South Africa continued the trend for batting collapses in the short series against Australia as they surrendered their advantage late on the opening day of the second Test in Johannesburg yesterday.
After Jacques Kallis had become the first South African to pass 12,000 Test runs the Proteas lost their final six wickets for 25 runs. Half-centuries from Kallis, A B de Villiers and Ashwell Prince had seemingly set South Africa on course for a healthy first-innings total until the batting jitters set in.
Peter Siddle was the best of the Australian bowlers, removing key men Kallis and De Villiers, as he took 3 for 69 while spinners Nathan Lyon and Michael Clarke shared two each.
The hosts had been 241 for 4 shortly after tea, with De Villiers and Prince in full control in a stand of 112. But the rot set in when Lyon had Prince caught at mid-on before Siddle – who had earlier removed Kallis a ball after he had become the fourth man to 12,000 Test runs – claimed the key scalp of De Villiers and then Mark Boucher. With gloom descending on the Wanderers, spin wrapped up the tail to complete a collapse that shifted the momentum of the match back to the tourists.
Earlier Mitchell Johnson had had South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, caught at second slip, before Shane Watson got the faintest of edges to remove Jacques Rudolph as the Proteas found themselves 43 for 2.
Kallis then took control, racing to his half-century from just 37 balls. The 36-year-old all-rounder brought up his 55th Test half-century with a flicked six off Siddle but, in an eventful over, he brought up his 12,000th run before offering the simplest of chances to Usman Khawaja at midwicket to end a counter-attacking, 80-run stand with Hashim Amla.
Teenage debutant Patrick Cummins, who replaced the injured Ryan Harris, then claimed his first Test wicket when Amla slashed to Ricky Ponting at second slip to reduce South Africa to 129 for 4. They recovered through De Villiers and Prince, who were quick to punish anything wayward.
Prince looked shaky after tea and he offered a simple catch off Lyon before De Villiers got a top-edge. The South African tail then evaporated, with bad light preventing Australia from batting.
* Darren Bravo's stylish 136 failed to save West Indies from defeat as India completed a victory by an innings and 15 runs on the fourth day of the second Test at Eden Gardens. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav took four wickets as the West Indies were all out for 463 to give India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
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