Australia 209 (Katich 55, Steyn 4-56, Harris 3-34) v
South Africa 404-3 (Prince 150, Kallis 102no, Siddle 1-35)
Third Test, Newlands, Cape Town, day two: stumps
By John Pennington
A stunning innings from Ashwell Prince propelled South Africa to an overall lead of 195 as they closed day two of the third and final Test against Australia in Cape Town on 404 for three
Prince, opening the innings, scored a fluent, dashing 150 and Jacques Kallis reached 102 not out as South Africa continued to dominate the game, a dead rubber after Australia opened up a 2-0 lead by winning the first two matches in Johannesburg and Durban.
Resuming on 57 for one, he lost opening partner Imraan Khan (20) early when the youngster pushed at a Peter Siddle delivery and was brilliantly held by the bowler on his follow through.
Siddle was by far the best of the bowlers in the morning and afternoon, giving little away by bowling with good discipline and niggling movement in the air and off the seam. However, he received scant support from the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, who after a solid enough first hour, leaked boundaries as Prince and Amla got into their stride.
Johnson struggled to settle in two spells, going at more than five an over and Prince in particular took a liking to him, just as he had late last night. His first boundary of the morning was a punched drive straight down the ground and once he had passed his half-century, he pulled Johnson imperiously to the midwicket fence, a shot he repeated shortly before the lunch break, much to the delight of the gathering crowd.
Amla, as organised and wristy as ever, took advantage of a few loose deliveries on his pads but upper cut over the slips and square cut for boundaries to prove that he is just as capable of playing attractive shots on the off side. However, arguably his best short of the morning came moments before lunch when Johnson overpitched and the ball raced away to the midwicket boundary courtesy of little more than a flick of the wrists.
Amla (46) fell shortly after lunch, taken at 148 for one, when he flashed at a wide Johnson delivery and was caught behind by Brad Haddin.
There appeared to be no removing Prince, however, and the climbed into leg-spinner Bryce McGain, hammering three fours in three balls to reach his 11th Test century in some style. McGain had a torrid time of things, Jacques Kallis also helping himself to boundaries at will.
He survived a couple of blows to the helmet but after tea he raced to a half-century as he and Prince took McGain apart, his first ten overs in Test cricket going for 93.
Prince chipped him, audaciously, for six over midwicket and Kallis smashed him way over long-on for another maximum in between a fair smattering of boundaries as the spinner struggled to exert any control. His one maiden over was greeted by ironic cheers from the crowd - rarely has an Australian spinner been so easy to score off and the two batsmen were making sure they were cashing in.
Prince's 249-ball stay at the crease was ended when he was eventually, after a long consultation between umpires following an Australian referral, adjudged to have gloved Ben Hilfenhaus down the leg side to Haddin.
Ab de Villiers, the new batsmen, was into his stride quickly enough with that rarest of things - a boundary off of Siddle which flew to the midwicket boundary.
The new ball, taken shortly after Prince fell, did not have the desired effect for Australia, Kallis driving Hilfenhaus exquisitely for another boundary through the covers. The stand-in captain had earlier brought up his half-century with a pull shot of the highest order and some of his strokeplay, particularly against McGain, was dismissive although he was fortunate to toe-end a bouncer from Hilfenhaus over Haddin for four to bring up South Africa's 350.
De Villiers drove Siddle for another four and cut Hilfenhaus powerfully over point and another flourishing pull stroke took Kallis into the 90s. He stayed there for some while until he inside edged Siddle into his pads and raced through for a single to reach three figures for the 31st time. Initially, Asad Rauf gave it as a leg bye but after a while, and presumably advice from the third umpire, changed the decision.
There was just enough time for more punishment for McGain, de Villiers (39 not out) bringing up South Africa's 400 with another six over midwicket to a ball that only just pitched in his half. It was a century for McGain and the hit confirmed his place in the record books with the most expensive bowling on debut in Test cricket, going for 102 runs in 11 overs.
Day one saw Dale Steyn take four wickets and Paul Harris take three to help South Africa bowl Australia out for 209. Australia, who lead the series 2-0, won the toss for the sixth time in a row against the Proteas.
© Cricket World 2009
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