and poor cricket.

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:13AM
    • If the Saffas get a pyrrhic draw they will get plaudits.
      If they lose they are just a boring second rate team.

      Commenter
      Big Balls
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:59AM
    • Maybe The reason I appreciate these circumstances comes from my playing days. Sadly I only played to fill in the numbers but hey was great times. Getting nervous now can we get the last three wickets

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:21AM
  • Ok, got em. We just need a little more patience boys. We'll get there eventually.

    Commenter
    Christopher
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 06, 2014, 12:02AM
  • Out of the two batmen, JP Duminy is the weakest one. Why don't we put pressure on him and relax on Du Plessis. Keep doing this back and forth. We may get them sooner. Any way just an idea of and ice scream shop owner.

    Commenter
    Christopher
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:56PM
  • I wish Faf was an Aussie. What a player for all occasions he is. We need his wicket soon or he will rain on our parade.

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:54PM
  • Lyon is a good servicable spinner, however unlike Warne who could create wickets on any Wicket. Lyon will always have the odd occasion when he just can't break through. Now I've put that out there watch him take a quick 3-

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:49PM
  • who knows but I feel Clarke left the declaration too late. With SA just needing a draw on a dead pitch to retain the series... the Aussies really had nothing to loose even if they had lost.

    Commenter
    B
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:48PM
  • Avvvvvva Go Ya Mugs

    Commenter
    Moggoid
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:46PM
  • Frustration creeping in..............

    Commenter
    Mac
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:40PM
  • For those of us who think Clarke is a very good attacking and instinctive Captain. Now is the time for him to prove us right. Create a wicket by some radical field placement. Let someone we are not expecting to bowl have a couple of overs. The way Warners tours gone I would not be surprised if he bowled and picked up a wicket or two.

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:27PM
  • Wondering why the crowds have so lousy this SA Test series? Du Plessis and his mates BORING "stuff the crowd" batting might be a reason!

    Commenter
    curaeus
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:21PM
    • Yeah you'd much rather lose in front of heaps of people than snare an unbelievable draw in front of not many.

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:40PM
    • Go away phaff.

      Commenter
      For Fox Sake
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:01AM
    • Keep it comin', Phat. You're making more sense than most here.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:11AM
    • Thanks tyger, you'd swear most people commenting here have never watched a game in their life

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:19AM
    • Tigger,
      Maybe you and phaff should get a room?

      Commenter
      For Fox Sake
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:51AM
    • It's worse than that, Phat. They've watched it for years and still don't get it!

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:51AM
    • Ad hohuminem, Vermin. Maybe you could try talking about the cricket.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:25AM
    • "Never watched a game, making more sense...vermin"
      Good to see you practice what you preach tigger.

      Commenter
      Big Balls
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:57AM
    • I take a different approach when I'm dealing with trolls, BB. If you're gonna chuck stones, learn how to catch 'em.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:05AM
  • Jean-Paul making Kyle look like a sprinter.

    Commenter
    Rocket Rod
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 11:03PM
  • In for the kill boys.

    Commenter
    Marribura
    Location
    Braidwood
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:56PM
  • This is when cricket and chess are similar! slow and tense, one wrong move and its fatal.
    Carn Aussies!! oi oi oi

    Commenter
    Rod
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:52PM
  • Harris you champ. Playing through the pain of a knee that needs surgery. What a inspirational player

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:45PM
  • Umpires having a word with Clarke about the condition of the ball....this is interesting. I'm expecting a bunch of bans to be handed out after the match.

    Commenter
    Ray
    Location
    Auckland
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:45PM
    • I'm not sure whats worse, bouncing the ball on rough patches or rubbing the keepers glove along one side of the ball.

      Commenter
      Mac
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 10:55PM
    • ...after they finish investigating why favourites India suspiciously lost in NZ?

      Commenter
      Baaa
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:01PM
    • Rumour has it the first Ban will be on insecure Kiwis putting dribble on Australian newspaper blogs.

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:11PM
    • Hopefully on you submitting anymore boring comments.

      Commenter
      The entire world
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:27PM
    • Not sure they'll ban anyone for throwing the ball into the ground, Ray. Perhaps if they start "Faffing" around with it they might be in trouble.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:29PM
  • Haven't read this much Aussie bashing I'm a while. The last time was when Australia was dominate and England were getting whitewashed on our soil. Looks like the good old days of dominance is back. Haters can watch and suffer.

