South Australia Cruise At Sydney
Moore's Efforts In Vain
South Australia went top of the table as one of two unbeaten teams after completing a polished effort at the SCG this week. The batting, while not outstanding, did its job on a tricky pitch against fine bowlers, and Trevor Binny's ten-for - including two new-ball wickets - was the clincher in four highly entertaining days of cricket.
Despite only 765 runs being scored, there was always the chance of a draw at the SCG. However, to their credit, both sides went for victory in the second innings, as shots flourished along with the wickets. First, however, the visitors had won a crucial toss; the pitch looked a bit soft, although it was the typical dry surface of the SCG, conducive to spin.
No one had told New South Wales' seamer Moore about that, however. After nabbing out Olly Foot with a beauty that kissed the outside edge before falling to Khan (after Foot had been dropped on 4 earlier), he then had Nick Collyer lbw on 3, but the umpire turned down the confident appeal. Instead of a batting collapse, Collyer was allowed to do a rebuilding effort with Asif Mujtaba, and fighting through a spate of dropped catches before lunch they made their stand worth 103, the highest partnership of the game.
Then came Moore. Replacing Kallis in the fourth over after lunch, he immediately broke the partnership, and after enlisting help from Bloom and a benevolent umpire to get out Collyer, he embarked on a spell of quick bowling that was only marred by his occasional no-balling. Apart from that, Moore bowled with zip and pace to get 8-3-11-4 in seemingly perfect batting conditions, as South Australia crashed to 150 for six at tea.
However, Sanjay Borde, South Australia's much-maligned wicketkeeper, took part in two vital stands as South Australia fought back. First, he put on 58 with Yarvinder Singh to take the total near 200, and then provided perfect cover for Eddie Graham's brutal slogging half-century, as another 57-run stand helped the total up. Batting with Binny, Graham needed to throw the bat, and his ten balls in the partnership with Binny yielded two fours, a six, and a total of 19 runs. Binny's contribution was two level-headed singles, though he failed to make contact with one of them. Moore rounded off the innings, however, finishing the job he started to end with eight for 50.
Graham continued his fine day out to have Fry bowled with his fifth ball of the match, but Virender Sehwag provided a good foil for SA's opening bowler pairing Graham/Mooney, hitting six fours before lunchtime as NSW batted through to 47 for one. However, a loose shot from Griffith brought SA their second wicket, and Trev Binny followed up by having Sehwag lbw with his seventh ball of the match. The fourth-wicket partnership was intriguing: neither Quayle nor Martin seemed to have the ability to find the boundary, largely due to South Australia's bowlers not offering any width, but they nevertheless came out on top in the battle against SA's strike bowlers, Graham and Binny, despite showers repeatedly interrupting the game. However, both were out before stumps, leaving the game interestingly poised with the hosts on 125 for five.
A flurry of no-balls on the third morning threw the initiative back to Kallis and Khan, who nevertheless looked out of confidence on a pitch where most balls kept low. Such a ball from Stratton undid the great South African; Kallis chipped a bottom edged drive to the SA allrounder, before Stratton gave Khan a respite by dropping him on 34. 11 runs later, he was run out by Mujtaba, but the morning session belonged to New South Wales, who had scored 85 runs for the loss of two wickets.
The afternoon began as the morning had ended: with Trevor Binny bowling balls on a probing line and length, and starting off with his 13th maiden over, to Bloom. In Binny's next over, however, Jones smashed a drive straight to Arshad at deep mid on, before Mujtaba made the rather baffling decision to take the new ball. Binny didn't mind: after Bloom had taken another single, he served up a quicker ball to Roach, which was nicked to Stratton at second slip, and Moore perished in identical fashion next ball. South Australia took a first innings lead of 54.
Runs came thick and fast following Binny's effort, mostly from Yarvinder Singh, whose fine innings of 49 from 100 balls was exactly what SA needed after a couple of loose shots had reduced South Australia to 58 for three. Rearguards from Allen and Stratton saw South Australia through to stumps before going off for bad light, but the position at 154 for six did not look awful.
