ADELAIDE – A century from skipper Graeme Smith and a half century from Alviro Petersen helped South Africa fight back on day two of the second Test against Australia in Adelaide yesterday.
Report by Reuters
The Proteas dug in deep to make it to 217-2 at stumps, still 333 runs behind Australia’s 550 first innings score.
Smith and Petersen got off to a really good start after they dismissed the Australians just before lunch, as a mini collapse saw the hosts lose five wickets for 68 runs.
The openers safely negotiated a tricky 15 minutes before the lunch break, the pair put on a 138-run opening stand before Petersen was the first to fall.
It was some silly running which cost Petersen, he pushed a ball from Nathan Lyon forward, and jetted off for a single, but he didn’t keep the right line while running between the wickets and had to dodge Smith on his way to the non-striker’s end. He wasn’t running quite fast enough and didn’t ground his bat so a direct hit from Michael Hussey sent him on his way for 54.
South Africa still looked in control of the fightback and Hashim Amla joined Smith at the other end. There were some nervy moments for the Proteas’ skipper, though, but he was saved by the review system.
The on-field umpire had given Smith out caught behind off James Pattinson, but the decision was reviewed immediately and HotSpot showed nothing. After much deliberation, the decision was overturned and Smith continued on his merry way.
Amla was looking good and managed to pick the gaps, but with a roll of the dice Michael Clarke brought David Warner into the attack and the trick immediately worked.
Amla was drawn out of his crease and Matthew Wade reacted fast enough to disrupt his stumps. At 169-2, Jacques Rudolph strolled out to the middle to join Smith and the pair dug in for a 48-run partnership and survived until stumps.
With AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, who will bat despite having a grade one strain on his hamstring, and Faf du Plessis still to come, the Proteas will fancy their chances to bat for as long as possible, as they look to save the Test.
South Africa had their backs up against the wall on the second morning, but some magic from Morne Morkel, who bagged his first five-for against Australia, put the visitors right back in it.
Morkel struck early to dismiss Michael Clarke for 230, trapping him inside his crease and dismantling his middle stump.
The Australian skipper didn’t move his feet and missed his shot completely, becoming the first to fall as the South Africans slowly clawed their way back into the match.