Australia vs South Africa 1st Test Day 5 live cricket scores
What started out as a day that Australia needed to bat out to save their skins turned into exactly that when the South African bowling penetration was left exposed on a flat Gabba track.
We’ll bring you the live scores and commentary of the action throughout the first Test match, with the match starting at 10.30am AEDT from November 13.
Michael Clarke’s unbeaten double-century and his successive, mammoth stands with Ed Cowan and Michael Hussey pushed Australia into a lead with six first innings wickets still standing.
Resuming on 3/111, Australia batted out the entire first session and did not lose any wicket to the South African bowlers throughout the day’s play. Cowan, who hit his maiden century in Test cricket was Australia’s only wicket to fall, unfortunately run-out at the non-striker’s end.
By the time he fell, the Cowan-Clarke pair had added 259 runs for the fourth wicket and saved Australia from the follow-on.
Clarke motored along even after Cowan’s dismissal and in Michael Hussey found another partner who batted with aplomb. The two remained unseparated till the close of play, having added 188 for the fifth wicket.
In the process, Clarke also brought up 1000 runs in this calendar year, becoming the first player to do so with Hashim Amla being the next best at 791. It was the third double-century of his career with all three having come in 2012.
South Africa were plain listless with the ball. Morne Morkel gave the side some hope with a couple of his spells but the others fluffed up their lines on more occasions than one.
Vernon Philander and debutant Rory Kleinveldt combined to send down 19 no-balls in the innings and did not trouble the batsmen too much.
The absence of a spin bowler culminated into Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla and Alviro Petersen bowling 14 overs that cost them 65 runs without a wicket.
The final day begins with draw being the most favoured option but the only team that can win this from here is Australia. This is a gargantuan turnaround from the end of the previous day when the same was said about South Africa.
Australia will now look to go at least 150 ahead as quickly as possible before trying to put pressure on South African in the last two sessions of the game.
The track continues to remain placid but a couple of early wickets could make life difficult for the tourists, who are a batsman short in this game.
Winning the game could still border on the improbable for Australia but any psychological advantage derived from the final day will go a long way in deciding the series result.
We will bring you the coverage throughout the game from the Gabba in Brisbane and hope to receive your opinions as the action unfolds.