    Commenter
    Chuck
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:44PM
  • Still 4 wickets to go..................

    Commenter
    Mac
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:42PM
  • So gold......it's it real gold that the sports people use or is it canary yellow or maybe sun ray yellow...I think maybe it's butter yellow....looks like fools gold to me

    Commenter
    Cuprnneth
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:38PM
  • SA batted for nearly two days to draw with Sri Lanka in Colombo in 92 I think it was,. They looked like they were gone for all money but saved the game

    Commenter
    gauge501
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:17PM
    • Poms tried it more recently 5 times.
      Suggests it is not a good strategy against the Aussies.

      Commenter
      For Fox Sake
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 10:51PM
  • If there was ever a time for Steven Smith to be a hero it is now. If he can land a few in the right spots he could crack this open. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.

    Commenter
    Andy
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 10:07PM
    • Any good call he got the key breakthrough. I'm hoping we start seeing Smith used more often bowling in Tests. His a very hand bowler

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:24AM
    • He's got some good stuff for sure, AS, but he needs bags of runs in the bank to be effective. Unless and until his control improves he's always going to go for plenty.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:13AM
  • This is why they call it Test Cricket. Bowling out a team who are focused on defence rather than scoring is a serious challenge, and the South Africans defend better than most. If Australia win, they'll have earned it.
    In any case, the Australians can learn by watching them do this - our record when defending for a draw isn't great.

    Commenter
    Stephen
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:53PM
    • Every word you said could not be truer. They know how to play a good old fashioned Test innings.

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 10:30PM
    • Let them play like that. The Saffas are terrified of losing, and it permeates their entire game. They have become masters at not losing. But there is something truly pathetic about a team that won't go for 18 runs in 3 overs with three wickets in hand, as happened vs India. Give me the Australian approach any day over this nonsense - laying down flat, dry pitches after getting thrashed by Johnson and playing attritional cricket the entire game unless in a dominant position.

      Commenter
      HH
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:45PM
    • Something pretty pathetic about a team that can't compose itself for long enough to bat out 2 sessions and probably save a game too, but I don't hear you bleating about that.

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:09AM
  • I can't understand why they want to play to draw, they are the number one side in the world, ... on rankings

    them playing for the draw just illustrates how much they have been beaten, and no longer realistically hold that mantle.

    Go for it, play to win.. they are defending like scared little highschoolers giving a ef about their rep.

    Commenter
    benny
    Location
    WA
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:46PM
    • Can't say I'm a fan of their approach but it has worked for them for a long time and they're no chance of winning this one, so what else are they supposed to do? We're the ones who need to win to keep climbing up the rankings and they're making that as hard as possible. If they lose it will be more the fault of their insipid bowling in the face of Warner's assaults than the admirable application their bats have shown in this second dig.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:18PM
    • Then you simply don't understand cricket.

      What team, in history at any time, be it Australia 95-05, the invincibles, the windies 80-95, would try and score at 4 an over after being 3-15 across 140 overs?

      You are deadset clueless.

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:31PM
    • Get back to your forte phaff.
      Ball tampering.

      Commenter
      Big Balls
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:09AM
  • May be boring however A.B is showing why he is such a quality Test player. He bats well according to the situation, can score at a good rate when required and Defend as if his life depends on it when also required

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:42PM
    • Finally we agree on something, AS! Best cricketer in the world right now. It's quite extraordinary the level of concentration he displayed given he's spent the best part of three days' keeping this match. Thank all the gods for Rhino! Now if we can just get Faf . . .

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:47PM
  • Good to see Abbott dismissed, hope it starts a trend. Good to see SA on the defensive - so much for their #1 rating, they're playing like timid little Meerkats! (are their Meerkats in SA?) :)

    Commenter
    Timothy
    Location
    Northcote
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:31PM
  • Funny how this 5th day pitch is still great for batting. The curator has done a great job for SA to keep it so flat..

    Commenter
    Paul
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:24PM
    • And he knew Australia would win the toss and bat first did he. The wicket is fine. If Aus are good enough we will win. If SA can get to stumps and still have 1 wicket left. We do not deserve to win simple

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:16PM
    • Yeah coz he knew before the test that Clarke would win the toss and that as would end up batting on the last day to try and survive.

