Amla And Smith Seal Remarkable Comeback Win

Amla And Smith Seal Remarkable Comeback Win
Amla And Smith Seal Remarkable Comeback Win
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 96 & 236-2 (Amla 112, Smith 101no) beat
Australia 284 (Clarke 151) & 47 by eight wickets
First Test, Cape Town
| | Day Two

Twin centuries from Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla completed a remarkable come-from-behind eight-wicket victory for South Africa on the third day of the first Test against Australia in Cape Town.

Amla scored an aggressive 112 in 134 balls while Smith reached his 23rd century to draw the scores level before hitting the winning run to end an incredible Test.

South Africa were set 236 to win after they dismissed Australia for 47 on an action-packed second day which saw part of all four innings taking place for only the second time in history.

They themselves had collapsed from 49 for one to be all out for 96 in reply to Australia's 284, which was underpinned by a magnificent 151 from Michael Clarke.

Vernon Philander returned five for 15 as they began to turn around a 188-run first-innings deficit; the job completed early enough on day three after Smith and Amla shared a 195-run partnership for the second wicket.

South Africa resumed the day on 81 for one and Amla, who was dropped late on day two by Michael Hussey, was missed again by Shane Watson at slip when Ryan Harris induced an edge.

That was as close as Australia got to getting back into the game as both men batted with resolve and no little flair on the part of Amla, who launched into Harris and Mitchell Johnson, accelerating to his 13th Test century and he fell with the game all but won when he slashed Johnson to Clarke.

Smith led his side home, moving to 99 with a firm drive down the ground for four, then reaching his landmark with another single and finally clipping Peter Siddle through the on side to win the game.

Jacques Kallis was unbeaten at the other end on two.

Immediately following the match, Clarke offered a frank and brual assessment of his side's performance, calling their batting performance in the second innings 'disgracful' and their shot selection 'horrendous'. He called his own century 'useless' and said he would forget it as it didn't help his team win.

Smith, meanwhile, paid tribute to his bowlers for getting them back into the game and called day two a 'mind-boggle'.

The second and final Test begins in Johannesburg on 17th November.

© Cricket World 2011