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Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Day 1 – 5 Talking Points

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 12: Mitchell Starc of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Jean-Paul Duminy of South Africa during day one of the Second Test match between Australia and South Africa at Blundstone Arena on November 12, 2016 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
HOBART, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 12: Mitchell Starc of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Jean-Paul Duminy of South Africa during day one of the Second Test match between Australia and South Africa at Blundstone Arena on November 12, 2016 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Australia submitted to the class of the Proteas bowling attack led by Vernon Philander and were bowled out for just 85 runs in the first innings of the opening day of the second Test. Leading into the second Test at Hobart, everyone anticipated this to be redemption time for the hosts who received a drubbing in the series opener at Perth. The Australians normally aren’t the one who get hunted down so easily, they are usually prey on others. But the savage Proteas bowling attack was too severe to handle for the hosts on a cold and fuzzy morning the Bellerive Oval.

1.Proteas puffs away Australia:

At the time when Steve Smith lost the toss and was asked to bat first by his counter Faf du Plessis, the Australian skipper would have not even thought that his and his men’s psychic would get unsparingly damaged. It seems that it has become quite usual for the to get razed for cheap team totals. There was 47 all out in Cape Town in 2011. There was 60 all out in Nottingham last year. And, now we have 85 all out at Hobart.

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Openers David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja and Adam Voges (golden duck) all were packed off inside ten overs at a pitiful score of just 8 runs! The middle order also could not provide any resistance. Callum Ferguson and Peter Nevill lost their wickets for three runs each. And, when the frontline batsmen could stand and withered away helplessly, very little expected from the tail enders. All of them, just like their top order, departed for single digit scores leaving skipper Steven Smith stranded at 48.

It took just 197 balls for the Proteas wrap up their job and head back to the pavilion with a great advantage. This miserable batting show caused Australia to slump to a 32-year-old low at home. The most recent time when they were bowled out under 100 runs came against England in 1984.

2. Catastrophic Vernon Philander:

Vernon Philander was in a catastrophic mood today. While Kagiso Rabada took charge of the bowling department at the WACA, Senior Philander made sure he made his presence at Hobart and rolled over the Australians with his spectacular 5/21. It was pure brilliance and the Australians looked unprepared to face the gentle trouble make called Philander. The damage he effected has scared the home side badly.

It was not something new. Philander has done this before. On three occasions where the opposition has been dismissed for fewer than 100, right-hand seamer has been in the center of all the action and has taken a five-for. Apart from today’s game, Philander took 5 for 7 against New Zealand and not his unforgettable 5 for 15 against Australia which caused Australia their greatest batting humiliation in Test format.

3. Skipper Smith the lone man standing:

While the most of the Australian batsmen had a tough time facing Philander and Kagiso Rabada, it was only skipper Steve Smith who found a way to score runs. Smith had to come early today after both the openers departed with the scoreboard reading just two runs.

Had the right-hander not contributed those valuable 48 runs and had departed for a single digit score just like hi top order folks, we might have most probably seen something much worse that what happened in the first couple of hours in the morning session.

4. Starc makes the vistors nervous:

After being brought down to the knees, Australia had only one option to claw back into the match – an equally good bowling performance from their bowlers. The Proteas bowlers – Dean Elgar and Stephen Cook – began cautiously and put up 43 for the opening wicket before Mitchell Starc produced a double wicket over , removing both of them in the 20th over.

An over later, he snapped last match’s centurion JP Duminy for just one run to turn the heat on the batting side. The Australia fans had gone silent as Elgar and Cook began settling down but the duo had no answer to Starc scorchers in the 20th over. The first to go was Elgar who got trapped LBW off an unplayable yorker.

Four balls later, Cook followed to the pavilion after edging a wide in-swinger behind to Peter Nevill. An over later, Duminy also departed off his bowling and suddenly the Proteas were three down for 46 after being 43 for none. This mini collapse made the visitors nervous but Bavuma and Amla then put up a vital stand and rescued the batting side.

5. Amla – Bavuma rebuild the innings:

Starc burst of three quick wickets suddenly brought a wave of happiness among Australian supporters. South Africa were suddenly lost their balance and were trying to find the ground. Thankfully, Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma combined and rebuild the innings which inflicted a big blow after Elgar , Cook and Duminy departed in short quick successions. Amla, after batting briefly with Faf du Plessis, who lost his wicket after putting up 30 runs for the 4th wicket, forged a useful 56 runs stand with Bavuma to bring some stability to the scoreboard. Things finally began looking normal as both the right-handers stroked runs fluently. Th partnership, however, could flourish for long as Amla lost hsi wicket after a drive the ball turned into catch strauight into the hands of wiket keeper Peter Nevil.

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