As many as 23 wickets went down tumbling on an unbelievable second day’s play of the opening Test Match at Newlands in Cape Town! Hosts SA after keeping Australia to 284 in the first innings were shocked to get bowled out for 96 but they returned the favour to the visitors by skittling them to a sorry 47 all out! Normalcy to the proceedings were restored towards the end of play with South Africa appearing to look settled at 81 for 1 (with Skipper Graeme Smith on 36* and Hashim Amla on 29*) in just 17 overs after getting a target of 236.
The second day’s play started with Australia at 214 for 8 in their first innings. Overnight centurion Skipper Michael Clarke did exceedingly well to lift the total to 284 thanks to his brilliant 151 (from just 176 balls with 22 fours). He added 59 runs for the 9th wicket with fast bowler Peter Siddle who contributed 20.
The Proteas in their first innings were rocked by early wickets but nobody expected that they will be bowled out by just the 25th over! All South Africa could come up was a total of 96 and thus conceding a huge first innings lead of 188 runs! Skipper Graeme Smith was the top scorer with 37. Shane Watson claimed dream figures of 5-2-17-5 while fast bowler Ryan Harris picked up 4 for 33 in 10.3 overs.
Australia were in the driver’s seat with a lead of 188 when they started their second innings. But in just about one and a half hour’s action, they were in a rude shock of getting skittled out for a paltry 47 in 18 overs! The consolation for the visitors was that despite at 21 for 9, they just managed to escape from the lowest ever total of 26 recorded by New Zealand in 1955. They also managed to beat the previous Australia lowest totals of 36 in 1902, 42 in 1888, 44 in 1896.
For the Proteas, debutant pacer Vernon Philander who picked up three wickets in the first innings came up with a maiden five-wicket haul bowling just the 7 overs. Morne Morkel complemented him by taking three wickets.