6th Match: Australia v South Africa at Brisbane, 20 Jan 2002|
South Africa innings:
AUSTRALIANS BREAK POINTS DUCK IN VB SERIESAn unbeaten century from Damien Martyn and an excellent bowling and fielding effort has seen Australia break its VB Series points duck with a 27-run victory over South Africa here at the 'Gabba ground in Brisbane tonight. In front of a record crowd, the Australians held their composure to bowl the Proteas out for a total of 214 in the 49th over as they chased the home team's 4/241.
Martyn's innings of 104 (from 121 deliveries), which ultimately secured him the man of the match award, was the key component in Australia's win. He came to the crease with his team in trouble after another poor start but proceeded to take the match out of the South Africans' clutches as he compiled a defiant 171-run stand for the third wicket with Ricky Ponting (80).
After a run of outs that had netted the Australians losses in each of their first three matches of the tournament, the new opening combination of Mark Waugh (15) and Matthew Hayden (10) found no ready cure to their team's ills. Waugh survived two confident lbw appeals before inside edging to be brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher off paceman Steve Elworthy (2/53) while Hayden, dropped at 8, then mistimed a pull to be held at mid off from the same bowler.
The Australians also lost their way at the other end of their innings, watching as Ponting drove a Lance Klusener (1/48) delivery to Herschelle Gibbs at cover and Andrew Symonds (3) play off a leading edge at spinner Nicky Boje (1/43). Only 42 runs were collected from the final eight overs as Martyn and Steve Waugh (22*) were pegged back by Shaun Pollock (0/28) and Boje in particular.
In between times, though, Martyn and Ponting made batting look easy on a true surface. Driving was a feature of their respective innings: Ponting regularly finding the boundary while Martyn's excellent placement and running between the wickets also cleverly accelerated the scoring rate.
In the context of South Africa's later inability to mount any more than one half-century partnership, their ability to guard against the consistent loss of wickets also proved crucial.
"There is always pressure to win and we knew we had to win the game," said Australian captain, Steve Waugh, at the end of a match played before 35,671 people - an all-time record attendance for a one-day international match in Brisbane.
"We wanted to make sure we improved tonight."
Waugh later added that he was "disappointed" by recent media criticism of his side though "not surprised" by the attacks in the wake of Australia's surprisingly slow start to the tournament.
Neil McKenzie (68) led a determined South African chase, and received useful support from Jacques Kallis (37) along the way. But the comparatively early surrender of openers Gary Kirsten (22) and Gibbs (18) always made life difficult for the tourists.
The South Africans had begun their pursuit aggressively, reaching a mark of 0/34 in the seventh over before Gibbs hit Glenn McGrath (4/37) to Andy Bichel at mid on for an easy catch. His error set the tone for generally indiscreet shot selection and the fall of wickets on a regular basis.
McGrath, though he dropped a comfortable catch off Bichel's bowling as Kirsten top edged a cut to third man, was a persistent thorn in the tourists' side, snaring a pair of wickets at either end of the innings. Symonds (3/48) and Jason Gillespie (2/60) combined to wreck the middle order and Bichel (1/27) - arguably the pick of the attack - restrained the run flow superbly.
Gillespie snared the two key wickets, trapping Kallis in front of his stumps as the talented right hander shuffled marginally across his crease and then luring McKenzie into playing one of the few false stokes of his innings.
McKenzie, though starved of meaningful support at the other end, had still been threatening to steal the game at that stage - and almost any hope of a finals appearance away from the Australians as well.
But when he tried to guide a Gillespie delivery through the slips in the 41st over only to see the ball disappear into wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist's gloves, the Proteas' aspirations of victory suffered a major setback.
Pollock (18) followed him to the pavilion three overs later, mistiming a pull at Symonds to hit a catch to Hayden at deep square leg and effectively end the contest.
Symonds had earlier induced Jonty Rhodes (2) to thin edge a catch to Gilchrist and had also caused the demise of Boucher (10) as he dived forward to complete an inspirational caught and bowled dismissal.
After an aggressive start to the Proteas' run chase, Glenn McGrath (2/20) claimed the wickets of both South African openers to reduce the tourists to a score of 2/49 in the 13th over.
Gary Kirsten (22) and Herschelle Gibbs (18) had seamlessly taken the total to 0/34 in the seventh over before the latter scooped a catch to Andy Bichel at mid on off the bowling of McGrath.
