Australia crumble in capetown

Published: Friday, March 20, 2009, 8:48 [IST]
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Capetown: An impressive bowling display from South Africa put the hosts firmly in command against Australia at stumps on day one of the third Test in Cape Town.

Dale Steyn and Paul Harris starred with the ball, claiming seven wickets between them as the tourists were dismissed for 209.

The new-look opening pair of Imraan Khan (15) and Ashwell Prince (37) then helped the Proteas reach 57 without loss at the close.

Simon Katich and Brad Haddin were the only two batsmen to shine for Australia with 55 and 42 respectively, but the South Africans struck at regular intervals to leave their visitors in a poor position in the third and final match of a series Ricky Ponting's men lead 2-0.

The Australia skipper won his sixth successive toss against the South Africans this morning and opted to bat first, and will have been thoroughly disappointed with the way that the day panned out at Newlands.

Makhaya Ntini had a loud shout for lbw against Katich in the eighth over, but it was turned down by umpire Asad Rauf. The home team referred the decision but to no avail as the tourists rode their luck through the first part of the morning.

Paceman Ntini again had reason to feel aggrieved against the same batsman in the 14th over when Katich was dropped on nine by debutant Khan at backward point.

Katich survived a further scare midway through the 22nd over when the other debutant Albie Morkel thought he had him caught behind by Mark Boucher, but umpire Rauf was not moved and the South Africans this time opted not to go for the review.

Phillip Hughes was then dropped on 33 by JP Duminy at short cover off Harris but his reprieve lasted only two balls before the slow left-armer snared his man lbw.

The following over the Proteas picked up the prize scalp of Ponting, who was on the receiving end of a fine outswinger from Morkel and edged behind to Boucher without troubling the scorers.

The tourists went into lunch at 66 for two, but the home side did not have too long to wait to claim the third wicket.

It came in Steyn's second over when Michael Hussey, who had just reached the 3,000-run mark in Test cricket, received a ball that kicked back off the pitch.

He played it into the ground and it bounced back, clipping the bails for 20.

The South African strike bowler came back with the first ball of his next over to clean up the new man Michael Clarke for a third-ball duck to leave the tourists reeling at 81 for four.

Haddin and Katich dug in though, with the latter bringing up a patient 138-ball fifty when he played Ntini through mid-off for a single.

Just as Australia looked to be heading into tea with four wickets down, Harris claimed a fifth when he tempted Katich into an attempted sweep, but the batsman only succeeded in lifting the ball to Khan on the leg side.

Resuming after the break at 158 for five, Harris struck an immediate blow when he trapped Haddin in front.

The wicketkeeper was not convinced, asking for umpire Steve Bucknor's decision to be reviewed, but TV official Billy Bowden confirmed his fate.

Mitchell Johnson and Andrew McDonald then dug in, frustrating the hosts for more than 12 overs, before the latter walked across and feathered an outside edge off Ntini to Jacques Kallis at first slip for 13.

After that, the tourists completely fell away with Peter Siddle next to go two balls later when he too nicked behind off the same bowler, this time the catch snapped up at second slip by AB de Villiers for a duck.

Steyn then tempted a stubborn Johnson to chase after a shorter delivery which was claimed by Prince running in from long-on for 35.

Debutant Bryce McGain was last man out when he became Steyn's fourth victim, edging to De Villiers at third slip for two.

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