Friday 23 November 2012

Mini-session Analysis 2nd test, Australia vs South Africa, Adelaide 2012/13

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the second test between Australia and South Africa at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 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.

1-1aAustralia 44/2 off 12South Africa
1-1bAustralia 58/1 off 13Australia
1-2aAustralia 108/1 off 12.2Australia
1-2bAustralia 70/0 off 13.4Australia
1-3aAustralia 98/0 off 17Australia
1-3bAustralia 104/1 off 18.5Australia
2-1aAustralia 22/4 off 13.1South Africa
2-1bAustralia 46/1 off 7.2Australia
South Africa 3/0 off 4
2-2aSouth Africa 57/0 off 16South Africa
2-2bSouth Africa 57/0 off 15South Africa
2-3aSouth Africa 46/1 off 14South Africa
2-3bSouth Africa 54/1 off 18South Africa
3-1aSouth Africa 28/3 off 14Australia
3-1bSouth Africa 28/2 off 14Australia
3-2aSouth Africa 58/0 off 17South Africa
3-2bSouth Africa 7/3 off 12.3Australia
3-3aAustralia 73/0 off 15Australia
3-3bAustralia 38/5 off 17South Africa
4-1aAustralia 43/0 off 12Australia
4-1bAustralia 52/2 off 14South Africa
4-2aAustralia 61/1 off 12Australia
4-2bSouth Africa 40/2 off 13Australia
4-3aSouth Africa 27/2 off 22Australia
4-3bSouth Africa 10/0 off 15Australia
5-1aSouth Africa 24/0 off 17South Africa
5-1bSouth Africa 25/0 off 18South Africa
5-2aSouth Africa 45/1 off 15draw
5-2bSouth Africa 41/0 off 17South Africa
5-3aSouth Africa 21/1 off 14Australia
5-3bSouth Africa 15/2 off 17South Africa

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First drinks, Day 1: South Africa lead the mini-session count 1-0

Warner and Cowan started off with a hiss and a roar, but Kallis and Morkel made two quick break-throughs to take the first hour. Kallis has held his pace back a little bit, and managed to take the wicket of Cowan in his first over.

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

A great first session. Lots of runs and lots of wickets. Often when 3 quick wickets fall the batting side go into their shells. Not Clarke and Warner. These two just came out swinging. Almost 4 an over after the fall of the 3rd wicket. Outstanding. However the biggest moment in this hour was when Kallis limped off. Losing him makes a big gap in the South African line-up. They will be sweating on his hamstring strain being just something minor.

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

Another hour of attack from Australia. There was some pressure on David Warner coming into this match. There is likely to be a little less pressure after that effort. It was a sensational innings. Clarke is looking solid again, he has just been sensational since taking over as captain.

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

This might be the start of another big Clarke - Hussey partnership. They have made it to a 50 partnership more than once every 4 times they have batted together, and to 100 roughly once in 7. While they haven't scored quite as quickly as Warner, but they are still going at a ridiculous 5 an over.

Final drinks, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 4-1

Hussey and Clarke are relentless. South Africa went into this series with a bowling line-up that was rated as the best in the world, and possibly the best ever. But they are looking like they have been deflated at the moment.

Stumps, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 5-1

What a day of cricket. South Africa are in some serious trouble here. In all likelyhood they are going to be chasing leather for a while again tomorrow, then will be batting without Jacques Kallis in their top 6. The only glimmer of hope for South Africa is that they have a new ball, a new batsman to the crease, and the bowlers will be fresh(er) tomorrow morning. If they can clean up the tail quickly they can potentially get themselves back into the match very quickly as a swing in momentum could play big psychological tricks on the Australians.

Tea, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 6-4

People are describing this as a good pitch. I'm not so sure. I like an even contest between bat and ball, and this pitch seems too even, with too little grass. There is some bounce, but that isn't likely to bother either of these sides. There is not much movement off the seam, not much spin and a lush outfield, so there's not likely to be any reverse swing. The first day, and first morning of the second day should provide more of a test for the batsmen than this pitch has.

Final drinks, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 6-5

As a junior cricket coach I have seen some appaling runing between wickets. However I can honestly say that Petersen just produced the worst piece of running I've seen this season. The batsman should normally run down the other side of the wicket to the non-striker. The batsman should never assume the ball is going to be thrown to the keeper. Finally the batsman should slide his bat, rather than plonking it over the line. For a close run a dive is also a good idea. Petersen broke almost every rule of good running. Sometimes a run out is a sign of positive intent. This was not one of those run outs. It may also prove to be a vital moment. The Australians had started to drop their heads, and Petersen gave them back some energy.

Stumps, Day 2: The mini-session count is tied up, 6-6

South Africa probably finish the day slightly in the lead, which, after the first day, is almost miraculous. It started with Morne Morkel, then Petersen and Smith and finally Rudolph. I still think that this pitch isn't very good in terms of getting a result, but it has produced an even contest.

Stumps, Day 3: Australia lead the mini-session count 10-8

Cricinfo proclaimed this as Australia's day. They won 4 mini-sessions, but I think that South Africa are actually slightly in the lead. The late wickets have put South Africa in a position where they may end up chasing 350 with a day and a half to do it, and Australia down one of their strike bowlers. Game on.

First drinks, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 11-8

Michael Hussey has batted very well this morning. South Africa's bowlers, however (with the exception of Morkel) have looked toothless. Tahir in particular has looked awful. His strategy of bowling round the wikcet to Michael Clarke looks as sensible as open windows in a submarine.

Lunch, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 11-9

South Africa struck back, but it's feels like too little too late. South Africa is going to need a fantastic effort to come back from this.

Middle drinks, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 12-9

Australia are now in firm control of this match. They had the audacity to declare, as South Africa had taken too long to bowl them out. In the process Imran Tahir has claimed a record that has stood for over 50 years, the player who has conceded the most runs without taking a wicket. 430 will be a phenomenal chase, but South Africa are a team who has a history of unrealistic chases against Australia.

Tea, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 13-9

South Africa are in significant trouble now.

Stumps, Day 4: Australia lead the mini-session count 15-9

The race is now on between Australia and the draw. The idea of South Africa winning is starting to fade. The thing that they do have in their favour is that they will get to use the roller in the morning, and the pitch will settle down for a while. The only issue is that it won't stay flat for ever. Unless de Villiers and du Plessis pull out something remarkable, South Africa are at distinct risk of finishing second in this match.

Stumps, Day 5: Australia win the mini-session count 16-13

Such a dramatic finish. It's the first time that a team has scored 2/15 off 17 overs, and been awarded the mini-session. Faf du Plessis has done very well to keep the wolves at bay, and carry South Africa to a historic draw. He was cramping up, and getting treatment regularly, but batted on bravely and now has a place in South African cricketing folk-lore. In amongst the action, Nathan Lyon managed to bowl a spell of 11 overs, 11 maidens, 1 wicket for 0 runs. That's a very impressive set of numbers, but perhaps giving away a few runs to get an extra wicket might have been a better idea.


  1. 'with too little grass'

    I would agree that the pitch is way too batsman-friendly, but I'm not sure the issue is too little grass: supposedly, the curator left 6mm on there - 2mm more than 'normal'.

    To me, Day 2 had SOUTH AFRICA written all over it. Yes, in caps. Maybe even bold.

  2. Wow. 6mm is quite long. Perhaps it will start to play some tricks on day 3 then.

    1. Well, I can't say that it's played like a pitch covered with 6mm grass, but that's what Mark Taylor said during the pitch report before start of play on Day 1. And really, on the close-ups, that grass did not look neither short nor non-existent. It also looked quite green.