Score Card: Stumps Day One
Ponting: 117 Pollock: 3/46
Hayden: 65 Nel: 4/58
A good beginning may not make a good end. That’s the bottom line of whatever happened on the first day at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australia won the toss and to know ones surprise elected to bat first. The Aussies have two spinners in their side Warne and Macgill. The Melbourne pitch will be a spinner friendly, at least the two spinners in Aussie side suggest so. It was a dream start for Proteas snapping the new opener without much hard work. It was hard work for both teams after that. It could have been worst for Aussies if Andre Nel held onto Ponting’s catch. Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden took Australia to 154 for 1. This is when The Proteas turned the tables on Kangaroos.
They slipped from their and continue to slip to the days end. Shaun Pollock rocked the top order taking out Hayden and Hodge. Nel then rocked the Aussie middle order with most of their batsmen licking their wounds. Andrew Symonds who is such a destructive One-Day player seems not to get his footing right in the tests. Hussey looked circumspect all the while. Nel ruffled Shane Warne’s feathers. Shane Warne hit him for a four on the first ball on Nel’s over. Nel tickled his wrong side again. Warne holed out to mid off, a good catch. Warne was no his way to pavilion.
The scenarios on a cricket match tend to change pretty soon. It may be so on the next day. The onus is on South Africa to polish the Aussie tail and then bat at least for two days. If they do so, with a run-rate of 3 an over that should see them with a lead of well in excess of 250 runs. This is easier said then done. Warne and Macgill will leave no stone unturned. McGrath will always take wickets. Bret Lee is always threatening with quick pace. South Africa should say to themselves, if we screw up this innings we screw up the series.
If they don’t bat Aussies out of the game then you can very well predict whats going to happen. The Aussies always manage to come back if given a chance to do so. I think Gilchrist poor form is a cause of concern. I hope he returns to form sooner rather than later.
The ball is in South Africa court, they are in a driver seat. Do they have enough to take a big lead over Aussie? The fat remains to be seen