Proteas in control against Australia at stumps

Last updated 20:38 09/11/2012

Relevant offers

Cricket

New Zealand back themselves to see out victory in first test with Sri Lanka West Indies fight back on day three of South Africa test Editorial: Hagley Oval a morale boost for Christchurch 'Spoilt brat' Virat Kohli fights fire with fire and Mitchell Johnson gets burnt Sir Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne makes a name for himself with test ton against New Zealand Jamie How heroics a hard act to follow for Central Districts McLean: Fun day at the cricket belongs to bygone era Good day for Sri Lanka as they stay alive in first test against New Zealand Wellington Firebirds look to Luke Ronchi for some one-day aid India make telling stand against Aussies on day three of Boxing Day test

Hashim Amla was approaching his third century in his last four tests as South Africa defused Australia's pace attack and reached a dominant 255 for two at the end of the opening day of the first test at the Gabba tonight.

Amla, who was 90 not out when the stumps were drawn early because of bad light, put on 136 in an unbeaten third wicket stand with Jacques Kallis (84 not out) after openers Graeme Smith (10) and Alviro Petersen (64) were dismissed either side of the lunch break.

Australian seamer Peter Siddle was left rueing missed chances after his no ball gave Kallis a life on 43 and he dropped a catch off his own bowling that would have sent Amla back to the dressing room with 74 runs.

The home side had hoped the bowling attack which destroyed India's vaunted batsmen last year would do the same with the South Africans but the fireworks from James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Siddle failed to materialise.

Amla, the world's top-ranked batsman, signalled his intent early in the day with a soaring six off spinner Nathan Lyon and coolly paced his innings, easing up when the quicks got into their stride and opening up against anything loose.

The 29-year-old put on 90 for the second wicket with Petersen before the opener threw away his wicket by wafting a shot for Mike Hussey to catch at mid-on off Lyon's bowling  halfway through the second session.

Picking up his 5,000th test run along the way, Amla reached his 24th test half century before tea and, Siddle's dropped catch apart, it looked like only the gathering clouds would stop him reaching his 17th test century.

The evergreen Kallis had designs on the milestone himself after racing to his 56th test half century in just 63 balls, reaching the mark with a sublime cover drive.The all rounder rode his luck, though, when he ballooned a catch to Lyon only for the umpire to call him back to the crease after TV replays showed Siddle had failed to keep his front foot behind the line.

Australia had earlier benefited from the TV appeal system to dismiss Smith lbw when a Pattinson delivery caught the South African skipper's trailing leg but umpire Billy Bowden declined to raise his characteristic crooked finger.

South Africa won the toss and chose to bat, which looked like a good decision after the wicket and overcast conditions failed to produce the sort of swing and movement off the pitch the seamers had hoped for.

Whether South Africa's other big decision of the morning - to drop spinner Imran Tahir and give a debut to Rory Kleinveldt as part of a four-pronged pace attack - proves a good one may only be determined as the contest unfolds.

Ad Feedback

South Africa's number one test ranking is on the line in the series, which continues with matches in Adelaide and Perth after Brisbane.

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should bouncers be banned from cricket?

Yes - they're too dangerous

Neutral - it is what it is

No - it's just bad luck when it goes wrong

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content