Australia v South Africa: second Test, day two – live | Australia cricket team

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Key events

13th over: Australia 53-1 (Warner 35, Labuschagne 9) Anrich Nortje to start off the day, South Africa’s quickest bowler with the Shane Warne Stand at his back. Tears in, lets fly, and Labuschagne nicks him for four! Reaches for width and gets a thick edge that hits the gap in the cordon. Labuschagne gets off strike with a bye, then Warner hops up on his toes and punches three runs square. They did a video this week with Australian players asking what Warner’s trademark shot is: it’s clearly that one. Punching behind point with an almost straight bat. I think that Usman Khawaja was the only one who called it right.

And we’re away…

Re the decision to name the Australian Test player of the year award after Shane Warne, it seems like a logical decision. I would have thought the corollary would be to name the ODI award after Dean Jones.

Players heading out to the ground now. South Africa pause just past the boundary for a team huddle, and a lengthy one at that, really drawing together. By the time it ends, Warner and Labuschagne are almost to the middle.

Yeah, proper hot out there. I’ve just had a wander around the ground and I’m sweating like a nightwatchman. Cheerful feeling out there though, a good number of people wandering down through Yarra Park, with its pleasant shaded avenues. You really should get to the Melbourne Test sometime – easier said than done for most, but it’s worth an ambition.

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The Dean Elgar bit was remarkable, too. Reached 5000 Test runs having never been run out, then promptly hit the ball straight to Labuschagne at cover and took on his arm. Bad move.

Headline notes: South Africa all out 189, quite a bit of bad batting in there rather than devastating bowling, Cameron Green stepped up when Mitchell Starc went off the field and took five wickets for nothing much.

If you would like to know what happened yesterday, here is this helpful match report that some nice person wrote for you at stumps last night. It’s still fresh for breakfast.

Preamble

A good Melbourne morning to wherever you may be in the world. It is the day after Boxing Day, which makes it the Boxing Day of Boxing Day if you will. If you won’t… well, I’ve got the keyboard. First of all, let me tell you that it is shaping up to be a scorcher. After weeks of cold weather, the early sunlight in Melbourne today has that particular hard glint that Australian sun gets when it is preparing itself to land hammers on the anvil of the earth below. The temperature is already mid-20s and it has just gone 9am. It’s heading northwards.

How are you feeling? Happy, contented, fat as a lamb? Maybe none of those things. This season isn’t great for everyone, we know that. Having the cricket on is great though, unless perhaps you’re a fan of South African batting, which has been less so. But their bowlers can have a say today.



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