The best thing about cricket is everyday is a new day. Everyone has to start the proceedings all over again. Australia just did that. South Africa were high afer winning the greatest O.D.I. ever and were caught on the wrong foot. The top order struggled putting bat to ball. The pitch, the cloudy skies and a pitch green in colour, a cut out condition for any meduim pacer.
The South African top order slumped to nothing and at one stage looked down the barallel with the score 117 -6. The Aussie stuck to the basic mode of strict length and mean line. The batman edged (Greame Smith, Boucher) bowled (Gibbs) and couple of them forcing off the backfoot (Kallis and Prince) directed the ball into bucket hands of Matthew Hayden.Stuart Clarke bowled well in the circumstances to get a 5 wicket hall on debut. He was backed up by Lee who bowled well to get 3 wickets. Micheal Kasprowicz chipped in with a couple of wickets.
At times even Symonds posed couple of threatening deliveries. Nicky Boje justified his selection by top scoring (31). He as bowler will be least bothered to the Aussies. Their left hand batsmen are good enough to care of whatever Nicky Boje has to offer as a left arm orthdox bowler.There was a brilliant recovery though. The term "brilliant" is used in the context of the match only. The Proteas did well to cross the 200 run mark. It will help South Africa a bit.
The condition of the pitch cannot be gauged without completion of an inning from both the sides. The weather forecast is for cloudy skies. The South Africans would be thinking of rains for at least two days. The Aussies have this match accoding to their script. They have dissmissed the opposition for 205. They would be looking forward to a big lead. The conditions won't be as good as they were in the Wanderer's. But never the less the Aussies would be looking forward to a lead in excess of 200 runs or more.
The responsibility is on South African bowlers to restrict Aussies to as less a lead as possible.The first day of this test belonged soully to the Aussies. If weather permits looks like a good test to be followed.