South Africa 238-6 Australia : Prince defies onslaught as South Africa succumb to temptation
Saturday 01 April 2006
A fighting innings from Ashwell Prince sustained South African hopes in the face of opponents who threw everything at them in the morning before suffering the sort of lapse that often befalls teams towards the end of a tightly packed Test series. Fresh, Australia might have been able to press home their advantage. Weary, they lost their length and became fractious.
Prince counts amongst the most tenacious of cricketers. Although he has a limited range of strokes he knows his game - and fights. Here he drove and cut efficiently and his innings spoke of an unyielding character.
Until Prince entrenched himself, the batsmen had a hard time of it. Brett Lee bowled a mean length, while Stuart Clark's pace continues to surprise batsmen.
Neither opener looked comfortable. Graeme Smith was nursing a sore finger and neither A B de Villiers nor Herschelle Gibbs displayed the defensive technique once regarded as essential in those seeking to take the shine off the ball. De Villiers relies on spirit and an off-drive that also counts amongst his weaknesses. After struggling for an hour he accepted the apple of temptation and drove loosely to cover.
Gibbs was bowled as he lifted his bat towards the skies. His error was an abnegation of responsibility. Not until Jacques Kallis and Boeta Dippenaar came together were the visiting leather-flingers presented with opponents with the wherewithal to wear them down. Both seemed capable of a long occupation. It did not work out that way, however, and South Africa subsided to 106 for 4.
Prince and Jacques Rudolph responded to the looming crisis with aplomb. By now the bowling had lost its sting. Shane Warne dropped short regularly and sent down numerous googlies in an attempt to disturb the batsmen. Eventually Rudolph edged to Matthew Hayden at slip for the spinner's only wicket.
Mark Boucher offered Prince staunch support until he was unkindly dispatched as evening fell upon the City of Gold. Prince remained unbeaten on 79.
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal: Arrival of Calum Chambers and David Ospina puts Arsène Wenger's spending past £50m
Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali confirmed as champion as he puts Italy back on the map with triumph
- 1 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 4 Lauren Goodger sex tape: Reality star calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after intimate video leaks online
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia