Facebook posts for each days play for the 2nd Test. The series is level at 1-1, Newland's is set to be a world cricket clash of spectacular heights! Day 5 through to thoughts on day 1.
Well done to Chris Rogers and David Warner for fighting so well to keep us in the contest to go to day 5. Sadly their efforts were null and void after our other batsmen showed zero fight. Our batsmen were terrible on a decent track. Apologies for negativity, it is not my thing, but that was horrible stuff and let down Davey and Bucky big time.
Kudos to the Proteas. They batted with pure class and delivered some special magic, notably Dale Steyn to kill our other batsmen in the final session.
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1st Test, Day 4, South Africa versus Australia, St Georges Park
Result: South Africa won by 231 runs. Series level 1-1
To write I am disappointed right now is an understatement. I am absolutely furious and fuming on the inside!
This game was loaded with opportunities to showcase our team character and culture Darren Lehman has been working so hard on, and we gifted them all away. However, I will always be a good sport and can write well done to the Proteas after they did something magical to take the match. Series is level, one game to go.
I am so angry because Chris Rogers (107) and David Warner's (66) efforts were pissed away and their fight totally pointless - null and void.
They set a stand of 126 runs, perfect to lay down a foundation for the run chase and easily stay in the contest until day 5. However, not one other batsman made double figures. Terrible stuff.
Not much more I want to add right now, but our 1st innings performance killed us. It ruined any momentum our bowlers could have sucked up with such a high deficit and this was a track to make over 300 runs, good for batting. We didn't achieve it once.
Sorry for the negativity, I am usually not the one to be so, but after the way our openers played (especially David Warner this Test) it was a let down for two players who showed how Australia fight. Gutted, not what I expect from this team.
We can take the battle to Newland's for what is set to be a world cricket spectacular clash. Catch it! Still back the boys.
There was two things I pointed out after our batting collapse on day 2. The first is a positive regarding Chris Rogers, the second regarding Shaun Marsh - the pattern returns.
"Chris Rogers, sadly, continues to be a bit of a walking wicket, but I have this odd feeling he may pull it together in the 2nd innings. If South Africa use the excuse they take a while to crank up in a series, I will use this for Rogers, given this has been his trend upon a career return."
"Shaun Marsh was gone for a quacker the very next ball playing away from his body, which by his character could very well mean a huge confidence drop now and some worrying trends to follow. I hope not, but history strongly suggests this."
2nd Test, day 3, South Africa versus Australia, St. Georges Park
South Africa lead us by 369 runs, 6 wickets in hand, two days play remaining with possible showers for the final day.
It's win or lose for me, I am not interested in a draw as it means we can still tie the series with South Africa, as good as a loss in my eyes given how well we played in the 1st Test. Standards mowed down this Test, with the emphasis on winning the toss really standing out now at this ground.
A draw here does mean we could win 2-0, but I want to see this game through. A grand challenge set for our guys.
I anticipate South Africa would, to make a game of it, go hard at us for the first session, see Hashim Amla get his century (a top effort given he has a dislocated finger) and then they will try knock us over.
I see these scenarios as a challenge and to really see which players have that fighting spirit. We have thrown away a grand opportunity on this track with our 1st innings top order performances, but our lower order did ensure we avoided the follow-on, although I doubt it would have been enforced with the Proteas one bowler down.
Steven Smith was the only real positive yesterday and I was livid with his decision. It's a tough one cause the snicko may very well have been the edge, but is it enough? Probably too minimal a piece of evidence, but I was gutted after Stevo had not really been hassled all that much. His stroke play against Dale Steyn was first class, just great batting to witness.
Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris both fought hard to keep knocking runs off that lead and that was admirable of our paceman to do a job they shouldn't have needed too. It was always too big a task.
A few loose shots too from David Warner and Nathan Lyon, even Brad Haddin who was foxed against in-swing from Dale Steyn that had been evident for the previous three balls. Not sure how Hads fell into that trap, especially leaving such a wide gap as if he played without anticipating any swing at all. Most peculiar.
Peter Siddle has stepped up this innings, as Ryan Harris went at over 5 an over. Sids has 2-53, while Mighty Mitch has 2-48 - removing Graeme Smith again. Awesome!
Not really much we can do tomorrow but just keep trying to see if we can find a few more wickets, kill their momentum and see if we can deliver with the bat from our top order.
200 runs from the top four would be a fantastic platform given the depth of our batting, but the lead is now in quite a daunting position as it is.
Rain can ensure a draw is called come day 5, meaning South Africa could only draw the series if this Test brings no result. As for us, we can still tie the series if they were to win in Cape Town, where they have been us in our last two encounters there (2009, 2011).
A win would give us a win, but ultimately if this result goes their way it is going to be one hell of a showdown. Still two days to go, still backing the boys to fight and claw their way out of this.
2nd Test, day 2, South Africa vs Australia, St. Georges Park.
You'd have to feel we've thrown away a good opportunity in terms of our batting on this track, with 4 wickets down and just 112 runs on the board. We trail the Proteas by 311 runs, 6 wickets in hand, 3 days of play remaining.
There was nothing in it for the bowlers and AB de Villiers and JP Duminy played with admirable focus and concentration to take advantage of the great batting track. AB brought up a century that was well deserved, while Duminy resuscitated his career.
The Proteas found ways to make the track work for them.
Wayne Parnell took two wickets in his first over, with Alex Doolan caught behind - rarely the first of the match. The ball was still in good condition and found enough carry.
Shaun Marsh was gone for a quacker the very next ball playing away from his body, which by his character could very well mean a huge confidence drop now and some worrying trends to follow. I hope not, but history strongly suggests this.
The very good news for us is that David Warner is still fighting as hard as ever out there (65*) and Nathan Lyon played with as much fight to still be there with 12* runs to his name as he came in as Nightwatchman.
Chris Rogers, sadly, continues to be a bit of a walking wicket, but I have this odd feeling he may pull it together in the 2nd innings. If South Africa use the excuse they take a while to crank up in a series, I will use this for Rogers, given this has been his trend upon a career return.
All in all, this track is dull and South Africa made inroads with the new ball just as we did, but found far more in it with some local experience in Parnell. As everyone says now, credit to them.
It will be a very, very challenging day tomorrow and the boys need our support. They had The Proteas in a tough position, but one partnership knocked us back a few yards.
It's now about believing in them to make up for that lost ground. Steven Smith and Brad Haddin will fight and once again Brad Haddin is in a situation which brings out the best of his competitive spirit. The difference is our opponent has good runs on the scoreboard. It's good to have our backs against the wall.
Day 3 will be the biggest challenge we've had since Brisbane. Lets smash it! Come on Baggy Greens!
2nd Test, day 1, South Africa versus Australia, St. Georges Park.
A good performance from our boys. Very little in this track, low carry to the keeper and little swing on offer too with both the new and worn out ball.
Michael Clarke had to regularly work his changes and shape his tactics, which in the end were nearly more effective than they could have been.
All in all our start was fantastic to fox Smith and Amla to LBWs, but was always going to be hard grafting out there if batsmen showed better patience and determination, which Elgar, du Plessis, and de Villiers displayed.
We have them 5 wickets down now and the day probably edged slightly in our favour with the wicket of Quinton de Kock in the evening before stumps were called early. Still very balanced right now this match.
A strong first session vital with AB still at the crease and in grand form. Don't see this track offering us too many delights, so we may need that same insane burst of fire and momentum as we saw here in Adelaide during the 2nd Ashes Test.
All in all I am quite pleased with our performance, with the toss going against us too which was an important one to win.
Day 2 awaits.
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