S.A. v Aus, The Wanderers, Jhb

This was my preferred position when watching cricket at The Wanderers, the stand wouldn’t have been so high back in those days and the seats (well, we didn’t have seats but rows and rows of wooden railway sleeper benches, complete with splinters) wouldn’t have been as comfortable,

The Wanderers, affectionately known as The Bullring, prior to the construction of the new stands it actually resembled a bullring, is the venue for today’s test match.

And am I looking forward to it.

Traditionally a hard and fast wicket, up there at altitude the ball travels further and faster.

Will the speedsters reign supreme?

Will either side bother with a spinner?

Is this Ricky Pontings last hurrah? Much has been said here about the new Aussie selectors wanting changes prior to their upcoming home series against New Zealand.

South Africa haven’t won a test series against Australia on home soil since the comprehensive thrashing of Bill Lawrie’s side back in 1969, (I was at the St George’s Park test.) There have been 10 test tours between us since ‘readmission’ , Australia winning 7, 2 drawn and that memorable solitary series victory by S.A. over in Aus 2 years ago.

Time will tell and talking about the time, it’s a 10:30am start (08:30gmt) can’t wait!

29 thoughts on “S.A. v Aus, The Wanderers, Jhb”

  1. Graeme Smith wins the toss and elects to bat.

    S.A. unchanged

    Aus. Test debuts for Pat Cummins and Usman Khawaja (Harris & Marsh injured)

    It’s hot and humid up there, the balls going to bounce and swing, no rain forecast, here’s hoping for a full 90 overs today.

  2. What a dismal performance, two hundred and not enough all out.

    Every single batsman out to an injudicious shot, I doubt if the Aussies will succumb to the same fate, I’m expecting another ton from Ricky tomorrow 😦

  3. Look, I knew full well that I would have to avoid the Chariot like the plague today as the Oz/SA axis would undoubtedly be burbling on about the state of play and spoiling my enjoyment of the highlights tonight. No problem (or indeed worries), of course. I’m no JW (Canadian variety, for the avoidance of doubt). Your series. So I did avoid it. And now I’ve watched and enjoyed said highlights.

    As a neutralish sort of guy, I am looking forward to the rest of the Test. A strange game with so many Proteas getting in and then getting themselves out. Major collapse after tea.

    Still strangely drawn to Siddle the Shrek. A total Ocker and as ugly as a particularly unattractive Klingon, In my opinion. Doesn’t stop him caring and bowling his heart out every time I have watched him. Respect.

    Good to see Pup taking the last two wickets as well. As a committed England supporter, the longer that he has the gig of Aussie Captain, the better.

    The good news is that this Test could still go either way and that it will probably not be over by the weekend unless both teams have agreed to try for the Guinness Book of Records prize for the most suspicious result of all time. To be fair, I thought that Test 1 was a serious contender for that until I watched the 23 wickets in a day highlights of innings 1 for SA and innings 2 for Oz. For me, those innings were down to a tricky pitch and some good bowling and and were also a triumph for DRS. Surely impossible to have fixed all of that?

  4. Unless I get up early in the next day or three, I’m reduced to watching the highlights as well. I’m also an England cricket supporter yet I can’t stand their football team. It’s a funny old world.

    Looking at England’s summer schedule next year it’s a shame that the ENG/SA series will only have three tests. They could have axed some of the ODI’s and maybe a T20 for an extra test. The shorter game brings in the money, I suppose. A travesty that this series has only two tests. We’ll just be enjoying it when, boof, it’s all over.

    Another super post, Soutie.

  5. It’s a 10:03 (08:03gmt) start today ❓ (don’t ask why the “03” There’s no understanding the cricket gods and their rules sometimes.)

    17 overs were lost yesterday, 27 minutes added to today’s play, just doesn’t make sense!

    The weather doesn’t look good, it is afterall thunderstorm season up on the Highveld, most of the northern provinces have ‘severe thunderstorm warnings’ it looks as though we may get less cricket today than yesterday. 😦

    Today’s questions appear to be;

    Is Hughes good enough. A good knock today may save his selection chances for the NZ series.

    Is Watson fit enough?

    Can Usman Khawaja (who? ;)) bat at this level?

