New Delhi, Tuesday, November 15 – Only a few would have thought that Australia might get beaten on their own soil despite having players with strong determination to win and strengths to turn dream into reality. What people got to see at Bellerive Oval in Hobart, which hosted the second Test started November 12, showcased that the visiting teams can beat the rivals despite not being familiar with pitch and foreign conditions.
South Africa tour of Australia turned interesting after the first match of the series held at W.A.C.A. Ground in Perth was won by Faf du Plessis-led side surprisingly by 177 runs. At that particular moment, the visitors had a weak start in spite of winning the toss and getting a chance to make a decision, which came out as batting first. But they overcame it and let the hosts feel the heat, getting 540 runs in second innings, which gave them opportunity to gain ground since 1st innings score of 242 wasn’t impressive.
Aussies got lead of two runs when they came to bat for first time but crumbled under pressure, accumulating just 361 runs. This time also the toss was won by Proteas, however, they decided to field first. It was certainly a wonderful toss to win as Aussies were all out at a score of 85. They could only bat for 32.5 overs. Australian squad was captained by Steven Smith. The Playing XI included David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns, Adam Voges, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Callum Ferguson, Joe Mennie, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon. Those to sit on bench were Mitchell Marsh and Peter Siddle.
On the other hand, South Africa team looked forward to sealing series under the captaincy of Faf du Plessis. Those in his squad were Stephen Cook, Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar, Jean-Paul Duminy, Temba Bavuma, Vernon Philander, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj and Quinton de Kock. The players in extra were Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Morne Morkel, Rilee Rossouw and Dane Vilas. If scoring pattern at the venue is to be mentioned then average first inning score is 361, while average second inning score is 253. More to the point, average third inning score is 257, whereas average fourth inning score is 260.
The home team is the one that set highest total of 583 for the loss of four wickets in 114 overs against West Indies. They lately became the squad to get lowest total of 85 in opposition to South Africa. 369 runs are the highest chased against Pakistan. Lowest defended is 233 runs by Australia vs. New Zealand. With seating capacity of 20,000 people, the second Test was witnessed by many. Even though the stadium wasn’t crowded but South African fans were elated to see du Plessis’ men doing their job.
Pressure was there right from the beginning when opening batsmen scored one run each. David Warner was caught behind by de Kock in Philander’s first over. Losing the wicket in the first over of the contest brought Australia under pressure. The stress increased after Joe Burns was lbw by Kyle Abbott in the second over. Usman Khawaja tried to bring some stability with the Australian captain. He faced 25 balls but had no answer for a delivery by Philander. Amla did not make mistake and caught the ball on time. Khawaja was dismissed at a score of four.
Steven Smith from one end was looking forward to some support from the batsmen that were to arrive on the crease. But he could not heave a sigh of relief at all in view of the fact that Adam Voges lost his wicket to Philander on a naught. Callum Ferguson was run out by efforts of substitute Dane Vilas, who lost his wicket at a score of 3. Peter Nevill was given leg before wicket when Rabada was brought on attack. Three runs of 25 deliveries were his contribution. Joe Mennie was dismissed by Philander at a score of 10 off 22 balls, together with a couple of fours.
Mitchell Starc succumbed to Kyle Abbott post hitting a boundary. Josh Hazlewood was dismissed by Kyle Abbott at a score of 8, which was thanks to two fours. Nathan Lyon was the last man to lose his wicket after the catch was taken by wicket-keeper de Kock in Philander’s over at a score of 2. Smith was not out at a score of 48 off 80 balls, which comprised five fours. Discipline in bowling of South Africa was such that only an extra was bowled. A score below 90 was not at all sufficient to stop South Africa from thinking about winning. The thought got a boost after the visitors put a total of 326 runs in their first innings, batting for 100.5 overs.
The first shock was received early but not earlier than Australia. The opener Dean Elgar was lbw by Starc at a score of 17. Stephen Cook was out by Starc at 23 (4 x 2). Jean-Paul Duminy failed to play a good delivery by Starc, giving a catch to Smith. His dismissal on a single brought his squad under pressure to a certain extent. Hazlewood also did his bit by dismissing Faf du Plessis when he was batting at a score of seven. Hashim Amla scored 47 runs off 67 deliveries, along with five boundaries. He made sure the team shrug off stress, which was slowly building.
Temba Bavuma was once again able to impress fans by playing an innings of 74 runs off 204 balls. His knock comprised eight boundaries. Thanks to the stability exhibited by de Kock, the Proteas side was able to gain ground that was needed to send Australia on the back foot. The young man played a wonderful knock of 104 runs of 143 balls, hitting seventeen boundaries. The wicket-keeper batsman of the Proteas side succumbed to Hazlewood post doing his bit. Bavuma was next to depart. Wickets began to fall in view of early after this since both Keshav Maharaj and Kyle Abbott were dismissed by Hazlewood on a single and three runs, respectively.
Vernon Philander also lost wicket to Hazlewood at a score of 32 (4 x 6). Troubles thankfully did not increase for the visitors as Australians could not score much after they received invitation to bat first. Kagiso Rabada was not out at a score of 5 off 11 balls, together with a single. Hazlewood was successful in leaving a long-lasting impression in the minds of viewers as he took six wickets while bowling for 30.5 overs. Pressure of performing was now on Australia, who wished to attain runs so that it could be made possible to keep hopes alive in the tournament.
But nothing changed much for Australia in view of the fact that Joe Burns lost his wicket to Kyle Abbott this time at a zero. David Warner was dismissed by the same man on 45 runs, which consisted of four boundaries. Abbott bowled well in line and length, taking wicket of Usman Khawaja at a score of 64 (4 x 9). Steven Smith was dismissed at a score of 31. Rabada was the bowler to get his wicket, doing the further damage and weakening the hopes of bouncing back in the game. Tension started to increase automatically and it was likely.
Adam Voges was another prey of Kyle Abbott. He had to depart when batting at a score of two runs. Rabada sent Callum Ferguson back to the pavilion on a single. Peter Nevill – the wicket-keeper of Australia – also lost his wicket to Rabada at 6 runs. Joe Mennie was lbw on a naught. Mitchell Starc’s wrong shot resulted in another wicket of Kyle Abbott. He could not open his account. Nathan Lyon side were happy when Philander took last catch in Kyle Abbott’s over. Lyon scored 4 runs, which came through a boundary. Josh Hazlewood was not out at 6 runs. The Proteas enjoyed win by an innings and 80 runs after Aussies were out at 161 runs. Abbott was declared Man of the Match for doing magic with his talent to bowl.