12th Match: Australia v South Africa in Perth, 3 Feb 2002|
South Africa innings:
AUSTRALIA OUT OF VB SERIES DESPITE PERTH VICTORYAustralia won the battle but lost the war at the WACA on Sunday, beating South Africa by 33 runs, but failing to bag the bonus point that would have earned them a place in the VB Series finals.
South Africa reached 250 for five in their 50 overs in reply to Australia’s 283 for seven, but much more importantly in the context of the competition, they got past 226, the score to which Australia had to restrict their opposition in order to claim the extra point.
It is probably fair to say that while the South Africans would have preferred to beat Australia, keeping the hosts out of the finals was a perfectly adequate consolation prize. There is no doubt that South Africa fancy their chances against New Zealand and although they have beaten Australia only once in all games this summer, they will have found some satisfaction in thwarting their fiercest rivals.
At the 30 over mark South Africa were 129 for two and still contemplating a push for outright victory, but the loss of Boeta Dippenaar in the 31st over was a setback to this ambition. Dippenaar had looked in some of his best form of the summer in making 33 before he tried to force Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist took a splendid catch low to his right.
With Dippenaar gone, Jonty Rhodes played a characteristically busy innings as Jacques Kallis continued to be solid at the other end. Rhodes scampered about for his 20 as 43 was added for the fourth wicket before he reverse swept Darren Lehmann straight to Damien Martyn at backward point.
Lehmann was the seventh bowler employed by Steve Waugh and the most successful of the non-specialists, adding the wicket of Mark Boucher to that of Rhodes four overs later. Boucher had thrown his bat at the ball as if attempting to win the match on his own. He took successive fours of Brett Lee (and a seagull in the process) before he slogged Lehmann down to Andy Bichel at long on. Boucher made 12 with his wicket, the fifth, fell at 198.
The South Africans pushed Lance Klusener in at seven and although he has had a dismal tour of Australia, he had enough left to hit Lehmann for a huge six followed by a four as South Africa closed in on 226.
It was Kallis, though, who had held the innings together and it was fitting that he should take South Africa past 226, changing his bat before driving Bichel to deep cover for one in the 48th over.
With the two finalists now settled, all that was left was for Kallis to go to his century, a landmark achieved off 117 balls, one of which was a magnificent six hit straight back over Lee’s head. It was his eighth one-day hundred and he ended with 104 with Klusener on 25.
Having fielded only four specialist bowlers to accommodate Darren Lehmann, Australia needed to break through the South African top order as quickly as possible, but although Herschelle Gibbs became the second wicket to fall in the 19th over of the innings, the Australians were unable to make further inroads.
Gibbs had moved on to 34 off 51 deliveries when he tried to work Andy Bichel through the leg side. He succeed only in lofting a leading edge to Michael Bevan at mid off where the fielder held a comfortable catch.
Gibbs’ departure at 66 for two brought out Boeta Dippenaar who belied his inconsistent tour of Australia by immediately looking the most assured of the South African batsmen. He twice put Shane Warne away to the midwicket boundary when the leg spinner overpitched and handed out the same treatment to Bichel when the seamer strayed onto leg stump.
Jacques Kallis looked reasonably comfortable without managing to suggest permanence and when Steve Waugh turned to Bevan to help make up the fifth bowler, Kallis was fortunate to escape when an inside edge flew past leg stump.
The Australian captain brought himself on for the 30th over, but struggled to settle into a line with Kallis delicately glancing him to the fine leg boundary for four off his second ball.
The longer the South Africans batted, the more the odds against Australia pulling off a remarkable victory mounted and it began to look very much as if the absence of a fifth bowler was starting to cost the home team dear.
After 30 overs, Kallis had 41 with Dippenaar on 33.
The 227 is the score South Africa require to deny Australia a bonus point and, as a consequence, a place in this week’s finals at the expense of New Zealand. With South Africa already in the finals, winning or losing this match is not the issue but the tourists have made no secret of their preference for a meeting with New Zealand in the first of the finals in Melbourne on Wednesday.
As a result, there were few fireworks from the South African opening pair of Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten, so much so that Kirsten took 15 balls before he got off the mark with a four to third man off Brett Lee.
Both Lee and Glenn McGrath worked up useful pace on a fast and bouncy wicket with Lee reaching the 152km/h mark at one point and McGrath slightly quicker than usual at around 140km/h.
It was Lee’s pace that eventually accounted for Kirsten after the left-hander, who never seemed to settle, had been beaten by both fast bowlers. He had reached 10 off 29 balls when he pulled at Lee, but the miscue looped upward towards square leg where Damien Martyn ran back to take the catch.
The first South African wicket fell at 30 in the 10th over and Jacques Kallis joined Gibbs as the pair continued to take few risks. The South African 50 came up in the 15th over at the end of which Gibbs had 29 with Kallis on 8.
Lehmann, back in the Australian side for the first time in the series, made 49 off 46 balls after coming in at seven and watching the innings falter between the 30th and 40th overs. With Shane Lee launching into Allan Donald in the 48th over – hitting him for six, four, six, four and six and 27 coming off the over – Australia ended with a total that at least gave themselves a chance of still reaching the finals of the tournament.