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:38PM
  • Boring... yawn

    Commenter
    Steve-o
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:21PM
  • De villiers showing the Aussies how to play with class ,patience and absolute awesome skill. What he has done for the last 5 hours surpasses anything the Aussies have done. No matter the result.

    Commenter
    Hodster
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:19PM
    • It's just not your year Hodster. Ahh, very funny. Thank you for the laughs. Is that an English breakfast on your face (again)?

      Commenter
      Andy
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 10:35PM
    • Absolutely awesome Hodster, just awesome, never to be repeated. Head and shoulders above anything we gave seen in the series or ever likely to see again. The chap should be knighted.

      Commenter
      Everybody Loves Raymond
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:18PM
  • Scott. Hope you are right re when we get the last wicket. I'm either to scarred from watching the Adelaide draw or I respect the Saffas current two bats to much. Ill say last wicket will fall with 5 overs left. Many Aussies having heart issues

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:16PM
    • Nice bit of prophecy, AS! Although you were out by three balls. LOL.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 2:59AM
  • Love these umpires ignoring exactly the same thing happening in the second test yet they chat Clarke .... blimey

    Commenter
    NSMR
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:14PM
  • The way SA is playing, they have already lost their number 1 rank. the number one team need to play with authority. What is the point of being number 1, but can't show your greatness. So please show us some skills SA. That way you will get more respect, win or lose.

    Commenter
    Christopher
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:06PM
    • So make 300 and lose by 200 is better than batting through to stumps for a draw? Never seen a margin registered in a draw. Dont think you know much about cricket, let alone Test.

      Commenter
      Real world
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:46PM
    • What, like coming back from a thrashing by destroying the form team in the world doesn't do that?
      Winning three straight series' in England doesn't do it?
      Twice in a row in Australia doesn't?
      Unbeaten in India since 2005 doesn't show it?
      Get real.

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:51PM
    • Hey good to hear from both of you SA supporters. You fellas were right. I don't know much about cricket. In fact I didn't even think my comment would get any notice, especially making comment late at night, with so many typos. May be I was wrong to have given the SA team too much credit after losing only 3 wickets. Assuming that they would at least would try to win, but they have not as we have seen the lost of the 3 wickets moblised the whole team to a resigned state.

      @Phat, your comment was not so accurate, you have also missed my points, not every one in our team is in form, and some carried injuries. I was making that comment base on that test, not any other test, otherwise you would have been right.

      Commenter
      Christopher
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:53PM
  • At least Doolan will be relieved that someone has a lower strike rate than him.

    Commenter
    Asdf
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 9:02PM
  • If it keep going like this, I'll have to go to bed early this evening. No doubt Aus will win. I'll bet my ice scream shop on it.

    Commenter
    Christopher
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:54PM
  • Hilarious listening to the SA commentators on Fox Sports - every second comment is some holier than thou pontification about Australia's "chat" to the batsmen

    Commenter
    Oi
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:52PM
  • This team is not England, no easy picking here Clarkey, good luck getting the SA boys out they are a tough breed, much tougher than Australians.

    Commenter
    Donkey Vote
    Location
    Dickson
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:51PM
  • Who's going to be man of the series? Dave Warner?

    Commenter
    Mac
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:43PM
  • We will still probably win this, but really don't know why Clarke did not declare earlier, with a hint of victory they might have opened up more rather than this defensive stance that just wears out the bowlers

    Commenter
    Coodabeen
    Location
    UK
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:32PM
  • Bring on "Gelignite Jack".....six sticks....errr deliveries (all no balls of course!) should do the trick!

    Commenter
    britesparke
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:31PM
  • Will SA reach 100 before lunch. I say no.

    Commenter
    micko
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:31PM
  • Bring on Mitch and Patto

    Commenter
    Mac
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:25PM
  • Saffers will just block, block and block. bombard them with some bouncers or something, make them swing for crying out loud!

    Commenter
    mattyt
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:18PM
  • You Aussies are going to be unhappy. Teams never win away

    Commenter
    Gonzo
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:17PM
    • Gonzo, muppet?

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Briz
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:41PM
    • Dream on!

