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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cricket: Australia and South Africa At It Again!

Australia and South Africa have the habit of pulling one extraordinary cricket match out of the mundane now ant then. You may well remember the incredible one day international between the two teams played at New Wanderers on 12th March, 2006 which broke all the records of team innings score and chasing scores. Winning the toss and batting first Australia posted an insane score of 434 for 4. And. South Africa matching the insanity with zeal went on to win it! They did it by putting up 438 for 9 with one ball to spare. The greatest one day cricket match ever played!
Now at Cape Town, they have done it again in the first Test—equally insane unpredictable and topsy-turvy. The first day was normal with Australia batting first and scoring 214 for 8. It continued to be normal till lunch on the second day with Aussies folding up for 284 and South Africa at 49 for 1. Then, the madness descended.

South Africa was shot out for just 96 giving the Aussies a healthy lead of 188 runs and the match was almost a foregone conclusion. But then the climax! Australia was reduced to 21 for 9 and finally all out for 47—the 4th lowest and the lowest since 1902!

Twenty three wickets fell on a single day. In India we are used to 17-18 wickets falling on a day mostly between 3rd to 5th days, but the Cape Town caper was just beyond rational explanations!

South Africa, needing a reasonable 236 to win, put things back to normal losing only one wicket more on that eventful day. And on the third day before lunch they won by 8 wickets! Smith and Amla throwing their might with brilliant centuries.

Just imagine Australia being brutalized in two and half days! The two teams should go on repeating such acts so that we get more cricket treats!

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