Cricket: Wessels decides to delay knee surgery

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .342-7dec

South Africa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .258-3

Match drawn

KEPLER WESSELS, who guided South Africa to a draw in the first Test against Australia at Melbourne yesterday, is delaying surgery on an injured knee in order to play in the second Test against Australia starting on Sunday in Sydney.

The captain, who aggravated a strain in his right knee, was in obvious pain while scoring an undefeated 63 on the final day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. However, he said he would definitely play in the second Test - even if it meant taking a local anaesthetic - before considering surgery.

The match, disrupted by rain which all but washed out the first three days, ended with South Africa on 258 for 3 in reply to Australia's first innings 342 for 7 declared. South Africa, who resumed on 59 for 1, had another injury scare when, after lunch, the opener Andrew Hudson retired hurt with a bruised arm on 64. Hudson's departure was followed by the loss of two quick wickets.

Hansie Cronje, on 71, was caught by David Boon at silly point to give Shane Warne his only wicket of the innings. Daryll Cullinan, who dropped four catches in the Australian innings, was dismissed first ball by Craig McDermott.

With the total on 157 as South Africa stumbled for the first time during their innings, Wessels - originally listed at No 3 - came on to bat and scored 63 during three hours at the crease.

Australia yesterday named an unchanged 12-man squad for the second Test in Sydney following Steve Waugh's failure to recover from a hamstring injury. Places seem certain for the slow bowlers Shane Warne and Tim May on a wicket which traditionally favours spin.

SOUTH AFRICA - First Innings

(Overnight: 59 for 1)

A C Hudson retired hurt . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 W J Cronje c Boon b Warne . . . . . . . . . . . 71 D J Cullinan c Border b McDermott . . . . . . . .0 J N Rhodes not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 * K C Wessels not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Extras (lb2 nb7) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Total (for 3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .258

Fall: 1-49 2-157 3-157.

Did not bat: D J Richardson, P L Symcox, C R Matthews, P S de Villiers, A A Donald.

Bowling: McDermott 23-6-60-1; Reiffel 21- 4-55-0; M Waugh 12-3-20-1; May 28-7-58- 0; Warne 31-7-63-1.

(Photograph omitted)

Comments