      Commenter
      ken
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:46PM
    • English and Indian teams never win away, Indian and Pakistani teams never win if they are favourites.

      Commenter
      Bozo Bonzo
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 9:24PM
    • Gonzo, wrong? Too bad, but valiant effort for the SA team. Brilliant match and short test. Very sad so few people turn up to watch, however.

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Briz
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:31AM
  • The run rate, the commentary and the commentator,s beers seem to all be stuck on 1.6 per over

    Commenter
    britesparke
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:16PM
  • Chuck. Yeah, I mean I know the first thing most teams in history have done at 3-15 chasing a world record score is to think "you know what, lets not preserve our recent 5-year unbeaten streak, because some gimp in Australia doesn't have the patience to watch batsmen blocking. Lets throw it away." They should have done it in Adelaide too - drawing in Australia is way better than winning here if you're a visiting team.

    Commenter
    Phat
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:13PM
  • Perhaps its time to revisit the rules regarding a draw. Or at least the ranking system in regards to a draw. I hardly think that a team who is looking to bat out 90 overs, simply to prevent another team winning, can be considered better than all others. Or maybe being #1 is actually not worth its hype. I always believed that is why Australia could never bat it out, cause we always got bored and thought it was better to go down swinging.

    Commenter
    Nathan
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:11PM
    • Nathan while it is our DNA to always go for a win. Over my 48 years in life I have seen Australia shut up shop when the likelihood of winning disappears. At 3-12 SA had to go for the Draw. It may be boring however give credit to the Batsman. It takes great mental strength and Discipline to be ultra defensive just to save a game. This also becomes a challenge to the bowlers, Captain and fielders to create a wicket from such a defensive scenario. If SA create a draw credit to them. It just shows another ability the team has and why they rank 1. If Australia wins well. Great effort 1 more step in our rise to number 1. Sadly if it was Australia batting for a draw, I don't think our players have the discipline to achieve it

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 10:42PM
    • ahh you missed my point completely. I was not suggesting that Australia had never batted for the draw. nor was I saying that it is not hard to play defensive. instead I was questioning the legitimacy of a ranking system that places emphasis on one aspect of the game over another. after all, does it not equally require strength and discipline to make a massive run total. does that deserve less of a reward. as for Australia's lack of ability to bat it out, I do not believe the nation would consider it as meritorious. hence our lack of success at it. i am suggesting a difference in sporting culture... "if we cant have it, you cant either" vs "our best work vs your best work, whose is better".

      Commenter
      Nathan
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:36PM
    • What would you have us do, Nathan, if it were the last Test of an Ashes series, we were 2-1 up trying to regain The Ashes and in the situation the Saffers find themselves today? Chuck it away?
      Also, as more than a few have pointed out in these posts, the skills required to eke out a draw when a win is out of the question are as valid and as much a part of the history of the game as going for the doctor. It aint T20 they're playing here - this matters!

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:56PM
    • but SA are not 2-1 batting out for a win. nor is this the ashes on home soil. this is the [number one] team in test cricket. on home soil. with a reputation for chasing down huge totals.
      once again i am not suggesting that we would not do the same thing. i am simply pointing out that for a number one team against a number three team, SA are not playing like it, spending 90 overs doing nothing but denying any one a victory. with that, I am questioning whether being "number one" is actually worth anything, if it done by simply eking out draws.

      Commenter
      Nathan
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:31AM
    • Mate, they didn't get to number one by "simply eking out draws". However, the ability to do so has certainly helped them stay there. As I've said before, I'm not a fan of the way they play but then I've grown up with the more attacking mentality Australian teams tend to employ. But there's more than one way to skin a cat and it makes for an interesting contest when two such different approaches to the game clash. I think it's been a fascinating series largely for that reason.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:58AM
  • Kyle Abbotts now has more runs that his uncle Tony's approval rating.

    Commenter
    AEIOU
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:05PM
    • Tony Abbott - the bloke who thinks you preserve trees by turning them into cricket bats.

      Commenter
      Moggoid
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:30PM
  • Should engrave a green and gold cup....both countries use those colours for their sporting identity

    Commenter
    Cuprunneth
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:02PM
    • Er.. Don't you mean green and yellow? Do you think that grey is really silver?

