Australia stutter and fall

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The Independent Online
A Spectacular Australian collapse and positive South African batting put the hosts in control on the second day of the Second Test in Port Elizabeth yesterday. South Africa have a lead of 184 with all 10 second-innings wickets remaining after dismissing Australia for 108 - 101 behind the South Africans - and then reaching 83 without loss by the close of play yesterday.

Resuming at 10 for one in the morning, Australia lost captain Mark Taylor in the third over for eight to carry his miserable run of form to 17 consecutive Test innings without passing 50. But the wicket was a bitter-sweet success for South Africa as the successful bowler, Shaun Pollock, had to limp off with a strained left hamstring after delivering just two overs. He will not bowl again in the Test.

Mark Waugh briefly flattered to deceive in a 36-ball innings of 20 that included three typically elegant boundaries. But he became the third wicket to fall when a Hansie Cronje in-swinger trapped him leg-before with the total on 48. Just 49 runs were scored in the morning session as Australia's suspicion of a well-grassed but far from impossible wicket led them into a defensive bunker.

After going to lunch on 59 for three, the afternoon slide started when Steve Waugh sent back Matthew Elliott after initially responding to a call for a sharp single. Cronje quickly recovered from a fumble and Elliott was run out for a marathon 23 from 120 balls in nearly three hours.

Waugh, who said before the Test that "Australia just can't lose", then edged Brian McMillan to keeper Dave Richardson, who took a one-handed catch in front of slip. Waugh had made eight. Panic seemed to set in as Michael Bevan glanced McMillan down the leg-side and into the gloves of Richardson. Bevan's duck was the sixth of the match.

Ian Healy made a mess of a hook shot when on five and lobbed a simple catch to square leg, and Greg Blewett lost his off-stump to an off-cutter from Allan Donald after batting for 81 minutes for 13. Shane Warne contributed a brace of lusty boundaries in his 18 but Australia were beyond rescue.

When South Africa batted a second time they adopted an approach in contrast to the Australians. Gary Kirsten and Adam Bacher attacked at the slightest opportunity, driving, hooking and cutting wherever possible. Kirsten ended the day on 41 with Bacher on 38. To compound a miserable day for Australia, Steve Waugh limped off the field half way through his fifth over with a groin strain.

Second day; Australia won toss

SOUTH AFRICA - First Innings 209 (B McMillan 55; J Gillespie 5-54)

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

(Overnight 10-1)

M L Hayden c Cullinan b Pollock 0

*M A Taylor c Richardson b Pollock 8

M T G Elliott run out 23

M E Waugh lbw b Cronje 20

S R Waugh c Richardson b McMillan 8

G S Blewett b Donald 13

M G Bevan c Richardson b McMillan 0

I A Healy c Bacher b Cronje 5

S K Warne lbw b Adams 18

J N Gillespie not out 1

G D McGrath c Richardson b Kallis 0

Extras (b1 lb7 nb2 w2) 12

Total 108

Fall (contd): 2-13 3-48 4-64 5-66 6-70 7-85 8-85 9-106

Bowling: Donald 23-13-18-1 (1nb), Pollock 6-3-6-2 (1nb), Adams 4-0-5- 1, McMillan 14-2-32-2, Cronje 14-7-21-2, Kallis 9.4-2-18-1 (2w)

SOUTH AFRICA - Second Innings

G Kirsten not out 41

A M Bacher not out 38

Extras (lb4) 4

Total (for 0) 83

Bowling: McGrath 9-2-27-0, Gillespie 7-0-23-0, S.Waugh 4.3-0-16-0, Blewett 0.3-0-4-0, Warne 6-2-5-0, Bevan 3-1-4-0.

To bat: J H Kallis, D J Cullinan, *W J Cronje, H H Gibbs, B M McMillan, S M Pollock, D J Richardson, A A Donald, P R Adams.

Umpires: S Ventararaghavan (Ind), R Koertzen.

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