Friday 30 November 2012

Mini-session Analysis, 3rd test, Australia vs South Africa, WACA, 2012/13

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the third test between Australia and South Africa at WACA, Perth, Australia

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aSouth Africa 38/1 off 11.3draw
1-1bSouth Africa 25/2 off 13.3Australia
1-2aSouth Africa 34/3 off 13Australia
1-2bSouth Africa 44/1 off 14South Africa
1-3aSouth Africa 65/2 off 18.2Australia
1-3bSouth Africa 19/1 off 3.4South Africa
Australia 33/2 off 11
2-1aAustralia 40/4 off 12South Africa
2-1bAustralia 45/1 off 13Australia
2-2aAustralia 31/1 off 13South Africa
2-2bAustralia 15/2 off 4.1South Africa
South Africa 24/0 off 6
2-3aSouth Africa 125/1 off 17South Africa
2-3bSouth Africa 81/1 off 15South Africa
3-1aSouth Africa 56/0 off 13South Africa
3-1bSouth Africa 34/1 off 15Australia
3-2aSouth Africa 85/0 off 17South Africa
3-2bSouth Africa 62/2 off 13South Africa
3-3aSouth Africa 96/3 off 13South Africa
3-3bSouth Africa 6/2 off 2.5Australia
Australia 40/0 off 13
4-1aAustralia 33/1 off 13South Africa
4-1bAustralia 37/2 off 12South Africa
4-2aAustralia 42/1 off 13draw
4-2bAustralia 52/3 off 13South Africa
4-3aAustralia 118/3 off 18.5Australia

Final update, click here

First drinks, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied up, 0-0

South Africa won the toss, and went on the attack early against the inexperienced Australian bowlers. However a good ball from Watson levelled up the first mini-session.

Lunch, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 1-0

When a left-armer manages to swing the ball he becomes deadly. Mitchell Starc just proved exactly why that is. He bowled Petersen and Kallis through the gate by pitching it up and letting it swing. Advantage Australia.

Middle drinks, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 2-0

South Africa chose to bat and are probably regretting it now. 6 wickets down for less than 100 runs, and Australia have 4 quicks, so they are all fresh. South Africa are going to require a big effort from Faf and the bowlers if they are going to stay in this match.

Tea, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 2-1

A good recovery here from South Africa. They were looking a lot better before Peterson was dismissed, but it was still their hour.

Final drinks, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 3-1

It was all looking so good for South Africa, but Australia are playing like the wily veteran boxer who lands a flurry just before the bell to take the round. Two quick wickets and the hour goes to Australia. Mitchell Johnson is great to have as a fourth seamer. He is erratic, bowls some filth, but he does take wickets.

Stumps, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 3-2

Some quick runs from Morkel followed by some beautiful bowling by Steyn and Philander have meant that this game is back in the balance. I think Australia are in the lead, but it could potentially be a real cracking test.

First drinks, Day 2: The mini-session count is tied up, 3-3

It's not often after a team lose 4 for 40 in a mini-session that you can say that they finished well. However Australia got 12/4 off the first 5.2 overs. Hussey and Wade are looking reasonably confident, but Australia are going to require a similar rearguard effort to what South Africa had yesterday.

Lunch, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 4-3

A very good hour of cricket for Australia. Mathew Wade has looked like he is batting on a different pitch to everyone else. He has a chance at going past Kapil Dev's record for the largest proportion of a team's score by a lower order batsman.

Middle drinks, Day 2: The mini-session count is tied up, 4-4

South Africa get the big breakthrough and dismiss Wade. They put some pressure on to dry up the runs, and eventually Peterson came in and the pressure was converted to a wicket.

Tea, Day 2: South Africa lead the mini-session count 5-4

Robin Peterson was prepared to roll the dice and he picked up a couple of wickets for his trouble. The South African openers then had to face a tricky spell. Petersen looked jumpy, and edged a few, but scored quite well. Smith looked reasonably solid, but has struggled to score.

