Monday, 4 January 2010

The clatter of South African wickets echoes off Table Mountain. Gone in 18 balls. Incredible.

JACQUES KALLIS? Gone to his first ball of the day on his overnight 108. Dale Steyn? He's shuffled off cricket's mortal coil at sunny Newlands too. Morne Morkel last three balls. South Africa are all out for 291, 17 balls after resuming with their overnight 279-6. And we're only three over in to day two of the third Test in Cape Town. Incredible stuff.

South Africans were talking about their side getting to 350 with chanceless centurion Kallis and promoted paceman Steyn looking solid for 17 overs and 64 runs last night.

But this morning the clatter of wickets echoed off the cliffs of Table Mountain on a day which, surprisingly, dawned bright and clear, without the usual 'table-cloth' of cloud rolling over the neighbouring hill top.

After Steyn's opening leg bye off Graham Onions' first ball of the day, Kallis, the 34-year-old man mountain of South African batting who averages nearly 70 at his old home ground, may have been hoping to move close to a double century here.

But he received an unplayable snorter from the Durham man, got the edge to one that nipped away off a length, and Matt Prior took the catch amid much jubilation - 280-7.

Then came Jimmy Anderson's first ball of the morning from the other end. Kerpow! Steyn was gone. The eighth ball of the day saw the demise of Morne Morkel, who was supposed to be able to bat a bit, brilliantly caught at second slip by Graeme Swann, who dropped South African captain Graeme Smith yesterday.

And we only had an over to wait before last man Friedel De Wet went lbw to complete Anderson's five-wicket haul - even a last-gasp review couldn't save him.

So this morning: 17 balls, four wickets, all England. Onions and Anderson, we salute you.

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