    And of course will Ricky Ponting produce a good enough innings to allow him a well deserved swansong over the Aussie summer home series.

    My mother in law lives up in Joeys, I was tempted to phone her for an accurate weather report but I’d probably miss the first hours play if I did, so I didn’t 🙂

  6. Howzit Bearsy, there was one more. will Haddin play responsibly enough to keep his position? He had an awful day behind the stumps yesterday.

    I get a feeling that your a bit downbeat on your expectations of the Aussie performance today, well me too but for our chaps, I’m dreading the Aussies batting today and tomorrow and accumulating 400+.

    I’ll be left praying for rain on Sunday and Monday, our batters have shown a remarkable lack of responsibility this series.

  7. Here we go.

    It rained up there this morning, the sky is grey and overcast, no sign of rain at the moment play should start on time, traditionally with this amount of cloud cover the ball is going to swing, that, with the usual pace and bounce normally associated with The Wanderers spells a torrid time for the Aussie top order.

    The morning session is going to be critical for both sides.

  8. Bearsy, believe it or not, I do have some compassion for the way you are feeling as you read this. I have little doubt that you went to bed confident that Australia was firmly in charge of the game. Then, this morning, you woke up to read about another batting collapse. Australia really does seem to be facing some sort of crisis of confidence. One collapse is bad luck. Two is careless, but three demands a major rethink.

    All is not lost though. It’s pretty much back to square one, with your boys just a nose in front. However, even if they do pull a win out of the fire, observers will likely attribute their success to an equally dismal failure by the Proteas rather than the skills of the ‘Baggy Greens’.

  9. Right then. That’s me (and possibly JW) up to speed. Highlight-watching for today has just finished.

    Riveted. I have absolutely no idea who will win this one. The good news is that I can now tune in and watch in real time. Mostly. Indoor bowling in the morning and watching thereafter.

    Very taken by Tahir and a bit sorry for Haddin. Superb ball. Tahir is seriously good and could get even better, in my opinion. In said highlights, he bowled one flighted, slower ball which blew my mind.

  10. What a remarkable afternoon’s play.

    174/0 shortly after lunch – 296 all out!

    Hughes of course could have walked on 38 but didn’t, that cost South Africa 50 runs, nevertheless restricting the Aussies to under 300 was a magnificent effort, how about Dale Steyn? Deservedly the worlds top rated bowler.

    Only 77 overs yesterday (71 on day 1) Why on earth won’t they start at 9:00 or perhaps as soon as the outfield is declared playable?

    I want to see 90 overs a day (or even more, why not a hundred if conditions permit.) Other sports (golf, bowls) don’t mind early starts why can’t these well paid professionals get their act together and make every effort to give us a full days play?

    As I mentioned in the main body of the post winning this ‘series’ is going to be uppermost in the mind of Greame Smith and co. They surely have to abandon their cavalier approach and plan to bat for the next two days.

    A 1-0 ‘series’ win will be just as sweet as 2-0 to me, Having recovered from our awful batting display on Day 1 we simply shouldn’t give the Aussies a sniff at winning this one and leveling the ‘series.’

    The weather prospects don’t look good for 3 more full days of cricket, more cloud and rain 😦

  11. We’ve lost almost 30 overs of play on days 1&2 and play is going to start at 10:22 ❓

    A whole 8 minutes early!

  12. Hi Soutie,

    Finally caught up to real time in time for bad light to stop play.

    Watched the first hour live and heard about Dolly then. They’ve been showing clips of him in his prime on Auntie Beeb. Different world.

    Reckon SA are a bit ahead and likely to win but there’s still a chance that Oz could turn it round if they can get through to your tail in the next few overs. I really rate Cummins. Serious grief for England if he stays injury free and kicks on from this initial promise.

    Up early tomorrow in hope of a full day’s play but I hear that the weather forecast is far from promising?

  13. Evening JM

    At last a day of ‘proper’ test cricket. I’m pretty content the way things stand at the moment.

    Agree about Cummins, here’s hoping they look after him and don’t overplay him.

  14. cuprum426 :

    Looking good for SA

    Well it was 😦

    I commented that I was “pretty content” they way things stood this morning, not any more. Each and every day of this short ‘series’ has produced a twist or a surprise, today being no exception.

