By BV Swagath
South Africa finished the opening day’s play at a strong position of 255 for 2 with Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis heading towards centuries. The first day’s play lost 8 overs because of bad light with the Umpires taking the players off straightaway after Michael Clarke had taken the second new ball.
It was a disappointing final session for the hosts as they failed to find any success in the 27 overs while SA collected 69 more runs. Amla was happy to play the waiting game, and got himself to 90* (from 207 balls with 6 fours and a six). Jacques Kallis played aggressively to get to 84* (from 135 balls with 8 fours and a six).
There was plenty of luck for the South Africans with Hashim Amla getting dropped by Peter Siddle off his own bowling. Kallis had a huge let off when he was caught miscuing a pull off Peter Siddle but the bowler had overstepped. Earlier in the day, Amla was nearly plumb infront of off on the backfoot but the Aussies decided not to take the review while Alviro Petersen had a close shave when he wasn’t given lbw to a yorker that had struck his foot marginally outside the line of off.
Tea Report: South Africa had another solid batting session on the first day’s play at the Gabba to find themselves comfortably placed at 186 for 2 in 55 overs. The end of the afternoon session saw a firm partnership for the 3rd wicket between Hashim Amla (69* from 131 balls with 5 fours and a six) and Jacques Kallis (37* from 48 balls with 4 fours and a six).
The only wicket to fall in the post lunch session was that of Alviro Petersen. The opening batsman threw his wicket away after registering a half century. Petersen made 64 (from 127 balls with 7 fours) before getting caught at mid on in an attempted big shot off Nathan Lyon.
Lunch Report: A solid morning session’s play saw South Africa move to 90 for 1 in 27 overs. After losing Skipper Graeme Smith early in the 11th over, the Proteas got through a neat unbroken 2nd wicket stand of 61 between Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla.
Petersen who got most of his runs playing the pull shots is on 45* (from 80 balls with 5 fours) while Hashim Amla is on 29* (from 57 balls with a four and a six off Lyon). South Africa after a steady start lost Skipper Graeme Smith to James Pattinson’s first ball of a new spell. Pattinson got an lbw decision changed in his favour after taking a review with Smith (10 from 27 balls) getting trapped on the backpad infront of middle.
Toss and Teams: South Africa have won the toss and elected to bat first in the opening Test Match at the Gabba in Brisbane. The visitors have gone in with an all-pace attack comprising of five quicks which includes all-rounder Jacques Kallis. There is no place for leggie Imran Tahir. 29-year-old fast bowling all-rounder Rory Kleinveldt who has played a couple of T20Is in the past makes his Test debut today. Australia have left out Mitchell Starc from the playing XI while Rob Quiney as expected will make his Test debut.
Australia: Ed Cowan, David Warner, Rob Quiney, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (C), Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade (WK), Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon
South Africa: Graeme Smith (C), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (WK), Jacques Rudolph, Jean-Paul Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Rory Kleinveldt