      Commenter
      Gold!
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 9:16PM
  • Give Warner a bowl

    Commenter
    Warners my hero
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 8:00PM
  • The run rate seems to be stuck on 1.6

    Commenter
    Mogooid
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:57PM
  • This is going to be excruciating. The Boks can't win and they would rather die than lose so I think the two big jaw high bouncers must be delivered every over. We have the bowlers so let's bounce them out, a good old fashioned bodyline innings.

    Commenter
    RTP
    Location
    Sawtell
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:56PM
    • Proteas RTP. The Boks play with that other leather ball

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Briz
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:47PM
    • Darn RTP. An illiterate like myself knows the Cricket team is the Proteas. I must say, I am stunned that a man of your superior intellect does not know this. You need to watch Hot Seat

      Commenter
      Armchair Selector
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:35AM
  • Now that Smithy is retiring perhaps the trophy should be called the "Smith/Ponting Challenge Cup after two great skippers for their respective countries.

    Commenter
    britesparke
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:55PM
    • Ponting a great skipper? Ummm no.

      Commenter
      Citizen N
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:35PM
    • Agree. Both were great skippers and this trophy would honour both of them.

      Commenter
      Everyone
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 9:20PM
    • Agree with Citizen N. Ponting is one of the best batsman we've ever produced but he was an ordinary skipper. Was too happy to let the game drift and not a patch on the likes of Taylor, Waugh and now Clarke.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:22PM
  • No joke, Michael Clarke is well on his way to being the greatest Australian Test Cricket Captain of all time... I just love his aggressive captaincy style. Boof Lehmann for Australian of the Year too, while I'm at it...

    Commenter
    MattyT
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:53PM
    • Go South Africa!!!!!!!

      Commenter
      Keith paynter
      Location
      Mayor of Newcastle
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:18PM
    • Ian Chappell was better. I loved his captaincy. Plus his aggressive batting except aganst Qld where Ross Duncan slit him up a treat

      Commenter
      dropped catch
      Location
      Bangkok
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 3:51AM
  • Yeah - where is the ball by ball coverage???

    Commenter
    bob
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:47PM
  • Yawn. Seriously much more grace in going on the attack and aiming for 4 runs an over to win than batting everyone to a bore. If Smith wants to go down as a defensive captain with no courage, apart from batting with a broken hand in Sydney then good luck to him.

    Commenter
    Chuck
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:44PM
    • Unfortunately chuck we set an impossible target so all they can do is bat out a draw. While the idea sounded exciting at first, I'm beginning to find this match ridiculously boring. Blocking out ball after ball isn't cricket. There should be some way to determine a winner. Like a super over!

      Commenter
      AN
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:06PM
    • Chuck. Smith has realised they can not win. As boring as it is to watch, it is actually a skill to play ultra defensive to save a Test. SA are fighting to keep their proud run of 1 series loss in 7 years. The question is, is this Australian team good enough to adapt and get them out?

      Commenter
      Pride at stake
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:07PM
    • The Saffers have stopped playing.....they can't hold their heads high if they block out the whole day...

      Commenter
      Paul
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:27PM
    • Once again the Aussies are showing what a classless bunch of bogans they are. Sledging and spitting and talking absolute rubbish. They can't help themselves.

      Commenter
      Hodster
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 9:03PM
    • The Aussie cricketer's goal is to be No.1 in world again. It appears then, quite sensible to bat themselves into winning position rather than leaving door open. If their goal was to make every game as close as possible and entertain the punters then yes - set target of 300. Their goals will change after they reach number 1 and maintain the position. I cant believe you don't find this entertaining by the way... The Aussies have been brilliant against a tough opposition.

      Commenter
      fletch
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 10:56PM
    • No courage "apart from batting with a broken hand". Now that's funny!

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:26PM
    • As opposed to your emotionally mature projections, Hodster.

      Commenter
      HH
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:41PM
    • Hodster, I think there's a gentlemens' Tiddly Winks tournament on Channel Who Gives a Rats. Guaranteed no spitting. Might be more your speed. Enjoy!

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:21AM
  • Arcmhair Selector, I hope you're not turning into an Armchair Objector?

    Your response to my Muirhead/Boyce point last night warranted a response but sometimes sleep is the winner.