    Ponting and Khawaja have done well, I don’t see both Clarke and Hussey failing again.

    As I wrote this comment Khawaja fell – more twists and turns?

  15. They’re off for bad light again (grrrr why oh why won’t they start earlier? ) probably the end of play for today.

  16. It’s raining up there, start definitely delayed 😦

    168 runs or 7 wickets, what would that take? 45 overs perhaps? (3 and a bit hours)

    Will they even get out in the middle today?

    Just checked Landbrokes, they’ve stopped taking bets on the draw, perhaps they’re not expecting any play at all.

  17. They’re playing yeaaahhh!! 🙂

    Most people that I spoke to today were delighted with the rain and would quite comfortably have accepted a 1-0 series win with today washed out, Not me.

    I’m delighted that this match will be decided one way or the other (if bad light intervenes, sobeit, at least both teams were provided with an opportunity to win)

    Runs can’t be easy, only 40 runs in the first hour and a half.

    Weather permitting an interesting afternoon in prospect.

  18. Just tuned in – could go either way 63 needed, 4 wickets in hand, as a neutral SA are favourites.

    What strikes me – where’s the crowd? Day 5 of a close test match between 2 of the top teams – I’d pay the money! Is there not much history of support at the Wanderers? Shame really.

  19. What a close finish, the tension could be cut with a knife, poor old Nathan Lyon the cameras would pick him out whenever an injudicious shot was played or a run scored, his reactions were priceless!

    So it’s well done to Oz, particularly this game’s man of the match Pat Cummins, what a find, another drawn ‘series,’ oh well! 😦

  20. Indeed, good game, well done that Cummings! I hope he’s not another McGrath!

    Surely SA should have won though?

    Any comment re the crowd Soutie? I saw one placard saying “who says test cricket is dead?” I should hope not!

  21. cuprum426 :

    Any comment re the crowd Soutie?

    Firstly whose idea was it to end the test match on a Monday? A working day, a schoolday (it’s end of year exams right now.) Perhaps the recent history of very few tests going the full 5 days influenced their strategy and they were hoping for a weekend finish.

    Although tickets were a most reasonable R80 – R100 (under £10 ) this is still the week before payday. Then of course the weather, I would think that few even thought that there would be any play today and went to work / school, very difficult to pull a ‘sickie’ after you’ve arrived.

    I’m actually pleased that the attendance was poor, we here in the Eastern Cape (home venue historic St. Georges Park, venue of the first ever test match outside of England or Oz) have of late been removed from the test match schedule, perhaps they’ll have a rethink. I doubt it though, the money and influence is up in Jhb, I think that we’re doomed to be the Cinderella province for a while longer.

  22. I think the problem with scheduling the final day on Monday was all down to that international club championship competition, the name of which escapes me, that took place in India recntly. That is why there were only 2 tests. They had to squeeze things in. Money, money, money!

  23. I shouldn’t have gone to bed at the tea break.

    Now that’s Australia at its determined best. Brad and Mitch were superbly self-disciplined, taming the Saffers’ bowling to coast to an easy win, cheekily polished off by the new boy. Augurs well for the future.

    Philander’s quite a lad too; great performance.

    Entry to the ground was free today, Soutie.

  24. As Bearsy points out entry was free yesterday, a decision taken during the day (I certainly neither read nor heard an announcement prior to the start of play.)

    A decision, if taken during the morning rain showers far too late to have any major effect on attendance as most would be at work / school and unprepared for an outing to The Wanderers.

  25. Well, that was a bonus.

    I stayed off the Chariot yesterday for the usual JW (Canadian) reason. I could not, however, resist a quick peek at the BBC Sport scorecard at lunchtime and then half way through the afternoon. It seemed stuck at 165 for 5 so I assumed that rain had stopped play and the game would be drawn.

    I got home and switched on the last half hour of the highlights just to watch the presentation. Deep joy.

    As Soutie said. that was ‘proper’ Test cricket. Credit to Ponters for the part he played in the second innings but I am assuming that it will still be his swansong. Looking forward (not) to watching Cummins, Philander and Tahir against England batsmen in the future. All three are great prospects.

    I just wish there had been more than two matches in the ‘series’.

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