Damien Martyn was the fourth Australian wicket to fall after making 29 off 54 balls when he tried to cut at Nicky Boje and Mark Boucher held a bottom edge at 150 for four.
Michael Bevan, Australia’s hero in Melbourne on Tuesday, made only 1 this time out when he was caught at slip by Shaun Pollock driving at Makhaya Ntini at 157 for five.
Steve Waugh, meanwhile, had kept the scoreboard ticking over and together with Lehmann moved the score along to 194 before he became the sixth man out. Boje had bowled particularly well for the South Africans, angling the ball into leg stump and when Waugh stepped away to give himself room to hit through the offside field, Boje got one to go with the arm and take leg stump.
Waugh went for 42 and then Shaun Pollock bowled Shane Warne for a duck at have Australia 195 for seven before Lehmann and Lee breathed new life into the innings with judicious hitting.
Lehmann played his hand perfectly, but it was Lee’s battering of Donald that took Australia to their challenging total. Lee ended with innings with a four off the last ball to finish with 51 not out off just 36 deliveries as he brought the packed house to full voice.
Lehmann was fortunate still to be there at the death after surviving a confident appeal for a catch at the wicket off Shaun Pollock in the penultimate over. He was 43 at that stage and Lee and television replays indicated strongly that the ball had taken the inside edge before being pouched by Boucher.
Lee, too, had his moment of good luck when Boeta Dippenaar missed a difficult high catch at deep midwicket off Pollock, but this did little to detract from a wonderful display of hitting.
With the field back, Australia found runs a little harder to come by with South Africa managing to stop the boundaries that had flowed during the opening phase of the match. The use of left-arm spinner Nicky Boje and Lance Klusener had the effect of taking some of the pace off the ball and tight fielding by the South Africans made the Australians work for their ones and twos.
The loss of Ricky Ponting, too, was a setback for the home team after the right-hander had batted with impressive purpose. His dismissal was brought about by an example of South Africa’s sharpness in the the field as Boje was brought into the attack.
Damien Martyn tapped Boje’s first delivery towards midwicket and set off for a quick single, but momentary hesitation saw Ponting’s dive for the crease just beaten by Herschelle Gibbs’ quick pickup and throw. Mark Boucher had the bails off in the flash and although the third umpire was called into action, it was clear that Ponting had not made his ground.
Ponting went for 26 at 117 for three bringing Steve Waugh out to join Martyn and together they continued to lay a platform for an onslaught in the closing overs of the innings. At the 30 over mark Martyn had 28 with Waugh on 16.
After being asked to bat by Shaun Pollock, the Australians gave themselves at least a chance of building a total sufficiently big to earn the vital bonus points as a succession of boundaries flowed in the opening overs. They lost both opening batsmen, Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh, during this period with both falling to slightly unusual dismissals and there was also controversy as Gilchrist was reprieved by the third umpire.
The Australians had to wait until the fifth over for their first boundary when Gilchrist pulled Pollock for four, but in the sixth over, from Makhaya Ntini, Gilchrist helped himself to a further three fours.
But when he had 22 Pollock found the inside edge of Gilchrist’s bat and Mark Boucher, diving away to his right, clutched the catch one-handed and low to the turf. Gilchrist was quite prepared to walk, but Boucher was unable to confirm that he had, in fact, taken the catch cleanly and the matter was referred to the third umpire.
Despite numerous replays from a number of different angles, the matter became no clearer and although most instincts suggested that the catch was good, this could not be established beyond all doubt and Gilchrist was eventually given not out.
He added only a further nine, though, before Ntini took South Africa’s first wicket with a delivery that bounced up off the thigh pad, onto the helmet and the back of the bat before looping over Gilchrist’s shoulder and onto his leg stump.
He was out for 31 at 47 for one as the focus of the innings shifted onto Waugh who had seen little of the strike in the opening exchanges.
He made up for this with the first six of the innings, a top edge from a pull off Ntini and quickly moved to 34 off 35 balls before Allan Donald came into the attack. Waugh went down the wicket to the veteran fast bowler’s fourth ball and although Boucher could not hold an edge that went to his right, the rebound dropped gently into the hands of Jacques Kallis at slip.
At the 15 over mark Ricky Ponting, who had pulled Ntini sumptuously for six, was on 10 with Damien Martyn still to open his account.
To leapfrog New Zealand into the finals Australia have to beat South Africa and pick up a bonus point in the process. The weight of opinion is that this would be more easily achieved by batting second, but Shaun Pollock's call put paid to this train of thinking.
Australia left out a bowler and brought Darren Lehmann into their side while South Africa made two changes to the side that beat New Zealand on Friday with Boeta Dippenaar and Lance Klusener replacing Neil McKenzie and Justin Kemp.
South Africa: Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Boeta Dippenaar, Jonty Rhodes, Mark Boucher, Lance Klusener, Shaun Pollock (capt), Nicky Boje, Allan Donald, Makhaya Ntini.
Australia: Adam Gilchrist, Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Steve Waugh, Michael Bevan, Darren Lehmann, Shane, Warne, Shane Lee, Andy Bichel, Glenn McGrath.
Date-stamped : 03 Feb2002 - 23:02