South Africa fought back in the first innings to "restrict" Australia to 182 after twenty overs, but the batting top order failed miserably handing Australia an easy win.
Things were not looking good for South Africa from the start of the match. In his first first-class cricket match David Warner, who played club cricket a week ago, took the Proteas bowling attack apart in spectacular fashion. He showed no mercy as he slashed 89 runs off 43 balls leaving Johan Botha, South Africa's captain during the match, stunned and unable to answer his onslaught.
After Warner was dismissed caught by de Villiers off Ntini's bowling South Africa managed to claw their way back into the match and 182 looked a gettable target on a flat pitch where the ball was coming onto the bat. Enter Australia's bowling attack led by Nathan Bracken and Shaun Tait.
Bracken took care of Herchelle Gibbs in with the third ball of the innings and Tait produced over after over bowling at an average of over 150 km/h. South Africa's batsmen looked at sea until J.P. Duminy walked to the wicket.
His innings of 78 off 56 balls was the only positive in an otherwise disappointing batting display. After Albie Morkel was sent back to the dugout having scored only 12 runs the game was effectively over. Morkel was his usual tentative self facing his first six balls and looked like he was about to unleash his awesome batting power on the Ausie bowlers, but he mistimed his first real aggressive shot and was caught in the deep by White off the bowling of Bracken after facing 15 balls.
Ricky Ponting was understandably pleased after the game. He must be slightly relieved after the humiliating test series and looking forward to leading his young guns into battle in the ODI series.
Johan Botha was quoted as saying that his team were "caught off-guard." 10 points for stating the obvious there, Mr. Botha. Apparently they did catch a glimpse of Warner on the telly, but they must have thought he would not be a big problem seeing that he has NO first-class cricket experience. A master-stroke by the Ausie selectors. It could have backfired badly, but a courageous move nonetheless.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!