Australia Vs South Africa Third Test At Perth
Indians Want a South Africa Win
The second day of the third and final test between Australia and South Africa at the Western Australia Cricket Association ground at Perth proved to be exciting and very interesting. The test match has thrown up umpteen possibilities and all of them are exciting to think. Cricket lovers are in for a treat in the next two days of the test match and should not miss it.
At close of play on the second day, South Africa are 230 for 2 with Hashim Amla batting with 99 and Kallis giving him company with 17. South Africa secured a lead of 62 in their first innings by bowling out Australia for only 163 in the pre-lunch session. Thus their overall lead over the Aussies is 292 with 8 wickets in hand and three full days to go. There are various possibilities at this stage.
- On the third day if South Africa loses quick wickets and is bowled out just an hour after lunch, it will leave the Aussies two and a half days to go and something around 400 to chase. They are capable of chasing it and might win the match to wrest the number one spot from South Africa.
- There is also a possibility of South Africa bundling out the Aussies for less than 250 and winning the match handsomely. South Africa has some penetrative bowlers like Dale Steyn to bank upon.
- If the Aussies are set a target of around 400 to chase, a draw looks remote as there is a lot of time to produce a result either way.
- On the other hand if South Africa bats on the whole of the third day and scores around 300 runs and losing only two or three wickets, it will put them in a commanding position. Let us say the South African total at the end of the third day is around 530 for 5. This could happen as Amla, Kallis, De Viliers and Du Plessis are excellent players. On the fourth day morning one hour before lunch, South Africa may be all out or declare their innings at say 600. Add the lead of 62 and Australia will be set a high target of around 660 runs to chase. Australia may crumble under pressure and lose the match.
- But the Australians can also try to draw the match a la South Africa in the Adelaide Test. There, Du Plessis performed an anchor role and the South African tail wagged. Here Clarke can do the job as he is in good form. But for achieving the draw, the Australia need to prolong their innings for nearly two days without losing too many wickets.
- If set a target of above 600 to score, an Australian win looks very unlikely. This means either South Africa can win or the match can be drawn. In either case, South Africa will retain their number one position in Test cricket.
West Indies Massacred Australia
Perth pitch is the fastest one in the world. I remember the 1975-76 test between Australia and West Indies. Ian Chappell scored 156 not out on the first day. On the second day morning he was out without adding to his score. Australia scored something 300 plus runs. West Indies replied with nearly 600 runs and declared their innings. Roy Fredericks, the West Indies opener and Captain Clive Lloyd scored centuries. Even the tail-ender Keith Boyce contributed aggressively by scoring a near half century. Australia were bowled out in their second innings cheaply with Andy Roberts getting 7 wickets for 54 runs, giving West Indies an innings win over Australia. Australia could not exploit the fast track even though they possessed Jeff Thomson and Denis Lillee, two of the world’s fastest bowlers at that time.
Indians Want a South Africa Win
As an Indian, I want Australia to lose this test to South Africa. In the recently held T-20 World Cup, Australia deliberately lost to India’s arch enemy Pakistan with the intention of eliminating India and favouring Pakistan. They succeeded in eliminating India but they themselves were eliminated by Daren Sammy’s West Indies squad which eventually won the World Cup. The Australian act caused irritation among the millions of cricket fans including me. In fact when Australia was eliminated from the T-20 World Cup, there were sweets distributed in India to celebrate that event. Now also the Indian fans will be happy if South Africa wins the series and Aussies taste defeat under pressure. This is my wish. But if wishes were horses, everybody will flog at them. Let us wait and see what happens
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