Friday 9 November 2012

Mini-session Analysis 1st test Aus SA Gabba 2012/13

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the first test between Australia and South Africa at the 'Gabba, Brisbane, 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 36/1 off 13Australia
1-1bSouth Africa 54/0 off 14South Africa
1-2aSouth Africa 35/1 off 13Australia
1-2bSouth Africa 61/0 off 15South Africa
1-3aSouth Africa 49/0 off 19South Africa
1-3bSouth Africa 20/0 off 8South Africa
3-1aSouth Africa 61/1 off 21draw
3-1bSouth Africa 41/0 off 17South Africa
3-2aSouth Africa 43/2 off 15Australia
3-2bSouth Africa 34/2 off 13Australia
3-3aSouth Africa 16/3 off 3.4South Africa
Australia 55/3 off 15
3-3bAustralia 56/0 off 11Australia
4-1aAustralia 46/0 off 17Australia
4-1bAustralia 57/0 off 17Australia
4-2aAustralia 50/0 off 14Australia
4-2bAustralia 42/1 off 13draw
4-3aAustralia 78/0 off 15Australia
4-3bAustralia 103/0 off 19Australia
5-1aAustralia 78/1 off 17Australia
5-1bSouth Africa 31/1 off 13Australia
5-2aSouth Africa 34/1 off 12Australia
5-2bSouth Africa 49/1 off 13South Africa
5-3aSouth Africa 51/2 off 30Australia

Latest update click here.

Lunch, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied 1-1.

In a interesting set of decisions, South Africa chose 4 quicks, and then on winning the toss decided to bat first. Their decision seemed to be justified, however, when at lunch the score was 90/1.

The key moments of this session had been two referrals. Firstly the incorrect referral with Hilfenhaus against Smith, where a catch down the leg side was turned down, then the upheld referral of the lbw shout against Smith.

The other interesting thing was the decision of Clarke to bring on Nathan Lyon early on. Amla hit him for a 6 in his third over, and in a move that captains all over the world will agree with, and spinners all round the world will disagree with, Clarke pulled him off immediately. If he's going to encourage the batsmen to have a go, then he's certainly worth persisting with so early in a test.

Tea, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied 2-2.

Australia again put on the pressure in the first hour, but then South Africa dominated the end of the session. The domination was sufficient that Clarke even turned to Rob Quiney to try and make a breakthrough. The ball did appear to be reversing at the end of the session, although reverse swing with the Kookaburra doesn't seem to be as dangerous as it is with the SG or Duke balls.

Post-Tea drinks, Day 1: South Africa lead the mini-session count 3-2.

A wicket off a no ball and a dropped catch could have made this Australia's hour. However it ended up being South Africa's hour. Again the first hour after the break was quite placid in the context of the game. South Africa scored at about 2.6 rpo, while they have scored at about 4 an over in the second hour of each session. It will be interesting to see if they do the same thing in this hour. The new ball is the due soon, and that may bring more runs, but these two batsmen are also likely to just wait out the first few overs with the new ball.

Stumps, Day 1: South Africa lead the mini-session count 4-2.

The new ball only featured in as much as it ended the day's play. Amla and Kallis became the most prolific partnership for South Africa, moving past Kirsten and Kallis. This is starting to look ominous for Australia here. This could become a very large score, very quickly. However Australia will know that the forecast is for tomorrow to be overcast, and with a new ball Pattinson, Siddle and Hilfenhaus could cause mayhem.

It was South Africa's day, but there is still a lot of cricket left in this match.

First drinks, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 4-2.

Australia made the breakthrough, but the South Africans have mostly seen off the new ball. The Australians have continued to bowl quite short to Kallis, but seem to have a plan of bowling a bit fuller to de Villiers. The one wicket that did fall, Amla, was to an LBW that looked a bit high. However I think teams are often too quick to review lbws, as often they end up umpires call.

Lunch, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 5-2.

South Africa are looking relentless. They look like they are going to try and bat only once. That's a big task, but de Villiers looks even more composed than Amla did. The loss of Duminy has been assuaged by the way that the first 5 have batted. He may still be missed with the ball, but his role with the bat is starting to look like it could be somewhat redundant.

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

It's amazing what 2 wickets can do. Both set batsmen out, and while South Africa are still clearly leading, Australia are back in the match. The key to this hour was a spell of 5-0-13-2 from James Pattinson.

Tea, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 5-4.

Australia have had a couple of victories in this session, but are still well behind in the match. It does feel a little like the first test between England and South Africa earlier this year, two top order batsmen batting for a long time, then the rest of the players falling reasonably quickly, but scoring quite well.

Stumps, Day 3: South Africa lead the mini-session count 6-5.

This game has advanced quite quickly from lunch. 10 wickets and 204 runs in 4 hours is some high speed cricket.

Ed Cowan obviously enjoyed seeing Kallis bat at about 1.5 times his normal strike rate, and came out swinging. Or at least scoring much quicker than we are used to. It was a good counter attack from Cowan and Clarke, after Australia looked in a lot of trouble at 40/3. The match is poised for a potentially absorbing finish.

If Australia get past the follow on target (which I assume is 250, as it was the second day that was lost, not the first) South Africa will be in an interesting position. They will potentially have to set a target. Graeme Smith has not got a reputation as a particularly enterprising captain, so he's unlikely to set the bar too low, but knowing this, Clarke may declare early, to put extra pressure on Smith. If Australia pass the target just after lunch tomorrow, and declare immediately, Smith will have a difficult job knowing what to do. It's this sort of scenario that makes me love test cricket.

Tea, Day 5: Australia lead the mini-session count 13-7.

While I was off on umpiring duties Australia have taken the game back. Michael Clarke made it past 50 for the 4th time this year. He also made it to 200 for the third time this year. In only 11 innings.

James Pattinson showed us just how good he was, but ultimately it looks like Australia will be robbed by the rain.

They still have a chance, but it will require something magic from here to win it. I was critical when I heard that Clarke had chosen not to declare behind, but on reflection he made more of a statement by his treatment of the South African bowlers. The question will be if he has given himself enough time.

Stumps, Day 5: Australia win the mini-session count 14-7.

Nobody has won anything in this test, and yet Australia take a huge psychological advantage into the second match. To give South Africa matches in Brisbane and Perth, and give Melbourne and Sydney to Sri Lanka seemed to be an act of extreme confidence from Australia. However they have prevailed in the first trial.

South Africa will need to go back to the drawing board and re-think their bowling plans, because these ones did not work. Australia had the chance to test their revised plans in the second innings, and they made some good breakthroughs. How the South Africans respond in match two is going to be really interesting.


  1. Not entirely sure I agree that Capt Awesomepup pulled Lyon off because Amla hit him for 6; he likes to rotate his bowlers faster than a Tibetan prayer wheel, does our Capt Awesomepup.

  2. Perhaps he didn't pull him off because he was hit for 6. I may have just been projecting from my past as an average spin bowler.

  3. Maybe you just forgot that we Australians changed Captains a while back? ZombiePunter would definitely have pulled Lyon off for the 'crime' of being hit for 6. :)

  4. What a test so far, fantastic day of play yesterday. Even though Steyn and Morkel bowled beautifully up front, my highlight would have to be Cowan hooking with grace and confidence. Brilliant to watch a player fighting for his spot come out and play without fear.