Respite for Aussies as rain washes out


Respite for Aussies as rain washes out HOBART: Play was abandoned on the second day of the second Test between Australia and South Africa without a ball being bowled following incessant rain in Hobart on Sunday.

Umpires Aleem Dar and Richard Kettleborough made a ground inspection at 2:00 pm local time (0300 GMT) and decided to call off the day’s play, with the start scheduled 30 minutes earlier for each of the remaining three days.

South Africa hold an 86-run lead after routing Australia for 85 and reaching stumps on the first day at 171 for five.

Temba Bavuma will resume on Monday on 38 with Quinton de Kock not out 28.

Extensive covers protected the Bellerive Oval pitch and surrounds amid continual rain throughout Sunday with only a few hardy souls in the stands.

The Proteas are in a strong position to claim victory and clinch their third consecutive series in Australia after rolling the home team in just 32.5 overs.

Vernon Philander powered the Proteas with five for 21 and was supported by recalled paceman Kyle Abbott who took three for 41.

It was Australia’s lowest total at home against South Africa to revive memories of recent catastrophic batting collapses.

The capitulation revisited the nightmares of their miserable 47 in Cape Town in 2011 and England’s demolition of them for 60 at Trent Bridge last year.

Monday’s weather forecast was for a few showers.

Meanwhile, pace spearhead Mitchell Starc said that Australia’s embattled batsmen have been told to score ‘ugly runs’ amid the fallout over yet another batting collapse in the Hobart Test.

Starc, who gave the home side a glimmer of hope by taking three wickets in 10 balls in South Africa innings on Saturday, said his team-mates had to curb their natural attacking tendencies.

The Australian team has been heavily criticised during the current series against the Proteas for their inability to bat to the circumstances.

Starc said captain Steve Smith’s message to the Australian batsmen during the Hobart Test had been clear.

“One thing he said was you’ve got to be happy to score ugly runs sometimes,” Starc told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “Whether it’s inside-edging a few runs to fine leg to get off strike or something like that, you’ve just got to find a way to score runs. You don’t have to look good doing it, you’ve just got to get the runs on the board.”

Starc admitted to conflicting instincts on whether to attack or defend during his brief knock of four runs while batting in Australia’s ill-fated innings.

“That did come into it, but for me you’re in between a little bit,” Starc said. “You want to dig in for your team, but you want to play your natural game as well where you feel comfortable, and feel like you’re going to spend as much time as you can out there.”

Starc said the South African openers “probably chose their shots a bit better than we did” during their innings.


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