Gilchrist inspires Australia to new level

Australia 652-7 dec South Africa 159 and 133 Australia won by an innings and 360 runs
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Australia, the world Test champions, continue to set new standards after completing an innings and 360 run victory over South Africa inside three days. Their win here was the second biggest in Test history, whilst Adam Gilchrist's double century was the quickest ever in terms of balls faced. Shane Warne claimed 6 for 70 to take his Test tally to 436, leaving him second only to Courtney Walsh.

Australia reduced the home side to 159 all out as the first innings was ended before lunch, in answer to 659 for 7 declared. England's 1938 humiliation of Australia, when they won by an innings and 579 runs at The Oval, remains the biggest Test win.

The victorious captain Steve Waugh said: "It was a great performance. It was a bit easier than expected. We owe a lot to Gilly [Adam Gilchrist]. He's hit five Test centuries and they've all been like that. He's a once-in-a-generation cricketer."

In little more than two sessions of play yesterday, South Africa lost 16 wickets and were forced to follow on 493 runs behind. Warne, in a beautiful spell before tea, struck four times to overtake Kapil Dev on the all-time list of Test wicket-takers.

Day three began with South Africa losing quick wickets. Resuming at 111 for 4, the debutant Ashwell Prince added just two runs to his overnight 47 before Jason Gillespie had him caught in the gully.

Boeta Dippenaar fell in the following over, caught behind off a McGrath lifter. Nicky Boje was on a duck when Jason Gillespie had him caught in the slips. Brett Lee followed up with the wickets of Makhaya Ntini and Mark Boucher. Allan Donald, unable to bowl due to a hamstring injury, came in with a runner at No 11, but, when Andre Nel was lbw to Warne's leg-break, the innings was over.

Following on, poor shot selection cost South Africa. Gary Kirsten failed again – caught at backward point off Gillespie for 12. Prince (28) played on attempting to drive against the spin of Warne and Herschelle Gibbs (47) was stumped off the same bowler.

Jacques Kallis made eight, tamely edging McGrath. Warne had Dippenaar adjudged out playing no stroke and his session was completed when Mark Boucher played on. McGrath then removed Boje, Ntini and Nel in four deliveries, and Donald in his next over.

Comments