For a moment, it appeared the unthinkable was unfolding. Cricket Betting TipsAustralia’s star-studded attack was looking uninspired and meandering towards the second new ball as Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock were jarringly scoring runs with ease.
After gamely recovering from a dire 49-4, the aggressive South African pair were making Australia’s vaunted bowling look ragged as the runs flowed and the match surprisingly tightened. Cricket Betting Tips Free In their four previous Tests together, Australia’s ‘dream team’ attack had only conceded a second innings average of 206 against England, whose best effort was 233 in the Adelaide day-night Test.
During a wayward period stretching the second and third sessions, Australia’s attack was pedestrian in its most lifeless collective effort since day 4 of the Adelaide Ashes Test. Cricket Tips Free Evoking that match, Australia’s stranglehold had been considerably loosened but all they needed was one wicket to reassert complete dominance.
Restoring order, allrounder Mitchell Marsh completed a superb match with the crucial wicket of herculean opener Markram and spearhead Mitchell Starc did the rest with another evisceration of the hapless tail. Cricket Tips If not for bad light, which comically saw Starc unable to attempt his hat-trick delivery, Australia would be celebrating a convincing four-day Test victory and continue their love affair playing in South Africa.
Tim Paine, Australia’s wicketkeeper, admitted to a tense situation at the height of the Markram-de Kock partnership but said the visitors remained composed. Free Cricket Betting Tips “I’m sure some guys were worrying. They frustrated us and we changed some plans,” he told reporters after the day’s play. Betting Tips “They played really well and forced us off our game but I don’t think things were getting away from us.
“We knew that we had a new ball around the corner and what our attack can do to the tail,” he added. “We knew we were one wicket away.”
Paine played a crucial role in the key wicket of Markram with the Tasmanian snaring a brilliant take standing up to the stumps. Cricket Betting Tips “We were trying to trap him on the crease and get him lbw,” Paine said. CBtf Cricket Tips “I was very grateful that it stuck. From a ‘keeping point of view that (standing up to the stumps) is what I try to do to change the game… tried it a few times on flattish wickets. We saw South Africa do it a lot with Vernon (Philander). Cbtf Cricket It’s a different scenario for batsmen to deal with.”
Paine paid tribute to Marsh, who was bowling at speeds close to 140kmh in his best bowling performance at international level since undergoing shoulder surgery one year ago. “Mitch has had some shoulder issues but playing beautifully with the bat has given him confidence,” he said. Jsk Tips “I think we are seeing what Mitch is capable of and we’ve seen him bowl faster than that. He’s developing into a fantastic all-round talent and it’s great to see.”
Despite the quirky situation, where for only the 10th time in Test history one wicket is needed on Day 5 to wrap up the result, Australia will be breathing easier and, bigger picture, they importantly regained their bravado, which was on full display during a volatile first session highlighted by David Warner’s demonstrative celebration of AB de Villiers’ run-out and constant sledging from firebrand Starc.
Paine defended Warner’s barbs directed at Markram in the aftermath of the run-out but admitted the scorn backfired. Free Cricket Tips “We spoke to Aiden about running out their best player and one of the best players in the world,” he said. “It was a huge wicket and to have him (de Villiers) run out for zero gets everyone excited and the boys were pumped up. It was nothing aggressive, just reminding him of what he had done to get him off his game… it didn’t work.
“It was a superb innings (by Markram) on a really tough wicket with reverse swing, spin and it was a bit up and down,” he added. “If we’re being honest, he was close to winning that game. Cricket Tips Free He deserves a lot of credit.”
With Australia tantalisingly on the cusp of another memorable victory in South Africa, Paine complimented the evenness of the team but ominously believed they could improve. “We’ve played a decent team game of cricket,” he said. Cbtf Arnav “I don’t think anyone apart from Starcy’s couple of bursts (has dominated). Cricket Baazigar With the bat, we’ve tried to grind away and we haven’t had an outstanding batting performance… hopefully the centuries will come in the next Test.
“I think we can bowl better than we did today… our ability to stick at it and keep fighting is pleasing,” he added.
Even though the celebrations have been temporarily delayed, Australia are inevitably headed towards a crushing first Test victory and remain on track to continue their astounding winning ways in South Africa.