Final drinks, Day 2: South Africa lead the mini-session count 6-4

This was possibly the most decisive mini-session since Welegedara and Herath picked up 5 top/middle order wickets for next to no runs against South Africa in December last year. Amla and Smith were scoring almost off every ball. They looked like they were batting on a belter in an ODI.

Stumps, Day 2: South Africa lead the mini-session count 7-4

Hashim Amla is poetry to watch. They used to say about Frank Worrell that he played grammatically correct shots. I never got to see Worrell,but watching Amla must be similar. It was clever captaincy from Clarke to keep him stranded on 99, because at the moment it seems the only way to get Amla out is to have him get himself out. South Africa are now very hot favourites.

First drinks, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 8-4

After the past 2 mini-sessions, 56 runs in 13 overs seems almost pedestrian. In reality it is anything but. Amla hasn't looked quite as composed as he did yesterday, but he has still looked good. Kallis, however, has looked impenetrable.

Lunch, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 8-5

Australia broke the partnership, and then kept the new batsman quiet. It was a good hour for them. Shane Watson looks like the best bowler in the Australian team. Batting looks so much more difficult when he has the ball in his hands. Clarke has to make the difficult decision about how much to bowl him. The good news for South Africa is that AB de Villiers seems to be finding going difficult. This indicates that there is still life in the test, so Australia batting out a draw won't be particularly easy.

Middle drinks, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 9-5

South Africa have continued to take the game away from Australia. de Villiers has found his timing, and is scoring runs quickly. It's now de Villiers biggest innings as a keeper, but it possibly shows why it might be an idea for him to move lower in the order. Often it takes a while for a keeper to get into batting mode after keeping. Batting at 6 might be more suitable than 5.

Tea, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 10-5

Amla fell just short of his double century, and Elgar completed his pair on debut, but despite losing the two wickets, South Africa scored a lot of runs quickly. AB de Villiers has completed his hundred, and looks like he is just wanting to push on further. Faf du Plessis has been solid in defense, without really looking to dominate.

Final drinks, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 11-5

More runs. Graeme Smith seems to be enjoying watching the Australians struggle in the field. The TV commentators are talking about a declaration, but I can't see Smith declaring unless he decided to give his bowlers 5 or 6 overs at the end of the night.

Stumps, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 11-6

Despite a couple of scares, Australia have survived the tricky evening period. They actually got a relatively significant benefit from cleaning up South Africa's tail so quickly, namely that they had 14 overs, and so the South African bowlers don't really get a second bite of the new cherry in the morning. This pitch is a lot easier to bat on once the ball loses its shine. The South Africans will be looking to get the ball to reverse, because if it doesn't then they will have to do a lot of bowling with significantly less assistance.

South Africa are still clearly leading this match, and it feels like a question of when and not if they will win, but there is a glimmer of hope for Australia.

First drinks, Day 4: South Africa lead the mini-session count 12-6

One down. South Africa are about 15% of the way there. After the early loss of Warner; Cowan and Watson have survived a testing hour of quality bowling. If anything Ed Cowan looks like the sort of batsman who is going to really thrive with this challenge. He may not win a battle of skills, but he is likely to win a battle of wills.

Tea, Day 4: South Africa lead the mini-session count 14-6

I went away to take a practice with my team and returned to find Australia in disarray. I checked the score progressively and every time there had been another wicket fall. I can't see Australia surviving the night tonight. If Australia are still going when the new ball arrives they are certainly unlikely to be after that.

End of match: South Africa win the match and the mini-session count 14-7

It was always going to be a bridge too far for Australia. They probably had one of the best chances of any team who have faced such an enormous challenge, but that's like saying that they were the lamb that was most likely to survive a week in the tiger enclosure at the local zoo. A fantastic post-script partnership by Lyon and Starc, but it was like trying to put out a building fire with a water pistol, and fell significantly short.

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