In what has ominously been heralded ‘The Decider”, Australia and South Africa are meeting in Cape Town for the third and deciding test between the world’s two current dominant test nations. The first test was an emphatic Australian victory, led by the brutish bowling of Mitchell Johnson who took 12 wickets for the match. The result in the second was the complete opposite, South Africa crushing Australia, headed by the raw power that is Dale Steyn. Now it is to Cape Town, where a storm is brewing both literally and metaphorically.
At the time of writing, Australia was on top, piling on the runs in their first innings. David Warner got the tourists off to a flyer, smashing and forcing the Proteas to submit on his way to 135. Ably supported by Steve Smith with 82, and others contributing, the real star of the innings has been Michael Clarke with an unbeaten 161 at the time of writing. However, the end of day two has been called to an early end with rain halting play. It is hoped the weather will clear to give the tourists a shot at victory, with a first innings declaration surely approaching.
The hosts chances at wielding the sword over the Aussies were dampened, though, with the early departure from the field of bowling ace Dale Steyn due to a hamstring strain. How much more he will play in the test is unknown, but a fitness test before the second innings will shed some light on the injury. It certainly is a huge blow for South Africa who obviously missed their strike bowler as the runs were piled on by the tourists.
Clarke’s currently unbeaten 161 is just what he needed. After not troubling the scorers with a total to write home about since the second Ashes test, he stood up when his side needed him. This will be remembered as one of his most heroic centuries, after surviving an absolutely brutal barrage of short and fast bowling from Morne Morkel. With Steyn’s departure from this field, Morkel had to stand up, and stand up he did. Bouncing and bumping Clarke, Morkel was vicious, hitting the Australian captain multiple times on the body. But Clarke stood tall, absorbed the blows, and finished the first day on 92, battered and bruised. It was truly a captain’s knock.
If the first two days are anything to go by, the rest of “The Decider” is sure to be some entertaining cricket. Also, just on the lighter side of cricket to brighten your day, during the current test between India and Pakistan, @BoredCricket tweeted; “Hafeez in this match so far: 1 drop, 2 wickets, 1 run out. An all-rounder who plays for both teams. #IndvsPak.” Hopefully Hafeez will have a bit more luck with the bat for his side as the game continues!