    Saying they could fly over in 24hrs if an injury occurred misses the point. They would be ridiculously jetagged and unprepared. Or if the injury happened on the eve of the game, they wouldn't make it in time.

    Still think it's unwarranted risk (Hughes is there in case and then in case...).

    And we may still wish we had a leggie if it's still 5-for at some time in the arvo session.

    Commenter
    Peter Warrington
    Location
    marrickville
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:33PM
    • Don't forget Warnie is over there PW!

      Commenter
      JH
      Location
      Briz
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:24PM
    • You can indeed see from some of Smith's better balls how handy a genuine leggie - as distinct from an improving part-timer - might have been in the circs, PW. I suppose the dilemma for the selectors is they've been burnt and rightly criticised IMO for the revolving door policy they've employed with the spinners since Warnie's retirement and would have been asking themselves whether Muirhead or Boyce would cope with the pressure of the big stage. Given they aint there I'd like to see a lot more of Smith. It doesn't matter a damn how many he goes for and his best is pretty good. Give him a decent spell and he might be just the man for the occasion.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:41PM
    • BINGO! I'm taking credit for that one! Onya Smithy!

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:02AM
  • Heya! Where's the scoreboard and ball by ball commentary?

    Commenter
    Joshua from Singapore
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:29PM
  • They should use Graham Smiths bat as the new trophy. Just engrave the two teams names and the year.

    Commenter
    Moggoid
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:26PM
    • Great idea Moggiod there wouldn't even be any marks on it.

      Commenter
      RTP
      Location
      Sawtell
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:14PM
    • Who is Graham Smith????
      Dave Warners bat is more worthy as a trophy

      Commenter
      Sam
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:19PM
    • Good idea, it hasn't been used for much else.

      Commenter
      Timothy
      Location
      Northcote
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 9:35PM
    • just a couple of marks on the edge... they could be buffed out

      Commenter
      fletch
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 10:46PM
  • Do they have a trophy between SA and England. Ill guess not, be like Australia having a trophy between Australia and Australia A

    Commenter
    Curious
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:21PM
    • Hey, is that because there are a couple of South African born players who've played for England? Coz I hadn't heard anyone mention that for the last 5 seconds. WHo knew immigration wasn't limited to Australia?

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:14PM
    • Good call

      Commenter
      Aussie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:49PM
    • Yep,
      It's called the most gutless run chase award and it is held by the saffers.

      Commenter
      Bozo Bonzo
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 9:26PM
    • Hahahahaha yeah very gutless.

      What they should have done is be England, and fold in 49 overs

      Or hey, they could have fallen apart courageously inside 2.5 hours like Australia did in the last test

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:28PM
    • Phaff,
      Have you seen a neurologist about that selective memory?

      Commenter
      For Fox Sake
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:51PM
    • How many overs are left?

      Commenter
      Alex
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 1:15AM
    • They should open The ashes up to more countries!

      Commenter
      Bonzo
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:54PM
  • Pitch is up boys ..... Going dotty here !

    Don't forget Steve Smith leggies might be the option !!

    Commenter
    NSMR
    Location
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:13PM
    • Johnson should use the slower ball, it was too good for Bopara in 09

      Commenter
      Peter Warrington
      Location
      marrickville
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:11PM
    • The odd toe-crusher might be handy, too, PW. No problems with the slow pitch if it bounces on their toes.

      Commenter
      Tyger Tyger
      Location
      Templestowe
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:23PM
  • What a perfect scenerio. Saffas 4 down. Australia's bowlers rested overnight with plenty of time to clinch the series. My respect for SA as the worlds number 1 team will increase if they hold out for a draw

    Commenter
    Armchair Selector
    Date and time
    March 05, 2014, 7:04PM
    • Agree

      Commenter
      ken
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 8:45PM
    • Too bad they suck at just about every element of the game but dead batting these days - oh, and laying down dry, flat wickets when they get thrashed. Sorry, can't respect a team for such blatant poor ethics.

      Commenter
      HH
      Location
      Date and time
      March 05, 2014, 11:37PM
    • Yeah, they suck at winning their last 2 tests on the fastest wicket in the world. They suck at winning 3 straight series in England, they suck at rolling India for 72 in India.

      Grow up.

      Commenter
      Phat
      Location
      Date and time
      March 06, 2014, 12:07AM
Comments are now closed