Australia saddled on Siddle gets on top
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Event:South Africa in Australia 2008/09

DateLine: 5th January 2009


Siddle played havoc on South African batting plans and gave Australia a crucial lead of 151 runs. With the pitch showing variable bounce, batting fourth will be truly a real test of survival. Matthew Hayden can consider himself fortunate when a huge appeal from Steyn in the first over was negated by Asoka de Silva. He than batted with gusto and closed the day unbeaten on 18. All eyes will be on him when he will resume batting tomorrow as he is literally battling to save his career.


The highlight of the South African batting was the crucial partnership between Boucher and Morkel. The innings seemed to head to a disaster when Duminy was adjudged lbw of an untiring Siddle the scoreline read 193 for five. It looked that the Australian bowlers will wrap up the innings, but then Morkel came out and supported Boucher and together they raised 115 run for the sixth wicket.When the partnership was getting dangerous Siddle came back and wiped out the remaining wickets. With Smith unable to bat, the innings was effectively declared all out when the ninth wicket fell.


Earlier Johnson removed Kallis via an outswinger and then found himself again in middle of the action when he ran out de Villiers who was going for a quick single with a direct hit from mid-on at the striker's end. Amla fought hard as the new look Australia attack literally starved the Australian batting line up with a semi-defensive approach. Hauritz was expectedly tidy though without success, Johnson tried hard for his two wickets and the debutant McDonald proved a mostly economical medium-pacer, relying heavily on offcutters around the 125 to 130kph mark. Things became tough for McDonald later in the day but in the first session he was unfailingly accurate in a spell of 1 for 4 from eight overs. The success came when he nipped one back off a crack to trap Hashim Amla lbw for 51. New comer Bollinger had a really tough time trying to convince the umpires that he deserved a wicket or two, when he located the pads of the batsmen in front of the stumps. But Billy Bowden deemed that it was going down the leg side.


The Boucher-Morkel effort continued the series trend of lower-order batsmen outshining their more fancied colleagues, just as Johnson and the Australian tail had done in the first innings. Boucher was the key man for South Africa and his first half-century of the tour came at a valuable time as he led from the front with the bat. He began in a defensive mode, just trying to stem the flow of wickets, and gradually built up his strokeplay to keep the scoreboard ticking. Three fours from an off-target Andrew McDonald over took him past fifty, although he missed the chance for a sixth Test hundred when he was the last man out for 89.




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