Friday, December 19, 2008

Aus vs RSA Day 3: The Wessels Vessel

I'm shattered, and in need of sleep, so this will be brief. The radio comms were trying to figure out what to call a potential trophy for this series (there currently isn't one). My offering -- "The Wessels Vessel," in honour of Kepler Wessels, who played for both teams.

Another surprisingly topsy turvy day of cricket saw South Africa get bowled out much as I expected, and Australia seemingly take a stranglehold, before the Springboks flirted with the idea of being competitive, much to my surprise. Paul Harris and Jacques Kallis bowled beautifully to strangle Australia, and claw their side right back into the contest, but unfortunately, there was insufficient support from Steyn, Morkel and Ntini (those would be the 3 supposed strike bowlers). A target of under 300 might have been gettable, but it looks like they'll be chasing 400 now, and I just can't see it happening. Then again, this team did bat for over two days in England in the last innings, so perhaps I shouldn't abandon hope on their behalf. Then again, again, that was England. This is Australia.

Hats off, ultimately, to Mitchell Johnson, for single handedly wresting the initiative and delivering the Test match to his side. He'd have had a 9-fer too, had Brett Lee called for the catch which Haddin eventually didn't quite reach. On a wicket that continues to be completely devoid of significant life, to take 8-61 is simply phenomenal. Especially if you're a bloke who doesn't even swing the ball.

Hats off, also, to AB de Villiers. When I grow up, AB, I want to be you. Three breathtaking catches, and you also play golf off a single handicap despite playing only one round per month, and allegedly could outslash Slash on the guitar. Not bad, for a man who by his 7th Test match had scored a 50, a 100, taken two wickets, taken outfield catches, and taken catches as a keeper. Beat that, Sobers!!

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