Australia vs South Africa 5th Day Highlights SCG 3rd Test Cricket

Cricket Highlights: SA vs Australia 3rd Sydney Test Day 5. Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn, Graeme Smith and Paul Harris dramatically drag the test match into the 2nd last over of the day. When Mitchell Johnson bowled Smith, SA were short of a stunning draw by 5 minutes/ 10 balls.

Scoreline: South Africa 272/9. Makhaya Ntini 28 no (75 balls). Dale Steyn 28 (65). Paul Harris ate up 43 deliveries and 53 minutes. De Villiers 56. Amla 59

A win today was never really on, so though AB de Villiers got a half century, his wicket just before tea saw Harris and Steyn having to guts it out for a while with the lightning-weather looming around the SCG giving them hope. Ntini then came out and did a Courtney Walsh (with Brian Lara years ago). Only Ntini did it longer and better.

Watching Makhaya and Steyn was breathtaking – Steyn continued to play his shots while Ntini played like he knew his three stumps better than any top batsman: every ball on the stumps hit the middle of the bat and every ball outside offstump was played and missed perfectly.

Graeme Smith who was sitting in the balcony changed into his test match clothes when it came down to 20 odd overs left. When Steyn was finally out, the SCG gave Smith a standing ovation as he walked out despite his broken finger/part of the hand just above the little finger. That’s his left hand. The right elbow was also damaged and though he deserves all the credit he has been getting, he probably had no choice anyhow, considering the Steyn-Ntini stand.

Mitchell Johnson who broke Smith’s hand bowled his first 4 balls to Smith on a leavable line and got booed in the process. But he eventually got him with 10 deliveries left in the day with a super ball and what could have been a sensational draw ended in a loss for SA much like it did a year back for India at the same ground – though this was a deserved win for Australia unlike a year back where it was handed to them by Bucknor and Benson

Boucher got a poor decision that probably didn’t matter in the end. On the Aussie front, Matthew Hayden was probably the happiest with the win, not because it might give him another shot at test cricket but because he dropped Ntini a few overs before the game eventually ended.

Part 1

Part 2

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