Palmerbet Sports Team preview the second Test between South Africa and Australia from Port Elizabeth. The tourists’ triumph in the series opener was overshadowed by fiery confrontations, but the controversy has ensured another blockbusting instalment of red-ball cricket!
History: Played 92: Australia 51 V South Africa 21 (20 Draws).
Last meeting: March 1-5: Australia d South Africa by 118 runs at Kingsmead.
Final Thoughts: Amid the furore surrounding the David Warner-Quinton de Kock bust-up, you could be forgiven for forgetting Australia carved out an impressive 118-run win in the first Test at Kingsmead.
The victory was set up in the first innings, with No.6 Mitch Marsh (96) standing up big time to capitalise on starts from Warner (51) and Steve Smith (56) in the tourists’ total of 351. Mitchell Starc (5/34) and Nathan Lyon (3/50) then routed South Africa for 162.
Australia were less impressive in their second dig, with Cameron Bancroft (53) the only batsman to score more than 38 in a total of 227, but Starc (4/75) went to work again to end the hosts’ resistance at 298.
South Africa’s batting performance was a major concern. Although young opener Aiden Markram (143) and de Kock (84), were superb in the fourth innings, a staggering 14 of the Proteas’ batsmen fell for single figures in the Test.
The Aussies will be expecting more from their top order as well, but with Starc in such blistering touch they have the edge in momentum, form and confidence – and they look solid value to take a 2-0 lead in Port Elizabeth.