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Aussies in Canter
18 Mar 2006
By: Archie Mac

The Australian cricket team once again demonstrated why they are the No. 1 team in world cricket, with an emphatic seven wicket victory over South Africa in the first Test in Cape Town.

After seizing the initiative early on day one the Australian team showed no signs of relinquishing their hold over the Proteas, wrapping up the match in under three days.

The game seemed effectively over early on day three when Jacques Kallis was dismissed for a second time by Test debutant Stuart Clark for 36 (75/4). Kallis tried to cut Clark, just as he had in the first innings only to see Adam Gilchrist take a glorious catch well in front of first slip.

What followed was a stubborn fight by Ashwell, Prince and Jacques Rudolph, but just as both players seemed to be coming to grips with the vagaries of the pitch that man Clark struck again, having Prince caught at the wicket for 27 (92/5).

Mark Boucher received one of the most uncomfortable welcomes in Newlands history, being struck in the never regions, on the helmet (twice) and just about everywhere else to boot. The Australian fieldsman showed no concern for their adversary.

Although it was Clark that seemed to have the measure of the South African wicket keeper, it was Michael Kasprowicz who claimed his wicket, well taken by Langer at a widish mid-on for 2 (108/6).

Andrew Hall joined Rudolph and decided to attack, although at times a little lucky these two managed to put on the only 50 run partnership of the Proteas innings. Rudolph had looked particularly comfortable against Shane Warne, until the great bowler finally decided to go around the wicket to the left hander.

This change brought almost instant results with Warne bowling Rudolph out of the rough for a well made 41 (158/7). Hall meanwhile was still chancing his arm, and giving the impression he just needed someone to stay with him.

That someone looked to be Nicky Boje who was dealing effectively with Warne and was solid against Kasprowicz. This however was to be Clark's day and with his first ball of a new spell he caught and bowled Boje for 14 (179/8).

When Clark cleaned bowled Andre Nel (4) he had claimed nine wickets and was a chance to become only the third Australian in history to claim a 10-for on debut. (the other two being Clarrie Grimmett and Bob Massie)

Alas it was not to be as last man Makhaya Ntini hold out in the deep to the bowling of Shane Warne. Andrew Hall was left not out for a well made 34 and Australia required 95 runs for victory.

The Aussie were never really challenged, but did lose three late wickets while cruising to their target.

South Africa First inns 205
Nicky Boje 31, Andrew Hall 24
Stuart Clark 5-55, Brett Lee 3-37

Australia First inns 308
Matthew Hayden 94, Ricky Ponting 74
Jacques Kallis 3-51, Andre Nel 2-45

South Africa Second inns 197
Jacques Rudolph 41, Jacques Kallis 36
Stuart Clark 4-34, Shane Warne 3-77

Australia Second inns 95/3
Matthew Hayden 32, Justin Langer 34
Makhaya Ntini 3-28

Australia leads the 3 match series 1-0

Cricket Web Man of The Match
Stuart Clark

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