Hussey's audacity provokes show of tourists' tenacity

Australia 355 South Africa 169-2

An extraordinary day played in blazing sunshine and on a cracking pitch ended with the batsmen continuing their surprising domination of this second Test here yesterday. Throughout, the bowling was respectable and the batting inspired as the Australian rally was matched by an equally sturdy performance from their opponents. By stumps the struggle between Antipodean aggression and African defiance remained unresolved.

Michael Hussey set the tone with a sublime innings. Combining audacity and clear thinking with surges of power, the adaptable left-hander produced his third and most startling Test century. His life has changed considerably since he made his debut 54 days ago. Resuming at 23, Hussey scored quickly without risking everything on a single shot. He has a keen eye, a wide range of shots and an abundance of cricketing intelligence.

Not even the swift removal of Stuart MacGill at 248 caused him to panic. Instead, the West Australian chased runs with even greater intent. Andre Nel was greeted with a brace of sixes over long-off. Twice Nicky Boje's meagre offerings were dispatched into the crowd at deep midwicket.

At 27, Hussey was badly dropped at second slip by Jacques Kallis. Altogether in this series the visitors have grassed 10 catches at a cost of 500 runs. Graeme Smith's tactics were also dubious. No sooner had MacGill arrived than he spread the field for the senior partner and then crowded the bat for the last two deliveries of the over. Charging cannons on horses has a better record than this dubious strategy. Inevitably, Hussey pushed the fourth ball for a single or, thwarted, carted the remainder over the infield.

Meanwhile, Glenn McGrath presented a staunch straight bat. Altogether he faced 57 deliveries without losing his wicket. Indeed, he became his team's fourth highest scorer. Hussey reached his hundred before lifting his head and missing his 203rd delivery, by which time the last-wicket pair had added 107 transforming runs.

South Africa might easily have fallen in a heap. Instead, they batted with aplomb. Challenged by his counterpart to back words with deeds, Smith advanced confidently before working across an inswinger from Brett Lee. Throughout the Australians swung the ball more than their opponents. Uneven bounce also worried the batsmen as, later, did the sight of the ball spinning sharply.

Undeterred, the second-wicket pair pushed the score along. A B De Villiers again batted pluckily. Nothing scares him, not fast bowling, leg-spin or another large crowd basking in a vast amphitheatre. Herschelle Gibbs provided solid support.

Eventually De Villiers lost his bearings against an off-cutter and was dispatched. Jacques Kallis joined Gibbs and the experienced pair took their team safely to stumps. Incredibly, only four wickets had fallen in 390 minutes. It is not going to last.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform