Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Steyn, spinners bundle Australia out for 217

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Australia v South Africa, World Cup 2011 warm-up match, Bangalore

Steyn, spinners bundle Australia out for 217

Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting's 126-run partnership was the only resistance Australia's batting provided at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore as they were shaken by the South Africa seamers up front and at the end, and torn apart by the tweakers in the middle overs. Things were further ruined by two run-outs.
Dale Steyn was sharper, quicker and able to achieve more swing than he did in South Africa's first warm-up match in Chennai. He was magnificent from the start, when he trapped Shane Watson lbw with his fourth ball. What was equally impressive was the impact Lonwabo Tsotsobe had from the other end, from where he got some decent movement. His first ball presented Jacques Kallis with the opportunity to take a catch and dismiss Brad Haddin, but the allrounder put it down. Tsotsobe went on to beat the bat for three consecutive balls and was able to exact revenge on Haddin when he ran him out off his own bowling in his next over.
Michael Clarke started with some nice drives through the offside, while Ricky Ponting took a little longer to settle down and played the first few overs he faced with minimal foot movement. He survived a stellar bit of South African fielding when JP Duminy hit the stumps while fielding at point in the 11th over, but the Australia skipper was deemed to have made his ground.
Clarke and Ponting took few risks in the bowling Powerplay, concentrating on rotating the strike when Wayne Parnell, Morne Morkel and the spinners came on. Parnell, although starting to look better since returning from injury, still couldn't quite find his rhythm and ended as the most expensive of the South Africa bowlers.
Smith did not rotate the spinners quite as much as he did against Zimbabwe but had Imran Tahir, Johan Botha and Robin Peterson bowl the bulk of the middle overs without success. Clarke dismissed many of the short balls hurled at him through midwicket with sublime confidence. Steyn came back in the 28th over, and in the next, bowled by Peterson, Ponting hit the ball straight to Hashim Amla at long off. Peterson then got Clarke too, caught behind off a quicker ball.
Tahir was even more impressive than on Saturday and was asking questions of the batsman with almost every ball. He struck in his second spell, from the far end of the ground where more bounce was on offer, removing David Hussey. Against India, the Australia line-up crumbled against spin, but on Tuesday they succumbed to the seamers. Accuracy from Steyn and Tsotsobe at the end saw the last three wickets fall for 18 runs, with all three tailenders out bowled.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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