Jacques Kallis (37) survived a very close run out call on 2 as Kirsten worked a delivery from McGrath to backward square leg. Whereupon Matthew Hayden pounced, produced a direct hit throw, and compelled extensive analysis of video replays.
Kirsten was caught behind off McGrath a short time thereafter, forcing Kallis to join with Neil McKenzie (44*) in a careful rebuilding mission.
McGrath was promptly replaced by Shane Warne (0/33) in the attack from the Vulture Street End and the leg spinner combined with Bichel (0/15) to slow the South African run rate to a trickle.
Following drinks, Kallis decided to move things along more speedily, slamming Warne for two fours and a six from his third over and then plundering another massive six from his fifth.
South Africa's 100 - and the half-century partnership between Kallis and McKenzie - arrived in the 24th over, off Andrew Symonds' (0/17) first over of medium pace.
But, just as the pair looked set to dominate, the Australians made a vital incision. Pace bowler Jason Gillespie (1/42), summoned for a second spell, trapped Kallis lbw as he shuffled marginally across his stumps and was struck in line.
South African openers Gary Kirsten (22) and Herschelle Gibbs (18) launched the innings on an aggressive footing, playing some bold strokes as they took the total to 0/34 in the seventh over before they were parted.
Gibbs was the man who succumbed at that point, mistiming a stroke at the bowling of McGrath (2/20) to spoon a regulation catch to Andy Bichel at mid on.
Upon replacing Gibbs at the crease, Jacques Kallis (3*) survived a close run out call with his score at just 2 when Kirsten worked a delivery from McGrath to backward square leg. Matthew Hayden pounced with relish and the effect of his direct hit throw at the striker's end was to force Kallis to endure a long wait before the third umpire offered him the benefit of the doubt.
Bichel (0/3) proceeded to replace fellow paceman Jason Gillespie (0/28) at the Stanley Street End in the tenth over only to see his first delivery to Kirsten end in a dropped catch by McGrath at third man. Bichel lured the left hander into a top edged cut which flew straight to McGrath at around waist height at that position. But the regulation chance was grassed.
McGrath was forced to atone for his error at the bowling crease, removing Kirsten in his seventh over when he found an edge as the opening batsman tried to cut again.
Earlier in the day, the South Africans did well to restrict Australia to 241 after a 171-run partnership between Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn for the third wicket had placed the home side in a strong position.
But, while Martyn (104*) and Ponting (80) played with great assurance in lifting their team from trouble at a mark of 2/29 in the 11th over, good bowling by the Proteas late in the innings still significantly restricted Australia.
In what shapes as a must-win match, Australia's openers began cautiously before both fell in quick succession to the bowling of Steve Elworthy (2/53).
Mark Waugh (15), under pressure from some sections of the media to retain his spot in the team, was caught behind off Elworthy in the tenth over when Mark Boucher claimed a spectacular one-handed interception to his left.
Matthew Hayden (10) was dropped at deep third man by Charl Langeveldt, cutting over the slips off Elworthy in the eighth over. But Elworthy had his revenge in the 12th over when a mistimed pull from Hayden resulted in an easy catch for Gary Kirsten at mid off.
At the other end, Shaun Pollock (0/28) was also making life difficult with an opening spell of six overs that cost only 11 runs.
It was from that point that Martyn and Ponting were given the job of resurrecting the Australian innings.
Both made things look easy. Driving was a feature of their respective innings: Ponting regularly finding the boundary while Martyn's excellent placement and running between the wickets also cleverly accelerated the scoring rate.
The pair had taken the Australian score to 2/200 in the 43rd over before Lance Klusener (1/48) lured Ponting into forcing a catch to Herschelle Gibbs at cover.
Local hero Andrew Symonds (3) arrived to replace the Tasmanian right hander and then departed promptly after trying to work a delivery from Nicky Boje (1/43) to the on side and spooning the ball off a leading edge to Jonty Rhodes at cover.
Steve Waugh - also under pressure from some sections of the media - received an eyebrow-raising promotion in the order ahead of Adam Gilchrist with only a handful of overs remaining and, despite hitting a brisk 22 from 19 deliveries, was not able to help Australia's score advance above 250.
Pollock and Boje restricted the Australians' scoring excellently late in the innings to provide South Africa with a tremendous opportunity to win this match.