More Moore magic threatened to give NSW a fighting chance, however. Although the ball had gone soft, Moore used old-fashioned seam movement along with the distinctly unpredictable bounce to take three wickets with eleven balls. Allen was left stranded on 27 not out, and South Australia were all out for 165.
New South Wales were set 220 in 97 overs; not normally a daunting task, but the SCG were showing distinct signs of wear, wresting the initiative back to South Australia's bowlers. However, bookmakers who had noted South Australia's awful ways of getting out were offering roughly equal odds on both teams.
Graham and Mooney bowled threatening lines early on, hitting the body on numerous occasions, but only getting a leg-bye until Graham provided his second wicket of the match. A beautiful leg stump yorker with away-swing took care of Sehwag, hit on the toe and lbw for seven, and swings-and-misses were the order of the day until lunch. However, both Fry and Griffith had reached double figures, and now required 181 in 77 overs.
Trevor Binny, who had been given his first over before lunch, continued immediately afterwards, and ended Fry's innings with the first ball of the afternoon session. Then, Rick Stratton had Griffith caught at third slip by Allen, and then Binny bowled, and bowled, and bowled. Four catches and one lbw decision saw his figures read 14.2-5-18-5. Graham, who bowled in tandem for most of that time, only provided one wicket, but bowled tightly and kept pressure on the batsmen, until one dire over which, ironically, gave him his second wicket when Martin launched him to Mooney in the deep. New South Wales were 94 for eight at tea, and all that remained was to clean them up. And despite a rain shower trying to ruin their moment - the players walked off after Binny's first over, a maiden - Mooney recovered to have Roach lbw in the first over after the rain interruption, then Bloom lbw in his next over. With news coming in from South Africa that Guyana had suffered their first defeat of the season, South Australia could celebrate the win in the knowledge that it had been enough to send them well on top of the table.
South Australia 2-0-1 (38pts)
Guyana 2-1-0 (30pts)
Free State 2-1-0 (29pts)
Karachi 1-2-0 (22pts)
New South Wales 1-1-1 (22pts)
Yorkshire 1-2-0 (19pts)
Surrey 0-0-3 (17pts)
Kent 0-2-1 (11pts)
South Australia 275 all out
Nick Collyer 53
Q Moore 26.3-4-50-8
New South Wales 221 all out
Trevor Binny 31-13-40-5
South Australia 165 all out
Yarvinder Singh 49
I Bloom 14-0-40-4
Q Moore 15.4-2-56-4
New South Wales 104 all out
Trevor Binny 17-6-24-5
Eddie Graham 17-5-33-2
Ian Mooney 9.5-1-20-2
South Australia ratings:
Asif Mujtaba 7/10 - fine first innings and an useful if troubled 15 in the second. Minus for disappointing captaincy.
Olly Foot 3/10 - soft dismissals in both innings, but held vital catches in NSW's collapse.
Nick Collyer 8/10 - one of two half-centuries of the game, and also near the top scorer's list in the second.
Yarvinder Singh 9/10 - two fine innings without much fuss. Denied himself a half-century after hoiking to Fry, but still SA's best batsman.
Arshad Ali 2/10 - two single-digit failures, bog standard outside edges. Uninspiring in the field.
Ben Allen 5/10 - another victim of Moore's stunning first innings spell, bowled for 12, and made a gritty 27 which admittedly wasn't exactly the innings required in the second.
Rick Stratton 5/10 - golden duck in the first, but three vital wickets and 14 runs saves him.
Sanjay Borde 7/10 - lasted 155 balls in his first innings, a magnificent knock against a fired-up Moore. Solid wicketkeeping without the great blunders.
Eddie Graham 7/10 - a fine return, bowled with good pace and threat, and achieved every opening bowler's dream, a first-over wicket. Bludgeoned 57 runs in the first innings, which remained the highest score of the match.
Trevor Binny 9/10 - ten wickets in the match, and showed that variation of pace, flight and turn can still get you plenty of wickets. Binny seemingly has every ball under control - another magnificent performance.
Ian Mooney 5/10 - three wickets, two ducks and two catches, not a very special performance, but did contribute to the win once the pitch had turned into the soggy minefield of the fourth day.