Category Archives: 1st test

Sa vs Australia Day 3 summary and day 4 Preview

There were a few records made in the third day, with Ponting overtaking Steve Waugh to be the 2nd highest run scorer for Australia, with only Border above him. Phil Hughes broke George Headley’s 79-year-old record to become the youngest batsman in history to score centuries in each innings of a Test, something that was far from reality after seeing his first first test innings. All credit to Hughes who has scored 0, 75, 115 and is now 136 not out. His mates and domestic team mates must be loving this, especially after South Africa drilled Australia at home.

The away leg has turned around completely with South Africa seen as the favourites, getting taught a lesson in cricket. The 2nd days play certainly gave credit to the theory that Kingsmead has peculiar occurences as 13 wickets fell for under 200 runs, and 2 batsmen retired hurt. Day 1 and day 3 the pitch has looked flat, albeit that Harris got use out of the rough and one or two balls jumped about on day 3.

South Africa are going to have to dig deep to manage a draw, with the highest 4th innings total in a traditional test match being 451. Perhaps Ponting has done his homework, and knows the highest 4th innings total was 654/5 scored in Durban in the last timeless test match ever played. (England and South Africa). There were 680 overs bowled, these were 8 ball overs, England needed 691 runs to win but had to curtail their chase and agree on a draw, otherwise they would have missed their boat home. (if anyone knows more about this match please drop me an email at or

It will be interesting to see when Ponting declares, the lead is massive and a South African win bordering on impossible. Perhaps the thought of Ladies day at the Durban Country Club curtailed his thoughts of declaring early and trying to get a day off for golf?

SA vs Aus 1st Test Final day preview

187 runs to win, 7 wickets left – could there be a better close to the 1st test? Chris Adams reckons Australia are in the driving seats deciding they are 60/40 favourites!!!

The target of 414 if reached will eclipse the 387 India reached set by England a few days ago. It will be the second highest successful run chase in the 4th innings with only West Indies chasing down a higher total.

Strangely enough this was against Australia – it seems that Australia has many of these records set against them , with South Africa successfully chasing down the 434 set by Australia in the one day arena.

With just a few hours to go, I cant wait to see South Africa successfully chase down a mammoth total – a total that is at least 100 runs too high

Winning the Toss

South Africa have had a deja vu experience at Lords – Remember the PE test in December 2007? In that match the West Indies didnt enforce the follow on when they could have, only managed 175 runs but still won comfortably. Hopefully tomorrow SA will be able to hold out for a draw, but a far greater concern is Smith and Arthur doesnt seem to be learning – Oppenheimer once told me (along with the rest of the audience) everyone makes mistakes but only a fool makes the same mistake.

I quoted the colourful WG Grace during the Windies test for those that missed it here is a repeat: ‘When you win the toss – bat. If you are in doubt, think about it, then bat. If you have very big doubts, consult a colleague – then bat.’

South Africa are looking good for the great escape, but 90 overs is a long time on a 5th day!!!

South Africa vs. England 1st Test – Lords

Yesterday many would have never believed the test would start on time. A months worth of rain fell in parts of England Yesterday, the rain didn’t abate until late in the night. However this morning the sun greeted those that woke up early, although there are some clouds about.

England have named an unchanged side, consisting of: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Andrew Strauss, 3 Michael Vaughan (capt), 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Paul Collingwood, 7 Tim Ambrose (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Ryan Sidebottom, 10 Monty Panesar, 11 James Anderson. This side has set a world record in that it has been unchanged side for the sixth successive match.

South Africa have delayed naming their side until the start, leaving the choice of whether to field Paul Harris or a 4th seamer as a mystery to England. The possible side is: 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Ashwell Prince, 6 AB de Villiers, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Paul Harris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Makhaya Ntini

The players to watch out for in this series from South Africa are: Morne Morkel and Hashim Amla. South Africa have now got a settled pace attack with Ntini and Steyn being key performers and they are expected to be dangerous, however Morkel is a an unknown entity. Recently back from injury, a solid performance with the ball and possibly the bat could be the extra gear South Africa needs. On the batting side, Smith Mckenzie, Kallis, De Villiers and Prince have all contributed this summer as has Amla, however Amla has shown some fantastic warm up match form,  scoring 172 and 161 which has sent out a strong message to the English that he means business. If he can continue this run of form, South Africa will be very difficult to beat. However if he fails, South Africa could be in trouble as McKenzie and Smith could be in trouble early and the last thing SA needs is to be 30/2 in the first test.

England’s players to watch will be James Anderson  and Ian Bell. South Africa have come out and said they will be targeting Bell and Collingwood who have had a poor run recently. Bell needs to perform and if Anderson can produce some of the glimpses of form shown this season, he could help rip through the South African batting. I don’t think Sidebottom is good enough to tear apart the South African attack and he might get punished by Smith if he is not accurate.

The match should set off an absolute corker of a series in which South Africa will be looking for their first win on English turf since re-admission in 2002