In something of an ironic twist, the South Africans will chase exactly the same target as they set New Zealand in a match here yesterday. And, if they were to be as successful as the Black Caps were then, it would guarantee that Australia would be left with virtually no chance of forcing either of those two sides out of the finals series of this three-cornered competition.
In what shapes as a match that the Australians really need to win, their openers began cautiously before both fell in quick succession to the bowling of Steve Elworthy.
Mark Waugh (15), under pressure in some sections of the media to retain his spot in the team, was caught behind off Elworthy in the tenth over when wicketkeeper Mark Boucher flung himself to his left to snare a brilliant one-handed interception of an inside edge.
Matthew Hayden was dropped in the eighth over at deep third man by Charl Langeveldt when he cut the ball over the slips off Elworthy in the eighth over.
But the paceman had his revenge in the twelfth over when the home town left hander was caught by Gary Kirsten at mid off for 10.
At the other end, Shaun Pollock went wicketless but maintained further pressure on the Australians by producing an opening spell of six overs that cost him only 11 runs.
The job of resurrecting the Australian innings accordingly fell to Ponting and Martyn.
The pair were careful with their strokeplay as they began but the clever accumulation of singles kept the scoreboard moving and they soon managed to lift the run rate above four an over for the first time in the innings. Further runs flowed through Martyn's placement and Ponting's aggression.
In the nineteenth over Ponting half-pulled, half-drove Charl Langeveldt for a huge six straight down the ground to provide an emphatic signal that the Australians were getting the better of the attack on a true pitch.
The Proteas looked to have turned the tables again in the 25th over as Ponting's belligerence seemed to get the better of him and encourage him into a rash pull stroke at Lance Klusener. But, while his shot took the ball straight into the hands of Nicky Boje at deep square leg, umpire Simon Taufel was signalling no ball.
Ponting, who was on 40 at that stage, went on to reach his half-century in the 30th over.
Mark Waugh (15), under mounting pressure from some sections of the press to hold his place in Australia's one-day side, survived two confident lbw appeals through the early minutes of the game and played with a hint of uncertainty at times. He responded by hitting several elegant strokes off the line of his pads but it wasn't long before he was faced with the unhappy walk back to the pavilion - caught off pace bowler Steve Elworthy in the tenth over courtesy of a brilliant one-handed interception down the leg side by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.
Waugh inside edged as he played defensively, sending a diving Boucher a long distance to his left.
Waugh's opening partner, Matthew Hayden (10), survived an early moment of anxiety of his own when he was dropped at deep third man by Charl Langeveldt. But Elworthy, clearly frustrated that his capacity to force Hayden into a top edged cut at a fine lifting ball had not resulted in a wicket, had his revenge only four overs later.
It was then that Hayden attempted to pull another short delivery but only succeeded in spooning the ball high in the air toward Gary Kirsten at mid off.
The departure of the two openers again ensured that the Australian middle order is likely to be under pressure for a sustained period this afternoon. Especially with Michael Bevan absent today, and Adam Gilchrist being forced well down the order on account of his journey to and from Perth during recent days.
Ricky Ponting (8*) and Damien Martyn (4*) have become the men immediately charged with launching the recovery mission.
If South Africa wins, then Australia will face a huge task trying to make the finals.
As the table stands, New Zealand leads with 12 points, South Africa has eight and Australia is yet to open its account after three matches.
Australia has made four changes to the team that lost to New Zealand in Sydney on Thursday. Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Andrew Symonds and Andy Bichel replace Ryan Campbell, Michael Bevan, Ian Harvey and Brett Lee. Harvey is the twelfth man.
For South Africa, Lance Klusener, Neil McKenzie, Nicky Boje, and Charl Langeveldt come in for Makhaya Ntini (who has a hamstring injury), Justin Ontong, Boeta Dippenaar and Justin Kemp. Ontong will be the twelfth man.
Conditions here are fine with some high cloud and with a forecast that suggests the game will be played without interruption from the elements. The pitch in use is the same one on which New Zealand reached a victory target of 242 against South Africa in the final over of yesterday's match.
With good bounce in the pitch and a quick outfield, conditions should be good for batting once players have their eye in. However, there should also be some life for the quick bowlers early in each innings.
Date-stamped : 20 Jan2002 - 14:40